It seems like spring only just arrived—at least in these parts—and yet it’s already time to start plotting out summer adventures. Even though I hail from the sweltering South, summer happens to be my favorite time of year. The hotter, the better.
I’m heading to the Gulf Coast on Sunday to partner with Travel Mindset and Panama City Beach tourism on a summer bucket list campaign and thought it an appropriate time to round up some things I want to tackle during my travels (and at home in Nashville) in the coming months.
1. Wreck dive in Panama City Beach. When we recently dove the Vandenberg in Key West, fellow divers told us we must check out all the historic wreck sites scattered along the Gulf Coast. All the years I’ve spent going to the Panhandle on family vacation, I never knew it was such a mecca for military vessel carnage!
2. Attend Bonnaroo for the fifth time. Sure, I’ve done it before, but each year is different (and dare I say always a little bit better than the last). And with Jack White, Kanye West, Elton John, Lionel Ritchie, the Avett Brothers, Broken Bells and hundreds of other acts on the lineup, I can’t wait for this year’s music fest. Bonus: I grew up in the county and have accommodation just a couple miles down the road from the Farm, so no camping necessary for this festival-goer!
3. Visit a new country. Last year I was in Europe working on the ship for eight weeks, and surprisingly only one (Russia) of the 19 countries we docked in was new to me. This time around, I’ll be seeing three new nations—Croatia (three ports of call), Montenegro (one stop), Slovenia (one stop)—while on the Royal Clipper for family vacation.
4. Rent a villa in Sicily. After our 11-night Mediterranean cruise, SVV and I will be flying to his former home—he was stationed there in the U.S. Navy from 1997 to 2000—for a week of beachside birthday bliss (he turns 40 on July 4!). Problem is: We still haven’t found a place to rent! (Anyone have any Sicilian hookups they want to send our way?) But we do know we’ll wind up in a villa somewhere with close proximity to the coast.
5. Glimpse the Florida coastline via helicopter. As silly as it sounds, I’ve always been mildly terrified to go up in a chopper. I know, I know, you’re shocked as that totally sounds like something in my wheelhouse. And it’s not the heights that scare me in the slightest; rather, it’s the fear I’ll have a claustrophobia-induced panic attack once up there. However, I did manage to go up in a glider while in Hawaii and live to tell the tale, so I’m confident I can tackle this fear, as well, if given the chance….
6. Tour Montana’s Glacier Park. I’m heading to Montana for a week in early June with a group of adventurous friends, and I’m wishin’ (and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’) that we have better weather this go around. SVV and I spent three weeks in Big Sky Country back in 2011…three weeks during which it rained and snowed incessantly (but we still loved every last minute of our time there). In fact, much of Glacier National Park was still closed due to being buried under feet of powder. I’d really love to participate in some warm-weather fun, this go, so fingers crossed Mother Nature cooperates!
7. Journey out to Shell Island by pontoon boat. Again, I’ve been to the Gulf countless times and yet knew nothing of this little slice of paradise until I read Jade’s adventures from her trip to PCB last summer. Private beach? Bottle-nosed dolphins? Yes, please!
8. Attend my first NYC wedding. My dear friend (and former boss) Josh is getting married on a rooftop in Chelsea over Memorial Day weekend. Despite having lived there, I’ve actually never attended a New York wedding and am absolutely stoked about the venue they chose!
9. Drink (more) bourbon in Louisville. Sure, I’ve been to Kentucky three times in the past two years, but that doesn’t mean I won’t go back for a fourth! I’ve been dying to show SVV just why I love Louisville so much, and I think we’ll try to get up there for a weekend sometime in July or August (after all, it’s just three hours by car from us). Did someone say bourbon?
Now, you tell me: What’s on your (realistic) summer bucket list? What do you already have planned, and what would you like to add to the docket?
The participants in this Bucket List campaign will be in Panama City from May 4 to 7; you can follow all of our adventures on Travel Mindset or via the #PCBeachBucketList hashtag on social media. And if you live in the area, please let me know in the comments below so I can invite you to the awesome kick-off party we are throwing!