Cruise – Take One

Cruises look like a fun way to see new places and experience new things.  While I may go with a typical Alaskan or Caribbean type cruise, I am also interested in a few speciality cruises.

One possibility is a bluegrass cruise.

First Quality Bluegrass Cruise – $799 – $999

In addition to the typical Caribbean Cruise type activities, this cruise features Bluegrass entertainment from some of the top touring bands in the genre.

Another is a celebrity cruise like:

Top Chef at Sea

There are several destinations to choose from and each features various former cheftestants from the Top Chef series on Bravo.

The cruises feature:

  • Meet the show’s chef’testants
  • Sample some of their creations
  • Attend chef demonstrations, private cooking classes, special dinners (with menus they’ve created)
  • Participate in Quickfire Challenges
  • Enjoy dishes prepared from their recipes in the Main Restaurant during Top Chef Night

Prices range from about $800 – 2000 per person for the Caribbean cruise to $1500 – $3600 for the European cruise.

Masterchef Cruise

This cruise features chef Graham Elliott plus several popular contestants from the Masterchef series.  The cruise features tips, recipes and cooking demos from chefs and contestants and Masterchef themed activities like the “mystery box challenge” and “pressure test.”

Prices range from: $1800 – $3800 per person

I will update the blog when I’m ready to plan my cruise.




Street Festivals – Visit one in Every State

Most towns have some sort of annual festival.  They celebrate everything from famous events, to products that made their debut to food the region is known for. Some of these events are better than others, but they all have their charms. I would like to attend at least one in every state.

I will update the blog when I’m ready to make plans.


Nerd Conventions – Attend One

There are a number of expos and conventions dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, comic books, video games and various other aspects of “nerd culture.”

For this bucket list item I would like to attend at least one of these conventions.

Some leading candidates are:

PAX – the largest gaming specific convention open to the public

Comic Con – San Diego – Largest comic con – focus on comics, cosplay, etc, but also includes some gaming, movies, tv, etc

C2E2 – latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games

I’m more into gaming, sci fi & fantasy than comic books and cos-play, so PAX or C2E2 would probably appeal more than Comic Con, but Comic Con is one of the iconic events in nerd-dom.

I will update the blog when I am ready to plan my trip.


State Fair – Attend one in Every State

From the rides, to the people watching to the food, there’s plenty to excite, amuse and befuddle at a State Fair.

So far, I have attended State Fairs in Illinois and North Carolina. I would like to attend a State Fair in every state that has one.

The Arkansas State Fair seems like the most logical place to start.  The next one is Oct. 10-19 2014.

I will update the blog when I am ready to attend my next fair.


Austin – Visit

The thing about Austin that is most appealing to me is the music scene.  Austin is also one of the closer destinations on my bucket list at 405 miles from Hot Springs.

As with the others, this trip will depend on getting in decent shape and having the money.

A rough estimate of costs:

Plane Tickets: $330 or Gas: $130 or $170 Amtrak

Hotel: $100 per night

Food: $30 per day

Misc: $500

With that much price difference I will probably opt to drive over taking a plane, particularly since that would also allow me to not depend on public transportation or have to rent a car when I get there.

Total Cost: $650 + $130 per day

I will update the blog when I am ready to plan my trip.



San Francisco – Visit

San Francisco just looks like an interesting city to me, which is the main reason I would like to visit.

The visit will happen when I am in good traveling shape and have the money.

A rough estimate of the costs is:

Plane Tickets: $525

Hotel: $150 per day

Food: $30 per day

Misc: $25 per day

Total: $200 per day + $525

I will update the blog when I am ready to plan my trip.


Las Vegas – Visit

I’m not a big time gambler, but I do enjoy visiting a casino now and then.  I would love to visit Las Vegas, see a show or two, do some gambling and see the sights.

As with my other trips, this one is contingent on getting in better traveling shape and money.

A rough estimate of the costs:

Plane Tickets: $450

Hotel: $200 – $300 per night

Food: $30 per day

Gambling Money: $1000

Misc: $500

Total: $2000 + $300 per day

I sometimes get offers from casinos for discounted rooms at various Vegas properties, but I don’t visit casinos that often anymore, so I’m not counting on that.

I will update the blog when I am ready to plan my trip.


New York City – Visit

New York City is one of the most iconic cities in the United States.  The city has some of everything.  Whether you want to eat, shop, catch a sporting event, a broadway show or whatever else, you can probably do it in New York.

My New York trip is contingent on getting in good enough shape to be able to do a lot of walking and fit in a plane seat and having the money to make the trip.

A rough estimate of the cost would be:

Plane Tickets: $300

Hotel: $150 – $200 a night

Food: $30 per day

Misc: $25 per day

Total: $250 per day + $300

I will update the blog when I’m ready to plan my trip.



Souvenirs – Collect One from Every State

I’m a sucker for a good souvenir shop and I particularly like state specific souvenirs.

For this bucket list item, I would like to collect at least one souvenir from every state.  I will likely be doing this item in conjunction with the tourist attraction item, since tourist attractions are usually prime spots for souvenirs.

I will update the blog when I collect my first souvenir.

Five Star Hotel – Spend a Night

I have always enjoyed staying in hotels.  I don’t know why exactly.  Maybe it was because my dad was so bound and determined to drive straight through on our rare family trips, that actually getting to stop at a hotel seemed like a special treat.

I generally try to avoid cheap motels when I’m traveling, but I have yet to stay in a true five-star hotel.

The Forbes Travel guide has a list of four and five-star hotels.  I will most likely keep an eye out for hotels I could stay at during a trip not planned specifically for this list item, but a couple of hotels that appeal to me are:

The Ranch at Rock Creek because Montana is a place I’d like to visit and this property is unique.

The Umstead Hotel & Spa because I have friends in the area.