Odds and Ends: The Bucket List (and #giveaway)

Bucket List FrontThere was a meme floating around Facebook last week called the “Bucket List,” where a list of supposedly bucket-list things was provided for you to check. Some of the things i haven’t done, I haven’t wanted to do….and this isn’t MY bucket list, but here goes (plus, who actually puts “divorced” on their bucket list?)….

Been Married
Been divorced
Fell in love ✔ The less said, the better.
Gone on a blind date ✔ Once. Set up by my sister-in-law. What a flippin’ disaster.
Skipped school ✔ And got caught by the school principal at the movie theater that night.                       His comment: “I see you’ve made a quick recovery.”
Watched someone give birth Does a dog count? If so, yes.
Watched someone die ✔ Sadly so.
Been to Canada ✔  Only to Montreal, which I loved, so I want to visit much more.
Ridden in an ambulance Why would this be on anyone’s bucket list? It’s not on mine.
Been to Hawaii ✔ Sixteen days on Oahu because there was an advisory out for Athens,                         canceling my Greek vacation, and I had a nonrefundable ticket. Oahu cost the                     same. OMG. I know every inch of that island and came to love shave ice and                     the roadside shrimp stands on the north shore.
Been to Europe ✔ Not everywhere. To England. To Austria twice, Italy twice, Switzerland,                       Germany twice, The Netherlands (Amsterdam only) twice, Liechtenstein…I                         think that’s all. I need to go to France and Belgium!
Been to Las Vegas  Sorry, but not sure I really want to. I want to go to Alaska. Badly. 
Been to Washington D.C ✔  Mostly on business, but sightseeing was done.
Been to Nashville ✔ Oh, so many times. Lovely city.
Been to Miami ✔ Only once. I think it was enough. 
Visited Florida ✔ Many, many, many, many, many times. Many. Up and down both coasts                         but not much in the middle.
Visited Mexico ✔   The usual suspects: Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Acapulco (on                        a burning tour bus, no less), Cabo San Lucas (heart), Nuevo Laredo…Let’s                       just say it’s not a wise idea to try to take a photo of a police officer in Nuevo                       Laredo. They are not amused.
Seen the Grand Canyon in person No, and that’s a shame. Also the Hoover Dam.
Flown in a helicopter No, and never will unless I’m unconscious or heavily medicated.
Been on a cruise ✔ Several. I was going through the Panama Canal when the Marines                           took down Noriega. Kept seeing tanks and copters while sitting on deck with                     mimosas, armed with cocktail forks.
Served on a jury ✔ OMG. Until 2 a.m. on a hung criminal court jury that should’ve been an                     open-and-shut case. I was ready to confess myself just to end it all.
Been in a movie Uh…no thanks.
Been on a magazine cover Ditto
Danced in the rain ✔ Well, “dance” is probably a stretch. 
Been to Los Angeles ✔ Smog. Traffic. Palm Trees. Traffic. More traffic. Disneyworld.
Been to New York City ✔ But only a few hours at JFK, so it probably shouldn’t count.
Played in a band I have no musical aptitude. None. Love it, though.
Sang karaoke Much to the relief of everyone I’ve ever met, no.
Laughed so much you cried Of course. And snorted. And hyperventilated.
Laughed so hard you pee’d Well, maybe.
Caught a snowflake on your tongue ✔ It’s a rare opportunity here in Da South.
Had a pet(s) ✔ I do so miss my baby dogs Shane and Tanker. 
Been sledding on big hill ✔ As a kid.
Been downhill skiing I would break my neck, at best. Although it looks fun.
Been water skiing Since I can’t swim, this would probably be a bad idea.
Rode on a motorcycle See note about breaking neck.
Traveled to all 50 states…No, but it IS on my bucket list.
Jumped out of a plane Are you delusional?
Rode in a hot air balloon I’d sooner jump from a plane.
Been to a drive-in movie ✔  Yes, quite a few times, believe it or not.
Rode an elephant I’m not sure in what universe this would happen, but, uh, no.
Rode a Horse ✔ Once. It was a disaster. I was marked for life.
Been on TV ✔ It wasn’t intentional. Really.
Been in the newspaper ✔ Recently, in fact. I won the county adult spelling bee, a charity      event. My hair looked like Donald Trump’s. That is not a compliment. I threatened  to never be seen in public again and got a haircut post-haste.
Stayed in the Hospital ✔ Only once as a patient, though.
Donated blood I have high blood pressure so I am not eligible. 
Gotten a piercing ✔ Thrice in each ear.
Gotten a tattoo No but I keep threatening.
Driven a stick shift vehicle ✔ My first car was stick-shift. I don’t miss it.
Been scuba diving See earlier note about swimming. And drowning. 
Been snorkeling No, but I think I’d enjoy it and might do it one of these days.
Lived on your own ✔ Since I was 18. That was long ago and far away.
Rode in the back of police car. I dated a cop for over a  year. Does that count? 
Got a speeding ticket ✔ Sigh. Quite a few of them.
Broken a bone. Miraculously, no.
Gotten stitches ✔ Only twice. Once after minor surgery, once when I was five and trying to dance and cut an apple at the same time for my grandmother. Bad idea. Happy Thanksgiving, granny, let’s run to the E.R.!
Traveled Alone ✔ My employer gave me a free trip to Europe. Traveling alone on my first-ever trip outside the U.S.–both to Canada and to Central Europe, was strangely empowering. Until Italy. Italians don’t speak English. I don’t speak Italian. There were many halting conversations in French, which worked in some bizarre way. Pardon?

