Taking a Spring Wildflower Hike

Taylor Hollow is a 163-acre nature preserve hidden away an hour outside of Nashville. The Nature Conservancy owns the property and they have done an excellent job protecting the land. Taylor Hallow is wonderfully secluded. In fact, you’ll have to drive for a good 15 minutes before you even come back into cell phone range. It is perfect. I go hiking almost every weekend, but I…

Girl Scout Cookies and Wine Pairing — It Tastes as Great as it Sounds

There are not many things in this world better than wine or Girl Scout cookies. Unless you combine the two. That is just what the fine folks at City Winery decided to do. Bless them. The winery hosted an event pairing 4 of their wines with classic Girl Scout cookies. Our pairings for the evening were: Samoas & 2015 Heinz Eifel Riesling, Mosel Savannah Smiles & 2015 “615”…

Soap Making Down on the Farm

As I have mentioned multiple times before, taking classes and learning new skills is one of my favorite things. In just the past year I have learned or taken classes for pearl knotting, flower crown making, basket weaving, calligraphy, sewing, butter making, knitting, and sushi making. I feel like a nonfelonious Martha Stewart. I’ve wanted to cross soap making off of the list for a long time, but it has been…

Spending A Lovely Morning Planting Trees

The Tennessee Environmental Council had an initiative this year to distribute (for free!) and plant 100,000 native Tennessee trees across the state . . . all on one day. It was the largest community tree planting event in the state’s history. This more than doubles the 46,000 trees they planted for the same event last year. Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary was just one of the places involved in…

An Unplanned Night of Poetry

My five week hiatus from law firm life has ended and I have finally settled into my new job. I’ve made it through the first few weeks, and so far life is wonderful. I am working approximately 30-40 hours a week less than at my old firm, and I have filled that extra time with seeing my friends and actually taking care of myself. Oddly enough,…

Taking a Sushi Making Class: A Delicious Way to Spend the Afternoon

After about 14 years of being a vegetarian, two years ago I added fish back into my diet. At the time, I was preparing for a lengthy trial and I was eating even less than I was sleeping. I knew my standard veggie diet was not going to keep me going when I was away from home working 24 hour days. I was staying…

Absinthe: Sampling the Green Fairy

Absinthe rose to popularity in the late 19th/early 20th centuries and was fashionable among the literati of Paris. Some famous fans of the drink include Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and my hometown favorite, Edgar Allan Poe. Absinthe was outlawed in the United States in 1915, but since the ban was lifted in 2007, it has experienced a resurgence. While Absinthe…

Snowmobiling to the Continental Divide

I have been a bit delinquent with my posting. The last few weeks have been filled with traveling and spending time back home in Virginia with my family, so I simply have not been able to find the time to write. I still have many adventures and stories to share about my time off from work! One of my favorite snowy excursions during my time in…

Snow Skiing in the Rockies

As part of my New Years trip to Breckenridge I decided to try my hand at skiing. It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but living in the South does not afford a lot of opportunities to hit the powder. I had never taken part in any winter sports prior to this trip (if you don’t count sledding down…

Dog Sledding Through The Rocky Mountains

When I was first planning my winter vacation I wanted something to complement my escape to the Dominican rainforest. When I could not find another tropical retreat that fit my days off, I decided to go the complete opposite direction and head to a winter wonderland. As part of the trip, I wanted to cross off a few things from my winter To-Do List. Item…

Sleeping in a Tree House in the Dominican Rainforest

My last post chronicled my time in the Dominican Republic and my visit to Dominican Tree House Villages. DTHV is, just as it sounds, a community of tree houses in the Samaná province of the Dominican Republic. Think Swiss Family Robinson, but with electricity. There are no walls, no wifi, and no TV. It is only you and nature. And it is magnificent. Because I arrived…

Beating the Holiday Blues: What Happened When I Cancelled Christmas and Went to the Caribbean Alone

The holidays are hard for everyone. We all feel it, right? While it is the most wonderful time of the year it also comes with a great deal of stress. For me, it also comes with a great amount of sadness. I recently lost both my mother and father within 13 months of each other. And it sucks. It really sucks. Even after having some time…

Learning to Knit, One Loop at a Time

Knitting a scarf has been one of the most arduous experiences of my life. Not law school. Not the bar exam. Not the Tennessee Vols’ 2016 football season. Knitting a stupid scarf. Why? Because the yarn never, ever ends. Just when you think that you are nearing the end of your project, the yarn ball just keeps on going. There were times I honestly questioned whether the…

