PCB Bucket List

My Ultimate Summer Bucket List

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

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.

Summer Bucket List

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!

Vandenberg wreck dive

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.

Star Clipper

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.

Summer Bucket List

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….

Florida coast

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!

Summer Bucket List

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!

Josh and Kurt

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?

Willett 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!

  • April 28, 2014

    What a fun summer!!!!

  • April 28, 2014

    I love your list! I definitely want to go to Montana’s Glacier Park at some point, too! (I started making a few pinterest boards of short term & long term travel destinations, in fact.)

    I just responded via the Twitter but am psyched for Iceland/Ireland this summer, as well as trips to Boston and more local music fests (Firefly & WXPN).

    Can’t wait to read about your adventures! πŸ™‚ Happy travels, and happy early bday to SVV! (PS – when is Philly going to be on your to-do?!?!)

    • April 28, 2014

      I know, I know! I’ve been waiting for when someone gives me a reason to go (for work, that is…)! I am thinking next time I’m in NYC for more than a weekend, I need to hop the train and come see you. Philly is on my list for sure.

  • April 28, 2014

    Wow, what a fantastic summer you have coming up! That time in Sicily sounds especially nice, and I like that you are doing that for your man’s 40th birthday. I look forward to seeing your updates.
    My summer will not be as full as yours, but I’m really looking forward to 3 months off work starting May 20, beginning with a few days around Yosemite/Mono Lake and Columbia in the CA gold country. Then I’ll be attending an exciting teaching conference and staying in the Bay Area (always fun). Not sure about the details for the rest of June, but July brings one month in Brazil with a road trip through Minas Gerais, and August will be in Washington visiting my dad. Can’t wait!

    • April 28, 2014

      Yeah, month in Brazil…you certainly don’t have a “full summer” coming up πŸ˜‰

      (That sounds amazing.)

  • April 28, 2014

    Love your post! What a packed summer you have in store.

    I actually lived in Panama City Beach for a year and never did any of the excursions you mentioned. I really missed out! The hubs and I are really trying to make it out to Glacier National Park in Montana. Really looking forward to your posts from that trip.

    On my list so far this summer is Anna Maria Island, Boise, Atlanta and Los Angeles — though I wish there were some Europe plans in there.

    • April 28, 2014

      I’ve never been to Boise! That’s actually on my “would-like-to-visit-someday” list. Anna Maria Island looks gorgeous, and I’ve never been there either!

      • April 28, 2014

        We’re going to Boise for my sister-in-law’s wedding so hoping we can find time to get out and explore a bit. I’m not entirely sure what all there is to do in the area yet but looking forward to making it an adventure.

        And you have to find time to visit Anna Maria! It’s a wonderful island off the west Florida coast near Bradenton. Sugar sand, crystal blue waters and an amazing atmosphere. We actually got married there last year and are going back to celebrate our first anniversary!

  • April 28, 2014

    RE: Glacier. I lived outside GNP for a while, and in early June, a lot still isn’t open. You can watch the plowing progress on the Going-to-the-Sun Road on their website, which is always entertaining. But even if the full thing isn’t open, you have to check out the Avalanche Lake hike. It’s not the most adventurous, but it’s right inside the park and will be open. It’s fun and easy, but the runoff is so high and fast during June that it makes for incredible photos.

    • April 28, 2014

      That was what happened to us last time! We were there for three weeks in June and most of GP was closed. I’m hoping at least some of Going-to-the-Sun Road is open this go ’round!

  • April 28, 2014

    I didn’t know you were going to Croatia/Slovenia! We were just there in August and September of last year. It is so beautiful. Let me know where you’re headed!

    • April 28, 2014

      I am! Croatia for three stops (Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj) and Slovenia (Piran) for a day…any must-dos for any of those?

  • April 28, 2014

    Your list looks so awesome!! I’m so excited to read about your Panama posts. I am obsessed now with it because of Alex’s posts and travels there. (alexfromwanderland.com)

    My summer bucket list isn’t as appealing or exciting. I don’t do much during the summer besides going to my local pool. :-\ Maybe I should visit my family in California. haha.

