Friday, June 1, 2012

Sand Bucket List

Some people have ants in their pants, well I think I have sand... and always will. No matter how far "north" I've ventured in living I have sand in my shoes, in the bottom of my suitcase...and if I don't have it I'm thinking of it, like a little grain of sand always rolling back home towards my Gulf.  Sometimes, I'll be honest that makes me a little frustrated because there's so much sand in the world I'd like to wiggle my toes in.  So, as this pirate looks at her mid 40's approaching with a disturbing gallop, perhaps it's time to compile another list....a Sand Bucket list.  It's kindof like the leap list, but nitty grittier...

Tulum is one of my first sandy buckets.  I visited there several years ago while on a Mexican Cruise and felt instant de ja vous.... more eeriness...more delicious why?  The Mayan ruins there are amazing, but even moreso is view of the Gulf from the cliffs of this once thriving port.  Looking out to sea from the cliffs, I remembered being 11, reading any and everything and finding fascination in an old National Geographic that featured Tulum.  I couldn't wait to get back to the library and connect the dots, and sure enough it was there.  I want to revisit Tulum sometime, knowing what I know and feel 11 again...

Another sandy place calling me is the Southern part of England with what I've romantically envisioned in rows of welcoming beach huts and mystical fossil coasts  to explore.  The thing I love about England is its coastal diversity and being able to slip back in time for a moment imagining Victorian promenades and a gentler time than what we have now.  It's a place I love for many reasons and a home.

The amusement park junkie in me also has Coney Island on her list.  But it's not just that part of Coney I crave, it's the quirky nostalgia.  I'll be honest, I could google "best beaches" in any search engine and would find pristine beauty.  I don't want that...I KNOW that. I want the energy these places have.  I think Coney Island would be most fun during their annual Mermaid Parade, because I am a mermaid afterall, and these people make Mardi Gras seem boring!

My next beach is really a set of beaches AND I have plans to visit them in 2018.  It's Hawaii.  I grew up listening to my dad tell me of his adventures in Oahu when he ran away to join the Navy at 15.  I always loved his Hula Girl tattoo on his arm and imagine I may get a tattoo while there myself? I think that would be an amazing celebration of his energy and spirit that I'm so thankful is still going strong at 83.

My dad's tattoo is true Sailor Jerry old school style.  A funny story my dad tells about getting his tattoo is that since Sailor Jerry was booked, he opted for Gentle Tom...after telling this he always pauses and says, "he lied" with a smile on his face.  There's alot of that sand that comes from my dad.

Another thing my dad did once is buy an old camper, fix it up and park it on his old homeplace in the middle of 40 acres of planted pine. I've always loved camping and have many good memories of that camper and going camping with my aunt and uncle in their motorhome. Now that I have my  Beetle, I want a glamper to pull behind it!  Something like this:


So there's the glamper style of camping calling to me, but I'm also intrigued with roughing it? Could I do that? One of my favorite library directors is a very nice, quiet man whom I respect a lot.  His way of unplugging was hiking, and we spoke often about his adventures on the Appalachian Trail. I really want to hike some in Arizona, the Pacific Northwest, etc, so why not start in my own backyard in what used to be home:  North Georgia. It's where Jon hiked and I think I could do it too! So a huge leap will be trying this with my now 11-year-old.  I want to do a non-strenuous-moderate hike starting at Amicalola Falls hiking to the Len Foote Hike Inn and then hiking to Springer Mountain and back from the Inn. That's 19 miles in a weekend, but I think we could do it! It's not even officially the Appalachian Trail, but it's a start!

I've also always wondered what it would be like to see earth from space? Why not some spacedust to add to my sandbucket? Normally the price for private space touring is jaw-dropping, but this recently caught my eye as something to shoot for (kindof like the moon ;) )  Why not, dream big or go home...

While I'm dreaming big I recently stumbled upon National Geographic Expeditions. These small eco tours go to some amazing places and offer once in a lifetime educational possibilities. I found the site while researching an Alaskan cruise for my cousin's family, but I think the Around the World by Private Jet would be more my cuppa? If I ever win the lottery, I'm so doing this!

Honestly, I plan on putting allkinds of sand in my sandbucket, from Outerbanks sand, to Welsh coasts with ruins much like my beloved Tulum keeping a watchful eye.  There's familiarity on a beach, no matter where in the world you go.  We all number as grains of sand on a beach, rolling together becoming less and more at the same time.  I look forward to every grain I collect, and who I collect with.

My Sandbucket List: (updated 02/10/15)

Tulum, Mexico
Southern England
More Northern England and Wales
Mardi Gras in New Orleans the weekend before Fat Tuesday to include Krewe of Isis, Krewe of Tucks for their awesome throws,  Endymion, Krewe of Thoth and Bacchus--thinking weekend before February 28, 2017 or February 13, 2018 or March 5, 2019.
Another Master's degree from Magdalen College, Oxford in Medieval Studies
Manhattan and Coney Island with Savannah (Christmas 2015 or Springbreak 2016)
Hawaiian Islands (early summer 2018)
Alaskan Cruise with Seattle, Vancouver Canada and possibly Oregon coast (summer 2016)
Mediterranean Cruise with land based Italy (summer 2019-20)
Puerto Rico (will probably do this as part of a Southern Caribbean cruise)
Northern California Coast / Pacific Coast Highway / Pacific Northwest including hikes : Hole in the Wall, Cape Falcon Trail, Angel's Rest (Mount Hood), Lava Canyon (Mount St. Helen's), Hoh Rainforest.  Maybe do this in tandem with seeing Dave @ The Gorge. 
Vegas with Grand Canyon, Utah and Disneyland (early summer 2015)
Burning Man (when Savannah is in college)
A Grand Canyon Guided Hike like this :
or Savvy might prefer something like this
Len Foote Hike Inn (Fall 2015?)

Lapland / Finland to view the Aurora from a glass igloo

Nepal Trek, something like this :

Balloon Near Space Ride  :

Around the world by private jet via National Geographic Expeditions

Visit all the Disney Parks, also stay extended in Orlando at WDW and do some behind the scenes tours, etc. like the Marceline Tour

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