Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Bucket List

If you haven't seen the movie "The Bucket List" you need to add it to your list of movies to view! It is funny, poignant, sweet and to the point! Sometimes we go through the day to day motions of life, and forget to take time to stop and do important, crazy, fun and enlightening things. Sometimes we are too busy raising families, don't have enough money or just plain don't make "living" a priority.

I recently had an opportunity to fulfill one of my own "Bucket List" dreams. I have always wanted to ride a horse down a beautiful beach. Earlier this month, I got the chance to do just that!

As it turned out, this little adventure not only fulfilled my dream of riding, but proved to be one of the most interesting, hysterical and just plain fun times of my entire life. Thanks to Elizabeth and her wonderful Paso Fino horses on the island of Vieques my family had a wonderful two hour adventure.

I don't know how much you know about Paso Fino horses, but they are lovely animals and although quite strong, they are also SMALL! The island of Vieques, Puerto Rico has hundreds of them living in the wild, and believe me, they own the roads! You have to drive quite carefully to avoid hitting them. I had read about Elizabeth and her horses on line when exploring what to do in Vieques. We made our reservations for a two hour tour after arriving on the Island and checking in at the W Resort and Spa.

The day of the ride, five of us arrived at Elizabeth's and filled out releases, and shared how much or little experience we had riding. I used to ride quite frequently as a child, but it had been about 30 years since my last ride. My daughter has ridden quite a bit lately. One of the young men said he had had riding lessons as a young boy, but from the events that followed, I decided he must have slept through a lot of them. I don't think the other two young men had ever ridden before. Elizabeth took us all out to the stable, and after saddling up the horses, gave each of us one to ride according to our experience and the temperament of the horse. My daughter and I decided to wear helmets, just in case.

Upon mounting my horse, I turned to watch my son mount a SMALL, and I mean really small, Pinto. My son is 6'3" and muscular, and the vision of him on that tiny horse still makes me giggle! We all mounted up, and with a guide at the front and one at the back, proceeded to make our way through the tiny town of Vieques toward the beach. Mind you, there were cars on that road, and we had to be careful to move to the right every time one passed. I chose to ride at the back of the group, and so I got a view of everything going on ahead of me. Well, not only was my son's horse small, he was unruly! He would just take off and go left or right to the side of the road to munch on any vegetation he found appealing. My son would pull the reins and fuss at him, but this was a stubborn beast! The carrying on and the language were hysterical. I actually laughed so much that my rib cage was sore the next day!

After about fifteen minutes of riding through the town, we finally arrived at the beach. It was astoundingly beautiful. The somewhat rocky beach with the aquamarine water spread in front of us was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. We proceeded down the beach with the guides at either end of the group, stopping several times for pictures. The young men actually galloped several times along the beach. I opted to make it a more leisurely adventure, however, knowing the helmet would only protect my head, and there are a lot more breakable parts on my body!

The ride was incredible and I wouldn't trade all those great memories with family and friends for anything. Another thing has been crossed of my bucket list, and I intend to keep choosing new adventures and traveling to new places as long as I am able.

Join me, you won't regret it.

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