Being Better at it all at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Waterfall hike at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, CaliforniaDating and transitioning to something serious with a four year old in tow while you’re still married (only because of legal issues) and writing publicly about your life isn’t easy. Even typing it makes me laugh. I feel like it’s a screenplay for a horrible chick flick. But it’s my life and I’m trying to find the balance. Athena’s dad has been out of the country for the last month, leaving me with Athena full-time. I love our time together and I appreciate that so many mothers never get this opportunity but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is draining. I have a shorter fuse and it trickles into all aspects of my life. My boyfriend, another bizarre thing to say and type, has been more than accommodating. I’m constantly in shock with his kindness and understanding, especially for someone without children of his own. Visiting Fairmont Grand Del Mar was my way of balancing the insanity in my life right now. With nanny services, the Explorer’s Club, a pool, a spa, and 5-star dining, we could spend time with Athena and still have time for ourselves. We spent an entire afternoon in the pool and a full day at Legoland but we took one full day for ourselves and it was magical. Thank you, Fairmont Grand Del Mar! You’re a life saver. Continue reading

Horsing Around at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Sunset at Drakesbad Guest Ranch, Lassen Volcanic National ParkLast week during our northern California trip to Shasta Cascade area, we stayed in cabins, camped in tents, slept in a loft next to a river, hiked to mountain tops and deep valleys, explored caves, kayaked rivers, and had close encounters with birds and bats. There were tons of first time experiences and opportunities for adventure, but the best part of the trip was horseback riding at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Athena rode on horses before but I have a feeling this is the one that she’ll remember.  Continue reading

Finding the Passion Again

DoubleTree Pool Fun

Almost six years ago, Bucket List Publications started as a pure labor of love. I combined all of my greatest passions into one and the blog was born. The more it grew, the less it was my “baby” and the more it became a source of income and a job. I would have never imagined I could make a living doing it but it has really come a long way. I’ve experienced some of the greatest adventures available around the world because of Bucket List Publications and most of my travels and experiences were offered in exchange for coverage on the site. That might not have been a good thing though. I stopped posting daily because I couldn’t keep up and I put less of my personal life and more generic travels. I also didn’t have the time to reply to all of the comments coming in and some ladies who had become really great friends drifted off. I was reminded of that today and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d like to get back to what I love and enjoy the community that I created here. With that comes a lot of backtracking on what has been happening in my life. So here’s a quick update.  Continue reading

Legoland’s Miniland New York

Legoland California Miniland USA

Legoland California recently unveiled the tallest LEGO building in the United Stats just a few days before Independence Day. Athena and I attended the special opening to get us in the July 4th spirit. Accompanied by our best friends, we watched the red, white, and blue confetti rocket through the sky as Legoland California unveiled the One World Trade Center in the newly remodeled Miniland New York, located in the park’s Miniland USA. We always love exploring the park, but it’s such a treat to experience special openings. Athena soaks up the royal treatment yet she’s always appreciative and filled with wonder and excitement.  Continue reading

New Beginnings at a Familiar Place

Camping in Fundy National Park

In the last month, Athena and I drove 52 hours across the continent to the open, loving arms of our family and friends in Nova Scotia, Canada and then another 52 hours to return to a familiar place but with a new outlook on life. Most of you already know by now that Athena and I are starting a new adventure on our own, but we’ve decided to do it from southern California. It has become our home. We are happiest near the ocean, in the sunshine, and surrounded by all the possibilities that SoCal offers. I’m not ready to give up on our beautiful life in California just yet.  Continue reading

With the Whole World at My Doorstep‏

Sunset at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

I had the entire world at my doorstep and I just couldn’t make it to the door anymore. The walls were too big and my heart was too empty to fill any of the space. It was too far.

I haven’t been writing in weeks and I’ve left you all in the dark with no replies or sharing. Many of you are like family but how can I write a bucket list related post when my life is falling apart? How can I be encouraging you to go after your dreams when mine are all gone? Last week, I left my home, my friends, and my life in California because my husband and I separated. I drove across the country to uncertainty once again only this time I’m doing it with a child, no job, no direction, and no courage. What’s to come? I have no idea. Continue reading

Athena’s Mall of America Bucketlist

Carousel at Mall of AmericaMany of my trips include Athena and I try to incorporate fun activities that she will enjoy into my schedule, but my trip to Mall of America was all about her. From morning until night, I allowed her to choose every activity, every ride, every meal, every store, and almost every stop. (Sometimes I needed a bathroom break or to check in to the hotel, but the rest was up to her.) What resulted was one of the most amazing trips for both of us and a bucketlist adventure that we should allow our children at least once in their young lives. When she’s having fun, I’m usually having fun. Watching her make decisions also showed me how capable she is and how much she’s grown. Come along on Athena’s bucketlist version of Mall of America.  Continue reading