Tomorrow I’ll be celebrating my 56th birthday, God willing. It’s been a wild ride so far with, I hope, so much more to follow. I still have a bunch of items I’d like to check off my bucket list. I need to start by taking better care of myself. I’ve let myself go more than usual during this COVID shutdown. I’ve got a lot of weight to lose and need to get a better grip on my high blood pressure.
In 1996 (WOW 25 years ago), I was able to take a month off for vacation time due. I drove from Miami to Tennessee (My brother had already settled in Chattanooga). Then I hit I-40 west with stops along Route 66 (it runs parallel to I-40 in certain places) and stayed a few nights in the Grand Canyon. Continued west to Las Vegas for about a week. Drove back into Arizona for a brief stay in Sedona. On the way back I drove via I-10 with stops in Texas and a last stop in New Orleans. That was an incredible road trip still vivid in my mind today. I’d like to map out a similar experience but this time take a road trip in a RV with my dogs along Route 66 and the Extraterrestrial Highway check out Area 51 or wherever the road takes us.
I’d like to fly a hang glider across Lookout Mountain.
I would love to head back down to the Florida Keys and go snorkeling for lobsters, hit up the Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island and get a few drinks at Capt. Tony’s Saloon in Key West.
Maybe hit up Chiefland, there is a small but great winery there, and then hit Cedar Key and kayak with the Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. That has always been a great three-day getaway.
On the weirder side of my bucket list would be spending a few nights at the haunted Stanley Hotel with all my paranormal equipment for an in-depth investigation on the things that seem to go bump in the night there. Or investigate the Winchester Mansion or an old haunted asylum.
I’d like to attend Burning Man, at least once.
I’d like to explore and photograph unique abandoned locations across the U.S. like the abandoned Six Flags Park in New Orleans, or the old abandoned bomb bunkers scattered across the Country. It’s been roughly six years since I last laced up my roller skates. I think I’ll dust them off and try the skatepark I found nearby my house. I did put air in my bicycle tires and it’s true, you never forget how to ride a bike.
I’d like to write a novel. A based on a true story account of what life on the mean streets of Miami were like as a homeless teenager. Or start that novel about a rape trial I covered as a reporter from a case that happened in Sunbury. It was an odd case and the perpetrator sent me letters, art work and writings throughout his 10-year prison sentence, which was even odder.
I can’t recall the last time I went fishing but I know it’s time to break out the rod and reel.
You don’t work hard every day just to earn a paycheck. You work hard so you can also learn to appreciate the time and adventures you create to experience joy, laughter and fun.
Yes, the body is definitely letting me know I’m getting up there in age. Afterall, it is more than half a century old, but there are still more decades ahead to be enjoyed. Luckily the mind still seems to be sharp. I’m looking forward to many more adventures in the future.
Live, laugh and love!