100th post

yeah. that's me. doing my best deniro at age 3 — 

you talkin to me? 

just another scowly faced little punk with her seersucker jumpsuit on. 

but nice bowl haircut — and i like the bracelet, too. while my hair is longer these days an armload of bracelets is still one of the few touches of femininity you'll see on me. i'm still that punk little kid with a scowl. 

thanks so much to all of you who read my blog. it's been up for a little over a year and i really enjoy this world of blogging. it reminds me of when i was in kindergarten and was given a sheet of waxy paper and pots of paint. i'd lower my fingers in and gushhhhhhhhhhh the colors, smearing all over the greasy paper. it felt like heaven and i remember thinking if life was going to be like fingerpainting then i could get damn used to it. 

so while blogging may not be exactly like fingerpainting, all this cutting, pasting and manipulating of images — and accompanying them with any words that suit me, well - it's not far off. 

so - (even though i'm on the road and will be posting soon from where i am currently - in Israel) - in honor of my 100th episode of cyber-fingerpainting, i'm sharing a little info about the scowly little punk by answering a list of questions i've seen circulating around blogdom, called 100 things I have or would like to accomplish:

Bold are items I've "accomplished." 
Items in red are things I'd like to accomplish one day.

1. Went Whale Watching - Off the coast of Mexico and southern California.
2. Watched lightning at sea - Off the island of Koh Samui in the Andaman Sea - wowsah - that was some storm!
3. Watched a sunrise or sunset - I am often too lazy to get up that early, but I love to watch the sun come up. My Israeli friend is taking me this week to camp at the base of Masada so we can start climbing it at sunrise.
4. Watched a meteor shower - See the northing lights is a spiritual experience. I've been lucky to see them while traveling through Wisconsin as a child.
5. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - I climbed up part way as a kid.
6. Walked on a beach by moonlight - Yes, in Hilton Head Island, Greece, and anywhere I get half a chance. Also see #76.
7. Walked in Jerusalem - I am in Israel as I write this and will visit Jerusalem this week - also hoping to walk in the tunnels. I traveled here as a child with my family a year after the 6 day war and then again in 1985. It's amazing to witness the enormous change that has occurred here in the intervening years.
8. Visited the White House - My sister in law worked for the chief of staff under Carter. We got the most amazing tour.
9. Visited the Vatican
10. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
11. Visited the Great Wall of China
12. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors - Last year I visited Slovenia, where my mother's family is from. 
13. Visited Russia - Gotta do this someday - my husband has Russian ancestry.
14. Visited Paris - see #92
15. Visited Hawaii - see #79
16. Visited Africa - Egypt only - would love to visit Senegal, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, the list goes on......
17. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
18. Toured the Everglades
19. Taught myself an art from scratch - A college friend and I used to sneak into the locked campus art studio (crawling through the window) on the weekends and work on our drawings - I never got over the amazement of how I could do life drawing better by closing my eyes. 
20. Taught myself a new language - But I lived in Greece and learned through immersion. As in: nothing makes you learn a language faster than when you're sick to your stomach and need to know where the outhouse is. Works like a charm.
21. Taken a sick day when you're not sick - Actually, it's called a mental health day. Or in our family, a lucky day.
22. Taken a martial arts class - Yep. Broke a block of wood with my hand. Hi-ya!
23. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
24. Sung karaoke - I do a mean Linda Ronstadt Tracks of my Tears.
25. Sung a solo - Ave Maria. At my sister's wedding.
26. Stood in Times Square - I try not to stand in Times Square. Best to keep moving.
27. Started my own blog - der
28. Started a business - When my son and his teammates needed a fencing coach, I co-founded an Olympic fencing academy. 
29. Sold Girl Scout cookies - My mom was cookie chair one year and I sucked at this job - our basement was filled with leftover boxes that I didn't sell.
30. Slept under the stars - On a gulet (wooden sailing boat) in Turkey. Every night of the trip was magical until the last, when we docked in the port of Bodrum. When we finally fell asleep after the discos closed at 4 a.m. we were awakened by the call to prayer. Long night. 
31. Slept on an overnight train - One time through the Alps and another time from Cairo to Aswan. Total  Agatha Christie experience. 
32. Served in a soup kitchen
33. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - Took the kids when they were little, but even at that age, they still loved looking up to see the big pointing finger of God.
34. Seen the Mona Lisa - I can't think of this painting without envisioning the Robert Langdon character with his bizarre haircut in The Da Vinci Code - "How lame the hair of Tom Hanks." It's lame to admit I focus on that - ah, the power of motion pictures. 
35. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa - My parents took all their kids on their 30th anniversary to retrace their honeymoon route in Italy. We all leaned in the photo along with the tower. 
36. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - But next time I want to go INTO the Grand Canyon.
