30 August, 2013

The Bucket List, Part II

This isn't exactly a bucket list - at least not in the conventional sense, but it is a follow-up to my Bucket List, Part I. I'm still unclear about whether the things on one's bucket list have to be readily do-able. That is not the case with this list, which may be more of a wish list than a true bucket list. Also, I have limited it to ten items - sort of. One could argue that Number 4 is really five things or that Number 8 is nearly three dozen - but who's counting.

In no particular order.

1. Live to see my daughters in happy, rewarding relationships, with their own children who are just as wonderful as my daughters are.

2. Travel to the edge of space - at least high enough to see the curvature of Earth. If I can do that in orbit, so much the better - then I could watch the sun rise and set every ninety minutes or so as the totality of humanity turned below me.

3. Take art lessons. I'm uncertain if that is to be drawing or painting, but I know I want to develop a new creative outlet.

4. Experience what I'm calling my Super Spring. It begins in February with Carnival in Venice, and this time I'm riding in a gondola with my wife. Next is March Madness with the NCAA Basketball Final Four. Then we move on to Augusta for the Masters Tournament in April and to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby in May. We close out May (and Spring) with the Indianapolis 500.

5. Enjoy an extended stay at a vineyard in Tuscany - perhaps with one of the Conternos, but I wouldn't want to preclude going north of Verona where they make the most exquisite Amarone. I can be flexible. Maybe some cooking classes while staying at the villa of Lorenza de’ Medici could be a pleasant interlude.

6. Buy a coastal lighthouse for one of my vacation homes - at minimum, spend a few weekends in one I've rented. Perhaps I could find a time-share lighthouse. Perfect.

7. Tell my personal story to those who want to hear it, and once told, of course, turn it into a book. But ... let's just begin with the opportunity to tell it.

8. Visit 100 Hard Rock Cafés, worldwide. That means 17 more.

9. Go on an around the world cruise, and if the world were the least bit fair, by the way, this would be aboard a very large private yacht.

Aside from the dozens of ports of call, this cruise would have to include opportunities to:
     -look out on New York Harbor from the torch of the Statue of Liberty
     -transit the Panama Canal
     -stand atop an iceberg
     -watch sunrise over the heelstone of Stonehenge at summer solstice
          (but without the usual horde of New Agers and neo-pagans)
     -peer down into a volcano from its rim, perhaps in Hawaii or Sicily
     -contemplate the majestic beauty of the Taj Mahal
     -descend into the center of the Great Pyramid of Giza
     -explore the tombs at the Valley of the Kings
     -go on safari in the Serengeti
     -climb to the top of the cathedral's campanile in Pisa - it leans
     -ascend to Christo Redentor on Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro
     -hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
     -visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) at dawn
          (This was "scale Uluru" in the first version, but I have now read
          that the local Aṉangu do not climb Uluru because of its great
          spiritual significance. They request that visitors do not climb
          the rock due to the path crossing a sacred Dreamtime track.)
     -gaze upon the Northern Lights and the Southern Cross.

Then there is the nightly entertainment aboard ship - James Taylor, Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, John Denver, Kingston Trio, Norah Jones, Simon and Garfunkel, Phil Collins, Fleetwood Mac, Sarah McLachlan, Shania Twain, Tina Turner, Jimmy Buffet, Randy Newman, Steve Martin, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney (or all the Beatles if they have time), Peter, Paul, and Mary. The original list was twice as long, by the way, but I didn't want to ask for too much. And yes, I know several of these are no longer living, but it is a wish list, after all.

10. Spend the holidays at Monticello - Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year's, plenty of time to have many wonderful dinners and experiences with family and friends. And if it's not too much to ask, maybe Jefferson could join us on occasion. Since this unlikely, we could substitute a house in Colonial Williamsburg for the same period, and those homes are far more readily available.