Making A Gingerbread House

My mom was obsessed with Christmas. Absolutely obsessed. The woman had a different Christmas sweater for every day of December. This is not an exaggeration, and may in fact be a gross underestimate of the number of Christmas sweaters she owned. Many of these sweaters lit up, played music, or most often, both. After I reached a certain age, she promised to stop wearing…

Chilling at an Ice Bar

As the temperature drops, the winter weather activities begin! Every year Gaylord Opryland features Ice, an indoor display of over two million pounds of ice sculptures hand-carved by 40 artisans. This year’s theme is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (See below for an example of the carvings and a friendly abominable snowman.) The attraction comes with all sorts of festivities including an ice slide, snow tubing, ice skating, and…

Butter Making & 11 Delicious Recipes to Make Your Own

The holidays are approaching and that means endless meals with friends and family. To kick off the season of eating I got together with some girlfriends for an old fashioned day of making butter. Except instead of churns, we had mixers. And wine. We had a lot of wine. Butter making is simple and you only need a few items: heavy whipping cream (1 pint…

Laughter Yoga: Post-Election Recovery

Well, this has been a hell of a week, hasn’t it? Regardless of your political beliefs, or expected or desired outcome, this election has been tumultuous. Like most of America, I needed a break. In order to inject some joy into my life I reached out to laughter yoga. Laughter yoga surprisingly has no yoga in it. Instead, laughter yoga is a class that…

Breaking Out of An Escape Room

If you haven’t heard of escape games then you are missing out on one of the country’s hottest new trends. Escape rooms are live action games in which players are locked in a room filled with puzzles and clues with the goal of escaping before time runs out. Over the last few years escape game locations have popped up all over the country and I have…

Midnight Madness with Rocky Horror Picture Show

If you aren’t familiar with Rocky Horror Picture Show, you may have been living under a rock for the past 40 years. Rocky Horror is the story of a young couple, Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick), who get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. They go to a nearby castle (because apparently there were castles everywhere in the US in…

My First Time Sewing Resulted in Awesome New Pajamas

I grew up with my mom sewing little outfits, stuffed animals, and all of my Halloween costumes for me. She always had a project going, usually for my benefit. I, however, never picked up the craft. It was probably a good idea to not let my tiny fingers near the machine. However, now that I’ve grown, I thought it would be fun to take…

Learning Calligraphy

I have always had terrible handwriting. It is so bad that often even I can’t read it and it prompted someone to once ask, “didn’t anyone teach you to write like a girl?” Given that, I didn’t really expect calligraphy to be my calling, but total lack of skill has never stopped me. Calligraphy requires a special pen called an “oblique.” Oblique calligraphy pens are…

Attending a Polo Match

There are many wonderful ways to spend your Sunday afternoon in the South. Personally, I enjoy using my Sundays to watch sports, any sports. The weather is finally starting to cool down, so I decided to take advantage of the two weeks of fall we get here and do my sports watching outside. Apparently, October is the beginning of polo season so this week’s activity…

Paragliding Over the Sequatchie Valley

I like to add some variety to my adventures. Some weeks my New Thing can be done during a quiet evening at home. Other weeks it involves running and jumping off of a cliff. This week was the latter. I have had my eye on paragliding since I first tried hang gliding a few years ago. I significantly preferred that peaceful experience to the…

Flavor Tripping: The Miraculous Power of the Miracle Berry

It sounds like something only Willy Wonka could dream up: a berry that makes everything sweeter. Well, it is real and it is magical. Or, I should say, it is miraculous. The miracle berry causes sour, tangy, or tart foods to taste as if they have been dipped in sugar. It is called “flavor tripping,” and no, miracle berries are not a drug. This little…

The Great American Road Trip Part II: 3,000 Miles in America

Three years ago my best friend and I piled in the car for a 2000-mile drive from Knoxville to Phoenix. In an effort to constantly outdo ourselves, this time we embarked in a 3,032-mile, 11-day, 12-state journey. A vital part of any road trip is the right playlist. Jill and I put an unhealthy amount of time compiling the right tunes for the trip. Below…

Helicopter Ride Over the Lights of Las Vegas

My best friend and I finished or 3,000 mile road trip in Las Vegas (follow the blog to see a post on the trip next week). For me, Las Vegas is not about gambling, pools, and parties, it is about a endless possibilities of New Things to do. (See my previous Vegas posts on swimming with dolphins and taking a trapeze lesson). My friend wanted…

Glamping Under the Stars of Moab

Glamping. What is it? Glamping is short for “glamorous camping.” It takes the splendor and isolation of camping and combines it with hotel-like creature comforts like real beds, furniture, and modern plumbing. Or, if you do it Tom Haverford style, it is this: I don’t recall where I first heard about glamping, but it has been on my To Do list since I learned…

