Friday, April 8, 2011

This Week's Bucket List Additions 12

Spring is here and rebirth is in the air.  Spring always makes me think of joyful celebrations.  This week, I'm adding things to my bucket list that fill me with a sense of childlike joy.

-Have an Ohanami.  Difficulty Rating  2 out of 10:
In Japan, they have a springtime tradition know as 'ohanami' or 'flower viewing party'.  When the world starts to bloom, everyone gathers together with friends and family beneath the beautiful Sakura trees for a picnic and they celebrate life.  During ancient times, I hear they would also have poetry contests. Ohanami picnic parties are so popular that the news in Japan reports the cherry blossom forecast every night until the cherry blossom front sweeps through the whole country.

Copyright Jeff Howick 2011
Copyright Jeff Howick 2011

I love picnics and spring.  I think this is a wonderful tradition from a culture I already love, so it should be no surprise that I want to make this one of my own families' traditions.  I've already made plans to have my first ohanami next week and I hope to continue the tradition every spring.  For the Japanese, the Sakura blossoms are a metaphor for live: beautiful and fleeting and a reminder to make the most with the short time we all have here.

-Visit Harry Potter World.  Difficulty Rating 6 out of 10:
I remember the first time I read Harry Potter.  I was at the beach during a family vacation and I borrowed my sister's copy to see what all the fuss was about.  I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything other than read day and night until I had finished that book. I love the magical joy of the Harry Potter series.  But perhaps even more than the story, I love how excited people got about reading.  Anytime people get dressed up for a midnight release party celebrating a book, my heart fills with joy.

My Book Nook
Copyright Jeff Howick 2011

When I heard that Universal Orlando was opening a theme park zone dedicated to Harry Potter, I knew that I would have to make a journey there to pay homage to a series that revealed the joys of reading to so many people and to live in Harry's magical world one more time.

-Kiss my wife in a hot air balloon. Difficulty Rating 4 out of 10:
Who doesn't want to make out in a hot air ballon?  Drifting slowly over beautiful landscapes, held aloft by heat and passion.  If I could only travel by bike and hot air ballon for the rest of my life, I think I'd be pretty happy.  Hot air ballons are pure romance and I love seeking romance and finding it with my wife.

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