Buttkick List

I never really thought about a bucket list, I mean a serious bucket list, before the poo hit the propeller.  The idea of kicking, hitting, clobbering, beating, striking, punching, booting or in any way assailing a bucket in my near future was not something I considered, not even for a microsecond.  However, after nearly cashing in my chips, that dope feeling of REALLY being alive has become vital to me.  I’ve always been somewhat adventurous ~ enjoying mountain climbing and great white shark cage diving, but now I have a voracity for experiencing all I can.

I don’t really like to call it a bucket list.  I loathe the pressure of having to get this done by the time I expire.  It puts the emphasis on the end, and I’d rather be focused on the now, kicking my new life’s butt today and everyday!

There are some adrenaline inducing items on my Buttkick List and some entries that are rewarding in a more tranquil way.  Below is my ever-evolving menu of items I’ve taken pleasure in checking off since my health comeback and items I still plan on crushing.  I continually add new items and would appreciate any buttkicking ideas 🙂  I would have missed all of this fun if not for my lifesaving brother and his magic marrow!

Since 2014 ~ When my immune system was getting stronger and I was well enough to get out there and live again, I fired up my list.   In no particular order:

√ 1.  Join Travelers’ Century Club – This is an international society whose members have visited 100 or more countries.  I checked this box with a visit to Mauritius, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean.

Scuba diving the Indian Ocean in country #100 ~ Mauritius
Scuba diving the Indian Ocean in country #100 ~ Mauritius

√ 2.  Drive a fast car around a track – I took a lesson, then did 6 laps around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in this Lamborghini Gallardo.

My ride for 6 laps
I floored it on the straightaways.  Vroooom!

√ 3.  Skydive – This is something I never thought I’d have the balls to do.  Just imagining it made me sweat with fear, but after my transplant I knew I had to do it.  I asked several friends to join me, but I only got 2 takers:  Debbie and Jared.  It was the biggest rush EVER!  When the airplane door slid up, my heart was beating outside my body, my hands were wringing wet, I was shaking and I may have peed a little.  The 120mph free fall was shockingly crazy!  Skydive Elsinore was the spot.

1, 2, 3 - out we go! My photographer, my instructor and me at 12,500'
3, 2, 1 – out we go! My photographer, my instructor and an expletive screaming me at 12,500′

4. Get pilot’s license

√ 5.  Snowshoe – Gorgeous Banff, Canada was where I froze my ass off while snowshoeing with Todd and Mychaela.

Snowshoeing along the Continental Divide
Cruising along the Continental Divide

√ 6.  Swim with whale sharks – It was so thrilling to be in the water right next to this gentle giant (about 35 feet long – picture a school bus) at Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

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I look like a minnow compared to my new friend

√ 7.  Hike to Machu Picchu – My family celebrated New Years Eve 2018-2019 on the Salkantay Trail in the Andes Mountains.  We did a week-long trek, staying in inns along the way, to Machu Picchu, which was fantastic!  Two Inca shamans joined us on the trail for a couple of days, leading us in ceremonies and ancient customs, which added a wonderful dimension to our experience.  Once at Machu Picchu, we toured the ruins, then climbed up Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain seen in the background of MP photos.  The 2 hour climb is not for the faint of heart.  There are many places where one little slip would send you thousands of feet to your spectacular end.  The summit provides the best views of Machu Picchu, far below.

On top of Huayna Picchu

√ 8.  Get a tattoo (note to my family:  it will be tiny and tasteful, I promise) – To celebrate my 5th transplanniversary, I got a tattoo of a tiny gift box around my PICC line scar (where my brother’s marrow entered my body).  The bow on top is a cursive L, for Leason.

Didn’t hurt at all!

√ 9.  Scuba dive the Bay of Pigs, Cuba – This wall dive was outrageously beautiful.  The best coral on the planet, because there is no industry or tourist pressure in the area.  Giant, vibrant and diverse like no other!  Of course, my GoPro wasn’t working, so no dive snaps.  We had lunch post dive at a woman’s home not far from the water, where she offered us deer, fish, turtle and alligator, all caught and cooked by her.  She also had a live band for just Todd and me.  Awesome lady, awesome experience!

Post dive lunch, entertainment and alligator meeting near Bay of Pigs
Post dive lunch, entertainment and alligator meeting near Bay of Pigs

10.  Publish a book

11.  Participate in an international road rally

√ 12. Ice skate outside on naturally frozen water – I made one successful (didn’t fall on my ass) lap around this rink in Seoul, Korea.

No double axels for me
No double axels for me (I didn’t want to show off)

√ 13.  Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater – I finally got the chance to see this beautiful piece of art in person.  My father was a client and student of FLW, and Mr. Wright played a major influence in my dad’s life, thus mine 🙂  The in depth tour allowed Todd and me to spend time in each room, inhaling the brilliance.  The sound of the waterfall that the house is built over can be heard from every room.  All furniture, art and housewares remain in original 1937 condition.

Walking through and around the most iconic home ever built in America was breath taking!

