Rem’s Birthday Surprise? SKYDIVING!


I surprised Rem with the gift of a tandem skydive for his birthday today, something he’s been wanting to do for years. I surprised myself by jumping too.  I went first.

My instructor, Cliff from NorCal Skydiving in Cloverdale, California, is the one with blue hair.  He’s wearing a GoPro camera.  Thanks, Cliff, for the ride and the photos.

Harnesses on

Rem loves surprises and only learned about 10 minutes before we got to our destination what his present was.  I made reservations earlier in the week, which means I’ve had more time to be anxious about it.

Once we arrived at the airport, Rem was delighted when I told him I would be taking a tandem skydive too.

Sardines in a Can

The small plane is noisy and we fit inside like sardines.  The pilot is on the lower right, my instructor’s feet show on the lower left, Rem and I in the middle and his instructor, Tyler, is in the back.  Tyler also had a GoPro camera so thanks to Tyler for some of the photos.

Holding Hands

This is before my harness is attached to Cliff’s harness.


Now we’re attached and John, the pilot, has just reached across us to open the door.  Yikes!  After some awkward maneuvering of limbs both Cliff and I manage to get our legs out and our feet on the little platform outside the plane.  It is even noisier, cold and really scary with the wind buffeting us.



It really wasn’t a matter of jumping but just hanging on to the straps of the harness.  I closed my eyes.  John tilted the plane and we simply fall into the sky.  I said a bad word.

Free Fall


The view

Can't. Open. Eyes.

Good thing Cliff was taking pictures because I could NOT get my eyes open.  It could have been that the goggles slipped.  But at this point we were free-falling at 120 mph.  So maybe it was just fear.

Tandem Jump

Meanwhile, Rem was starting his dive.


Fly's through the air

Back with us, Cliff pulls the chord and the parachute slows our fall.  I’m able to open my eyes and even take off the goggles.

Thumbs Up

This relieved thumbs-up is just one minute after the picture at the top of the post.

Big thumbs up

Rem and Tyler in the distance

Cliff points out Rem and Tyler, the speck in the distance.  Tyler (with Rem’s approval) does some crazy, swooping turns.

Rem and Tyler's parachute opens

I’m quite happy that Cliff just guided us gently down.  The hotdogging gets Rem down faster and they land first.  Tyler was able to get pictures of Cliff and I coming in.

Almost back to earth

It was truly awesome and…I’m really glad to be back on the ground.  I’m proud of myself for doing it.

We made it!

Two Thumbs Up

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! I love you at all altitudes.

Thanks for stopping by.










Filed under Life

25 responses to “Rem’s Birthday Surprise? SKYDIVING!

  1. Maridel

    Omg! I can’t believe you did it! I hope it was a blast. You look like you both enjoyed it.

    • Hey, Maridel. I can’t quite believe I did it either. We keep looking at each other and saying “we jumped out of a plane today.” It is likely the only time I’ll do it, but I’m glad I did.

  2. you go girl!…awesome…what fun for both of you to do it together…

  3. Ericka

    WOW!!!! I’m so impressed! (And so glad YOU did, it, not I!) What a wonderful birthday surprise!

    • Thanks, Ericka – I’ve had similar responses from several people. In fact, Rem had planned to surprise me for my birthday in March with the same gift and it didn’t work out. I didn’t think I wanted it anyway. But it planted a seed and I started thinking about it so last week when I asked what he wanted for his birthday, that was what he came up with. But he was still totally surprised. I’m really glad I did it.

  4. Totally amazing Dianne! You’re my idol! That looks unbelievably frightening.

    • Thanks, Carson! I think you’ve captured it succinctly: it WAS unbelievably frightening. But only for a short time. But it felt like a long time. It was also fairly uncomfortable. But I’m totally delighted that I did it.

  5. monica rudolph

    I am utterly flabbergasted and impressed. Wow.
    I know you to be a brave person, but…

  6. j.

    Dude, you are awesome! What was the bad word?

  7. I just said a bad word in my head just reading this birthday surprise story. You surprised me too as well as the birthday boy. What an astounding thing, to do something together that you probably would never contemplate doing alone. Well, maybe Rem would. Well done and congratulations. For a fleeting moment you had me thinking I could do it. Nah. Mark’s birthday isn’t until tomorrow.

    • Thanks for the comment. Rem planted the seed back in March and I’ve had it to mull over. I didn’t think I wanted to but when he mentioned again that this was what he wanted to do for his birthday I decided it was a now-or-never opportunity. I’m glad I did it with him!

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  9. Wow, you are braver than me! Yay!!! So glad you did it 😀

  10. violetannie63

    You are so brave – I have always wanted to do this…maybe one day! 🙂

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