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Posted in November 2012


In my quest for new experiences I have taken on some pretty big challenges. Jumped from bridges, driven in race cars, fired guns and flown on a trapeze. The 49 Before 50 adventure I am about to share is probably the smallest encounter I have had, yet, one that made my heart beat fast never-the-less.

On my last visit to Tucson, my extended family all got together. Lucky for me, my niece and nephew were willing to tag along for moral support as I went to The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum to get very close to tarantulas. This facility allows people to interact with things that live in the desert in a very intimate setting. As you can see, they even allowed me to hold a tarantula.

PS – One of my sisters lives in Tulum, Mexico. She operates a hotel that is quite rustic and right on the beach. My nephew Dylan looked at me when we were at the museum and said “Tia Emily- this is not a big deal. I found one of these in my house and I named him Henry”. I suppose that’s the perfect example of things we don’t spend time with being intimidating.

Glass Blowing

There are things that come easily to some people. For me, I am more comfortable pushing myself with physical activities than I am challenging myself artistically. I really have never been good at art in any way. Not good at drawing, not good at painting, not good at ceramics….

As one of my 49 Before 50 New Experiences, I decided to put all of that aside and take on something different. I went to Studio West in Eugene, Oregon where they kindly taught me the basics of glass blowing. My final project was a beautiful paperweight and it took so many steps to get there. Fortunately, my patient instructor guided me through the process and to everyone’s delight I didn’t cause any bodily harm to myself or anyone else.

Wine Making at The South Coast Winery

I am not going to pussy-foot around this. I like wine. I was a late bloomer with discovering that I really do enjoy vino, however I am far from knowledgable about it. I know what I like and what I don’t like, and that for some bizarre reason I get blotchy sometimes when I drink it.

South Coast Winery was kind enough to take me on their wine-maker excursion so I could learn, first hand, about the process of wine-making. It is quite involved and labor intensive. I am not a very patient person so I’m pretty sure that I should stick to being a wine drinker and leave the wine making to those that do it so well.