Dueling Memories: Parasailing in Key West

It’s time for another installment of Dueling Memories, the series where I share a one-sentence memory with someone and then provide three prompts for us each to answer. We then bring our notes together and view the shared memory through our unique perspectives.

The memory: Parasailing in Key West, Florida. The participants: My sister Abby and myself. Based on the photo below, I already know this is going to be quite the memory.


What was the setting?

Abby: The setting was the gorgeous Florida Keys. White sand beaches and blue water were definitely a welcome change of pace from the frigid January weather our western NY home was experiencing. We got on a motorboat with a tanned, fit crew of young people and were driven out from the shore to a spot that we could parasail from.

Me: The parasailing took place during a visit to the colorful island of Key West, Florida. We were there on a youth group trip, during which Abby and I were deemed rebels for frequently sneaking away to lounge on the beach or see how many hotdogs from the roadside vendor we could eat. The day of the parasailing excursion was stunning, and all that could be seen were miles of crystal blue water and the reflection of the sun glinting off my Dollar Tree aviator sunglasses.

What emotion did you feel at that time?

Abby: I have never been a thrill seeker but parasailing didn’t seem like a dangerous thing to me. I don’t like to be dropped from anywhere, but this was just being let up from the boat I don’t know how many feet up in the air. No abrupt drops of any kind. It was so beautiful. We could see the whole island and beyond. Was that Cuba in the distance? 😉 It was exhilarating to be able to be up in the air, and after the initial takeoff, I relaxed and enjoyed myself.

Me: As you can tell from the photo, I felt sheer terror. I am not a fan of heights, so I’m not sure what made me think that parasailing would the right activity for me. I remember the feeling of lurching from the boat into the air while simultaneously thinking, “My family’s going to have to search for my body once it’s washed up on Smathers Beach.”

What makes it unforgettable?

Abby: What makes it unforgettable is that my darling brother screamed. At the top of his lungs. The. Entire. Time. To say I had to share the experience with a drama queen is putting it way too mildly. In the midst of trying to enjoy the view, I was reassuring Danny that no, the rope is not going to snap. Yes, we are getting out of this alive. Yes, you will make it to your high school graduation…In the end, we had a wonderful experience, and I only lost partial hearing in my right ear from the piercing shrieks coming from beside me.

Me: I will never forget this memory because a) I have that incredibly flattering photo to remind me of the trip b) it was a time when I confronted my fear of heights. I ended up loving the view from so high above the island, and while I may never have the urge to parasail again, I will always be grateful that I gave it a try.

Let me know what you think!

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