Sunday, March 3, 2013

Zipping Thru the Trees

One of the new perks of having a car is that when the kids are invited to events outside the city I no longer have to rely on other parents or, as I often did, just RSVP no and not tell the kids they were even invited.  Avoidance at it's best.  I'm not proud.  But now when the kids are invited somewhere I'm the first to respond yes (assuming they want to go) and now volunteer to be that parent to take other kids.

Today was one of those days.  Aidan had a birthday party outside the city, about a 40 minute drive.  It was being held at a place called Jalpi Aventura (  Now I've been checking out this website and the place looked very cool.  Set in the woods outside of Barcelona where the kids could not just be one with nature but climb and swing through the trees.  What a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

And lucky for us, the rain that plagued us for the last week and is looking to rear it's ugly head again this coming week, gave us a reprieve and there was not a cloud in the sky as we made our way to the park.  And as promised, I brought other kids in the car as well.  It's been so long since I've had kids other than my own in a car, 3 years really.  And it was so interesting hearing the conversation between Aidan and 2 of his friends on the way there.  It went something like this "video game, video game, poop, video game, poop, video game".  Ah the joys of being 8 years old.

The park was amazing.  Set up in the woods, it just felt good to be outside and involved in something that is totally new for Aidan and I.  And no, I did not zipline.  Ha!!  But I definitely would like to go back and bring Josh and Liam because they would love this too.  Aidan was in his element.  He's so athletically inclined to begin with and combine the outdoors, his friends and climbing and you've got a happy kid.
As we are getting ready to leave Barcelona to head to the country!

The instructors were really good.  They were young guys who might as well have been monkeys the way they scaled the trees to help out the kids.  They spoke a little English but rather than take a chance with a misinterpretation, they actually had one of Aidan's friends who speaks both Spanish and English, do the translation when they were going thru how to be safe - using the carabiners and making sure that you always have one carabiner hooked to a line.  I was, admittedly, a little nervous when the kids didn't seem to be getting the whole, do not remove both carabiners at the same time, thing.  But eventually they got it.  Without intentionally planning it, the parents that were there picked a group and just followed them the whole way through making sure everyone was being safe and that no one needed help.  It worked out really well.

Aidan getting his harness on... and he's sooooo excited!!!

Aidan and his best bud, Max...

Learning the rules....

Aidan learning how to hook his carabiners the right way

The kids did the blue course which is for anyone over 130cm.  Basically the kids were able to do pretty much any course at their height but this was the starter one for them.  And it was tough!!  And it was high up!  And there is no way I could even imagine doing this.  Hell, I thought jumping one meter into the Mediterranean in Menorca was like jumping off the Empire State Building - you want me to walk across tiny wood planks being held up by ropes or walk along a tightrope??  I don't think so!  So I was glad that the parents weren't participating, only watching!

I took a few videos of Aidan when he would zip line... On one of them, I admit to not being good about looking ahead to see if Max was clear before telling Aidan he could go.  As you'll see, there is a bit of a scramble to get Max down in time!!  Here they are:

Aidan taking his first steps on the course - pretty high up but this part is simple

The first platform

Walking the tightrope... um, no thanks!

They had to climb up this rock wall even higher and then climb across the ropes - not easy!

Finishing up the first course... 

After finishing the first course, they moved on to the next one.  This one was definitely more difficult and at one point Aidan slipped and fell.  I think we were both pretty thankful for the harness and the safety ropes and carabiners.  He was a little frustrated when he couldn't get back up but in the end he let it go and moved on.  The instructors came over and pulled him back up and it was back to normal.

Another tightrope

This is the part of the course where Aidan fell.  these planks are not connected to one another, so they swing quite a bit!

Feeling defeated...

This is a serious workout!!


The kids finished up the day with lunch down at the chiringuito at the bottom of the hill where they then proceeded to play and I mean play hard through the fields and woods and even climbed a few trees.  When Aidan went to bed at 7:30 tonight, I would say he was out within 5 minutes.  Perhaps this should become a weekend tradition ;)

Climbing trees!


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