Whitewater Rafting in the Rocky Mountains

Adventure makes life more interesting. It also makes road trips more interesting. I wanted to make the most of my time in the Denver area so I jumped at the chance to add some whitewater rafting to the itinerary. We went to Rocky Mountain Whitewater Rafting in Idaho Springs, Colorado for an afternoon of rafting on the beautiful Clear Creek. The weather started out…

Riding a Segway—Like A Boss

I am currently on a 2500-mile cross-country road trip with my best friend (more on this in a post next week). In addition to visiting new cities and states, I wanted to incorporate a few New Things into the journey (more posts on this later too). One of our first stops was in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri. While planning our visit we discovered a…

Basket Weaving

If you are itching for something new and crafty to do, I highly recommend a basket weaving class. In just a few hours you can create something completely unique. I went to Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary for my class with basket weaver Janet Lanier. Owl’s Hill is an 160-acre nature and animal preserve in Brentwood, Tennessee. I didn’t have time to explore the property, but I…

My First Obstacle Course Race: The Insane Inflatable 5K

Two things you should not do: (1) Attempt to run a 5K when you literally cannot remember the the last time you ran, and (2) attempt to do so when it is 90 degrees outside. But if you are going to do it, it might as well involve a dozen or so awesome inflatable obstacles. Last weekend the Inflatable 5K visited by town and I took…

Fun with Flowers: Making a Flower Crown

I constantly hunt event calendars for ideas of New Things to do. It is much easier showing up at a pre-organized event than creating your own adventure every week. While perusing Eventbrite I came across a flower crown workshop and photoshoot. I was never particularly “girly” as a child (or now), so making a flower crown was definitely something new for me. The workshop was hosted…

Attending a Rugby Match

I love sports. All sports. Seriously, I will watch anything with a ball, stick, or fast engine. (Trust me, I have a fish named Peyton Manning). However, I go a little stir crazy January-August when I can’t get my weekly dose of college football. Fortunately, the summer weather brings outdoor sporting events like the Bingham Cup. The match I attended was between the Ottawa Wolves and…

Bungee Jumping: 30 Seconds of Joy, Fear, and Adrenaline

When I was little, my mom asked me the old cliché, “If all of your friends jumped off of a bridge would you do it too?” Now that I am older, apparently I am the bad influence encouraging other kids to jump. A few days ago I texted my friend Cody out of the blue and asked him if he’d make the 3-hour drive…

My Skin Cancer Diagnosis—And Why You Should Get Checked Too

A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer. It was not something I ever expected to deal with. I don’t go to tanning beds, I don’t sun bathe, I cover up, and I always wear sunscreen. I thought I was doing everything right. I was doing everything right. Despite that, I still got skin cancer decades before the average…

Easter Egg Hunt (And Petting A Kangaroo)

Before you are horrified that I’ve never been to an Easter egg hunt, don’t worry, I have. However, the last one I participated in was over 2 decades ago. That is long ago enough to make the list. What I haven’t done is participate in an Easter egg hunt as an adult. Easter egg hunts for adults are hard to come by, but they do…

Hooray for Hollywood: Hiking to the Hollywood Sign

I go to Los Angles for work every few months, but I rarely get to see any of it.  This trip, I got to sneak off for the afternoon with my brother and sister-in-law (who live there) for some touristy fun. I don’t like the typical tourist activities and wanted to do something a little off the beaten path, so to speak. When I found out…

Pearl Knotting: A Zen Night of Jewelry Making

A few months ago I took a metal stamping jewelry class. I really enjoyed my experience, so when I saw a class on pearl knotting I thought it would be a fun way to spend a few hours. Chandler Williams, a local jewelry designer, hosted the class at The University School of Nashville. (USN has a ton of fun evening classes, so check out their offerings if…

Dining on Escargot

I was a vegetarian for approximately 15 years. About a year ago I expanded my dietary world to include fish, and now, apparently, I have thrown snails into the mix. When I starting eating fish is was a necessity during a busy trial; lots of long hours and few breaks for food meant I needed an easy way to up my protein intake. I…

A Night of Burlesque

What better way to spend Valentine’s weekend than a trip to a burlesque show. (Warning: While this post is safe for work, no promises that the links are. Click at your own risk and enjoyment.) Burlesque is an old school variety show filled with music, bawdy jokes, and sexy stripteases. The City Winery in Nashville is home to Wasabassco Burlesque, which is one of the best burlesque…