√ 14.  Make a cool pattern on a giant lawn with a ride-on mower – Driving down a country lane in Western New York, we came around a corner and there was a woman mowing her lawn with a ride-on mower.  Todd says, “You gotta go ask her if you can try it!”  I was like, “She’ll think I’m a freak.”  He turns the rental car around and pulls up into her driveway.  I get out and start walking across her huge lawn, waving at her.  She stops the mower and I tell her about my Buttkick List.  She says, “Jump on!”

Taking Gretchen’s toy for a spin was a blast!!!

√ 15. Attend the Indy 500 – I was there at the 99th running of this iconic race with my family and my parents. It was extra special because our friend, John obtained pit and garage passes for all of us! It was incredible to be on the track with these powerful pieces of art.

Our passes allowed us on the track just before we heard, "Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!"
Our passes allowed us on the track just before we heard, “Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!”

√ 16.  Mush a dog sled – My entire extended family took 5 sleds out for a ride in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.  We went right by the set of The Revenant while it was being filmed.  We loved the dogs!

My turn mushing while my dad enjoys the ride
My turn mushing while my dad enjoys the ride

17.  Lower 48 road trip

√ 18.  Host a Be The Match donor drive – I’ve done a few of these now, including this one at the Pi Beta Phi house at USC before a football game.  My son Rex, who has donated his stem cells to save a life, helped me, along with my friends Jae and Sam.  Perhaps another life will be saved by one of our swabbers!

Rex and I recruiting new members to join the International Bone Marrow Registry
Rex and I recruiting new members to join the International Bone Marrow Registry

√ 19.  Get close to red hot lava – Mychaela and I were in Granada, Nicaragua, near the Masaya volcano.  We hired a driver to take us to the rim, where we peered over the edge at the liquid hot “magma,” as Dr. Evil would call it.

You could hear and feel the force of the earth!

20.  Attend the Winter Olympics

√ 21.  Flyboard – It was tough to get the hang of this, but really fun trying to master flyboarding in Bermuda.

Looks pretty lame, but it felt like I was 50' in the air!
Looks pretty lame, but it felt like I was 50′ in the air!

√ 22.  Dive a wreck – I have been on several wrecks since my Buttkick List was a ‘thing,’ but this one in the British Virgin Islands was especially well preserved.

We found a giant lobster who called this wreck home
We found a giant lobster who called this wreck home

23.  Attend a red carpet event in a dress I design

24.  Cross country ski

25.  Parler couramment en français 

√ 26.  Bobsled down an Olympic track – After being forced to watch a video that basically says there’s a decent chance you won’t survive, I signed up to sled down the Park City, UT track.  The last thing I remember my coach telling me is, “Remember to breathe!”  I finally remembered about half way down and 37 arm bruises in.  60 mph and 3 Gs literally took my breath away.

All I can say is, "OMG"! It doesn't look that rad on tv!
All I can say is, “OMG”! It doesn’t look that rad on tv!

27.  Observe polar bears in the wild

28.  Attend a Rolling Stones concert

√ 29.  Watch a pro surf competition in person – When we were in Tahiti to swim with humpbacks (#100), we realized that the Tahiti Pro was happening at Teahupo’o “Chopes” one of the world’s most famous breaks!

That’s Kelly Slater in the water behind Rex and me 🙂
We rented a boat to take us out close to watch the action on the monster waves!

√ 30.  Learn falconry – I met this falcon in the United Arab Emirates desert, as I learned about one of the oldest traditions of the region.  The fastest animal on (or above) earth can fly at speeds over 200 mph.  Isanely impressive!

The UAE region has practiced falconry for over 2,000 years
The UAE region has practiced falconry for over 2,000 years

√ 31.  Attend an opera at the Met – I was visiting Mychaela in NYC during opera season, so we bought tickets to see Figaro.  Neither of us speak Italian, so the little translator screens in front of our seats helped understand the comedy 🙂

We were a little underdressed… Lots of tuxedos and ball gowns, along with men in outrageous furs!

32.  Witness turtles hatching or laying eggs on a beach

33.  Watch the Trojans crush the leprechauns in South Bend, IN

√ 34.  Ice climb – Todd, Mychaela, Rex and I climbed a frozen waterfall near Banff, Canada.  Then I went back for more in a glacier hole in Iceland.

Canada, left - Iceland, right All of your weight is on your crampons' front spikes - yikes!
Canada, left – Iceland, right. All of your weight is on your crampons’ front spikes – yikes!

35.  Dive with hammerheads

36.  Complete the tennis grand slam tour by attending the Aussie Open Tennis Championships in Melbourne

37.  Attend a film festival to watch a film I produce

√ 38.  Swim with dolphins  – Bermuda was a beautiful place to get in the water with these incredible beings.

I've wanted to do this since Flipper. So brilliant!
I’ve wanted to do this since Flipper. So brilliant!

√ 39.  Ride a segway – Todd and I went offroading through the vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

"No one ever eats sh*t on a segway!"
“No one ever eats sh*t on a segway!”