    • April 28, 2014

      I keep telling Alex Panama needs to hire her as their official company ambassador because I, too, want to go there now (and I’ve been before but only for three quick days)!

  • April 28, 2014
    Cheryl Wilson

    Hi Kristin, loved your post about the helicopter ride along the Florida coast. My husband and I did that a few years ago and loved it. And I have a touch of claustrophobia too, but it didn’t affect me on the helicopter πŸ™‚

  • April 28, 2014

    Although it’s not a villa, I’m currently renting this apartment in Sicily via Airbnb and absolutely love the location! You might be looking for something a little more luxurious for such a big birthday, but this little town of Canneto on Lipari is peaceful and relatively tourist-free πŸ™‚

  • April 28, 2014

    Ooooh, I love Glacier! I hope it’s clear enough for you to go on the Going to the Sun Road! SUCH a gorgeous drive!!


    • April 28, 2014

      Me, too; me, too; me, too! (*fingers crossed*)

  • April 28, 2014

    Well, my summer bucketlist isn’t as exciting as years prior.

    It’s the first year since 2011 that I’m not visiting at least 9 new countries…

    But it’ll be fun, regardless.

    On my (realistic) summer bucketlist

    1. Move to Santa Monica
    2. Start freelance writing some articles for magazines
    3. Visit Montreal for the first time
    4. Finish writing my grandmother’s biography
    5. Read at least 3 books (it’s so hard to find the time!)
    6. Get Scuba certified
    7. Envy all of my friends travel this year haha

    • April 28, 2014

      That’s still a pretty packed summer, though I’m confused why “come visit your favorite pup in Nashville” isn’t on that list…? πŸ˜‰

  • April 28, 2014

    Great list. I love the variety! I will be anxious to see what you think of the wreck dive. I’ve only done one wreck dive and it was horrifying, but I was a brand new diver. I need to try it again and see if I like it better a second time around.

    • April 28, 2014

      a) I can’t wait to meet you!

      b) I will be sure and fill you in on the PCB diving if I get the opportunity =)

      c) I’m sitting next to Keryn in Seattle right now, and she’s trying to get Jade and me to babysit the six boys so you and she can hit the town (HA).

  • April 28, 2014

    First, enjoy Sicily! Mike’s family is from there and it’s on my list to get there one day, to see the little plot of land that’s still in the family.

    Anyway, I have trips to NYC, Austin (twice!), Florida, and San Diego planned this summer and I want to steal away sometime in August because it’s August. So maybe California? We’ll see!

    Enjoy your many travels, lady.

    • April 28, 2014

      Some of my favorite places! I wish we had a chance to get back to Austin this summer as it was SO COLD and rainy while we were there earlier this month.

  • April 28, 2014

    Sounds like a nice vacation – the Balkans are a fantastic destination sailing to various areas and islands – it’s so much fun!

    • April 28, 2014

      I can’t wait! Any experiences we must do? We’ll be in Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj, Piran and Kotor.

  • April 28, 2014

    #9 is always my goal. More bourbon, always.
    Can’t wait to see some posts from Sicily!

    • April 28, 2014

      This is why we’re (virtual)(soon-to-be-real-life?) friends.

      • April 28, 2014

        Yes! Hoping we can meet up this summer. Either memorial weekend or in June.

  • April 28, 2014

    Oh my word, this sounds like an excellent summer ahead of you! I don’t have anything specific on my bucket list, but my overall goal is to do more exploring of the awesome city in which I live. Last summer we were so frazzled with the move and also summer being Swede’s busy season (sailing) that we didn’t have a lot of exploring time. Hopefully we have our bearings a little better this time and can maximize our free time to rediscover Chicago.

  • April 29, 2014

    Oh boy… I want holidays πŸ˜€
    Your picture are great !

  • April 29, 2014

    My bucket list is going to be see Kristin once a month. So far, I think we can accomplish that! πŸ™‚ See ya next week!