60 Minutes with a Psychic Medium

It has been a while since I have had time to do something new, let alone blog about it. My lawyering gig keeps me busy 7 days a week, but this weekend I was able to sneak away for a few hours to cross something off of my To Do List. I’ve wanted to visit a psychic for a while, just to see what…

Cooking & Eating a Ghost Pepper

The ghost pepper, or the bhut jolokia, is insanely hot. In fact, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. At 1 million Scoville heat units, the ghost pepper is 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. It is so hot it has been weaponized for use in pepper spray and it is even used as elephant repellent in India. Yes, elephant repellent. As a spice lover,…

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

Last weekend I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for the first time. On my quest to try something new every week, this has by far been the most rewarding experience. Habitat has helped more than 5 million people construct, rehabilitate, or preserve more than 1 million homes. Habitat builds affordable homes through volunteer labor and donations. However, it is not a giveaway program. The homes are actually sold to families…

Ropes Course

It has been a while since I did anything athletic on my To Do List. Generally, athletic activities are my favorite type of New Thing because they have a good mix of adventure, excitement, and hilarious embarrassment. Recently, the Soar Adventure Tower opened near Nashville so I figured it would be a good opportunity to try a ropes course for the first time. The tower has 4 levels with several individual platforms….

Jewelry Making & Metal Stamping

This weekend, much to my surprise, I experienced one of my favorite New Things yet. I signed up for a jewelry making class because it seemed like an interesting way to kill a Saturday morning. However, I did not expect to enjoy it so much. Paige Barbee, a local jewelry artisan, held a class on metal stamping jewelry in which we made a bracelet and…

Perseid Meteor Shower

When I was little, my mom would take me outside to lie in the driveway and stare at the stars. But, as kids tend to do, eventually I would get bored and want to go inside. Recently we got to experience the beauty of the Perseid Meteor Shower which was lauded as one of the best of the year. I used this as an excuse…

Vintage Base Ball (A Day in 1864)

Across the country vintage base ball teams (yes, base ball, not baseball) play using the rules, terms, customs, and uniforms that players used in 1864. Little did I know, Nashville is home to its very own vintage base ball league. So, much to my surprise, somehow baseball (however you want to spell it) now makes its third appearance on this blog after chronicling my first…

Seeing Rock City and Ruby Falls

If you have ever been on a road trip in the Southeast, there is a good chance you have seen the painted barns inviting you to “See Rock City” or “See Ruby Falls” on Lookout Mountain. Well, they were as enticing to me as they have been to millions of others over the last 80 years. So, after 12 years of living in Tennessee,…

Zorbing

Recently I got to take advantage of a business trip to Knoxville to spend some time catching up with my friend Amy. The last time I got to see her (or Knoxville for that matter) was back in October when we went on a camel safari. Since then, Amy got engaged to a wonderful guy named Adam, who, because of my work schedule over the…

A Trip to the Driving Range

After years of saying that I wanted to learn how to play golf, I thought I’d finally take the first step towards doing something about it. On Saturday I made a trip to my first driving range. It was, like every other July day in Tennessee, approximately 100 degrees. However, it was only 50% humidity, which, believe it or not, made the heat pretty bearable compared to…

Making Tiramisu

This week I attempted to make another dish that looks more complicated than it is (see pies 1 and 2). Tiramisu seems deliciously complicated, but it is really made with 6 simple ingredients: mascarpone, eggs, sugar, coffee/espresso, cocoa powder, and lady fingers. (Some recipes also call for rum or marsala, but skipped it this time.) Tiramisu, which means “pick me up,” was supposedly invented in Italy in 1969. If…

Kickboxing

To kick off my return to blogging I wanted my first post to be about something active. I have been pretty sedentary the past few months and it has made me antsy. To counteract my restlessness, I signed up for my first kickboxing class with Title Boxing Club. My friend Lilas (who joined me on my juice cleanse and taught me how to make pumpkin pie)…

Return from Hiatus

It has been a while since my last update. For the past few months I have been preparing for my first trial. It required my full attention and left little time for anything else. Unfortunately, on the list of life priorities, the blog fell below all of the other things I had to do such as occasionally eating and sleeping. (Although, now that I think of it, the…

Baking a Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

This week’s New Thing is actually an old New Thing that I didn’t have an opportunity to post about before. However, given that we are well into autumn, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I thought now would be a good time to share it. Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday treat. I can’t get enough of it. (Though oddly enough, I may be the…

A Camel Safari & A Drive-Through Petting Zoo

After another long hiatus from the blog, a few weekends ago I crossed something off of my list I have wanted to do for a while: going to a drive-through petting zoo and riding a camel. My friend Amy (from belly dancing, rock climbing, the aerial fitness class, and several other posts) joined me for the day. The 100-acre Circle G Ranch is just north of Knoxville and…

