Zippy

This post is coming to you from my very own living room, where I’m drinking my very own coffee, and enjoying it as much as I can, since my other suitcase is now by the door, and I’m off to the airport again.  I’ve had about 10 hours at home, and there’s a little voice in my head that keeps saying "Is this smart?" but I can hardly hear it for the rest of me that can’t believe what we did on Monday, and that we would have missed it if I’d been the sort of person who thought a 10 hour layover at home wasn’t smart.  (Please note: I am not saying I’m smart to have done this, just that I am the sort of person who thinks it’s smart.) 

Monday morning, we’d planned to go to this place that somebody said was fun. Monkey Jungle Zipline. The fact that we’d even decided to go was sort of a surprise in a whole bunch of ways.  First, while Erin’s the sort of tourist who might do this sort of thing, Mum’s really not, and I’m definitely not.  I’m more interested in people and what they’re doing than I am going to some theme park but there was something about this that captured my imagination when Erin pointed it out, and I was suddenly keen.  I’ve never been to a jungle.  I’ve never ziplined, and monkey’s are cool.  I thought Hank would love it, and I had no idea if Mum would, but to ice the cake, 100% of the profits go to a clinic to provide health care who live around there, and the clinic’s statistics are pretty amazing.   Erin and I talked to the guy and he said he would take us whenever.  My Aunt Yvonne was arriving in a few days, so we emailed her to see if she wanted to go, and she did – so Monday became the only possible day to go.

Sunday night there was a terrific storm.  Wind like nothing I’ve ever seen, and then the rain started and then we woke up Monday and it was still raining.  There was brief talk about cancelling and going another day, but since I was leaving on Tuesday, it meant going without me, which I was trying to be big about, but would have been super disappointing.  The troops rallied somewhat, and after a lot of conversation we decided to go – rain or not.  The mini bus picked us up and took us up in to the mountains.  By then the rain had mostly tapered off to sprinkling and misting.

When we got there, the manager did his level best not to be stunned at the Canadians showing up in the "rain and cold" we were told several times (by a couple of different people – all wearing hoodies like 24C was frosty out) that this was "Dominican Snow", which is  a really funny joke under those exact circumstances.   He said that first we would visit the monkeys, and we washed our hands, and he told us that they can touch us, but we can’t touch them, and that he was going to give us a little cup of fruit and nuts, and that we could let the monkeys have it, but to be careful not to make sudden moves, or drop the cup, because you can scare or hurt a monkey.   Then he led us in to the massive enclosure where the monkey’s live (it’s not a cage, it’s a several kilometer fenced off piece of the jungle – the monkey’s are living very well) and within minutes, the monkey’s had seen us, and were making their way through the trees, sweeping, calling and leaping their way towards us.  I stood as still as I could, terrified that I’d make a sudden move and hurt a monkey, and suddenly, we were beset.  I stood perfectly still- or as still as one can stand while monkey’s walk on your cleavage.

I heard Erin say "Oh, no, oh no" and turned around to see a monkey on her head.

Hank’s monkey waved Hola! (Hank was, of course, perfectly calm)

Yvonne squealed like a little girl.

My Mum, on the other hand – was very much less delighted with the monkeys. 
(I won’t repeat what she said about them.  It’s less than graceful.)

When we left the monkey area (or escaped the monkey area, depending on your perspective) we were hiked along a path to the place where they get you all outfitted for the ziplining.  At this point, I realized that one of the reasons it had been so unexpectedly easy to get my mum to agree to zipline, was because she didn’t know what it was.  As she got kitted out in her harness, helmet, shoes and gloves, I started to wonder if she was really going to like it, but with every passing moment, she seemed more interested, not less.

They gave us a little class on braking and safety and then we hiked again, up to the first platform, and it was then that we started to grasp the idea of what we were doing. This place has 7 ziplines that total 1350m (4400ft) and are about 60m (200ft) off the ground.  The instant they strap you in at the top of this line you realize your mistake. At this point Erin and I both had a brief but neurotic conversation with our guides.  They explained (again) that we’re strapped in two ways, that if for some insane reason one of pieces of equipment failed, there were redundancies, that they were going first, that they check the equipment before every rider – that even if you do it wrong they’ll take care of you, that it’s safe.  It doesn’t look safe, but it is very safe.  Erin and I felt a little better.
Then we made the kid go first.

