Those items marked with an asterisk (*) were on the original list of “50 Things to Do Before I Die.” Those items in italics are scheduled for completion in 2014.
Things Already Done:
- Dance in the rain of Central Park, NYC*
Completed: July 2003
We took a bike ride through Central Park and midway through the ride, the skies opened up and the rain came down. It was simply glorious, and the sewers steamed.
- Snowboard Alyeska*
Completed: March 2004
I went with my church group. I was so sore the next day, but it was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had snowboarding, even with the major collisions.
- Get a 1400+ on the SAT I*
Completed: January 22, 2005
West High School. I studied for six solid days before this, taking a full SAT every day. It was killer, but I gained 90 points from my previous two scores.
- Learn to speak Arabic
Completed: February – April 2005
Thanks to Rami, I mastered the basics of the language well enough to read it and understand occasional words. I still need some work though.
- Tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue*
Completed: May 13, 2005
I did this while sitting at Garcia’s with my parents and brothers, eating dinner. I had been trying for weeks and was successful. Gané yo!
- Hold the strings of a truck-sized kite, when it is in the air
Completed: June 29, 2005
Audrey convinced me to go do this by tricking me into thinking we were going towards the mall, making a few sharp left turns, and asking for me. But it was fun!
- Adopt a pet from a shelter
Completed: July 29, 2005 – August 20, 2010
My family adopted a Brittany Spaniel named Lacey from the pet shelter in town. This counts temporarily, until I adopt an animal of my own. – She didn’t come from a shelter, but my kitten Dexter was a stray outside the movie theater where I work. I gave her a home, she gave me her company!
- Go skydiving*
Completed: August 6, 2005 – July 12, 2008
Wasilla, AK. The craziest and most fun thing I have ever done in my life, the best part was the backflip away from the plane, even if that was the scariest thing, too. – Brooklyn, IA. Round 2! Absolutely amazing. Now I’m hooked, and next time I’m going alone…
- Stand in the middle of a thunderstorm*
Completed: September 8, 2005
I ran outside with some of the other girls in my residence hall and we danced and cheered in the storm. I then waited for the huge storm to come. It was amazing and scary!
- Run through a corn field/sunflower field*
Completed: October 9, 2005
My famliy and I went to a Pumpkin Farm over Family weekend, and they had a corn maze. My brothers and I deviated slightly from the corn maze path to run through the rows of corn.
- DJ a dance party
Completed: January 14, 2006
There was a Swimmer House 80’s Dance Party and Erik Larson turned the computer with music over to me and I DJed the rest of the party. It was fun to get good dance songs for people and fill requests and dedicate songs!
- Win a swim race & get the gold medal for it
Completed: February 12, 2006
I won 1st place in the 100 freestyle and Midwest Conference 2006. It was an amazing feeling to pull ahead and just blast away the mean girl swimming next to me.
- Learn how to hula-hoop*
Completed: January 30, 2007
Grinnell, IA. I learned to hula hoop while teaching swim lessons! I was on deck with a hula hoop for an hour waiting to use it for diving, and I decided to learn.
- Hold a tarantula
Completed: March 28, 2007
I was at the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver and they had a tarantula named Rosie. I held her! She was surprisingly light and tickly. I don’t love spiders, no matter how calm I look in this picture. This is not the kind of thing you will find me repeating, even if it was a unique experience.
- Design, make & wear my own clothing
Completed: August 20, 2007
I took an old pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans (my “skinny jeans” that I couldn’t bear to part with when they got too “distressed”) and converted them into a skirt that I wore for several years–it was certainly a fashion statement!
- See a tornado and hear it growl
Completed: August 14, 2008
Driving home from Casa, I looked out the window to see a tiny funnel cloud swoop down and then suck back up into the clouds. It doesn’t quite fulfill the criteria, but it will do for now!
- Get a tattoo (or a few of them)
Completed: Sept. 11, 2008 – April 23, 2009 – March 10, 2010
Went to a tattoo parlor and got Kokopelli on my foot. – I got the laurel leaves, the symbol of my school, on my inner left heel. – Orange phoenix and yellow Alaskan stars. – Not done with my tatooing ways yet, so I’m sure I’ll update soon!
