Our Most Thrilling Experience Together, Ever

The most thrilling experience Mom and I have shared is flying in a helicopter and landing on a glacier above Milford Sound. She might argue that it was my birth, but I need only remind her that I was not a very cooperative newborn. I also present as evidence that on this day in February were both smiling.

Karen (Mom) and American Julie on board helicopter

Karen (Mom) and American Julie on board helicopter

Pilot Sarah of Milford Helicopters lifted off the ground with us carefully belted in the back and another couple alongside her. We all had our earphones on and so she might have heard me exclaim, “Oh, this is awesome.”

Neither of us had flown in a helicopter or landed on a glacier until now. We flew into Milford Sound, climbed up the face of a cliff and tipped over the edge (keep breathing!). Then we flew over mountain peaks to Mount Tutoko and lowered onto the glacier.

Mom taking photos on glacier

Pilot Sarah instructed us to get out carefully and only walk to the front of the helicopter. We gingerly dropped onto the glacier and then enthusiastically snapped photos. I even took a picture of the so blue sky.

So blue sky

So blue sky

We climbed back in the helicopter and this time we rode in the front. My mom was still wearing her grin. (She did not stop smiling the entire trip.) We lifted off from the glacier and flew over more mountain peaks to a landing pad just on the other side of the one-way tunnel and met up with our terrific bus driver and continued with our group back to Queenstown. The entire trip was the most thrilling and memorable 30 minutes Mom and I have enjoyed together.

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