He whipped across the tree tops, smiling broadly the whole way, and braked expertly (although the "monkey guides" were waiting to ensure his gentle landing if he didn’t.)

Erin went, then me… then my mum and I admit that I was a little worried about her. Even the suggestion that she might not be able to do something fills her with rage though, so I didn’t say anything.  I hoped she’d be able to grin and bear it.  How long could thousands of feet of zipline take? (The answer is a couple of hours, but we didn’t know that then.)  Imagine my surprise when my mum came whipping though the trees with a huge smile on her face.

She loved it.  She loved every minute of it, and she was wicked good at it.  We laughed and did the next run – a steeper one with a ton of braking and mum rocked that too.  Hank zoomed, Erin screamed, I was neurotic – Yvonne was – well- Yvonne had some issues.  On the first steep run she was too scared to brake, and came in so fast that I yelled "You’re coming in pretty hot there Starbuck" while the guides ran around slacking the wire to slow her down and preparing to catch her, which they did adeptly.

(A quick aside to Yvonne’s kids, who aren’t going to believe anything about this: Mum, Erin, Hank and I are all willing to send you sworn affidavits indicating t
hat the person in the picture above is indeed Yvonne, and that she did complete a zipline course, and that she was indeed sober at the time, although we decline to comment on any behaviour at the bar post zip.)

After that she braked compulsively out of sheer terror, which meant that she didn’t make it all the way across one of them and they had to send out the "Monkey Taxi" to get her.  Still, it was impressive that somebody so scared finished the course at all.  I thought she was going to bail about sixteen times, but on she went, the brave little soldier.  It is possible, that beyond the sheer terror she experienced, the worst part was the dirt. Apparently the gears above you always stir off a little dirt and dust from the cables,  but  it was raining pretty good by the time we were done, and dirt+dust+water=MUD and that mud was spraying and dripping down onto us the whole time we were going.  For Yvonne, our lady of perpetual creams and accessories, this was a real barrier. By the time we were done, we were all dirty-

but Yvonne was particularly out of character.

It was, without a doubt, one of the craziest things we’ve ever done – and worth it just for the moment that night that Hank said, when I pointed out that the people who had loved it the best were the oldest person and the youngest person, and Hank said that it was because he and Gramy were both courageous.  It’s something they have in common, he feels.  He’s right of course. 

It was pretty amazing.

212 thoughts on “Zippy

  1. For whatever reason, this post has left me sobbing. That looks like So Much Fun and I think, probably, that you are all pretty courageous for going through with it.
    Question, though: can you knit on a zipline?

  2. You looked like you all had a ball! Congrats to you all! Thinking about trying the one in Costa Rica next year?

  3. Fantastic! I’ve just added zipline to my personal bucket list!! Oh, and monkeys – they’re on there now too… !!

  4. It’s the Battlestar Galactica reference that takes this post from fabulous to ultrafabulous. (Also, I want to go ziplining now. New York City totally needs a zipline.)

  5. It looks like ziplining was an amazing experience. I’m glad that you all (mostly) enjoyed it.
    Yvonne’s grumpy dirty face is amazing! She should be completely proud of it!

  6. I am a Yvonne in this story. I went to Costa Rica in college with Habitat for Humanity and got roped into a zipline trip.
    Thing 1- GREAT fear of heights
    Thing 2- GREAT big fat American
    Thing 3- GREAT lack of grace, skill, or coordination
    I was so bad that I got my fingers caught in the wheel-y thing. Every time.
    I was so bad at going that I was spinning around and around and around. Finally, they strapped me to a guide and made me zip with him.
    The worst part of the day: being the first one to the tarzan swing. That part was terrible. They marched me up a really huge platform with stairs while I tried to find the next zipline. I couldn’t see one. The guide strapped me to a rope and told me to step up to the edge like he had all the other times. My brain was spinning like a top trying to find the next zip line. Until he pushed me off the platform and I swung out over the jungle floor and into the treetops. The sound that escaped me was terrifying. People 3 platforms back in my group heard it echo off the trees. The only moment of clarity I had was noticing a group of blue morpho butterflies flitting about near the ground when I thought for sure I was about to die.
    I HATE ziplines. Bravo for you and yours getting through and having a mostly great time.
    I’m totally with Yvonne though. Ziplines are for the courageous.