Eating at a Restaurant Alone

Normally when I do something outside of my comfort zone on this blog it involves jumping out of a plane, walking on fire, or plunging into an ice-cold lake. While this week’s post seems mundane by comparison, it actually made me really uncomfortable to think about it. When I saw an article asking “Are You Ashamed to Eat Out Alone?” I decided it was…

The Roller Derby

This week I decided to expand my horizons in the world of sports and attend my first roller derby. I’ve heard about the Nashville Rollergirls for a while, but I’ve never had a chance to go see them. I spent most of the time confused about what was happening, even after reading the rules. The teams each have 5 skaters on the track. The teams are…

Making Cheese & Milking Goats

I’ve been a bit remiss lately with my posts. I’ve been spending most of my time at the office so trying New Things has had to take a backseat for a while. Last Sunday I was able to sneak away for a few hours to try my hand at cheese making and drove north of Nashville to Standing Stone Farms to have a class with Paula…

Sweat Lodge Ceremony

I few weeks ago I returned to the Golden Wings Center for a sweat lodge ceremony. After glass walking and fire walking there, experiencing a sweat lodge was obviously the next logical step. According to Angela and Justin, the wonderful owners of Golden Wings: “The sweat lodge is a Native American purification ceremony. The Spirit can pick up some ‘rust’ along the way with the experiences of…

A Night at the Drive-In

This week I experienced two New Things: Letting someone pick a New Thing for me and, as a result, going to a Drive-in Movie.  Early in the week I was informed that I had to leave work by 5:30 (not an easy task) because we had special belated birthday plans for Friday night. I was given no hints, no clues, just that I needed to leave…

An Aerophobe Learns To Fly

Over the last year and a half my mission to try a New Thing every week has led to a lot of exciting adventures. Many of them have involved pushing past my fears and doing things that make me uncomfortable. One of my biggest fears is flying. I hate it. I really really hate it. Logically I know I am perfectly safe, but at the…

Halotherapy: 45 Minutes in a Salt Cave

I first heard about salt caves when I saw a Groupon for a halotherapy (salt therapy) session at Serenity Salt Cave. I was skeptical about the purported benefits, but I don’t think that is an acceptable reason to avoid a new experience. Halotherapy takes many forms and dates back to at least the twelfth century. The odds are you’ve had some form of salt therapy before, whether it was…

Iroquois Steeplechase

The 7 months of the year when we can’t eat, sleep, live, and breathe football, the South must turn to other sporting events to pass the time. When spring comes, we turn to horse racing. This weekend I attended my first horse race, the 73rd running of the Iroquois Steeplechase. Steeplechase isn’t just a sporting event, it is a social event. It is a cultural experience. There is a very…

Renaissance Festival

The week I stepped back in time and attended my first renaissance fair. My lovely friend Loren (from the corn maze and distillery tour) accompanied me to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. The fair takes place in 1566, so of course Queen Elizabeth was on hand to welcome the attendees. I was surprised just how many people were in costume. It was really impressive. There were…

Hitting a 70 mph Fastball and Driving a Go-Kart

As part of my journey I attempt to try one new thing every week to broaden my horizons and, more importantly, to just have a good time. However, sometimes work and other life events get in the way. Last week, work took over and I wasn’t able to mark anything off of my To Do list. To make up for it, this week I did…

Fire Walking

A few weeks ago I visited the Golden Wings Center for my first glass walk. It was an empowering and inspiring experience. When I had the chance to return for a fire walk, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. In my previous post I mentioned that the Golden Wings Center was a bit secluded and required traversing a one-lane dirt road to get there. This time I followed my…

Flying Through The Air With The Greatest Of Ease (A Trapeze Class & The Neon Museum)

“Sara’s off on a turnaround Flying gambling fools To the holy land, Las Vegas” – Hall & Oates – Las Vegas Turnaround I had so many so many amazing adventures in Las Vegas that I had to break things into two posts. Last week I posted about my experience training dolphins and having a proper English tea service, this week I’m sharing my trapeze…

A Day As A Dolphin Trainer

A Day of Dolphin Training This week I made my way back to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. I went with a group of friends to enjoy March Madness (Go Vols). The trip had perfect timing; while Nashville was trying to decide what season it was, Vegas was gorgeous and 80 degrees. It was the perfect weather to jump in the pool and make some…

