I had a “mountaintop experience” on Sunday. Seriously.
Bruce Weaver (our VP for recreation) and I ventured up to the top of Morningside Flight Park. Known as “the 450” for those who speak the lingo. We were admiring the view when we had the good fortune of meeting the Gregs: Greg senior and Greg junior, in his early teens. They had just finished their very first tandem hang gliding experience, and they were high on life. But these guys weren't just thrilled to have been soaring like a bird 2500 feet above the Connecticut River Valley. They were thrilled that they'd done it together.
Here was a dad making time to create memories for his son that will last forever. And a son really excited to be taking on a new adventure with his “old man.” This was effortless bonding; family time in its purest form.
A few hours later, I got the chance to talk with the Mitchells — Dianne and her children, Chris and Michaela, just after they finished their own tandem hang gliding adventures. Like the Gregs, they were high on life and having fun together. Chris told me he had to talk Michaela into getting into the glider harness. Last-minute jitters threatened to upend her experience, a claim Michaela flatly denied.
I observed the good-natured sibling banter standing beside Dianne. And I couldn't help but notice how proud she was to have given her kids this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Dianne told me that they'd been passing by the flight park for five years on family vacations and were finally able to fit flight into their trip this time around. A post on our Facebook page from Michaela a couple of hours after confirmed what I already suspected: they had “a lot of fun” and can't wait to come back and fly again.
There's just something about a family playing together that feels good. No texting, no fancy handheld videogames, no iPods, and no TV. Just good old fashioned family fun.
Speaking of family fun, I should mention that we're working on a new guide to starting a family game night. It'll be available in our stores and on our website soon.
Because, after all, the family that plays together stays together. And we think that's a really great thing.
Originally posted on July 27, 2011. Update on Jan. 23, 2020.