  7. Oh, I am so glad you enjoyed the zipline! And the mud adds so much character to the experience! The monkeys look cool too! Yea for something new!

  8. Wow – SO jealous! 😀 Monkeys, zips, all of it! And tell Yvonne that you pay handsomely for a mud facial or wrap in a spa….. 😉

  9. Just the other day my husband asked me if I thought I would ever do a zipline. I think I just might!

  10. Thank you for taking some of your precious 10 hours at home to share this story with us. I absolutely loved the monkey pictures, and the ziplining looked like a blast.

  11. we had a blast also zipping.
    Everyone looked at me and said “what are you going to do while we are gone?’
    Go WITH YOU.I may be middle aged but I’m not dead!!!
    How is the knitting?

  12. Ok, so am I the only one to note the word “ew” on Yvonne’s shirt in the last picture? So apropros! That looks like insane fun and it makes me want to surprise the hubby with a zipline tour sometime soon.
    Way to push it and have fun!

  13. What a great bonding experience! A very special thing to have as a memory. And that Hank!!–could you wrap him up and send him to me? He is so special.

  14. That looks and sounds amazing. I had no idea they had zip lines there and that they had a monkey zoo. You really make me want to try that out some day. So glad you all had a great time.

  15. So very happy you allowed your inter child to be released, to enjoy what the fun part of life has to offer.
    Steph, you’ll never be the same. Just keep having fun.

  16. Thanks for using some of your precious time to share this with us! What an amazing trip. You all rock.
    Thanks for letting The Blog virtually tag along.

  17. This post left me crying, too! I’ve ziplined, one time, just over the tree tops right here in central Illinois. It was awesome! But I’ve also had vacation experiences that left me totally traumatized, so I can relate with Yvonne and the other commenter who did it in Costa Rica. Shared memory with Grandma and Grandson = Priceless.

  18. Lacey @ 10:46 am 2/15: I wish I could have seen that! But YOU DID IT!
    Stephanie – WOW! Now I want to do that!

  19. My husband would be giddy with happiness to have monkeys perched all over him.
    He is the same one who made me go ziplining in Costa Rica. It was fun although I am getting sweaty thinking about it. Great memories for your family.

  20. What a wonderful experience for all of you!! I zipped on my honeymoon and it was great. I still can’t believe that I did it. Stepping off that platform for the first time– heart stopping fear — which was quickly replaced with awe.
    Thanks for the post.

  21. How wonderful…… just the way I felt going parasailing on PEI one summer. First reaction: I am crazy to be doing this! Second reaction, said prayerfully, not vehemently: “Oh, God…… thank you for giving me the courage to do this. Your world is so beautiful.”
    Third reaction, years later: Scary is not a reason to miss out on adventure.

  22. I’d be the one outside the monkey cage/yard/whatever. I barely tolerate friends’ dogs, I’d be a gibbering ball if monkeys were on me. Now, ziplining I’d do in a heartbeat. I’d be almost paralyzed and nearly panicky but I’d do it anyway. Aunt Yvonne, you’re my hero.

  23. We took the family to Costa Rica in 2010 and my kids insisted that we balance the nature sight-seeing with “adventures”. Given my fear of heights, they were all quite impressed that I not only zip lined with them (even I had to admit it was great fun) but also rapelled down waterfalls.
    We also had many monkey visitors in Costa Rica, but never got close to the cute little squirrel monkeys in your picture. We did see quite a few capuchins who are very smart (they are used as assistants to the disabled in the US). They work together to distract tourists with their posing and antics while others in the troupe sneak up behind to rifle through purses and backpacks. My husband almost lost an expensive camera lens to them because my son was laughing too hard to warn him.
    You must feel refreshed and ready to face the rest of your Canadian winter now!