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

This week I went to my first murder mystery dinner theater. The Murder Mystery Company hosted Murder at the Masquerade, a Billionaires’ Annual Masquerade Ball that takes a turn when one of the guests is killed. I don’t want to spoil any surprises, so I’ll go light on the details. My friend Jamie, from my hang gliding adventure, joined me for the evening. Mona the French Maid greeted…

3-Day Juice Cleanse

I woke up the first day of the cleanse absolutely starving; this did not bode well for the weekend. I went to the Center of Symmetry (where I tried chakra cleansing a few month ago) to pick up my first batch of juices. I got a carrying case filled with bright beautiful tropical drinks. It wasn’t what I was excepting and I was suddenly very excited…

Riding a Mechanical Bull

Like many of my adventures, this week did not go as planned. Originally I intended for curling to be this week’s New Thing. Yes, like the Olympics. Bridgestone Arena had an open house and curling was one of the advertised events. However, it was on “synthetic ice.” I thought this would be like grass vs astroturf and would somehow be equivalent to actual ice. It…

Walking on Broken Glass

It’s been a while since I’ve done something adventurous and it has made me a little stir crazy. Moreover, after posting about bingo last week, I felt a need to counter it with something that was actually interesting. I first heard about glass walking while looking for places to walk on hot coals. Unsurprisingly, you can do it at the same place. I went…

Bingo Night

I know what you are thinking. Am I secretly 86 years old and I didn’t tell you? Sort of. I’ve obviously played bingo before. I’m not that sheltered. I just haven’t played it as an adult. We went to a local bar called The Stone Fox. I wish I took pictures of the decor, the walls were covered with kitsch including a portrait of…

Adopting A Fish

Getting a fish was not on my To Do list. In fact, this week I had other New Things planned. Two were canceled due to work and a third was canceled due to fish. This week I adopted a rescue fish. Thats right, a rescue fish. The owner didn’t want it anymore and was going to flush it. They had the fish for a…

90 Minutes in a Sensory Deprivation Tank

When I first heard about float tanks I thought it just sounded like a relaxing thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. However, once I started reading more about it I realized that it would be an unique experience. A float tank is essentially an isolation or sensory depravation tank. All sound and light is completely omitted and you have no concept of the passage…

Distillery Tour & A Spirit Tasting

Tennessee is synonymous with whiskey, well, really and kind of drinking. In fact, one of our state songs has an entire verse about moonshine. Wanting to embrace my adopted home, I thought touring a local distillery would be a great addition to the list. My friend Loren (from the ballet and the corn maze) joined me for a girls night out at Corsair. All the…

Polar Bear Plunge

Polar Bear Plunge I’ve waited a year to cross this item off of my list. It has been on there since the beginning. However, as they say, timing is everything. I could have jumped into a frigid lake alone at any time, but like most bad decisions, I thought I’d have a lot more fun doing this task with a group of people. Every year…

2013: A Year in Review

Neophobe turned Neophile At the beginning of 2013 I started this journey with a mission to try something new every week for a year. The first half of the year I was able to stick with my goal. But then I moved, started a new job, and got preoccupied with other things. Although I missed a few weeks, I still feel like the year…

Hang Gliding

I’ve discussed before that I don’t like heights or airplanes. Logically it follows that I decide to cope with these fears by strapping myself to a giant kite. I’ve been trying to teach myself to not let my fears stand in my way. I’m ok with the idea of heights in concept, but when I actually find myself inches from confronting the situation, panic sets in….

Corn Maze & A Trip Through Haunted Woods

I’ve mentioned before that autumn is my favorite season. For the last few years I haven’t really been able to get out enjoy it; I was either in school or otherwise occupied. This year, however, I decided that I want to take full advantage of the festivities. Going to a corn maze has been on my “to do” list long before I started doing…

Horseback Riding

Last weekend I visited Knoxville for an alumni meeting at my law school. I hadn’t seen my friend Amy since I left town so I wanted to have a new adventure with her while I was there. Amy previously accompanied me belly dancing, indoor rock climbing, and hanging upside down from ropes. First, we wanted to go hang gliding but the timing didn’t work out. Next,…

Chakra Cleansing & Reiki

Chakra Cleansing As I was looking for something new to try this week I came across free Chakra Cleansing and Reiki at the Center of Symmetry. I’d heard of it before, but I didn’t know much about it. I never want to make a judgment about something before trying it, so I thought I would give it a shot. Chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel” or “turning” and…

The Ballet

The Ballet As a part of their mission to “bring ballet to the people,” the Dance Theatre of Tennessee staged a performance of Giselle in Centennial Park. The performance was held in the park’s bandshell and the audience was spread out on blankets and beach chairs in front of the stage. The stage was only about a foot off of the ground, so there was not…

Eggs Benedict & A Bloody Mary

Two and a half months ago I posted about moving across the state to start a new job. In my post, I mentioned that my next update might be a little late. I didn’t quite expect that it would come 2 1/2 months late. My tardiness is an unfortunate combination of not having internet at my house for 6 weeks and having a job…

Vegas baby, Vegas!