How about you? Any fun stories to go with any of these? I’ll give away a $5 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter. So ‘fess up!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

32 thoughts on “Odds and Ends: The Bucket List (and #giveaway)

  1. That’s quite a list. Traveling to the 50 states is definitely on my bucket list. I’ve made a pretty good dent so far. Also want to see all the national parks. And you definitely want to go to Alaska. It is awesome!

    • Oh, Alaska–I want to go! I’ve been to England but would really like to go to Scotland since most of my ancestors came from there (including King Robert the Bruce, who didn’t come off too well in “Braveheart” until the very end)!

  2. On top of my bucket list was a trip to New Orleans. Did that in March thanks to the kids Christmas gift to me. Wonderful trip. On top of my bucket list now is a trip to New Orleans.

    • LOL. New Orleans is one of those places that gets in your blood. People either fall in love with it or despise it (Yep, I’ve met some of those, too). I’m glad you fell in love with it! Go in late October next time–it’s the most reliable time of year for really nice weather with low humidity!

  3. Donated blood–yep, 12.5 gallons to date. Someday my husband will make me a clock using all my gallon pins.
    Can’t drive a stick shift. My husband tried to teach me right after we got married. We decided we could either stay married or I could learn to drive a standard, but not both. We have been married 26 years; still can’t drive a stick.
    Broke my tailbone roller skating, should have known better. I have no coordination, so no jumping out of planes for me, the landing would be a danger.
    I’ve ridden an elephant (San Antonio zoo) and horses several times.

    Love the list 🙂

    • You have some good ones. I’m chuckling over the roller skates because i didn’t break my tailbone (ouch!) but almost broke my neck. I have no coordination, either. I learned to drive on a stick and my first car was a stick, but that was it. I doubt I could drive one now without the lurch-lurch-lurch-stall. 🙂

  4. really strange things people put on those list really…divorce, ambulance…what next? killed your first man?!

    But if you ever come in belgium one day it would be a pleasure to meet you^^

    • I would love to visit Belgium and France–those are definitely my European bucket-list countries–it would be great to meet you in person! Yes, some of those things were bizarre, right? LOL, I’ve never killed anyone…at least not that I know about.

    • I agree–the divorce and the ambulance….why? I’m enough of a rebel to kind of want the tattoo but I suspect it is because my elderly mother has moved in with me and despises them, so it has therefore increased their appeal to my inner 13-year-old. LOL.