  24. Oh, I would hope I would be as courageous as Gramy, so that my Grandson would be that proud of me. What a wonderful adventure, never to be forgotten.

  25. Gosh, rather you than me with the ziplining! I get dizzy standing on a chair. Sigh… But the monkeys I could cope with.Well done, sounds like it was a fantastic trip.

  26. I would so have lost my crocs! but definitely something I would love to try too. Glad you enjoyed your time. Hank is getting so big!

  27. What an awesomely wicked good time!!! Thanks for letting us live vicariously!!! Your mom does indeed rock!!! And so proud of Yvonne for braving it out! Yay!

  28. Wow – just look at your grinning face. I bet you’ve forgiven Joe for making you go. What fun!

  29. I have literal tears in my eyes! At my ladies’ Bible study yesterday, we learned about LIVING life, as apposed to being worried about the what-ifs. You and your beautiful family have just shown me the best example of this!!! Brava to all of you for grabbing life by the ovaries (that is for the feminists out there!) and enjoying life to its fullest!!!

  30. Welcome home, even for a brief moment. I had to laugh when you said that your mum gets steamed when she’s told she can’t do something. My mum once fell down the back steps in winter as we were all leaving for an event. We all ran toward her, only to hear her say – “leave me alone, I can get up on my own, I can do this stay away.” So, now our motto is – let her try and if she doesn’t come up for air, get up off the ground, etc… in 15 minutes we’ll check on her. Luckily she had not cracked her skull open or broken any bones in that fall, but she did have us all worried. Zipping in Jamaica was the same way, my father was worried about her trying, she did the best of us all.

  31. Victory to the courageous amongst us! Well done and such perfectly hilarious memories for you all. I am being courageous right here at home recovering from “a bug” and knitting my very first lace swatch. The swatch & I are doing the two-step: one row forward, one (or 2) rows back, but so far, we are making a nice duet. Using soft swishy worsted weight yarn is fun for the swatch, but I am looking forward to using my lace weight silk alpaca blend yarn for the real deal–in dark aqua no less. The call of that yarn keeps me goal oriented and being brave enough to learn this pattern even when I am just confused. May all of us be strong minded enough to push through to a victorious ending in whatever we do. God’s grace can see us through. Enjoy your next trip!

  32. I am so glad you had a good time and that you braved the zippy thingy.
    But really, all I can think about is whether those monkeys pooped on you.

  33. This post choked me up too. Loved the photos, especially the one of Hank with the monkey. Thank you for sharing your family and your adventures with all of us!

  34. Sounds like an awesome time was had by all (whether good or bad, it was definitely awesome). I’ve always wanted to try ziplining, but my boyfriend’s afraid of heights and won’t come with me! Maybe next time we’re travelling somewhere that has ziplining, I will go solo 😉

  35. omg! I am SOOO jealous! Monkeys have been my favorite animals since I was little, and I LOVE zip lines! I’m so happy for you that you got to go on this adventure!

  36. Good experience. Kudos to Hank for his infectious grin and the ability to have a blast with his mom, aunts, and grandma. I finally got my husband on a zipline in Maui, like your mum, he wasn’t sure at first, but by the last line he was posing for the camera.
    Fun Fun Fun

  37. I think it was Helen Keller who said “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all. That was a wonderful adventure that you family will remember and laugh about again and again.

  38. Sounds like your whole trip was a great time! Thanks so much for the pics. I especially liked the one with Hank and the monkey. The monkey knew exactly when to wave.

  39. I love being up high and have always wanted to do this- but now I really, really want to go! That looks like so much fun! Yay for Hank and your mom being courageous! And extra yay for Yvonne who was scared but finished anyway!

  40. Just got back from our first ziplining adventure in Jamaica – I forgot everything they taught us as soon as I stepped out into thin air, so I came in backwards or sideways every time, but what a rush!! Something I’ll never forget and neither will you and your family…. thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  41. Kudos to all of you! Looks like you had a great time!! Have fun at Madrona and don’t over do it 😉

  42. How so very cool! I would love to be able to zipline some day. I think I’d be thoroughly terrified initially & beyond excited as I went along. My hat’s off to you you & the gang!