Last week I went on a road trip from Knoxville to Phoenix. When we finally arrived in Arizona I realized that it was 110 degrees outside and I hadn’t planned anything fun to do. Then, it occurred to me that I was only 300 miles from Las Vegas, a short trip compared to the previous days travel. So, I called my friend Alaina (check…

The Great American Road Trip

For Week 24 of my 52-week journey, I took the great American road trip with my best friend. She was traveling from Boston to Phoenix, and when she got to Knoxville I hopped in the car and went with her the rest of the way. We drove almost 2000 miles, and through 6 states, with a few stops along the way. Memphis, TN Our…

Skydiving & A Radio Interview

Skydiving When I first started this endeavor I asked my friends for suggestions for what to put on my list. One suggestion I got repeatedly was skydiving. My response each time was, “No way in hell am I jumping out of a perfectly functioning aircraft.” This went on for the first 2-3 months of the year. Eventually, it occurred to me that if the…

Ziplining

Every year my alma mater, The University of Tennessee College of Law, holds the Allen Novak Auction to raise money for the Tennessee Association of Public Interest Law. As part of the Novak Auction, professors donate activities and excursions for the students to bid on. The activities range from dinners to hiking to attending sporting events. My friend Amy won Prof. Tobin’s auction item: a day of…

Archery & Skeet Shooting

A few weeks ago I fired a shotgun for the first time. I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I wanted to try skeet shooting. So when my friend Daniel (a different Daniel than from Kayaking last week) asked me to come over for a day of archery and shooting with his family, I jumped at the chance.ArcheryFirst, I tried archery. I…

Kayaking (and my first near-death experience)

For week 20 I decided to do something that I have had on my “to-do list” for a long time: Kayaking. I went down to the Hiwassee River in Cherokee National Forest in Reliance, Tennessee. I met my buddy Daniel there, who I somehow had managed not to see in over two years. He has been kayaking for about ten years, so he was…

Feuerzangenbowle & The Chocolate Factory

Touring a Chocolate Factory For week 19 of my 52-week project, Leigh and I went on a tour of a chocolate factory. We visited Schakolad, a chocolate shop that makes its own sweets fresh on the premises. The tour included a brief lesson on the history of chocolate, lots of sampling, and making our own goodies. First, we made “chocolate business cards.” This is one of…

Art Crawl & The Sunsphere

Art Crawl The first Friday of every month the art galleries in Knoxville open their doors for what is aptly named, “First Friday.” In addition to the exhibits, the galleries have delicious food and drinks, and even the occasional band. It’s a great way to see a wide variety of artwork because every gallery offers something different. I met up with my friends Leigh,…

Salsa Dancing & Meeting Martin Sheen

Salsa Dancing A few weeks ago I asked you to vote on which style of dance I would try next. Salsa won by a landslide. I had a deal for 2 dance lessons at SalsaKnox, so I went down to their studio to try it out. I’ve had friends accompany me on most of my recent adventures, but I decided to break out of my…

My First MLB Game & Verdi’s Requiem

Reds Game at Great American Ball Park For week 16 of my 52 week adventure, I hopped in the car with my friend Leigh to drive to Cincinnati to see my first Major League Baseball game. The Cincinnati Reds are uniquely suited to serve as host for my first game; in 1869 it was founded as the first professional baseball team. I wish I could…

Photo Scavenger Hunt & Kale and Mushroom Hand Pies

Photo Scavenger Hunt For this week’s New Thing I went on a photo scavenger hunt. We met up in downtown Knoxville and split up into groups. Our team consisted of a guy named Trevor, my friend Cheryl (the one with the shotguns and chickens), and me. Each team was given a list of over 100 challenges worth various amounts of points, the harder it…

My First 5K (Color Me Rad)

For week 14 of my 52 New Things I ran my first 5K. This may not seem like a big accomplishment to most, but for me, it is. For years I have had foot (and more recently knee) problems that have made walking or running long distances extremely painful. However, whether it was through yoga, training, or magic, within the past few months my…

Honky Tonkin’ & Visiting the Zoo

Honky Tonkin’ I lived in Nashville full-time for 6 years and part-time for another 4 years. During that period I avoided Broadway and honky tonks like the plague. Anytime my friends wanted to go I would excuse myself for the evening and go home. I just assumed I would have a bad time and that it would be filled with nothing but rednecks and…

