The Manhattan and Philadelphia skylines are just specks in the distance, as your plane slowly climbs. Once it reaches the proper altitude, the cabin doors fling open. It's time to jump. The instructor strapped to your back gives you a nod, and you tumble through the sky, free-falling at 120 mph for nearly a minute before the parachute opens and you drift gently to the ground.
This scenario fills some with fear and others with an intoxicating wave of adrenaline, but for the instructors at Skydive Jersey, it's just another day on the job. That's because for more than 20 years their company has been specializing in tandem jumps, which retain all the thrill of solo jumps without the months of required training. In fact, this group of experienced skydivers can teach first-timers all the essential skills and safety precautions necessary to take the big leap in only an hour. Skydive Jersey even offers group rates for folks who want to skydive with their friends or bring a pet emu along so it can finally experience the sensation of flight.
Paddle Creek?s picturesque launch settings makes it an ideal jumping-off point for river excursions in single and tandem kayaks and canoes or atop a standup paddleboard. The staff of outdoor enthusiasts helps everyone from novice to advanced paddlers select their ideal vessels?for rental or purchase?and even recommends areas of interest. In addition to equipment rentals, the adventure spot offers lessons as well as self-guided tours.
Planted by hand in 1990, 56,000 special seedlings spiral toward the sun, spawning bundles of grapes that wait to be plucked and transformed into casks of delicious libations. The owners of the elegant winery and castle welcome guests to meander through the scenic vineyard or delve into the cool, climate-controlled cellar to sample wine or rifle through Dionysus’s old storage boxes. Large tasting rooms and an outdoor pavilion can also host private events on the regal grounds.
People often joke that the robes worn by martial-arts practitioners resemble pajamas, but that may not be such a far cry. Read on to learn more about these ancient garbs.
Though its proper name might not spring to mind, the customary outfit of a dojo sensei, commonly known as a gi, is eminently recognizable: a jacket called an uwagi tied by a belt (or obi) over a pair of short pants (shitakabi), the whole ensemble draped loosely to allow for swift and acrobatic movements. The particular materials used to make the gi follow the needs of specific martial-arts styles. A karate master who relies on quick strikes and powerful blows, for example, will likely don a lighter gi, whereas a judo fighter might enlist heavier, more durable fabric to endure the endless grapples and throws. In Japan, the catchall term for the customary robe isn't gi but rather keikogi?keiko translates to "practice." The name might also take on a prefix according to its intended discipline: judogi, karategi, aikidogi, and so forth.
Despite being a symbol of martial-arts culture for centuries, the gi's origin remains unclear. Some speculate that the airy uniform was simply designed to accommodate the lifestyle of the Okinawan farmers and fishermen who invented it. Others contend that, in light of a 13th-century imperial ban on the possession of weapons, warriors trained at night to avoid detection. In a pinch, the robes could pass for sleepwear, concealing their transgression.
Tolino Vineyards makes it easy to try the handcrafted wines made from its own grape harvest. For one, its tasting room is open seven days a week; it also occupies a booth at the weekly Easton Farmers' Market so visitors can pick up a bottle to pair with their fresh produce. Tolino's seven varietals, many of which are available in bottlings from seasons as early as 2010, include the bright, citrusy pinot grigio, the off-dry Mama's Ros? with notes of strawberry and raspberry, and the easy-drinking Papa's Red, which pairs well with pasta and is giving the silent treatment to the ros? at the moment. At the rustic tasting room, enophiles can sip samples at the bar or enjoy a glass on a covered patio that looks out over the rolling landscape.
Held at Four Sisters Winery?one of the state's oldest wine producers?Vintage North Jersey brings together some of the area's finest food and drink producers. There to celebrate great wine and pairings, many of the vendors bring along unique products that are handmade at their facilities, ranging from fresh honey to Greek-style dips. Each is served alongside their handcrafted wines and showcase some of the best artisanal treats the region has to offer. Live music also sets a soundtrack to festivities, with bands playing instruments to accompany the wine.