  43. That is so wonderful! Reading that and seeing your pictures just totally, delightfully made my day. Thank you for taking the time in all your travel-crazyness to share that with us! (Man, I needed that. Thank you!)

  44. LOVE IT!
    I’ve always been a bit fearful of this and happy when (oh darn) it didn’t work out to do it (being afraid of heights has a bit to do with it)- but your Mom had definitely encouraged me to be courageous enough to try this next opportunity!

  45. Totally awesome! What a great time you must have had! I’m not a brave person at all, and not particularly fond of heights, but for some reason I’ve always wanted to try ziplining.

  46. WOW!! It all looks such fun. I’m with you on the monkeys, a little scared at the prospect of ziplining — but HUGE ADMIRATION to those who were scared but did it anyway. You are indeed a courageous lot!

  47. What a great experience!! The pictures are priceless. Your Mum is the best–she and I could be good friends. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  48. I thought the turtle post was the loveliest I’d ever read, but this is its equal. Congratulations, Stephanie, and congrats to your whole zip-lining, monkey-befriending crew.

  49. Wow. So glad you took a moment to blog about the ziplining. Saw your tweet about it and was hoping for detailes. Can’t imagine my mother doing that (but she’s a little older than yours). Can’t imagine myself doing that as I have a massive fear of heights – but I suppose you never know… Thanks for sharing it with us.

  50. Go Stephanie and fam! I ziplined in Mexico and would have gone over and over again – too fun. It’s too late to recommend it, but next time let yourself go over upside down if it’s allowed – once again, too fun!

  51. @ Helen: Steph’s photos & story were funny, but your breaking into a sweat thinking about it just cracked me up. And I’m definitely adding ziplining to my bucket list.

  52. Aren’t you glad now that you went on this awesome adventure? Remember how you hesitated? You can never duplicate the memories that you have shared on this vacation—life is too short!

  53. I LOVE the yarnharlot! This post was so much fun to read and to experience in the pictures! Being a chicken about things like this, just the brocures for the one in San Diego, CA made my heart beat fast… Maybe I could brave it now that I’ve had your first hand account. LOVE the knitting posts too…

  54. These are the kinds of experiences and memories that make a life well-lived; good on you and yours for setting aside any fears, concerns, and guilty-feelings-over-not-doing-something-more-“responsible” long enough to make this special time happen!

  55. What a perfect conclusion to your vacation. I would love to go on a zipline! And those monkeys, how cute are they?!

  56. You know you always wanted a monkey.
    Me, I’m now having a wonderful afternoon picturing Joe on a zipline.

  57. Too, too much fun! Must find a zip line. I’m only a year older than your mother(lol).
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  58. That looks like such a fun day – I am so jealous! I love your face in the picture with the monkeys. I’ve done some much smaller ziplines, and I really enjoyed them, although I don’t recall getting any instructions on braking. This is perhaps why my first landing involved my stopping on my back with sufficient force to get bark chips all the way down into my knickers. Not that this stopped me from dancing around shouting “Again!” like a hyped-up three year-old…

  59. Now, aren’t you glad you went??? I mean EVERYTHING; the trip, the adventures, the ziplining….
    So let’s not hear any more of this “I’m so undeserving of a wonderful vacation with my dear family and the chance to make memories.” crap–OK?
    I will speak harshly to you if you EVER turn down something like this again.

  60. did that myself for my sons 15th birthday. He and I were the only ones. Everyone else was too scared. Lots of fun.

  61. AWESOME.
    I hope you’ll adjust your expectations for Madrona. It may not ever live up to Monkey Ziplining.
    Bummed about the media ban (though I am grateful for such things) because I am sure that you have a new talent to share! 🙂

  62. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!
    Now I am sitting here wondering if I would be brave enough to try it. I honestly don’t know!

  63. I also recently zip-lined for the first time (On the Big Island of Hawaii) and was TERRIFIED, and was expecting to be the butt of family jokes for many years to come. But, I lived to tell the tale, felt pretty safe (our guides appeared to be incredibly competent and safety minded), and HAD FUN. The family was dumb struck. Ours was not nearly as muddy as your adventure though, and did not involve monkeys!

  64. That is so very fun. I bet the zipline people had just as much fun providing such a happy experience.
    That vacation was the best.

