Only in Vegas: driving American muscle cars

Abby Tegnelia World Class Driving

I didn’t mean to match my favorite car!

A fearless driver I am not. When I went race car driving with a group of friends, I was the only one who chose a ride-along — but that is my need for speed talking, too. If I’d have driven, I would have putt-putted around the track. (Lame.) Same with off-roading: If I hadn’t jumped in the passenger seat, I would never have gotten airborne! So when World Class Driving convinced me to join their American Muscle Car driving experience one morning, I was so in. I now know that there are ways that even scaredy cats like me can be in on the fun.

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Daydream of the week: Diving in Costa Rica

Melissa Christensen diving in Costa Rica

Melissa and I were so happy to be out at sea!

It’s been a month since I very excitedly did my first dive with Diving Safaris in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. But we had so much fun, and I had so many extra photos, that I couldn’t resist doing a Daydream of the Week on the experience. We were all so happy to be out on that boat! After a dream girls’ weekend at an amazing out-of-the-way Costa Rica resort, Melissa and I were beyond bubbly to be getting our first taste of diving, through the one-day DSD course. My friend Bobbi Jo had been trying to get me out there for three years (I’m embarrassed to say), and now that I’ve had a taste, I am on such a high that I can’t wait to get down there again and do my full certification. Obviously, it took me three years to buck up and try it, so I knew it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to learn all that you need to know to safely breathe underwater and be let loose in the ocean. But after my first try, I have even MORE respect for it.

And now I know I can do it!

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My first dive!

Diving School CocoLooking back at my year living in Costa Rica, there were lots of ups and downs (including when  Mario ransacked my little house, and fighting expat loneliness), but my only bona fide regret is that I didn’t go to diving school to get SCUBA-certified. So during my recent vacation, my friend Bobbi Jo easily talked me into doing the one-day DSD course at Diving Safaris. I tried not to think about it, and I’m glad I didn’t. If I had stopped to imagine being alone trying to do something so outside of my comfort zone, I know I would have chickened out. In the end, one of my friends agreed to go with me, and the excitement mounted. Yet even that didn’t prevent me from eventually chickening out

But then I redeemed myself!

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My favorite birthday gift: conquering a fear

Abby Tegnelia Sarah Feldberg basketI know I just said I was retiring from adventure activities, after I got the exhilarating chance to fly a jet plane, but this doesn’t count. This was a comfortable, relaxing little morning ride in the sun — at least that’s what people kept telling me. But to me, riding in a hot air balloon was all about conquering a decade-long fear, after a miserable ride ruined me for a life. Or so I thought… When Hendrick’s Gin offered me a little ride, and it happened to fall on my birthday, how could I say no? I was actually a little excited to kick that phobia in the rear end — even though I was expecting a rather uncomfortable few hours. I mean, just because I was willing to do something, didn’t mean I was going to like it. This was going to have to be one of the best hot air balloon trips ever if it wasn’t going to change my mind…

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Daydream of the Week: Up, Up and Away

Hendricks Gin landingI recently mentioned that I just celebrated my birthday, not something I usually broadcast. But since this year I got to kick it off with something totally crazy, I wanted to share it with you. It wasn’t quite as adventurous as my decisions to go off-roading through the desert, fly a jet plane, or  trust a pro to take me race car driving, but it happened to conquer a decade-long phobia of mine. Full story to come, but I thought I’d tease you with a not-so-subtle hint. Hendricks Gin (unknowingly) hosted my little birthday pre-shindig, and we even toasted with a small cocktail made with the Scottish-born gin … very early in the morning. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

I was a guest of Hendrick’s Gin, but all opinions are my own.

Adventure Girl’s retiring: after a fighter jet ride finale

Sky Combat Ace fly a jet plane

Don’t believe my confident pose — I was scared to death. ©skycombatace.com

Over the past year, I’ve done my share to show off the adventurous side to Las Vegas, including zip-lining in the wind, off-roading Mint 400-style, hitting the gun rangerace car driving around a wild racetrack, all things that got my adrenaline racing in new ways and put me out of my comfort zone. For my grand finale to this adventure series, I got talked into a tiny cockpit to fly a jet plane and do tricks I thought I couldn’t even imagine at Sky Combat Ace. All week, it was all I could think about. What have I done? Am I really doing this? Am I going to throw up? Then it was Saturday morning, and I was frantic and lost in my own neighborhood, and I realized just how nervous I was. But I found it, and  suddenly I was in a flight suit and climbing into the cockpit. Before I could say, “ok, maybe not,” we were barreling down the runway for a fighter jet ride that I never thought I’d experience outside of a movie theater.

If you told me that the rest of this story took place over 90 seconds or 90 minutes, I would believe you, because I had no concept of time. It was the ride of my life.

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