40.  Visit space

41.  Sit on a jury

√ 42.  Play a song on an instrument – My buddies, Jae, Kristin and Stephanie arranged for me to check this one off for my 56th birthday by organizing an outing to a music shop in Huntington Beach, CA.  This was my first musical lesson EVER!  They picked the harmonica for the instrument, and we all learned not one, but two songs:  Happy Birthday and Love Me Tender!  Lots of blowing and sucking, but we nailed it!  Huge kudos to our instructor, Manny, for his unreal patience with our group’s inabilities and raunchy humor 😉

So stoked with this group – we’re planning to take our act on the road!

√ 43.  Learn how to curl – Despite popular belief, curling IS a sport, and it’s REALLY difficult!  For my 51st birthday, I had about 25 friends and family members join me for a private curling lesson in Fountain Valley, CA.  We were hoping someone would show exceptional unknown talent and be tapped for the US Olympic team, but alas, we all kinda sucked.

Finding new uses for rocks and brooms
Finding new uses for rocks and brooms

√ 44.  Complete my family tree – After several years of research and hiring two genealogists, I finally found the missing link in my tree.  My great-great-great-great grandfather, Sylvester Pomeroy, was the guy I tracked down.  My known roots began with two generations in Normandy, France, beginning in 998 AD, then go to England for several centuries, then to America in 1632.  I have a direct line of Pomeroys (my maiden name) for 33 generations, and I made a book with all the names, dates and stories of my peeps.

Over 1,000 years of Pomeroy family history

√ 45.  Stomp grapesWe celebrated Todd and Mychaela’s birthdays in Napa Valley, CA, and were lucky to be there for harvest and take our turn in a barrel, stomping some grapes at Grgich Hills Wine Estate.  Squishy!

Making some Toe Jam Cabernet :)
Making some Toe Jam Cabernet 🙂

√ 46.  Visit an ice bar – It was cheesy, I’ll admit it, but fun to experience a bar made of ice in a 5 degree ice locker.  The only beverages available were those that do not freeze.  I had a vodka “iceberg” cocktail.  Todd and I visited this ice bar in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Loved my glass made of ice, but only with a gloved hand 🙂

√ 47.  Attend a sumo championship in Japan – Todd and I were so lucky to be in Tokyo when the final rounds of the national championships were being contested.  We witnessed the first Japanese-born wrestler win the title since 2006.  We loved learning about this ancient sport through the English radio in our ears.

Tokyo went off after their man won!
Tokyo went off after their man won!

48.  Set a world record

49.  Visit Easter Island

√ 50.  Bungy jump – This terrified me more than skydiving, because I couldn’t imagine actually throwing myself off a ledge, but when the opportunity presented itself in New Zealand, the home of the world’s first commercial bungy jump,  I knew I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself for pussying out if I didn’t do it. F-ing RAD!

Why live on the edge when you can jump off?

√ 51. Learn to knit – My friends, Jae and Kristin accompanied me to a local knit shop to learn the art of knitting  🙂

So, this next row, purl or knit?  Oh sh*t!

√ 52.  Visit the top floor of the Burj al Khalifa, the world’s tallest building – We took a minute long express elevator ride to the top floor, where we walked out onto a glass observation deck and looked down on all of the Dubai sky scrapers so far below us.  It stands 163 floors and over 2,700 feet tall.

We went waaaaay up there!
We went waaaaay up there!

√ 53.  Attend the World Cup – My son, Rex and I made it our gooooaaaallll to attend the 2022 World Cup, so we book a trip to Qatar.  We loved our time watching camel racing, dune bashing, sand boarding, visiting the gold and falcon souks, strolling the Corniche, sailing in a dhow and eating way too much hummus and pita, but our favorite time was spent watching futbol!  We attended 6 matches, our favorite being an Argentina match, in the middle of their crazy fans, 4 rows from the pitch and the master, Messi!

USA beats Iran to move on to the Round of 16!

54.  Crowd surf

√ 55.  Ride in a glider – I joined the Taupo Gliding Club in Taupo, New Zealand, then had one of their pilots, Gordon, take me up for a ride.  We had a cool vintage Piper tow us up to 5,000 feet, then we released the tow and silently soared over Lake Taupo, Huka Falls, and deer in a gorgeous forest.  Gordon let me take the controls and do several banked turns.  Silent fun!

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All set for take off!

√ 56.  Find treasure – I free dove a 2 day old wreck at a depth of only 20′ in the British Virgin Islands and recovered many treasures, including kitchen wares, books, knick knacks (I really like that phrase) and lots of miscellaneous sh*t I mean treasure.

This sailboat burned and sank 2 days before we came upon it
This sailboat burned and sank 2 days before we came upon it

√ 57.  Take a Thai kick boxing (Muay Thai) class – Todd and I entered the ring in Thailand and learned how to punch and kick like champions.

In the ring with Todd
Practicing punches and kicks on Todd and LOVING it!

√ 58.  Blow glass – My mom, Mychaela and I learned the art of glass blowing at a studio in Crawford, CO.  We each made a masterpiece that we proudly display in our homes.