  65. I loved reading this! It made me tear up a little; weird maybe, but I think it’s because I was just so happy that you could experience this because you really deserved to experience this. You created memories that will last forever. 🙂

  66. I think this is my favorite post, ever! How fun and what a great memory (and pictures!) i love it!

  67. I’m so glad that you went, had a wonderful time, and then shared with all of us… it looked like fun!

  68. I can’t believe your mom’s reaction to the monkeys! Hasn’t she ever had a couple toddlers, or kittens, or puppies use her as their own personal jungle gym???
    On the other hand, ziplining seems to have let her relive all her fantasies about being Supergirl or Wonder Woman!
    PS: After chickens, lizards, turtles, and now monkeys. . .Hank’s going to want a new pet!

  69. “Then we made the kid go first.” As it should be-send the smallest down fisrt! Hank has got to be the cutest blonde boy I have ever seen! So glad you got to take this vacation for us,um,I mean for yourself…

  70. So jealous about the monkeys playing with you. My son lives in Costa Rica and we recently went to see him there. I, too, went out of my comfort zone and went ziplining. LOVED IT! Glad you went, glad you had fun. Hope you knitted lots (on the plane, of course)!

  71. SO 2nd the feeling about the Battlestar Galactica reference. You’re coming in pretty hot there McPhee.

  72. Looks like you had a great time and I salute all of you for doing it. I think your mum is about my age and I can guarantee in my case it would not happen for all the tea in China or even for vast amounts of money.

  73. What a great storyteller you are! Super post and wonderful family memories you’re making there. I enjoyed reading this after a long day, so thanks for taking the time to share. The pictures were fabulous. I never thought I’d ever zipline, but after reading this, I think I’d go for it if given the chance.

  74. and that was your reward for being the kind of person who will accept 10 hours at home between trips! kudos!!

  75. Wow! Just wow! And I have to say that hank is becoming quite a handsome young man. I have a 10 yr old I hope will.meet up with someone as insightful as him one day. Brava!!

  76. That expression on your mum’s face in her monkey picture is quite familiar to me. It is caused by the creepiness of feeling those wierd little monkey hands on your person. And also by their smell and constant chattering. Ask me how I know. And I am in your aunt’s corner – no way would I get roped into that zipline deal. It does seem like an odd thing to scare yourself s#@tless and call it fun. But on a more positive note, most of you seemed to enjoy yourselves and you certainly have shared some entertaining photos. Thanks, from one unit of the hive mind.

  77. Bravo to all and especially Yvonne. Reminds me of the one- and only!! – day I did roller coasters.
    So glad you went. Obviously a great time for all.

  78. I am so glad you went. That was a beautiful post. When you wrote about being reluctant to go on this trip I was tempted to tell you my own story about moms and time, but I didn’t want to be one of those preachy posters. My mom and I had talked about taking a trip to the North Carolina Outer Banks last year, but around the time she and I should have been going to the beach we discovered she had late stage cancer (no symptoms until just before the diagnosis). Right now she is undergoing treatment but we really don’t know how much time there is. Your mom was right. Sometimes we have to seize the day. I was so happy to see you and your family having such a good time together. Please tell Yvonne that her adventure-splattered face made my day!

  79. Amazing! Courageous! Such fun! Yvonne’s photo cracked me up! Such memories you have all created!

  80. Wow, that’s amazing! You were all brave! I was just noticing how much Hank resembles your mom in looks… maybe he got her courageous nature, too. Great memory for you all.

  81. You all look so happy and relaxed in the pictures after your zipping… I guess this proves that you do in fact know how to relax!

  82. Love it! Never been on one that long but I have done a short one. Some day maybe I’ll get to try a long version.
    Have a great time at Madrona.

  83. omg. The picture of your Mom with the monkeys is absolutely priceless. There is no doubt what she is thinking!
    You are all much braver than I would have been.

  84. LMAO!! Your description about Yvonne’s ziplining experience is hysterical! I can relate because my Mom would probably have reacted like Yvonne but at the same time loved it as much as your Mom did. lol! So jealous. That looks too, too cool. 🙂

  85. I loved seeing the photos of you and your family with the monkeys. Seeing pics of you all ziplining was super! Good for you! What a fabulous time you had!