- Get in a mud fight*
Completed: September 2008
With Josie, Caitlin and Marco, outside Langan in Mac Field.
- Get arrested for something minor
Completed: August 22, 2010
DUI. Not exactly minor, but it fits the bill, and I don’t plan on repeating it.
- Have my fortune told*
Completed: October 29, 2011
Went to the Pyramid of Enlightenment for their Halloween Fair and had my tarot cards read. Somethings were eeriely right, but some were quite off!
- Live in a ‘flat’ in London*
Completed: September 11, 2012
After several weeks of agony while searching for the perfect place to live, we landed the dream apartment in Shadwell–reasonable rent, new building, and good access for running and school. One of the nicest places I’ve lived!
- Go to Scotland
Completed: November 2-4, 2012
With a group of classmates, we traveled north for a weekend in Edinburgh. I also rented a car and drove a few of us up into the southernmost part of the Highlands. I even tried haggis! (I hear it’s better on bread.)
- Recite Caesar’s speech on the steps of the Colosseum*
Completed: December 24, 2012
So I didn’t actually recite the speech–that would have been weird with about 2,000 other people around. Nida and I did take a few quiet moments to relax and enjoy the sun setting behind the arches, and I thought about how rich human history is.
- Celebrate St. Patty’s with the Irish
Completed: March 17, 2013
This was one of the most exciting trips I was able to take while living in London–Spring Break from classes started just before St. Patrick’s Day, so several friends and I all went over to the Emerald Isle for the week. Guinness!
- Walk on the Great Wall of China*
Completed: May 8, 2013
Even though I only went for a week, I was determined to make it to China from Europe–it’s about as far as it is from the US, but I was planning to rotate there, so I had the income. I spent time ind both Shanghai and Beijing, but the Great Wall was as breathtaking as expected.
Places to Go:
- Take a Caribbean Cruise*
- Sail through the Bermuda Triangle*
- Scale the wall of the Grand Canyon*
- Ride with a gondolier in Italy*
- Hike Symphony Lakes trail (Alaska) *
- Go to a New Years Party in NYC*
- Scuba-dive in the Great Barrier Reef*
- Ride Splash Mountain in Disneyworld*
- Bike to Eklutna Glacier (Alaska)*
- Attend a Broadway show with front-row seats*
- Sit in/on the Dead Sea*
- Set two feet firmly on Antarctica*
- Backpack in the Andes in Peru*
- Drive from Maine to California*
- Swim in the Mediterranean Sea*
- See Punxsatawney Phil on Groundhog’s Day
- Swim in all five of the Great Lakes – Michigan (August 2010)
- Visit the Taj Mahal
- Get a picture with the pyramids and ride a camel*
- Walk the ‘walk of fame’*
- Watch the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fiji
Things to Do:
- Ride the ejection seat*
- Sign an autograph for someone*
- Successfully prepare a souffle*
- Learn to play the bagpipes*
- Watch a Harry Potter eight-movie-marathon*
- Learn fluent Latin*
- Learn to fly a float-plane and land on a lake*
- Go see the Olympics*
- Swim with dolphins and/or stingrays*
- Go pearl diving and keep my findings*
- Swim 100 yd. butterfly in less than 1:00*
- Buy my own video camera*
- Star in my own movie*
- Kiss the boy underwater*
- Compete in a triathlon alone*
- See my written work published and on a bookshelf*
- Buy my Saturn Sky Convertible*
- Read the Bible, Book of Mormon, Torah, & Qua’ran
- See a volcano erupt and see a lava flow/pyroclastic cloud
- Drop a tomato off a building
- See a crop circle
- Have a conversation with Catherine about why
- Give a speech at a Graduation
- See the Triple Crown, all in one year
- Ride a mechanical bull for at least 45 seconds
- Learn how to surf
- Bulls-eye an archery target from 100m
- Drive over 120 mph
- Drive a tractor
People to Meet:
- Meet JK Rowling*
- Have a coffee and conversation with Tom Felton*
- Shake hands with the President of the United States
- Have tea with the queen of England*