My paperweight in progress. It was f*cking HOT!
My paperweight in progress. It was f*cking HOT!

√ 59.  Go truffle huntingWhile in Provence, we spent a morning hunting for summer truffles with Monsieur Robert and his expert truffle hunting dog, Kita.  We found a total of 6 truffles, and enjoyed a phenomenal dinner that evening using our treasure!

Successful hunt, thanks to Kita!

√ 60.  Soak in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon – On a recent adventure in Iceland,  Todd and I, along with my college buddies Karen and Sharon and their husbands Scott and Craig, spent an afternoon at the Blue Lagoon.  It was more awesome than we thought it would be, with 100+ degree vivid blue water steaming in the frigid air, a swim up beverage bar, a swim up facial mask bar and in-water massages.  What’s not to love?

The Blue Lagoon’s volcanic mud masks made our skin as soft as babies’ butts 🙂

√ 61.  Slingshot – What is slingshot, you ask?  Attach one end of a ski rope to the top of a 100′ mast, the other end to a ski boat, with a handle in the middle.  Hold on to the handle as the boat hits it, and you are shot up into the air as far as you dare to hold on.  The British Virgin Islands is the perfect spot to slingshot!

That's me!
That’s me!

62.  Swim in every ocean – √Pacific Ocean √Atlantic Ocean √Indian Ocean √Caribbean Sea √Mediterranean Sea √Dead Sea √Arabian Sea √Sea of Cortez √Gulf of Mexico √South China Sea √Philippine Sea √Java Sea √Bay of Bengal √South Atlantic Ocean √Andaman Sea √Gulf of Thailand √Malacca Strait √Red Sea √Bay of Biscay √Persian Gulf √Aegean Ocean √South Pacific Ocean

√ 63.  Rock climb – While on Koh Yao Noi, Thailand, Todd and I decided to try rock climbing for the first time.  Our guide’s name was Dude and it was rad.

Making my way up "Don't Tell My Mom" wall
Making my way up “Don’t Tell My Mom” wall

64.  Thank Tom Petty in person for a lifetime of fave tunes – I was devastated upon hearing that TP had passed away in early October 2017.  He will always be my favorite.  Thank you, Tom, for my life’s playlist!

√ 65.  Join a pick-up game – While in India, we came across a group of great kids playing cricket in the street.  We stopped our tuk tuk and jumped out.  Todd taught the kids how to play volleyball, and I took my turn with the bat.

I think the kids were impressed - not.
I think the kids were impressed – not.

√ 66. Try hookah – I hate smoking, but this was different.  Very sweet taste and kinda moist.  And it didn’t make me choke and gag.

Hooka, Maldives style
Hooka, Maldives style

67.  Visit Papua New Guinea

√ 68.  Catch a fish with a  fly– I’ve done lots of fishing in my day, but never fly fished.  I loved the tranquility of being on a little Colorado creek, and watching my fish take the fly as it floated by.  I did some more fly fishing in New Zealand and landed a 24″, 5lb rainbow on the Hinemaiaia Stream, near Taupo.

My cutbow. He was sooo slippery, it was lucky we got this snap
My Colorado cutbow
My NZ rainbow

√ 69.  See the snow monkeys of Japan – Todd and I took a train from Tokyo to the tiny village of Yudanaka, near Nagano, and then hiked through the most gorgeous forest in the snow (it was f*cking freeeeezing) to see the famous monkeys bathing in the natural hot springs.

Photography was a challenge, due to all the fog coming off the hot water
Photography was a challenge, due to all the fog coming off the hot water

70.  Save a life

√ 71.  Visit an active archaeological dig – While rafting down the Gunnison River in Colorado, we pulled over to the shore and hiked up to this dig.  The archaeologists were uncovering lots of artifacts and clues to human life that were thousands of years old.

Fascinating dig
Fascinating dig visit with Mom and Mychaela

√ 72.  Step foot in North Korea – I’ve wanted to do this, just because it’s such a forbidden and mysterious place.  Todd and I traveled to the DMZ from Seoul, then to the Joint Security Area, where we entered the UN buildings, crossed over the line, and stood in North Korea.

We were over the border when we entered the blue building. The large building in the back is North Korea.
We were over the border when we crossed the line in the blue building. The large building in the back is North Korea.

73.  Read the top 100 books ever written

√ 74.  Conquer my fear of reptiles – During a recent trip to Orlando, FL, I gathered my courage and visited Gatorland, an alligator farm that also houses many other reptiles.  They offered  an ‘Alligator Wrestling’ experience, so I figured that was a great way to start to work through my distress.  I then found an area that provided a baby alligator and a python to hold.  I had never touched a snake before, due to my extreme paranoia.  After making it through both of these reptilian terrifications, I declare my fear conquered – sorta.

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Got the big guy to say Uncle 🙂

√ 75.  Earn my Advanced Level Open Water scuba certification – After passing the required land based courses and exams, I completed 5 advanced dives in Maui, including navigation, scooter and deep (100’+) dives.