  86. I always pretend I’m Starbuck and mentally yell “coming in hot!” when I whip into a parking space a little too fast. With my minivan. I am a dork and I don’t get out much. 🙂

  87. KUDOS Courageous Hank and Courageous Gramy…Yvonne, so proud of you, what a story you have to tell…and Erin and Steph, would have expected nothing less of you….should I add this to my bucket list????? maaaybeee…..xxoo Grammy Sue

  88. So fantastic! I love your mom and the way you write about her. My 8 year old son and I ziplined a few years ago. It was one of the most exhilarating things I have done and I can’t wait to do it again.

  89. What a tremendous adventure. I’m glad you went and shared your story.
    I love every story you write about Hank. He sounds like a great kid.

  90. I think I’ve read all of your posts and I have never seen such a huge smile on your face, Stephanie. You look just like your daughters! I enjoyed reading about the trip- thanks for sharing!

  91. I loved this post. It started my day with a great laugh. I’ve wondered about these zip line things for a long time and you did a great job explaining it to us. Thanks. It was great that you were able to take a few days away with your family.

  92. I love your mum. If you are 68 and can look awesomely cute wearing a silly helmet on your head and mud all over, you’ve got something good going for you.

  93. OK – you’ve pushed me over the edge. I’ve had a long time fear of heights/flying (nothing more pathetic than a 49 year old woman whimpering while trying to hold onto her knitting).
    In August we will be going back to Vancouver to visit family and attend a wedding. Thanks to you I’ve just added to my “get over it before you’re 50” list. I’m going to sign me and the husbeast to zipline at Grouse Mountain.

  94. That looks like sooo much fun!I have done Ziplining in Mexico but had no idea they had it in the DR! My sis is going this weekend to visit our parents and I know she will be thrilled to add this to her plans. Thanks for the info.
    Love, love Hank 🙂

  95. Reading this just made my day. So much courage and so many wonderful memories, thanks for sharing I just love to hear your writers voice.

  96. My family has guffhawed and been amazed at this jungle adventure and we would like to look into going. Is the Monkey Jungle a separate venue from the Zipline? Were you in the Dominican Republic? Your family ROCKS!

  97. When most people blog about their beach vacations, it’s tiresome. When you do it, it’s hilarious, illuminating and touching. Why is that?
    (Rhetorical question.)
    Great picture of you with the monkeys. You’ve got a nice sunburn too, unless you were just pink with excitement.
    And did anyone else get a funny little “ping,” specifically as a knitter/handcrafter, at the picture of Hank’s monkey’s astonishingly human little hand?

  98. The tears are rolling down my cheeks! Great story and I’m glad you had the opportunity to share this experience with your family. I would be Yvonne if I ever tried ziplining! “Monkey Taxi”!! Too, too funny. I’ve going to go read this post again!

  99. FREAKIN COOL!! Always wanted to Zipline. Wonder if I could knit and zip? I keep trying to sleep and knit. Not working. And the day my snood(merino) dried and I wore it my friend loved it so much that it became hers. So now I’m making a new one. In the coolest dark aqua blue that’s Devine!! Safe trip!

  100. Wonderful writing! Thanks for the laughter and the smiles I’ve had sharing in your wonderful Monday.

  101. 3 cheers for the bravery of the young and old!
    My favorite photo was the one of your mom with the monkeys!

  102. There’s gotta be something extra courageous about an 11 year old boy who’s willing to holiday with 4 grown women!! Looks like you had a ball – including you, who had to be dragged. I think you need to do this more often!! Waaaaay to go!!!

  103. You are all very brave souls & although it looks like the experience of a lifetime, I’d probably have chosen to stay back & teach the monkeys how to knit. Then I’d have been kicking myself. . . So glad you all went!

  104. I am so glad you went. I am seriously living my life through you. Awesome. I am so proud that you went first of all, and so glad you left your comfort zone and had such a great time. You really did it for me even though you don’t really know that.!! Love ya and all your blogs…..

