Friday, August 3, 2012

#zeppme

Wow. All I can say is wow. Last night I had the opportunity of a lifetime. Oddly enough, several weeks back Sam and I were driving and saw a blimp overhead. I said to him "That's definitely one of my bucket list items... to ride a blimp". He shakes his head and says "No way, that would be way too scary". And of course, stubborn me, I said "Well fine, I'll do it without you". And that's just what I did!


Earlier this week my best friend Danica told me about a "TweetUp" event that she had heard about. If you are unfamiliar with a "TweetUp" it's essentially exactly as it sounds, a group of people from Twitter meeting up. The event was being hosted by Airship Ventures and was offering the experience of a lifetime. They were offering the chance to have a ride in the Zepplin! WHAT?! Could it be?? My bucket list item?? I later found out that the Zepplin isn't in fact a blimp, but an airship, which is SO much more. The Zeppelin that we rode in, Eureka, is a pretty big deal. At 246-feet long, she stretches 15-feet longer than a standard Boeing 747 and 50-feet longer than the largest commercial blimps flying today.

My office sits directly across from the Long Beach airport and I've seen Eureka flying several times, always wondering what that experience might be like. Well, last night, I found out! When Danica and I realized that they were awarding rides to tweeters we got our tweet on! We got to the event just in time to watch her land to take a group out to the US Open of Surfing.  
{photo stolen from Danica}

We found out shortly after arriving that we had each won a ride in the Zepplin! We were BEYOND ecstatic, knowing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and knowing all our tweeting was worth it!
(There was also free food and drinks at the event, which Danica and I have never been known to say no to ;) )
This is a photo of us in the shuttle headed to the Zepplin landing spot... if we look extra excited and slightly terrified it's because we DEFINITELY were. 
 Eagerly awaiting our ride! :)
 It's crazy just how big Eureka is and how tiny the gondola looks underneath in comparison.
 We were given the chance to be the first ever scheduled "Night Flight". The view was incredible. It was so great to see our city from that angle.
{photo stolen from Danica}
{photo stolen from Danica}
  I would say there was ONE downside to being on the "Night Flight". The didn't allow us to take any photos with the flash on. The cockpit was open to the rest of the airship and so using a flash, obviously could impair the vision of the pilot (who, by the way was the ONLY female Zepplin pilot in the WORLD). They did allow us to take ONE photo with flash in the very rear of the airship which was like a little loveseat surrounded by a window. It was incredible and slightly terrifying all at once.

The one thing that I DIDN'T get a photo of that I wish I would have, on the airship there are two exit doors, both equipped with windows... that OPEN. Yes... they OPEN. You can put your hands and even your head out of the window. Since this WAS a once in a lifetime opportunity, I took a deep breath and I did it! I put my head out of the window! It was incredible.
This photo turned out surprisingly well for there being no flash. As you can see, the view of the city was incredible.
Because we were the last flight of the day we got to see how the Zepplin lands and as Danica and I said "goes to bed".
After the flight we were all given a flight certificate and a glass of champagne for a champagne toast!
I woke up this morning pinching myself, hardly believing that we were given the opportunity to ride in the Zepplin. Apparently Danica felt the same way because I looked at my phone and saw a text from her saying "Did that really happen". Thanks to Airship Ventures we had a wonderful time on Airship Eureka! Definitely an experience that I will never forget.


xoxo,
shea