Scooter diving with a couple of friends
Scooter diving with a couple of friends

76.  Observe gorillas in the wild

√ 77.  Visit the Berry Pomeroy Castle in Southern England, home of my ancestorsOne of my most awe-inspiring days was spent exploring the 600 year old castle that was built by my Pomeroy ancestors in Devon, England.  The land was given to my great (x 31) grandfather, Ralf de la Pommerai, in 1066 as a reward for serving as William the Conqueror’s chief of staff and assisting in defeating the Saxons at the Battle of Hastings to put William on the throne of England.  Being there with my entire family made it extra special.

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All 10 of us made the trip across the pond for the big visit.  The square stone above the doorway once held the Pomeroy coat of arms.

√ 78.  Try beekeeping – Todd and I were staying at Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, CA, and we were excited to see that they offered a beekeeping class.  Sign us up!

Keeping bees with my honey
Keeping bees with my honey

79.  Witness my son, Rex meet the patient he saved by donating his stem cells

√ 80.  See Shetland ponies in Shetland – It’s every little girl’s dream to have a pony, especially a Shetland pony.  I was in awe of the cuteness.

This little guy was mine for a few minutes while I visited Lerwick, Shetland.

√ 81.  Ride on an airboat in the Everglades – Cruising over the grass and lilypads of the Everglades while watching baby alligators swim beside us and big mamas guarding their nests was a thrill!

Loved my afternoon in the swamp!

√ 82.  Run a 5K in 5 different states before I turn 55 – (I hate running)  √CO √MN √PA √NV √CA  With only 2 weeks to spare, I completed my races in less pathetic times each time.  Not sure if I’ll continue trying to improve, because I learned I still really hate running 🙂

My bounty o’ bibs

√ 83.  Try geocachingWhile visiting Ojai, CA, Todd and I grabbed some GPSs and hiked the hills in search of treasure.  We found 8 caches, and were rewarded with this token from a well-known cacher.

Check out the millions of hidden caches all over the world at www.geocaching.com
Check out the millions of hidden caches all over the world at http://www.geocaching.com

84.  See the Northern Lights

√ 85.  Deliver the 1,000,000th toothbrush for Global Grins – My husband, Todd and I founded a non-profit called Global Grins.  We deliver toothbrushes around the world to people in need.  We were thrilled to reach our goal of one million toothbrushes delivered!

I am very proud that Global Grins could provide 1,000,000 people in need with a new toothbrush, a key tool for maintaining oral and overall health. We made the milestone delivery to the director of the Friendship Shelter.

√ 86.  Attend a Cubs game at Wrigley Field – Loved the tradition, the lore, the hotdogs and the neighborhood of Wrigley.

Cubs win, thanks to a grand slam!
Cubs win, thanks to a grand slam!

√ 87.  Go zorbing – I know, WTF is zorbing, right?  It was invented in Rotorua, New Zealand, and you get inside a large plastic ball filled with warm water, then roll down a hill.  I did the zig zag course.  It’s like being in a washing machine.  Not that I know what it’s like being in a washing machine, but this must be close.

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That’s me – laughing hysterically all the way down the hill 🙂

√ 88.  Win a javelin medal – I decided that I wanted to start competing in something, so Todd got me a javelin for Christmas and found a fantastic coach.

My first meet didn’t provide much competition, so my gold medal is kind of a fraud 🙂

89.  Earn a master’s degree

√ 90.  Volunteer at the Special Olympics – Rex and I were honored to volunteer for a week at the Los Angeles Special Olympic Games in the summer of 2015.  We met hundreds of athletes from all over the world who were there to compete!

Swimmers and their coach from Bahrain

√ 91.  Brew my own beerMy son, Rex and I brewed two varieties and named them  YOLT Jolt Stout (a coffee stout) and Bill’s Bench Blonde (after our favorite bench at the beach).  It took quite a while to get it just right, but the result is fantastic, especially the stout!

The finished product is brewtiful 🙂

√ 92.  Rappel down the side of a building – I was given the opportunity to rappel down 16 stories of the Irvine Co building at Newport Center, CA in support of the great organization, Shatterproof, and I jumped on it!  Adrenaline was pumping, especially going over the edge!

Don't think I'll apply for a window washing job anytime soon!
Don’t think I’ll apply for a window washing job anytime soon!

√ 93.  Send care packages to deployed soldiers – I hosted a care package prep party for some friends, where we each donated one of the requested items for all, then got together to fill the boxes with all the goodies.  Fifty boxes were sent to soldiers serving in the Middle East.

Supporting our troops!

√ 94.  Go tequila tasting in Tequila, Mexico – Todd and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in Mexico, including a visit to the town of Tequila, where we tasted and toured 🙂

Tasting silver, reposado, anejo and the muy especial La Reserva de la Familia from the barrel in Cuervo’s cellar!

