Yes. My List of Things to Do Before I Die. 🙂
Note: bold items are completed. *Starred items are Things to Do If I Have Enough Time.
Note #2: As Dec. 2016, I’ve revised the List. Some things aren’t important to me anymore, so items with a strike through them indicate removal.
1. Visit Hawaii.
2. Go camping.
3. Jump off a bridge.
4. Ride a motorcycle.
5. Visit all the lighthouses on the Outer Banks of N.C.
6. Take a boat tour of the Georgetown and Cape Romain Lighthouses.
7. Visit a waterfall. (12.23.08 – Horseshoe Falls, Musgrove Mill Historic Site, Clinton, SC)
8. Learn to swing dance. 9. Write a travel guide.
10. Go to Maine on a lighthouse expedition.
11. Attend a World Series game.
12. See the sunset on the beach. (07.05.08 – Anna Maria Island, FL)
13. Swim in the ocean. (07.04.08 – Anna Maria Island – yes, this was my first time!)
14. See the Gulf of Mexico. (07.04.08 – Anna Maria Island)
15. *Visit a ghost town.
16. *See the Northern Lights.
17. Ride a horse.
18. Go to London.
19. *Go to Paris.
20. Take a road trip down all of Route 66.
21. Tour a castle.
22. Read French.
23. Learn to play a musical instrument.
24. See the Grand Canyon.
25. Go to Texas. (11.21-26.11)
26. See a rodeo. (11.25.11)
27. *Go to Mount Rushmore.
28. Find Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
29. Go to a Renaissance festival.
30. Learn to juggle. 31. Go to the Switchfoot Bro-Am tournament in San Diego.
32. Actually speak to Jon Foreman after a Switchfoot show. (06.11.09 – actually a Fiction Family show at the Grey Eagle Tavern in Asheville; 12.04.09 – I met the whole band after a Switchfoot show at The Orange Peel, also in Asheville)
33. Visit the Library of Congress. (05.22.17)
34. *Get a tattoo.
35. Have a piece of writing published.
36. Become a foster parent.
37. Fly on an airplane. (11.21.11 – Atlanta to Dallas/Fort Worth)
38. Ride on a train.
39. *Get my Ph.D.
40. Go to Prague.
41. Visit all 50 states (and Washington, D.C.). (So far: SC, NC, GA, TN, VA, FL, AL, DC, MD, NJ, MA, CT, KY, PA, TX, MI) [And I’ve driven through DE and NY]
42. Go to Australia.
43. See the Pacific Ocean.
44. Go to St. Louis.
45. Go to BOSTON (and Concord and Cambridge and Salem and Amherst)!
- a) Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston. (08.03.09)
- b) Visit the Concord Museum. (08.05.09)
- c) Tour the Emerson House (08.06.09), the Old Manse, (08.06.09) and Orchard House (08.05.09).
- d) Walk at Walden Pond. (08.05.09)
- e) Visit Authors’ Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, and the Alcotts are buried. (08.06.09)
- f) Visit the Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge. (08.06.09)
- g) Go to the Salem Witch Museum. (08.02.09)
- h) Visit the House of the Seven Gables and the Hawthorne House in Salem. (08.02.09)
- i) Tour the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst. (08.07.09)
46. See the Columbia River Gorge. 47. Learn to sail. 48. Go shrimping. 49. Go white water rafting.
50. *Make a quilt.
51. See a manatee. (07.05.08 – South Florida Museum, Bradenton, FL)
52. Go parasailing.
53. Catch a lightning bug in a Mason jar. (07.11.09 – Look-Up Lodge – and I caught them in a Dixie cup for lack of a Mason jar)
54. Go to a minor league baseball game. (08.18.08 – Greenville Drive)
55. Go paddle-boating.
56. Ride on the swing at Look-Up Lodge. (9.10.11)
57. Visit Flannery O’Connor’s (childhood) home in (Savannah) Georgia. (01.02.10)
58. Go rock climbing. (06.10.10)
59. Go back to Tybee Island and climb the lighthouse. (01.02.10)
60. Visit the lighthouse on St. Simon’s Island, GA.
61. See a Hopper painting in a museum. (May 2017 – the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery in Washington, DC)
62. Drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
63. Go to Cape Cod.
64. Visit Biltmore House. (03.29.09)
65. Go to Hollywild.
66. Go to the Greenville Zoo. (03.29.13)
67. Start a revolution (or at least participate).
68. Go to Chimney Rock (again). (10.04.08)
69. Visit New York City.
70. Be honest.
71. Buy a telescope and take up stargazing with someone I really like.
72. Visit the Titanic Museum in Branson, MO.
73. Go to Musgrove Mill Historic Site in Clinton, SC. (12.23.08)
74. Go to Ninety-Six National Historic Site. (05.18.11)
75. Go to Stumphouse Tunnel with the Leisters. (01.01.09)
76. Visit the Wren’s Nest. (03.10.09)
77. Find Thomas Wolfe’s grave in Asheville. (03.27.09)
78. Quote poetry at Poe’s grave in Baltimore. (08.01.09)
79. Go walking in Memphis.
80. See Mark Twain’s home in Hartford, Connecticut. (08.08.09)
81. Go to the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum. (06.19.10)
82. See the Angel Oak in Charleston. (05.16.14)
83. Visit Ruth in Wake Forest.
84. Go to Sharpsburg, Maryland, where my great-great-great-grandfather died in the battle of Antietam during the Civil War. (08.07.10)
85. Visit the Georgia Guidestones. (07.04.09)
86. Go to the Poe Museum in Richmond, VA. (08.09.09)
87. Enjoy authentic New England Clam Chowder in Massachusetts. (August 2009)
88. Take pictures outside Fenway Park. (08.04.09)
89. Go apple-picking. (09.19.10)
90. Drive the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.
91. Visit Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s house in Mississippi.
92. Visit Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor’s home in Milledgeville, GA. (03.27.10)
93. Ride a riverboat on the Mississippi River.
94. Visit Hannibal, Missouri, boyhood home of Mark Twain.
95. Have a Nerf gun war in a cemetery.
96. Buy peaches from Dori Sanders. (07.24.10)
97. Visit Hogwarts.
98. Meet Lois Lowry. (03.06.10)
99. Tour the abandoned leper colony and the lighthouse on the island of Chacachacare, Trinidad.
100. Get a passport. (applied: 10.12.10; received: 10.22.10)
101. Go to Nashville. (11.04.12)
102. See Cumberland Falls in Kentucky.
103. Go to Cade’s Cove in Tennessee.
104. Visit the Ty Cobb Museum in Georgia. (12.19.15)
105. Go back to Washington, D.C., and visit all the sites I missed on my first trip: the Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, more of the Smithsonian than just the Hope Diamond.
106. Visit Charles Dickins’ Swiss chalet in Kent, England, where he did much of his writing.
107. See the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. (08.05.10)
108. Visit Ellis Island.
109. Be a lighthouse keeper.
110. Visit the ruins of Dungeness, the Carnegies’ home, on Cumberland Island, GA.
111. Drink a cup of 100% Kona coffee. (05.25.13 – Coffee Underground)
112. Visit City Lights Books in San Francisco.
113. Visit Ireland.
114. Meet China Mieville.
115. Visit Amsterdam. Go to the Anne Frank Museum while there.
116. Attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
117. Visit a historical site (house, grave, etc.) associated with each U.S. President.
- 1) George Washington (I’ve seen his pew at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA – 04.21.12)
- 2) John Adams
- 3) Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Memorial – May 1999; I’ve also seen his pew at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA – 04.21.12)
- 4) James Madison
- 5) James Monroe (I’ve seen his pew at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA – 04.21.12)
- 6) John Quincy Adams
- 7) Andrew Jackson
- 8) Martin Van Buren
- 9) William Henry Harrison
- 10) John Tyler (I sat in his pew at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA – 04.21.12)
- 11) James K. Polk
- 12) Zachary Taylor
- 13) Millard Fillmore
- 14) Franklin Pierce
- 15) James Buchanan (I visited Wheatland, his home in Lancaster, PN – Aug. 2010)
- 16) Abraham Lincoln (I’ve stood at the spot at Gettysburg where he delivered the Gettysburg Address – Aug. 2010)
- 17) Andrew Johnson
- 18) Ulysses S. Grant
- 19) Rutherford B. Hayes
- 20) James A. Garfield
- 21) Chester A. Arthur
- 22/24) Grover Cleveland
- 23) Benjamin Harrison
- 25) William McKinley
- 26) Theodore Roosevelt
- 27) William Howard Taft
- 28) Woodrow Wilson
- 29) Warren G. Harding
- 30) Calvin Coolidge
- 31) Herbert Hoover
- 32) Franklin D. Roosevelt
- 33) Harry S. Truman
- 34) Dwight D. Eisenhower
- 35) John F. Kennedy (I’ve visited the Sixth Floor Museum & Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was assassinated – Nov. 2011; JFK Presidential Library & Museum – 05.20.17)
- 36) Lyndon B. Johnson
- 37) Richard Nixon
- 38) Gerald Ford
- 39) Jimmy Carter
- 40) Ronald Reagan
- 41) George H.W. Bush
- 42) Bill Clinton
- 43) George W. Bush
- 44) Barack Obama
118. See the Rocky statue in Philadelphia. (05.21.17)