  5. Driving a stick shift is pretty common here. Automatic is so much more relaxed, but somehow ieople think it’s more sporting to drive a stick shift. So yeah: I have driven stick shift cars a lot!
    I’ve also been on tv while being hugged by a Dutch author 😀

    • Yes, the sporty cars here in the U.S. are stick. My current car is a “mini crossover” (a very small sport-utility vehicle built on a car platform) and can somehow convert from regular automatic to a “sport mode” where you control the shifts more. I have no desire to try it!

  6. I’ve been married, in the process of getting divorced (tons of fun there), I’ve fallen in love (with mostly jerks), I’ve watched someone die (worst moment of my life), I’ve ridden in an ambulance (too many times to count), I’ve laughed so much I’ve cried (I have two young daughters so plenty of funny moments there), I’ve had a pet (actually I’ve had A LOT of pets), I’ve rode on a motorcycle, I’ve stayed in the hospital (too many times to count, ugh), I’ve lived on my own (since the day after I turned 18), I’ve gotten stitches (a few times), and I would LOVE to add getting a tattoo to this list.

  7. Took me forever to decide what tattoo I wanted and then I had an epiphany…a book of course! Now I need to get up the nerve to do it! I own a motorcycle so that’s off the bucket list. I do want to visit New Orleans some day and you should be my tour guide 🙂

    • I would love to show you around NOLA! The first book convention I ever attended as an author was the 2012 Authors After Dark con, which was held in New Orleans. So I took two groups of readers in my big rental SUV on tours of New Orleans, from the Katrina memorial to uptown and where DJ’s house is located. It was such fun (and on the second tour, there came a sudden downpour, the streets flooded, and I thought there was going to be a “real” Katrina experience there for a while!). And a book would be the perfect tattoo!

  8. How fun to read about how many places that you’ve visited. One question that I didn’t see was about riding a camel. I’ve ridden a camel but not an elephant. Of course, someone was leading it. I would not want to be on a magazine cover or in a movie. I’m not into fame or any of that stuff.

    • A camel! Well, that’s cool. Aren’t they supposed to be mean? My brother and sister in law went to Israel last year and they went on a camel ride (also being led). I’d hate to be on a camel that decided it wanted to trot across the desert!

  9. We got to ride on an elephant. The scariest part was getting on and off. They are really tall. Once I got used to being 12 ft off the ground, it was pretty fun.

    • That was one of maybe only two times I skipped school–both my best friend and I skipped, talked on the phone all day, then went to the movie….where we met the principal at the popcorn machine. It was NOT the best timing. We were both honor students, though, so we knew he really wasn’t going to do anything to us–LOL.

  10. I have been to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon, but I have never been on a cruise. I would love to visit Australia.

    • I didn’t think I would like cruising since, like DJ, I’m not much of a swimmer (as in, just drown me now), but I won one by throwing my business card in a box at a convention. So off I went and loved it. I’ve been on four or five since then. It’s the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever had because it’s like your hotel takes you from country to country. Although the last one I went on, a quick down-and-back from New Orleans to Cozumel, I found myself playing Bingo with the older cruisers and drinking Mimosas at 10 a.m. and thought, this is probably not the healthiest of vacations. 🙂

  11. In a previous life I was a labor and delivery nurse so I’ve seen quite a few births. I’ve even delivered 2 babies myself! Did you know that unless they are pretty small, they don’t actually slide right out once the head is born, you actually have to rotate them, and then pull a bit. I’ve also scuba dived all over the world, skied, and ridden in a hot air balloon (on a safari in Africa), but I’ve never jumped out of a plane. I wanted to when I was younger, but now that desire has pretty much passed.

  12. I’ve barely done any of these- would love to travel to Europe and to all the states too though! I can say I’ve tried having 4 stitches in the skin above my upper lip when I fell off the bed I was jumping on when I was a kid. Then around 4 years back, I accidentally slammed my face into the edge of a glass door in a hotel in the Gold Coast and cut the skin below my lower lip too. Lots of blood but luckily no stitches required, and the hotel told us we could join the breakfast buffet for free the next day! 🙂

    • Yow, that sounds painful! i don’t know how I got through my middle-school years without stitches. I went through a seriously clumsy phase and had some spectacular bicycle crashes at high speeds–I still have lots of scar tissue on both knees. LOL.

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