  • April 29, 2014

    That dive site in PCB sounds awesome! Wish I could join you guys, but at least I can snorkel!

  • April 29, 2014

    Are you ever home?!? You are heading all over the place this summer! I’m going to Europe and Israel for a month for my “bucket list” this year. πŸ™‚

  • April 30, 2014

    Wow, seems like you are going to have a great and busy summer!! Sicily is really lovely, great people and delicious food! We have plans to travel around in South America this summer, can’t wait! πŸ™‚

  • April 30, 2014

    mmm I love bourbon!!! Such a great list, enjoy the music festival! This summer with India in monsoon I’m determined to spend more time in the jungle

  • April 30, 2014

    Wow! Looks like you have an incredible summer lined up! The wreck dive and bonnaroo are right up our alley. Renting a villa in Sicily doesn’t sounds too bad either. We are currently in Israel enjoying the heat, new friends, and incredible food. We are heading back to Toronto for world pride at the end of June. We’re also heading to Florida in August; Miami to be exact, and the Everglades, and in September we are visiting Varadero and Havana in Cuba, and possible trip to CuraΓ§ao in December is also in the works. As for all the time in between, who knows?! πŸ™‚
    Have a great summer!

  • April 30, 2014

    thanks for sharing this excellent experience, nice pictures

  • April 30, 2014

    Okay, I know it didn’t work out this year…. but on my 2015 summer bucket list is BONNAROO WITH KRISTIN! πŸ˜‰ Let’s make it happen!

  • May 2, 2014

    What an action packed summer! I’m doing some housesitting in Vancouver and Calgary here in Canada, then I’m headed back to where I was raised in Atlantic Canada to watch my sister get married. After that, Mexico!

  • May 3, 2014

    What a great list and that all in one summer! I am a really jealous. On our list is just a few things walking in the alpes, visiting luxembourg city and a nice citytrip.

  • May 5, 2014

    Summer is definitely the season that I love the most! My bucketlist is also prepared so I am very excited! πŸ™‚

  • May 6, 2014

    Our bucket list this summer:

    Tour Missouri – we live here but we are doing the staycation with our son
    -lake of the ozarks (annual but we switch it up with different activities)
    -camping and floating on Huzzah River
    -hannibal, mo
    -elephant rock
    -alley springs
    -johnson shut-ins
    -st louis zoo
    -warm spring ranch
    -missouri botanical gardens for the lego display

    into the fall we are heading over to KC to do some sightseeing

    Side note: you should check out harbor country in Michigan. Went once but want to go back.

  • May 7, 2014

    Wow! That sounds like it could be someone’s LIFE bucket list! Glacier National Park is beautiful though.

    All I have planned so far is a week in Park City, UT. Which is surprisingly beautiful in the summer!

  • May 7, 2014

    Sounds like a pretty great summer bucket list to me.

  • May 7, 2014

    Sounds like an awesome summer!

    On my summer bucket list is exploring more of North America. I currently have plans to go to Canada and Alaska, and would love to make it to Mexico, too! The Yucatan is calling my name…

  • May 11, 2014

    What a great list. I love all your activities for summer especially, going back to places. I like exploring the new but I’m also delighted to go back to a place that I’ve already been to, to explore further or from a completely different angle!
    My bucket list this summer is to introduce my husband and son to both Thailand and Indonesia. I have been a few times, back in the day, but they haven’t. I can’t wait to see their reaction to my favourite continent!

  • May 17, 2014

    These are absolutely amazing place. I wish I could visit even just one of them.

  • May 23, 2014

    Oh! I don’t think we’ll see each other when you’re in Sicily πŸ™ I don’t have any villa hookups there but let me know if you’re having difficulty finding a place to stay!

  • June 5, 2014

    You have a great list of stuff planned out to do this summer. I would totally be happy doing all of those things. I am getting my scuba diving certification this summer so that I can also go diving in the near future!

Leave a Comment