Per the advice of my bro, I didn't chicken out. I went for it and am soooo glad I did. I "manned up" (sometimes that 97% comes in handy) and went paragliding in the mountains of Interlaken yesterday. I was a little nervous on the way up the mountain and the 'pilots' were teasing me a little bit. We got to the top of this mountain, which had a grassy slope that I was told we'd be running down and eventually off of. Um..yeah. My stomach isn't the most stable of organs and I was a little worried about puking on my poor pilot. Even though he sat behind me, I was sure I'd find some incredibly graceful way to spew on him. Knowing this about myself, I took two Dramamine in hopes to prevent any motion sickness.
Standing atop the grassy knoll, some hang gliders took off before me and I was beginning to get a wee bit nervous. My pilot, Saul (I think) said "Okay, you ready?" in this beautifully thick Bulgarian accent and I thought "oh goodness, can't back out now." So then he said "4, 3, 2, 1--Run Run Run!" And I ran and ran and ran toward the edge of this cliff until my feet left the ground, the parachute opened above me, and we were airborne! It was the single most exhilarating feeling I've ever had--now I sort of understand why people jump out of airplanes. It was incredibly peaceful and beautiful, and I got some great pictures of the city from above. And I got to see the Eiger once again in all its majesty. Quite amazing! And better yet, I lived to tell about all of it!
Now I am in the airport awaiting our flight back to D.C. I have mixed feelings about coming home: in one way, I never wanted to leave Switzerland because it was so beautiful and the people were so nice (although it was insanely expensive and I'd have to sell both kidneys in order to live); but I am ready to see my friends and hang out and return to normalcy for a bit. Enjoy the pictures and yes, yes, I know I look like Speed Racer in the paragliding get up. Don't be jealous! HA!
(Alright, the computer is being weird and won't let me upload any photos. I will try again later possibly or tonight when I get back to the States!)