  105. I needed that virtual escape! As I was laying for a brutally painful massage last night I needed to get my head to another place and where I went was to the image of your mum soaring through the jungle! It helped 🙂 Thanks.

  106. This looks SO EXCITING! I showed this to my boy friend, and we agreed that if we can ever take a vacation to a nice tropical place, we should totally go there and zipline with these people, and hang out with the monkeys. Those statistics for the clinic are really great (except for how many sick people there are). I’m really glad you shared your vacation experience with the world, it makes me almost feel like I went! Thank you!!

  107. Absolute and complete awesomeness! It’s said we should learn something new every day. You’ve got the months of February and March covered.
    I love the joy on the faces of everyone…auntie notwithstanding.

  108. Now you can add “travel writer” to your post. This post was the best. But the really best part was that you all seemed to be having such a great time.

  109. Wow – amazing! Those monkey pictures are the cutest thing ever. I think I just got a cavity 🙂

  110. so, now you’re sorry you got sucked into going on this trip, right? (I’m really, really jealous)

  111. Totally amazing! That looks like so much fun. What a thing for Hank to have to remember – three generations sharing such an adventure. You’re all an inspiration to the rest of us!

  112. I’m with Hank – ziplining is the BEST!!!! I’ve been 3 times and I’m going to need to make a trip to the Dominican Republic so I can make it 4!

  113. Wow it looks like you all had fun! I was lucky enough to go ziplining this past summer. It was definately shorter but I thought it was amazing just the same. The monkeys were cute too.

  114. Next to knitting in a foreign country full of interesting people and places to see, that’s got to be the best fun anyone can have on a holiday – well done!!

  115. The monkeys remind my of my cat. She jumps on my back and rides on my shoulders. She only jumped on to the top of my head once. Fortunately, she is 6 1/2 pounds or less and very gentle with the claws.

  116. So glad you had a most wonderful time. So very glad you came back in one piece! So…how much knitting did you get to do?

  117. I am so incredibly and inexpressibly jealous of your zipline adventure!! Wow! The monkey shots are so funny and expressive too.

  118. Ziplines are awesome (even though I’m always terrified to start), and the monkeys are adorable. And you and I have the same shirt. 🙂

  119. “Our lady of perpetual creams and accessories” – I love it! It looked like a wicked good time! So pleased for you and your family to have this time.

  120. Steph, I hope it was my excitement and suggestion about Monkey Jungle and Ziplining that got you thinking about going. Your pics look like ours because it was misting, I say that lightly, when we went as well, and we were filthy when finished but thrilled. I was so impressed with the owner and the squirrel monkey caretaker and her total absorption into their health and well being. The “cage” was so much fun since it truly isn’t a cage at all and feeding them was amazing and wonderful. The look on my daughters face, she’s 26, was worth every penny and the laughing from my son, he’s 30, was the absolute best. We loved the fact that they opened the clinic to help the local people and are not just there to rack in tourists money. They are a great bunch and we loved it. You guys are troopers and I’m so happy you enjoyed it and as I knew Hank really had fun. Although I’m not a knitter, I’m a crocheter and proud of it, lol, I love your blog and laugh darn near every time I’m on. You are so funny.

  121. 1. the photo of your mum with monkeys is priceless
    2. think of all your readers who are now on Expedia making their reservations in the Dominican
    3. That Hank. . . he’s something special. His aunty and grandma, too.

  122. I squealed with absolute delight at the monkey pictures! I would give just about anything to do that, and the facial expressions, especially your Mum’s, were fantastic!
    This outing is definitely going on my travel to-do list!

  123. Great trip! Off topic- if you take the old Mac to the apple store they will fix everything for $300 USD. They gave me a new logic board- where the video chip lives, cd drive, fan, and the close bracket. They said they would make it go for $300 and they did. Much cheaper than buying parts and doing it yourself. I thought I’d mention in case you still had it.
    Love the bl

  124. Just ANOTHER THING I must do!
    Your Mom rocks, absolutely, as does Yvonne, who was truly courageous, from the look of it!
    Thanks for sharing, you were right to go, rain or not.

  125. —> “You’re coming in pretty hot there Starbuck” <— This makes me adore you even more… just so you know!

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