Ten things I’m Glad I’ve Done in My Lifetime, Part 1

My past few posts have been a little depressing and I don’t want everyone to think I walk around under a big dark cloud. I read about Donna H’s recent journey on Amtrak and commented that I would have to add riding on Amtrak as one of the ten things I needed to do before I died. Well, why not share a list of the ten things I’m glad I’ve already done. I hope all of you will feel like sharing your ten things, too.

These are the top ten events of my life or the biggest successes. They’re just things I’m glad I did and I think everyone would enjoy doing before they die.

1. Drove through Big Sur in California.
Big Sur is probably the most popular backdrops for car commercials. High cliffs and beautiful beaches. It’s an amazing two hour drive. Every bend in the road finds you saying…”Oh, I can’t believe that view.” As soon as you blurt that out, the next bend is even more dramatic.

2. Visited the Alamo
O.K. Stop laughing. The Alamo at night has to be one of the most romantic sights in America. It’s lit up with spotlights. The streets around it aren’t busy. And the white stucco facade, the only wall that still survives, is captivating. (Plus, it’s free.)

3. Went to DisneyWorld with my family.
By family, I mean my parents and my siblings. It may be to late for you to do this, but you can do it with your children which I imagine is even more memorable. My dad was so much like Clark Griswald. We camped in Fort Wilderness and we did everything from the nightly campfire songs and staying up for the fireworks. I distinctly remember one morning we were the first people in line to get in the park. We didn’t have a ton of money (we actually packed sack lunches), but mom and dad made sure we got every minute of fun out of it.

4. Spent July 4 in a small town.
Sure, the fireworks may be brighter in New York City, but I don’t think anyone celebrates July 4 quite like a small down. My town does the holiday true justice, and, while she’s not called Miss Firecracker, we even have our July 4 Princess crowned at high noon. All the veterans squeeze into their uniforms from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and today to march down Main Street. All the churches and civic organizations offer every kind of food you can name. (And, if you’re family is going through rough times, don’t be surprised if they feed your whole family and then say the total is $1.) Hey, if you don’t have plans for next July 4, come on down!

5. Drove the Blue Ridge Parkway (or at least most of it).
I’ve been fortunate to make the trip in both the spring and the fall. Both are beautiful drives. I started my journey on the southern end of the parkway, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive takes you through Cherokee, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, and to Grandfather Mountain and Banner Elk in North Carolina. You’ll drive through the gorgeous hills around Mt. Mitchell and then cross into Virginia. There, the trail leads through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. One time the trip was a rush and I actually made it in three days. The second trip, we spend a week, stopping to shop when we wanted to and spending some time in some very quaint places just off the parkway.

I don’t want to lose you, so I’ll stop for now. I’ll finish it up later in the week. In the meantime, what travel markers have been the highlight of your life?


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