The Day I Faceplanted on Rockefeller Center

My primary skill in life is taking a tumble for no apparent reason. Anyone can slip going down icy hills or trip over misplaced toys on stairs, but I fall on perfectly flat ground with merely microscopic imperfections. Of course, the best falls occur surrounded by strangers; you get a skinned knee and a new story, they get a good laugh, it’s a classic win-win. So everybody won the day my face decided to get an up close and personal view of the pavement at Rockefeller Center in New York.

The secret to a spectacular pavement splat is having exactly zero core engagement. If my abs are firing, even slightly, I might do a wild interpretive dance and pull a muscle or two but I can still manage to stay upright.

I have cultivated a mushy core over the years with the assist of various couches and televisions, but just being out of shape is not enough. I find to get absolute zero core value it is essential to be tired and distracted. Exhaustion assures any dormant muscle fibers lack the will to try to fire and being distracted prevents the brain from attempting any counter measures by remaining unaware of the eminent body blow.

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Xtravapaloooooza™ Great Lakes Road Trip Highlights

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Sunrise over Lake Superior

To celebrate and distract my thoughts from my upcoming 50th birthday, I have been going on some adventures in what I am calling the “Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™.” One thing that surprised me returning from my road trip was my lack of excitement to share my stories beyond my family; I had an awesome time so I am not sure why I was so quiet. But before my old brain starts to forget, it is time to get documenting.

My first adventure was a road trip around The Great Lakes with my 13-year-old niece; each day was completely different from the next and it is hard to pick a favorite activity. Some highlights:

Day 1 – I relaxed with a pre-trip pedicure then collected my niece and promptly got a speeding ticket. Discovered the niece likes my homemade kale chips.
Lowlight: Speeding ticket.
Bonding: Speeding ticket.

Day 2 – I got up early and renewed my expired car registration at the DMV then headed north for lunch at Gordy’s Hi Hat in Cloquet. The wind was so strong near the shore in Duluth the birds could barely get off the ground. Split Rock Lighthouse gave us our first chance at accidental learning. Gooseberry Falls was flowing like mad. My niece tried and even liked the Walleye at the lodge right on Lake Superior with the crazy loud tiny frogs. We repacked bags in more practical manner.
Highlight: The view and sounds of Superior from our room at Cove Point Lodge in Beaver Bay, MN; we had a comfortable patio for relaxing or could walk out right to the rocky shore and it was a fab way to begin our trip.
Bonding: Sharing the joy of singing “little old lady got mutilated late last night” from “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon.

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Xtravapaloooooza!™ Round One: Great Lakes Road Trip

I began my “Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™” with a road trip around the Great Lakes accompanied by my 13-year-old niece and occasionally the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It was not the longest road trip I have taken but it was the most time I have spent in a tiny car with another human and I am happy to say we both survived the experience and enjoyed it.

Our adventure began with me being super courteous to the dedicated police officer who rightfully pulled me over for failing to slow down while driving through his speed trap, err 4-block town, I otherwise always slow down for when passing through. Yep, 10-minutes into the trip I was handing my license and outdated insurance card to a cop and swearing like a muther in my head while my niece was smirking and imagining her epic adventure was going to involve a night in jail.

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Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™

I started Operation Suck Less 2014™ for many reasons, one being I wanted to have a fun 50th birthday and not a crabby, sulking one similar to my 40th. In that spirit, I am planning the “Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™” an event that is clearly in dire need of a logo. Note to self, cultivate logo skills in the next month.

My Xtravapaloooooza will cover 2 countries and 10 states and will involve, planes, cars, boats, a helicopter, canoe (maybe), buses, lodges, cabins, yurts and more. I will be joined by a sister, a cousin, a niece, more cousins, friends and a plethora of strangers I shall meet along the way. There will be musicals, museums, hiking, swimming, walking atop a skyscraper, concerts and comedy. It will be an adventure fit for a younger version of the old lady reluctantly becoming older that I am.

I have researched each city as completely as possible, thank you Internet. I have all of my options organized in apps. I have reservations where it felt necessary and not too constricting. I never want to plan a trip again let alone several at once.

If this Xtravapaloooooza does not distract me from the fact I will be a half-century-old and getting older, nothing will. Yay 50!!