√ 95.   Cliff dive/jump – The opportunity presented itself on Siargao Island in the Philippines, so I jumped on it 🙂

I swam through a cave, climbed up to a 40' ledge, then...
I swam through a cave, climbed up to a 20′ ledge, then…

96.  Throw a dart at a map, then plan a trip to where it lands

√ 97.  Try aerial yoga – I loved this class I attended in Thailand – it brought back memories of my gymnastics days.

Not quite as flexible as I used to be…

√ 98.  Throw a ceramic piece on the wheel – My friend and incredible supporter, Mary, is a master potter, and she invited me into her studio for a lesson on the wheel.

Version 2
Centering that thing is a challenge!

√ 99.  Run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain – My son, Rex and I ran Pamplona’s famous Calle Estafeta ahead of six 1500 pound bulls.  Heart rate was jacked – no bull!

San Fermin celebration in Pamplona – INSANE!

√ 100.  Swim with humpback whales – This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!  My family spent a week on the island of Moorea in Tahiti swimming with these gorgeous, gentle, intelligent creatures that happen to weigh about 80,000 pounds!

Fantastic above the surface and below!

√ 101.  Attend an air show – Todd and I went to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar’s Air Show, starring the Blue Angels.  Impressive and proud are huge understatements!

LOVED the Blue Angels!
LOVED the Blue Angels!

√ 102.  Backpack/hike in nature – Ansel Adams Wilderness Park is a gorgeous, pristine place to hike and camp!  I was lucky to spend 4 days on the trail with Todd, my bronor, Leason, his wife, Kesha and friends Thom and Andrea.

40 pound pack, 25 miles, 10,000 feet = asskicking

√ 103.  Try Kobe beef in Kobe – Todd and I were in Kobe, Japan while sailing on the spring 2016 Semester at Sea voyage, and we thought, “When in Rome Kobe…” so we found this cool spot and gave it a try.  Phenom, but intensely rich!

Our adorable chef happened to be the former karate champ of Japan!

√ 104.  Take a trip solo – I took off for a few days with myself and me to a wonderful spot in San Diego.  We mostly stayed in our room to get a huge chunk of writing done, but we made it out a few times to visit the spa.  Our neck and shoulders got very sore from sitting at the desk for hours on end and needed some attention 🙂

Secret seclusion
Secret seclusion

√ 105.  Drag race – I took a dragster driving course, jumped in the roll cage, and took 3 thrilling runs down a drag strip at over 100 mph in ⅛ mile.  After I got over my fear of driving this loud and powerful machine, I loved it.

√ 106.  Volunteer for a week in a foreign country – Mychaela and I spent a week in Costa Rica, volunteering each day at a medical clinic in the small town of Alajuelita.  We filled prescriptions, assisted the doctor, took vitals, removed lice and scheduled patients.  Very rewarding time!

volunteering cr
Bienvenido a la clinica!

√ 107.  Go canyoning – I got an intro to canyoning while wading waist deep in a 34 degree stream through a very dark cave in the highlands of Iceland.  Can’t wait for more!

Our male companions complained of major shrinkage!

√ 108.  Sail on MS The World – I was so lucky to be a guest on the largest privately owned residential yacht in the world.  It has every amenity you could imagine, but instead of cabins, it’s comprised of privately owned residences.

We sailed through the beautiful British Isles.

109.  Attend a NASCAR race

√ 110.  Learn the game of golf – This one will never be complete, but I’ve started with a lesson and then my first round in the Philippines.

First bogey!

√ 111.  Attend The Masters in Augusta, GA – I am a huge sports fan, and I consider The Masters one of the most iconic sports events on the planet.  It surpassed my expectations as an absolutely awesome experience!

My son, Rex and I enjoyed watching the final round at Augusta!

√ 112.  Attend a concert at Red Rocks, CO –  A trip to Denver magically coincided with my favorite band playing at this outrageously awesome venue, so this was a no-brainer (in more ways than one, considering the ample amount of newly legalized smokables FROM OTHER CONCERT GOERS clouding my brain as I rocked with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.)

Red Rocks
My I ❤ TP t-shirt was purchased in 1981 at my first Tom Petty show

√ 113.  Sandboard down a sand dune – While in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, my son, Rex and I explored the Qatari desert and tried to sand board down a dune.  He did pretty well.  I did not.

You can’t tell in this photo, but I’m covered in sand after crashing and landing face first!

√ 114.  Attend a show at the Grand Ole Opry – My daughter, Mychaela and I went on a weekend trip to Nashville, including this iconic show.  What a slice of Americana!

We saw 12 great acts on the famous stage 🙂

115.  Experience Burning Man

√ 116.  Visit Dracula’s castle in Transylvania – Todd and I took a trip to Eastern Europe, including a Halloween visit to Bran Castle, one-time home to the famous count!

I van to suck your blood

√ 117.  Swim with the pigs at Big Major Cay in the Exumas, Bahamas – I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for swine, and I was stoked to have a chance to jump in the water with these famous piggies!


118.  Do the splits again, after 40+ years

√ 119.  Do some painting en plein air – Todd surprised me with some painting lessons from artists I admire, so Erin and I met at the beach on a beautiful day and painted Emerald Bay’s south end.

