Kicking the Bucket List

Are you familiar with the term Bucket List? Let’s take a scholarly approach, shall we? According to Merriam Webster, the Bucket List is “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying.” And while we are so scholastically inclined, were you aware that there was also something called a Fuckit List? Per the Urban Dictionary, “A list of people, male or female, you want to have sexual intercourse with before you die.” Now, don’t say you never learn anything from me, okay now!
Anyways…I’m 52, in the mere Autumn of my life, and I’m not quite ready to start thinking about the things I want to do before I shuffle off my mortal coil. Or just shuffle off to Buffalo. For chicken wings. With celery and blue cheese dressing. But, tired of spending my days, and even worse, nights, worrying and fretting about things that aren’t going so well, many of which are outside of my immediate control, I have been trying to while away some happier moments making a list of things I REALLY want to do. Not before I die, but once my topsy turvy life rights itself again.
It’s not the list of things I would do if I suddenly won the lottery and gained unlimited wealth. That’s a fun list too, and I might suggest you be super nice to me, because I plan (in my imagination) to be VERY generous. But the list I’m working on now is more just things that I could achieve, and hope to, with a reasonable amount of cash and a little sense of adventure. It’s not a huge list, but I add to it all the time, so unless I can start to cross some items off, completed, eventually it will get longer. And now, I give to you:
Things I Want to Do, Sooner Rather Than Later
1. Go to Alaska. Definitely to see the glaciers and totem poles and frolicking whales and such, but even more desirable, to see the Aurora Borealis, aka The Northern Lights. This is a nice little educational post, so if you don’t know what this is, you are going to learn something else new. What, you thought I had peaked at the Fuckit List? I don’t think so! Anyway, we will consult The Library of Congress, Fun Science Facts page:

The northern lights, one of several astronomical phenomena called polar lights (aurora polaris), are shafts or curtains of colored light visible on occasion in the night sky.

Doesn’t that sound super cool? It’s the ultimate nighttime light show!
2. Go to Florida, to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I can’t help it! I know it’s geeky of me, but I really, truly do love Harry Potter and his little friends more than I should. I have read every book in the series, multiple times, and have seen every movie, multiple times multiple times. (not a typo, I’ve seen those movies A LOT!). I want to trip happily down to Diagon Alley, with a mug of butterbeer in my hand, and buy a souvenir t-shirt at Hogsmeade. I want to explore the mysteries of Hogwarts and take a ride on a hippogriff. And if I can pick up some candy from Honeydukes, well, a girl can dream, right? (disclaimer, I know they are opening a Wizarding World here in L.A. sometime in the future, but for now my sights are set on Florida).
And while I’m in Florida, I would also like to visit my cousin Josh (just in case he’s reading this and gets insulted), and go to the fake safari world at Disneyworld, aka The Animal Kingdom Theme park.
3. Not quite convinced of my geekiness? Someday, I want to, no, someday I WILL attend the The Bracebridge Dinner, at the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite. Celebrated annually since 1927, this Christmastime event turns The Ahwahnee into an 18th century English manor for a feast of food, song and mirth. We’re talking squires and ladies and turkey legs and wine filled chalices here, all scene set by the glorious background of Yosemite, one of God’s most perfect landscapes. It’s not inexpensive, and with the uncertainty of December weather, not always easy to get to. All the more challenge, I say! Who’s with me?
4. Learn to paddleboard. In Hawaii. For a really long time, I had a dream of learning how to surf, but I think that board may have sailed. It just never happened. I’m not at all coordinated and have a bad knee. So, I think I am switching out that dream to paddleboarding, which looks much easier but not so easy that it won’t be a triumph if I can master it. And I want to do it in Hawaii, not Marina Del Rey, or a cement pond type lake. I’ve only been to Hawaii once, but it was a dream come true. I loved it so much, but only got to one island, Kauai, which was awesomely beautiful and wonderful and serene. I have to get back there at some point in my life. Preferably sooner rather than later, and hopefully, more than once. And if, while I’m there, I manage to eat shave ice every day, that’s just gravy. Or shave ice. Either way, a very good thing.
5. And speaking of eating, I want to attend the New Orleans Roadfood Food Festival. I actually had tickets to the main event for this last year, but life got in the way and I didn’t make it there. This is a mega food festival, sponsored by the team behind the Roadfood website. For those of you unfamiliar with this, this is a group devoted to driving around the country, eating at local diners along the back roads of America and then writing about their experience. Originated by food writers Jane and Michael Stern, in a series of books, Roadfood is all about inexpensive, regional meals. I’ve been obsessed by the books and website for many years, and when I found out they started an actual food festival, featuring the most celebrated regional dishes from New Orleans, Louisiana and all across America, well, that’s my idea of a good time!
There you have it, my little list. Maybe not my immediate future, but hopefully my near enough future. Enough to keep me looking forwards, not backwards. Do you want to come along? Because the only thing that would make hitting the items on this list even better, would be hitting them in the company of someone who would enjoy them as much as me. Who wants some shave ice?
The end, for now

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