We’ve been kicking around an interesting conversation over dinner the past few days: What is our next big adventure in life? This being a 3 1/2 day workweek for most, why not work a bit on the play calculations, right?
Sure we’re old, and yeah, we agree that dying is an adventure, no doubt. But, there’s just so much else to do before the time comes for that…let’s have some fun!
If you haven’t seen it, one of my “mandatory videos” for people over 50 is to watch is “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson – great acting, fine message.
There are also an assortment of books on point. One of them made it to my “maybe” list: The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small.
The problem we have is that between us, we’ve “been there” and “done that” for the most part.
We’ve lived in three corners of the country (Seattle, San Diego, and south Florida), sailed extensively (Vancouver Island to San Diego), flown multiple trans-cons in our own plane, and lived in tiny spaces (ever live for a long time on a 40-foot boat?) and big spaces (1.2-million square feet of land out here)…so it isn’t like we’ve been sheltered.
Elaine likes the “faster” big city life, but with today’s crazies? Uh…. Her tastes run to fine restaurants and the type of discos she was queen of in the 1970’s and 80’s. Sadly, that world is gone. People don’t “go out for drinks” much any more. Too much risk, too many cops, and besides, it’s not really good for you. Want a crooked waiter to swipe your MasterCard? No thanks. Happens when we travel…
Those Disco Days were like a “once in a lifetime” era. Today, when we go out, I have exactly one glass of wine. E might have two…but, when comes to it, we’re been there, done that.
Same thing when comes to hobbies: I still love writing, ham radio, oddball physics, running the tractor, and making things in the shop. Cut it, weld it, that’s my game.
Elaine’s worn-out the idea of sewing. As she explained it, once you have been in the mode of “I’ll just go home and sew a new suit for dinner tonight…” (and she has), then what?
That’s one of those skills that ruin other pursuits, like shopping. When E comes home from shopping and regularly says “Most clothes today are crap…” I take that as Gospel.
She’s exactly right. Let’s see: Bloom of shopping, disco, shopping…what’s left?
Sure, we kick over some of the ‘standard’ old-people’s pastimes: Going on a cruise. But we lived on a boat, so getting on a bigger boat isn’t a particular thrill. For the most part, people on cruises have dumbed-down and dressed-down the experience. (Did I mention, Fashion is dead?”
The last cruise we were on, there was only one “formal” (or at least dark suit) dinner. Rest of the time we opted for the (reservations required) optional on-ship specialty restaurants
Problem with these is that you can take a $2,000 per person cruise in a nice balcony or suite and turn it into a $3,500 per person cruise with not much effort. Elaine’s trip to the salon? Don’t ask, but she doesn’t look as good in straightened hair, lol.
What’s a $40 steak on a cruise ship is a $14 filet from the local store and I know the cook personally.
Several of our friends are into camping. I’ve done so much camping that even with a trailer (or RV) it doesn’t seem to be “relaxing.”
If you have a trailer, now you have to drag something around…so now you need a truck. Bigger the trailer, bigger the truck. Then there are surge brakes and then electric…and you start down some of these “complexity slides” and there’s no telling if you’ll ever get to the bottom of it all before bankruptcy overtakes.
My buddy the major has a nice 20-foot bumper-pull. High-end, fiberglass. The one thing I keep forgetting to ask him is “How much ‘adventure’ is there to emptying the Port-a-Potty?” We’ve been friends long enough I don’t think I’ll ask.
Elaine’s run the numbers: At $200/room night at a Hilton, a $150K pusher with slides is 750 nights (not counting Honors points) and who’s feeding the cat back home that long?
I talked to Elaine about an RV, but she did a trip with her dad (years back) from Seattle to Phoenix. Nice for making sandwiches and pulling over to pea when needed. But a bugger to drive and they do suck down the gas.
God help you if something serious fails and you need a tow. Boaters have the same nightmare – only that one involves oil slicks and EPA fines…
E’s idea of adventure (and I’ve come around to her way of thinking) is to use up some of our Honors points on a trip.
We love the Rockies (Telluride to Durango is a marvelous fall drive) but too late to get through there and have any fingernails left.
We both want to walk and climb a bit in Chaco Canyon. Good Wiki entry on it here. Getting late in the season and it’s cold up there now.
I suggested we might both have “location lists” we might want to visit for our upcoming writings. Problem is that some of the locations require a lot of planning.
Take Las Vegas: It will be too cold shortly, if memory serves. Unless you wanted all the scenes to be in the underground mall area at Ceasars, I suppose.
Might work for a trip because we could swing through Payson and see friends and offspring. Maybe in March, then.
I’ve always wants to spend some time up in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I think that was drummed into me with the Hamm’s Beer commercials…”…from the land of sky blue waters….Hamm’s the beer refreshing…Hamm’s beer…”
(If you don’t remember Hamm’s, or you’re under 50, click here to see what black and white commercials were like ‘back in the day.”)
Point is, that’s a summertime escape and even then huge mosquitos are an issue. Sometimes the anti-aircraft guns take them down, but a lot of ’em get through the AA, Deet, and flak.
I have been around Elaine to take this “comfort traveling stuff” seriously. The older we get the more comfort matters, too.
One of our adventure ideas is to take Amtrak somewhere. But I don’t know if they have internet onboard yet. You know how government projects run, lol.
We have friends from out in the Bay area who love to travel that way….so it’s on our list. But no internet? HA!….try to keep up with what century this is, please. There’s a world outside the NE liberal corridor and we need communications, too.
GII (my son) has been trying to coax me into a tandem skydive. But, seriously, I’ve done my “sky time” for this go-round. Though bulldozing a runway for an ultralight keeps whirring through my head. So does building a kit plane, but I don’t trust my welding. I’m fair, but at 5-thousand feet hanging on my own welding? Err…even with fresh shielding gas….err….
I mentioned plans to put in the Cottonmouth Golf and Country Club. Nothing more than a sign and a half-dozen plastic coffee cans as holes, but that has great promise.
On the other hand, just in the past few days, a super “Texas Off-Road Golf Cart” came to me. It would be made out of 5/8th’s rebar, three hunks of 4″ PVC pipe, and it would have 10-inch pneumatic wheels on it. You can find those on Harbor Freight on sale every so often. Might have a sliding tractor weight, too, for balance.
Since HF also has specials on 6-horsepower gas engines, and a go-kart clutch is cheap enough, I’ve been thinking about a self-propelled “OffRoadGolf” machine.
I don’t know if you remember the old Gravely tractors?
They had about a 9-horse Wisconsin engine on them, and a couple of 18-inch, or so, tractor tires. It was a 2-wheeled machine, but then people put a hitch on them and presto! Small off-road vehicle for ranch and garden.
That got me to dreaming about this “off road golf” machine. Eventually, I woke up.
Elaine’s been given the task of figuring our next “adventure travel” and when she gets to an answer, I’ll pass it along. Brother-in-law is in the wings for guard duty at the homestead…so now it’s just figuring out where to go. (People have been telling me to go to hell for years, but I can’t find any deals or discounts, so that will have to wait.)
Neither one of us thinks much of air travel anymore. Elaine, especially, isn’t interested in being groped. I’ve been writing clever quips just in case an airplane trip and TSA lines are what she settles on.
Best one so far is:
“Hey, you trying to be a Hollywood film star or producer?”
Or, I might try “Are you asking me out?” but too many Tasers and not enough lawyers handy to try that one.
Is there a point – while I try to line up an organic turkey for you know what? Not only has our sense of adventure in America dropped to the belt level, so has our humor.
Is there maybe another planet we could try?
Write when you get rich,