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Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 | 4 comments

So, What Happened with 2013′s Bucket List?

Last January, I published a bucket list for 2013.

I did the same for 2012.  Because that initial list yielded positive results, I went ahead and wrote (and share) a brand new list for 2013.

My bucket list was somewhat different from what I have seen published in other websites. Yes, I included things I have wanted to do in a long time. However, the emphasis was on local adventures and spots close to where I live (about 100 miles). I would have liked to include my plans for traveling around the globe, a list of 10+ countries to visit or a stay on a location for half a year. But that wasn’t realistic and I am not the kind of person who writes stuff just because.

So, what happened to the list?

I am happy to report that I was able to complete about two thirds of the items on it. The only negative is that I wasn’t able to tackle the biggies like going out of state or doing two international trips.

Anyway, I still think the experience was affirmative. It helped me to focus on what I really wanted to do and served as a guide on decisive moments.

 Point Vicente, Palos Verdes, California

Here is what I accomplished and what I didn’t (with some comments):

What I Accomplished

  • Hike around Malibu – Walked around the mouth of the Malibu Creek and hiked in the Point Dume Reserve.
  • Go to El Matador Beach (in Malibu) – This has to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Los Angeles County.
  • Hike a trail that ends in a waterfall – Finally, I hiked to my first waterfall in the area.  Eaton Canyon rocks!
  • Eat in Little Ethiopia – This was an interesting experience.  I even wrote a mini guide about the area.
  • Try new ethnic Chinese dishes in the San Gabriel Valley – As usual, this area continuous to amaze me.  We ate very well and even got a dumpling making demonstration.
  • Take the ferry to Balboa Island (Newport Beach) – I had a blast taking the ferry to Balboa Island and discovering more of what Newport Beach has to offer.
  • Visit the Skirball Cultural Center – Sorry but I didn’t enjoy this one. The building and Noah’s Ark are pretty but that is it.
  • Try a new ice cream flavor – Actually, I tried several new flavors.  My favorite one was pumpkin.
  • Pay a visit to the USS Iowa in San Pedro – This was an interesting experience and the views of the port from the ship are amazing.
  • Take a good look at Beverly Hills – Hit all the famous spots but ended up a little bit bored.  My husband took his picture with Bijan’s Bugatti.  We uploaded the photo to Facebook and some of our friends really thought that was his new car (!).
  • Go to San Juan Capistrano – We visited the Mission, walked around Los Rios Historic District and discovered a great Mexican restaurant.
  • Go to La Jolla (in San Diego County) – Everything about this neighborhood was perfect, from the sea lions to the caves.
  • Go to Temecula – This small town offered more than expected.  We were particularly happy about all the gastronomic offerings.
  • Go to Ventura – We made a quick stop in this town on our way back from Santa Barbara.  Have to explore it more though.
  • Explore more of the San Ynez Valley (Lompoc, Los Olivos, etc.) – We made it to Lompoc, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos.  We even had time to explore a little bit of the backroads (and saw deer).
  • Visit Crystal Cove State Park – This park protects some of Southern California’s last wild stretches of coast.  My advice? Pay it a visit.  The vistas will put you in a happy mood.
  • Visit Laguna Beach Summer Festivals – This was great experience since the talent and charm of the presenters blew me away.
  • Visit at least 1 National Park (Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon) – Visited Death Valley National Park.  We only had time to stop by Badwater, Zabriskie Point, the Artist’s Drive, Mustard Canyon and Golden Canyon.
  • Las Vegas – Had a fun time with my aunt who was visiting from Puerto Rico.


What Didn’t Happen

  • Take a tour to see the Hollywood Sign up close
  • Eat at a shabu shabu restaurant
  • Visit Adamson House in Malibu
  • Go to the Gibbon Rescue Center
  • Take a cooking class
  • Participate in another food tour or foraging adventure
  • See wildflowers (Anza-Borrego Desert, Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Ridgecrest) – I had to cancel my visit to the Carlsbad Flower Fields three times because of weather related issues. I visited Carlsbad and the Anza-Borrego Park but not during flower season.
  • Ride a balloon at the Orange County Great Park
  • Do the Laurel Loop Canyon at the Laguna Beach Wilderness Park – I didn’t know the park was closed several days after rains.  Guess what? I visited two days after heavy rains and couldn’t hike.
  • Visit Calico Ghost Town – I included this one because I know I was going to Vegas and it made sense to stop by on the returning trip.  We chose to visit Death Valley National Park on the way back (mega big change in here).
  • Short trip to a domestic destination
  • Two international trips – I went to Mexico two times but I am not counting those trips since they were one or two day border crossings.


Lessons Learned

I enjoyed the approach I took with my bucket list last year. Because of the list, I can say the following:

  • I know better my city and its surroundings
  • I understand better the people who live around me
  • I learned about the culture and history of those surrounding me
  • I am becoming an expert on what to do and eat around Los Angeles and surrounding areas
  • Some of the things I didn’t accomplish were ‘easy to do.’ In some cases, I didn’t get organized enough.
  • At this moment, I am not ready to write a bucket list for 2014 (this may change).  I have other issues that require priority at this moment.


So, here you have it.

What about you? What did you accomplished last year? What would you like to do this year?



  1. Well done, Ruth! 2013 exceeded all of my expectations! It was an amazing year of travel, and I’m just hoping I can get even close to those experiences in 2014. Crossing my fingers to get back to Europe a few times.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Going Beyond in ItalyMy Profile

  2. I really like the idea of keeping the bucket list simple and achievable. I really want to do one for this year, but I have no idea if I will still be in South America or back home in Australia…
    Luke recently posted..Best Hostels In Salvador, BrazilMy Profile

  3. Hi, I like this article, many things I can know in, thank you. Greetings Informasi Travel Dan Wisata

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