Packing a parachute is not unlike packing a bag lunch: it's a bummer when your mom puts old ham in either one. Rely on the expertise of a maternal diver with today's Groupon: for $119, you get a tandem skydive from Skydive Houston (up to a $199 value).
The gravity-defying gurus of Skydive Houston take jumpers of all experience levels on airborne trips to terminal velocity. The aerial experience begins with a short introductory video, followed by 20–30 minutes of ground training with a dive instructor, learning the basics of how to smirk smugly at astonished birds. Fledgling fliers strap into a tandem harness with their parachute pros and ascend to up 14,000 feet in the school's own Twin Otter aircraft, named for the pair of shellfish-cracking mammals that powers its engines. Once out of the plane, each pair free-falls for about 60 seconds, followed by about seven minutes of calm parachuting, after which the instructor safely lands on a field or the nearest naturally-occurring pillow pile.
Skydive Houston has escorted more than 30,000 students out of its plane's jumping door, and the majority of its instructors have more than a thousand jumps under their belts. Nostalgic divers can have their earthward trip captured by one of the academy's talented cinematographers for an additional $99.