A Bucket List, of sorts

I should have taken April off.  Instead, I joined too many events (online and off) and am swamped to the point of drowning.  Thankfully, summer is almost here. Driving my kids around this morning I thought about the amazing vacation my niece just took and how I wished I could have gone. Hmmmmmm. She’s young with no dependents other than a husband that literally worships the ground she walks on and three dogs that will kill anyone who looks at her wrong. Trust me, no burglar will ever break into that house.

Anyway, I started thinking about where I want to go before I die.  Hopefully, that’s eons from now. I started to make a list.  I’m sure this list may be a bit odd to some, but that’s OK.  I’ve actually experienced some of them, but now I want to share them with my kids.  Visiting an old haunt is different when you experience it with children.  They see things adults don’t.

On with it….

Do Before I Die List

1.  Swim with Manatees. I love these over-sized stuffed animals. Yes, I think they’re cute.  According to Florida legend, these creatures are what made European sailors think there were mermaids. Yikes! Crystal River  has crystal clear water populated by adorable manatee.  You can swim, canoe, and kayak. This is actually what I’m trying to arrange for this summer.

2. Road Trip through Florida. This would take weeks.  I want to start in the panhandle and drive down to Key West, stopping at every little attraction that interests me. Florida is famous for big name theme parks, but there are smaller, old attractions all over the state.  Not to mention the natural beauty of the place.  It is covered in wetlands, lakes, and rivers.  The best of course is the Everglades.  Rent a convertible or RV and tour the state.

3. Eat breakfast at Mi Tierra. Let’s not forget lunch and dinner. Been there, done that, wish I bought the Tshirt. Mi Tierra is this awesome bakery and restaurant in San Antonio. Yes, it’s a bit touristy. I don’t care, the food is to die for. The hot chocolate is the best I’ve ever had. My mom grew up in San Antonio, every few years as a kid we would go back. At first, we always met family and went to a place called Carem’s. They had the best tamales. It wasn’t in the best part of town and I’m not sure if it is even still open. Now, when we go back we visit Mi Tierra. My kids have never been, nor has my husband. He may not enjoy it as much as the girls.  He’ll like the food, maybe not the atmosphere. It’s brightly painted, busy, and loud. I love it. When we go, we have to visit just before we leave for home because I have to fill up my ice chest with fresh pastries and cookies. That’s my souvenir, a fortune in sweets.

4.  Take a Desert Trip. Redo from childhood.  I don’t know how my parents could afford this. We started out in Mobile and stopped at San Antonio, Albuquerque, and the Grand Canyon.  It took two weeks and we stopped off at every road side attraction and state/national park of interest along the way. It was the best trip I ever had.  It was that trip I learned that not all McDonald’s had the same menu and long needle pine trees didn’t grow everywhere. I also learned hand rails were there for a reason and I should use them, especially in dark, wet places like Carlsbad Caverns.  The geography is so different from Coastal Alabama to the high desert of Arizona. It’s something that has to be experienced to truly understand. It’s something I want my kids to experience.

5. Learn to Surf in Hawaii. Hawaii has always been a dream of mine. Being a beach chick it’s like the ultimate locale. I grew up listening to my dad tell me stories of him surfing at Gulf Shores. There was even a surf board propped on the shed in the cow pasture at granddads. I would stand on the beach and stare at the waves and wonder how much of those stories were true.  Waves in this part of the world aren’t that big.  But they do allow for body surfing and that’s enough to make me want to try the real thing. I have a mental image of my husband shaking his head no. I am prone to accidents. But I would throw it all aside to try to surf.

6. Take a cruise to….anywhere. Cruises are really popular here. I’ve never been on one. Parts of a cruise sound like fun, stopping at tropical locals, sightseeing, swimming, and chocolate buffets. OK, I just want the chocolate buffet. The problem with this is, I get seasick. Or at least I think I do. Small boats on small bodies of water are fine. I once had to take a ferry from England to Ireland.  The distance isn’t that great, but the water was choppy and I was miserable. I still want to go.

7. High Tea at the Ritz in London. Again, been there done that. Now, would actually be the perfect time to go. My girls are just about to become real teenagers, but they are young enough to still see wonder around them. I was single when I had tea at the Ritz, and discovered that it was an event meant to be shared. I would love for us to get dressed up and go for tea. We’ve had imaginary tea parties and real tea parties, but nothing beats the Ritz.

8. Go to Scotland and buy my husband a kilt. Yes, I’m reading Outlander. He has the height (6’4) and curly hair.  I think he could pull it off. Pull the look off, get your mind out of the gutter. I mentioned this to him after I finished the first book.  He told me no, he’s family was English. I told him that was OK, the Scots could overlook that flaw.

9. Petra, Egypt, and Israel.  3 locations I may never get to visit, because the Middle East is busy trying to self destruct. Why visit?  Easy. Petra is shockingly beautiful. I promise it has noting to do with Indian Jones being filmed there.  Well, almost nothing. Egypt because growing up I wanted to to be an archeologist. The pharaohs of Egypt are fascinating. Who wouldn’t want to go? Oh! I have to ride a camel while I’m there. Israel because I want to visit the holy land and get a look at the region Jesus walked.

10. See Tokyo at night.  When I see photos of Tokyo, it looks like a city out of time. It looks like it’s in the future. Loud and bright. I know it’s just a monster sized city, like New York, but it feels different.  I expect to see space craft flying between the buildings.

11. See a Broadway show. This may be harder than the kilt. My husband is not a fan of New York, he’s been there on business trips before we married. He’s never said a positive thing about it.

12. Go to the Paducah Quilt Show. A week long quilt show featuring quilts from around the world.  AQS Quilt week.  It’s actually going on this week. There’s another show in Houston called International Quilt Festival.  I want to got o that one too.  I love quilts.

13.  China. I want to visit as much as possible.  The Great Wall, Beijing the Forbidden City, and Zhangjiajie National Park. China is so different than the US. Zhangjiajie has those tall, rounded mountains that seem to hang in mist.

14. The Shire.  OK.  I can’t visit the real Shire, but I can go to New Zealand and visit the area that was built for the movies. Which is close enough.

15. The Aurora Borealis in Alaska.  That would be amazing. Watch the lights dance in the night sky.  I hate to be cold and I don’t know if I could put on enough clothes to be in Alaska in winter, but I can try.

This only scratches the surface of my bucket list.

Where do you want to visit?

CK

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