Aerial Fitness Class & The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Aerial Fitness Class This week I took an aerial fitness class at Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio. Dragonfly is a nonprofit school and performance group that teaches students how to use the trapeze and silks (fancy ropes). We had a small class, there were just three of us (including my friend Amy) so we had lots of one-on-one attention from our awesome instructor Christy. We started by filling out…

Square Dancing

For week 11 of my 52 New Things we went square dancing. My friend Leigh, from last week’s painting class, accompanied me to the Laurel Theater for a night of frivolity. The Laurel Theater is absolutely gorgeous. It was originally built in 1898 and served as a Presbyterian church. At some point the building was converted to a performance arts space but nearly burned…

Painting Class

I have absolutely no artistic ability. None. I can’t draw, paint, make things out of clay, etc. Despite my innate lack of talent, I’ve always wanted to try a sip and paint class where everyone creates the same image. I’ve been waiting to do this until I had a free week where they featured something I thought I could draw. I invited my gal…

Firing a Shotgun & Holding a Chicken

Firing a Shotgun I didn’t grow up with guns in my house. In fact, until about 10 months ago I had never even held a gun. The first time I went shooting, a friend took me to a range and we did some target practice with a .22. Something easy to get me started. It was a lot of fun and accomplished getting me…

Rowing

My office building has a beautiful view of the Tennessee River. Often I get to watch the rowing team practicing while I should be working. It has always looked fun, so when a buddy suggested I add rowing to my 52 Things list I thought it was a brilliant idea. This week was The Oak Ridge Rowing Association’s annual Learn To Row free weekend, so it…

Acupuncture & Fire Cupping

We’ve reached week 7 of the 52 New Things. This is the first week in which I didn’t have something pre-planned. Whether it was through perusing the local paper, or having a friend call and ask “Hey, want to go try Krav Maga?” the first 6 weeks just sorted themselves out. Realizing I finally had to resort to “the list” (which has now grown…

Indoor Rock Climbing

For week 6 of my 52 Things adventure, I went indoor rock climbing at the Climbing Center at River Sports. The first Monday of each month is “Women’s Night” (it’s cheaper and there are snacks), so I figured I’d jump on the opportunity to scale some walls. I dragged my good friend Amy along with me. Upon arrival, we were given a climbing harness…

Krav Maga

For week 5 of my 52 Things I took a Krav Maga class at Bullman’s Kickboxing & Krav Maga. Krav Maga (which is not the same as foie gras, as a friend inquired) is a close-contact martial art used by the Israeli Defense Forces. In other words, it is Israeli street fighting … and it is no joke. The class started with a boot camp style warmup…

Belly Dancing

For this week’s New Thing I decided to try my hand, or in this case my hips, at belly dancing. I took a beginners’ class with Alexia at Knox Dance Worx. The class was small, which meant the students got a lot of individual attention. This worked well for me because I am completely uncoordinated and apparently have no idea how to shake my hips….

Candle Making & Snow Cream

Due to a lovely January snow storm I got to try two new things this week. One planned (making candles) and one unplanned (making snow cream). I’ll still do a new thing for all 52 weeks, I just consider the snow cream a delicious bonus. Candle Making This weekend I went to a 3-hour candle making workshop. I know that doesn’t sound very thrilling,…

Ice Skating in Market Square

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the world’s most coordinated person. On more than one occasion I’ve fallen down stairs, tripped in traffic, or even fallen over while simply standing still. Recently, I had incident where the spike of my heel got wedged in someone’s doormat. It resulted in me almost falling through their front door and then having to bend…

Baking a Pie from Scratch

Cooking stresses me out, especially if I am cooking for other people. I think this is because I am a perfectionist and have absolutely no idea how to do anything in the kitchen. Needing something to be perfect and having no idea how to do it are a dangerous combination. At least for me. Because of this, I have included quite a few cooking…

Before I Begin

Over the past few weeks I’ve thought a great deal about this project. I’ve thought about how fun it could be. I’ve thought about the new experiences I’d have. But mainly, I’ve thought about giving up before I even started. That alone was a sign that I had to go through with it; I figured it would be good for me. After all, as…

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my 52 Things blog! For my New Year’s resolution I’m endeavoring to try 52 new things in 52 weeks. Over the next year I will try everything from acupuncture to zip-lining in an attempt to broaden my horizons. This isn’t intended to be a ‘bucket list’ (that list is significantly more expensive and extravagant), it’s just a way to pry myself out…