37. Seen the Changing of the Guards
38. Seen the Alamo in person
39. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - We waited over an hour. Worth it. 
40. Seen Niagara Falls in person
41. Seen Michaelangelo's David - And got pickpocketed by a gypsy girl holding an infant. 
42. Seen an Amish community
43. Seen a total eclipse - When I was 3 years old, my dad took pictures of one and in the photo there are little crescents of light scattered all over me and the ground. 
44. Saved someone's life - No, only helped a young woman who fell off a roof. But I am married to someone who has - 3 times. 
45. Saved a favorite childhood toy - Two, actually: a troll and my two-headed doll. Don't ask. 
46. Sat on a jury
47. Run a Marathon
48. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
49. Ridden an elephant - In Thailand with my husband and kids. 
50. Read the entire Bible
51. Published a book - Hey, I'm working on it. 
52. Played in the mud
53. Played in a band
54. Pieced a quilt
55. Owned a cell phone
56. Met someone famous - Bill Clinton. Mikhail Baryshnikov. Paul Simon. Also walked past Mick Jagger one time in London. 
57. Lost a loved one - My mother, my mother in law, my aunt, a good friend. 
58. Kissed in the rain
59. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - When I lived in Greece my junior year, my 'mother' caught a chicken and beheaded it for dinner. I hadn't counted on the pre-dinner entertainment in which the chicken - yes - ran around with its head cut off, spurting blood everywhere. I plucked its feather but lost my appetite. 
60. Joined a book club - I'm too much of a loner to read books in a group. 
61. Hitchhiked - Once. When I was a teenager, a few blocks from home.
62. Hit a home run
63. Held a praying mantis - Does a walking stick count?
64. Held a lamb - Does a baby bunny count?
65. Had my portrait painted - How about those cut out silhouettes when you were in the 2nd grade?
66. Had my picture in the newspaper - In the New York Times, as part of an article I wrote on a Greek photographer.
67. Had food poisoning - In Greece. I wanted to die. I spent the night wrapped around the base of the toilet. 
68. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - If I have enough money for basic expenses and some left over to travel cheaply, I'm happy.
69. Had chickenpox
70. Had a pillow fight
71. Had a baby - Two. My greatest joys.
72. Grown my own vegetables - There is something very satisfying about biting into a tomato you grew in your own garden. Preferably covered in basil which you've also grown.
73. Got flowers for no reason - As often as possible.
74. Gone to a drive-in theatre - My parents took us to see movies like Born Free and To Kill a Mockingbird. We wore pajamas and sprawled over the seats. I will never forget the scene of the dog with rabies.
75. Gone sky diving - Not gonna happen.
76. Gone skinny dipping - Oh yeah - as a wild teenager in the land of 10,000 lakes and later on with a group of hippie women in Costa Rica. My then 12-year-old daughter was mortified.
77. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
78. Gone rock climbing
79. Gone deep sea fishing - Off the coasts of South Carolina and Hawaii.
80. Given more money than I can afford to charity - I don't ever feel I give enough, no matter how much.
81. Flown in a helicopter
82. Eaten caviar - When I was a kid we were served this on a flight (this must have been in the prehistoric era. The only food I get now on planes seems to be vanilla wafers and mustard, as David Letterman once said.) My older and much cooler sister heaped the little black balls onto a cracker and pronounced it good, so I tried it too. Actually liked it, even as a kid.
83. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - I tried, but was refused. Anemic.
84. Climbed a mountain - No, but I love reading about those who do, especially Everest. 
85. Bungee jumped - see #75. 
86. Built a snow fort - I spent a big part of my childhood in Minnesota. Enough said.
87. Broken a bone
88. Bounced a check - Probably, when I was young and clueless. Now that I'm older I manage to be clueless once and again. 
89. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - But I have had a pizza thrown in my lap by a man who took pity on two scrawny kids when my husband (then boyfriend) and I were waiting in a park for the ferry to Greece in Brindisi, Italy. 
90. Bought a brand new car - Twice in 30 years, but we're a used car kind of family. We made a pact when the kids were little - instead of buying a bigger house or newer car, we chose to spend money on travel. 
91. Been transported in an ambulance
92. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower - It was December and freezing cold. My then 9 year old son needed to put on his long underwear and I mortified him by asking the attendant in poor French where was the bathroom so he could change, however what I ended up saying was, "ou est la toilette parce-que je voudrais changer les pantalons du bebe?" He has never let me forget it. 
93. Been to Disneyland/World - Yes. I have 2 kids. 
94. Been stung by a beeA wasp. Through my sweater. Ouch.
95. Been on a speeding motorcycle - First time I was about 5 and a friend's neighbor took me for a ride. The driver hit another kid who ran out into the street in front of us (she was OK). My parents were pissed when they found out. Second time I was living in Greece. Still a bad idea.
96. Been on a cruise - Once. Can you say chocolate fountain?
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Been in a movie - Yes. And does a rap music video count?
99. Been fired from a job
100. Adopted a child

