Look on the Bright Side

Everyone copes with life in some way or another. Some embrace the grisly details with spine-tingling excitement like Harry. Others, like Sally, blithely turn their heads to see a more chipper scenario. I’m a lot like Sally. I call myself an optimist.

My idealist switch flipped on sometime when I was a child and I’m really unsure how to turn it off. This Walter Mittyish tendency of mine often leaves me stuck at the corner of Surprised and Disenchanted. When it comes to My List, I frequently imagine grander-than-life adventures complete with Instagram filters and super cool slow motion effects. (My favorite is Brooklyn, but that’s an entirely different post.) Maybe it’s because I’m a Generation Y Yuppy, but regardless of the cause of my perky imagination, I’m grateful for it. The List, and ensuing fantasies, keep me moving, expecting, discovering, and propelling me into new excursions. It opens my mind, my palate, and my heart, and however picture-perfect—albeit imaginary—my expectations can be, I feel like a better person for it.

For laughs, because, after all, laughing is good for you, I’ve compiled a group of some events I dreamed would go one way, but actually turned out less wondrous. Enjoy.

I imagined kayaking like this:

kayaking-full

But in Florida, sans rapids, it looks more like this:

kayaking

In my head, meeting the President would be like this:

jibjab9-crop-low1

But sometimes you have to settle in life.

president

Paddleboarding? You probably already read my post about it, but in my perfect world:

Paddleboarding-Surfing-La-001

Instead,…

paddleboarding

Do you have any experiences that you imagined to be spectacular, but they fell a little short of that dream? Were you able to enjoy it anyway?

Meet the/a President

An item that’s wavered on my list for a while has been “Meet the/a President.”  It’s not officially on the list, but still always in the back of my mind.  In ways, I feel like I’ve met the goal already.

In May of 2010 I took a trip with a couple friends to South Dakota.  My good friend grew up there, so it was somewhat of a reunion for her and a completely new experience for me.  We planned activities we’re seldom able to do in Florida, if at all: hiking, horseback riding through a mountain, camping, roasting marshmallows, driving down windy roads, oohing and aahhing at Mount Rushmore, gambling, and petting buffalo.  Ok, we didn’t really pet buffalo.  But we had a few buffalo burgers.  I’ve gotta say, I’m not a fan.

Anyway, we stayed a few nights in the small town of Rapid City before making our way to Mount Rushmore.  The city features statues of all the Presidents past, so we had great fun posing with each and every one.

When we finally saw Mount Rushmore, I was impressed.  It’s truly breathtaking and worth a visit.  I couldn’t believe the wave of patriotism that washed over me as I stood directly in front of the masterpiece.  The museum they have there does an excellent job describing the difficulty of so precisely blasting the side of a mountain piece by piece.  The spectacle wasn’t created with a computer or lasers; this thing was made by packs of dynamite, dedicated workers hanging by threads, and sheer bravery.

If visiting Mount Rushmore (or meeting a President) is on your list, I encourage you to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota.  It’s a great vacation for outdoorsy types.  Definitely go starting in June when the weather is nice and there is a decent amount of tourists.  Those little towns in that area thrive solely on tourism, so most things are shut down any time before early summer.

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