What a fantastic way to spend the day!

120.  Circumnavigate Mont Blanc on foot

√ 121.  Visit Giant’s Causeway – This is an incredible natural landscape on Northern Ireland’s coast.  The day we visited, it was closed due to the highest winds ever recorded in Ireland, but we went around the barriers and were able to have the place to ourselves.

Recognize it from the cover of a Led Zeppelin album?

√ 122.  Experience paintball – This seemed like a fun thing to do with a group of friends, but the provided masks were smelly, the paint only came in yellow (I thought it would have been fun to be covered with a ton of colors), it was really hot in those heavy vests, and it hurt like a mo fo when I got hit!  This will be a one and done, but I’m glad I had a chance to do it, while laughing with my friends.

That’s not bird poop! It’s a head shot!

√ 123.  Smoke my own cigar – I’ve always liked the smell of cigars, and I’ve had puffs here and there, but this time I enjoyed the full experience:  cutting, lighting and smoking my own.

Partagas #4

124.  Enter the Calaveras County Frog Jumping Jubilee

125. Herd livestock on horseback

√ 126.  Participate in a paddle-out The third annual paddle-out to honor the life of my friend, Will, was on a beautiful day in Emerald Bay!

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 9.37.09 PM
I’m at 12 o’clock, on my orange and white board, with a black paddle. RIP Will.

127.  Attend the Westminster Dog Show

√ 128.  Milk a cow – While visiting a cultural center in Costa Rica, Mychaela and I came across a traditional cheese making operation, complete with cows in the yard that visitors were allowed to milk 🙂

milking cow
Udder fun!

√ 129.  Ride a mechanical bull – This was how I chose to celebrate my 55th birthday.  It was really hard to stay on that thing!

Yee Haw!

130.  Watch all the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar winners

√ 131. Visit Mustique – I’ve been intrigued with this special place since I can remember reading about it in travel magazines.  Over the storied decades, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, British royalty and many others have owned villas and partied on this private island in the Caribbean.

Gorgeous Mustique

√ 132.  Try goat yoga – I’ve done a little yoga and I have a secret dream of living on a farm, so put those together and what do you get?  That’s right – goat yoga!  I invited 25 friends to join in the fun, and I think everyone loved it as much as I did… except for the goat pee and poop on our mats 🙂

Goat Yoga!

√ 133.  Operate a giant Caterpillar tractor – I found the opportunity in Las Vegas to not only operate an excavator, but to crush a car with it!  Yes, please!  I spray painted ‘Aplastic Anemia,’ ‘Shulman’s Syndrome,’ and ‘YOLT’ on the pick up truck before I wreaked havoc with it.

Destroyed it!

134.  Sponsor a child’s wish for Make a Wish Foundation

√ 135.  Sample the goods at the Guinness factory in Dublin – I’ve always enjoyed a great stout – the stoutier the better.  Tasting at the Guinness factory was a must for me 🙂

Cheers from Dublin!

√ 136.  Host my Pi Phi sorority sisters for a reunion – 35 USC Pi Phi angels from 35 years ago descended upon my home for a fun afternoon of memories, laughter, songs and secret sh*t 🙂

Version 2

√ 137.  Attend a runway show during New York’s Fashion Week – I’m a huge fan of innovative fashion, and I’ve always been intrigued with Fashion Week.  I got my hands on tickets to a runway show during NYFW, and it was amazing!

Ontavia Roulette showed her latest creations – so great to be there for the show!

√ 138.  Take in the incredible fairy chimney landscape of Cappodocia, Turkey by hot air balloon  – I’d seen amazing photos of this landscape, but to see it in person, from a balloon was beyond breathtaking!

One of the most bizarre and gorgeous landscapes I’ve ever seen!

√ 139.  Test drive a Tesla – I got behind the wheel of my bro-in-law’s Model X and loved it!  The falcon wing doors are so cool!

I must confess my favorite thing about this car is the 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds 🙂

√ 140.  Sail (actually sail) the Greek islands – A group of friends chartered a catamaran in Greece for a week.  We had a blast as we island hopped through the Aegean, getting sailing lessons from our captain, Yiannis.

Learning how to tack, trim the sails, and avoid the boom 🙂

√ 141. Ride along on a police patrol – I spent about 5 hours patrolling the streets of Orange, CA (my hometown) with Officer C in his squad car during his night shift.  We responded to several calls:  a domestic disturbance, an overdose, a suspicious parked car, and a stolen vehicle.  The last one was considered a high risk felony:  several squad cars with lights flashing, several officers with guns drawn, K-9 officers, handcuffs, pat downs and a high speed pursuit!

With Officer C and our pimped out Charger squad car

√ 142.  Witness the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular – One of my favorite trips ever was a visit to NYC in December with girlfriends, where we geeked out doing all things Christmas, including taking in the fabulous Rockettes!

Those kicks!