thanks again to everyone who reads travels with persephone - i really appreciate your visits ;-) 

in the coming weeks, i hope i entertain with some posts from the underworld - an excavation in greece. 



  1. That's quite a list ! After all that work, you definitely deserve some chocolate...

    Can't wait to see what will come to light at the next digs...

  2. #51 will happen. I'll bet on it.

  3. 100 posts and 100 followers -- just magic, mon amie!

    I love your posts and enjoyed reading your 100-list. The Eiffel Tower story was especially funny and I imagine that your college-aged son will laugh more as he gets older!

    Congrats and safe travels, Amanda!


  4. Wow! You are quite a person. I truly enjoyed reading your list and always enjoy reading your blog.

  5. I love the thought of you chopping a block of wood with your hand. :)

    My sister adopted a child after years of struggling with infertility. Then, she bore a little girl.

  6. wow wow wow you seem to have had such an excitin life.

  7. You deserve every single congratulations for your creative work you do through your amazing blog. My compliments!

  8. 100 followers and 100 things about you, all pretty nifty.

  9. a well lived life my dear friend. wow! i had so much fun reading your list. we have many in common, especially 75 and 85. hee hee.

    have fun there miss adventure!

  10. I really enjoyed reading your list..though I must admit,my favorite..#30 sleeping under the stars..Love it!!..and even though you have not yet played in the Mud..that one sounds like fun fun fun..Hehhee..I'm such a goober..Congrats on 100!!Hugs,Cat

  11. Hey, do you take requests for the Goddesses in the Dirt series?

  12. We are so happy you are a blogging buddy! Always interesting - now I know why - just look at your bucket list!

  13. You? Still that punk little kid with a scowl? So hard to believe after a year of reading your posts. You're a great writer, especially writing about strong women.

    Eagerly anticipating 101 to 200.

  14. you have done so much already - lived life the way is must be done!!
    Go Girl

    We'd love to see you in South Africa

  15. owen - chocolate is my favorite (esp 80%!)

    jeff - thanks for your support. i'm keeping fingers crossed.

    genie - my family loves to remind me of my attempts in bad french to find the bathroom. ah, c'est la vie!

    farmchick — kind thanks♡

  16. suze - i know of some friends who had that same experience. what a blessing for your sister to have these two children♡

    loree - i feel very fortunate - my family traveled as a child and at the time i hated not staying anywhere for a long time. now as an adult, i appreciate all the benefits it brought me.

    phivos - poli efharisto o filos mou!

    rosaria - it is very symmetrical, isn't it?

  17. lori - indeed. i much prefer sitting on a beautiful beach or hiking then flinging myself out of a plane or off a bridge! xoxo

    cat - thank you♡ and i just got a chance to sleep under the stars once again — in the Judean desert in Israel under the shadow of Masada! will be posting about that one soon...

    jeff - i certainly can - let me know what you have in mind~

  18. nancy - thank you kindly — and i'm always adding things to my bucket ;-)

    r-bear - that is a very kind thing to say. thank you, my friend.

    janet - and i would love to visit south africa. when i do come - and i am planning on it - i would love to meet you in person!!

  19. Dear *A *....late again... but I had to comment on your 100th post! It has been a fascinating and instructive first year! Now that my life seems to be grounded, I can still visit all the places you travel to.... I love that!

    And of course, best of all, I have *met* my *Twin*.... we share a lot of passions....and many things on your list ....

    Sending you a BIG congratulatory hug! Enjoy your time in Israel!
    Being such a history buff, I would love to walk amid those cities and on those plains....


    ♥ Robin ♥

  20. this to say: every time i return from being "gone" i check in here. now you are "gone". you have presence even when you are gone :)

    (new website for me, come visit!)

    sherry o'keefe


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