√ 143. Visit the NFL Hall of Fame – I’m a big sports fan, and I’ve watched NFL games my entire life, so I loved wandering around the Hall, checking out the incredible exhibits.  It was extra special to visit with two friends who had fathers who played for the Rams and Bears in the 1950s.

Put me in, Coach!

√ 144. Walk a high wire – On a very windy, cold day in the Arizona desert, my friends Cindy, Lisa, Sommer and I challenged ourselves by walking the high wire at Miraval Spa, near Tucson.

35′ in the air

√ 145.  Ride a horse in the ocean – I always thought it would be so much fun to ride a horse on a beach, so I signed up for a beach ride while on Mustique.  I was pleasantly shocked when the horses not only rode along the water’s edge, but went in for a swim!

Thrilling soak!

√ 146.  Experience virtual reality – This opportunity presented itself while wandering the outstanding halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  I was in the oceans pavilion, when I spied museum peeps offering guests a chance to “swim” with the largest creatures in the ocean, including whales, giant squid and huge sharks!

Swimming with giant ocean dwellers right there on my green stool!

√ 147. Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – I spent my teen years collecting rock and roll albums and listening to my favorites:  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Boston and many more.  I finally had the opportunity to visit the Rock Hall in Cleveland, OH, and I absolutely loved it!

Rock On!

148.  Attend the Monaco Grand Prix F1 Race

√ 149.  Try a fish pedicure – It’s bizarre, but always wanted to try this.  It feels SO weird! For some reason, these Honduran fish really loved chomping on my right foot’s dead skin more than my left…

My niece, Andie and I could NOT stop laughing while the fish nibbled away 🙂

149.  Climb Mount Fuji

√ 150. Check out the Pan Am Experience – North of LA, on an airplane movie set, is one of the coolest offerings for a unique night out.  From the moment you enter the “terminal,” you are taken back to the early 1970s, complete with vintage Pan Am check in counters, vintage Pan Am uniforms, vintage luggage, vintage cocktails, vintage Pan Am glassware, vintage Pan Am 747 cabin, chateaubriand carving cart, vintage magazine cart,  vintage duty free cart, and so much more!  Such fun!!!

About to board!

√ 151.  Participate in a painting exhibit – The Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art hung about 25 of my paintings for a show in March, 2020, and it was a wonderful experience!

I sold a few pieces, too 🙂

26 thoughts on “Buttkick List

  1. HI – Its Vivian from BTM. We met today at the Bone Marrow Reunion at City of Hope. I have read some of your blog. Your story and WOW. It was such an honor and pleasure to meet you and your family and THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you for that beautiful smile you had today. Your amazing Spirit and for inspiring me to keep doing what Im doing. Adding more people into the registry and helping to save lives. YOU ARE A TRULY BLESSED.


    1. Vivian! YOU are SO amazing in all that you do to help others! It was an honor to meet you and speak with you about Be The Match! I wish everyone could understand the profound opportunity it is to save a life! Thank you for speaking on camera! Your big moments on screen were just posted in my May 30 “On Second Chance” entry 🙂 You utterly ROCK! XO


  2. The list is beyond grand and what you have already accomplished is fantastic! You are an inspiration to make every day a great day. Way to make it happen!


  3. I am going to get you on that damn lawnmower if it kills me! xoxo
    I can’t believe I have done a few things that you haven’t on your list….but I want to help you with some of your bucket list items! TTF


  4. Dear Joselyn (&Todd),
    I am glad I had the honor meeting you both. The story you shared is an example and should be taught at school. The love you show and give to each other could be felt when I was talking with you.
    I’m proud I had the chance to join you for the 57th line. Be sure I’ll remember the moment we spent together all my life.
    I hope we’ll keep in touch and I’ll have the pleasure to see you again.


    1. Margot – We were so fortunate to have met you at La Bastide! We loved spending time together while hunting for truffles! We will never forget our adventure with you! Thank you for the kind words and for taking such good care of us! XO


  5. This was an awesome post! I am not nearly as adventurous as you, but we still share some of the same dreams. I’ve even done a couple of things that you haven’t, while you’ve done lots that I haven’t. I have a get to do everything on your list. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love it! Trekking for gorillas is amazing! Visit Dracula’s Castle on Halloween for an extra spook! Have fun checking off your Buttkick List. You gave me a lot of ideas of things to add to my list as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Megan – We’ll be in Romania a few days before Halloween, so hopefully the castle will be in the mood 🙂 I know they don’t celebrate Halloween as a country, but I guess they give the castle visitors what they want!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the locals in Brasov seem to at least get dressed up for the party at Bran Castle. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful experience. The fall scenery is also gorgeous during that time of year. Safe travels!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m just trying to process how many things you have done! It seems it would take 100 years. Just one of those things would feel like a huge life goal to me. Good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! Your buttkick list is pretty serious! I have done a few, but it seems to me that you have lived quite the extreme life! My favorite on your list was swimming with whale sharks though – that must have been so incredible! Did they make sounds underwater? My husband has “mushed” a dog sled and raves about it too. He said that the dogs truly loved their “job” and that it was a wonderful experience. Hope you achieve them all!


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