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  • Kimberly Hula 3:20 pm on January 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52, Albert Camus, awakening, Lake Ontario, , raymond carver, remake, reuinon   

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. 

    “They had laughed. They had leaned on each other and laughed until the tears had come, while everything else–the cold, and where he’d go in it–was outside, for a while anyway.”
    ― Raymond CarverWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love


    SPOILER (?): If you are a Star Wars purist who somehow hasn’t seen the newest installation, don’t read on lest I SPOIL something for you.  In all honesty, what I’m soon to say isn’t so much a spoil as a near expiration but I thought I’d forewarn you nonetheless. (More …)

  • AG 4:03 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52, quitting smoking   

    1: Calling It Quits 

    I’m pleased that the Year of 52 Adventures is back. I was living in Korea the first time around, and it seemed that a life of adventure was more easily attainable there. I think the challenge for me will be to invent new adventures for myself back in my hometown rather than just finding them right under my nose; something that seemed to happen often while living abroad. I’d like to think that being a wanderlust adventurer is in my nature. So we shall see!

    Adventure #1: Quit smoking
    Really I tried doing this so many times. I tried cutting down, nicotine gum, e-cigarette, self-hypnosis…nothing worked. I wasn’t ready, so each time resulted in failure. Maybe it was turning 30, a new-found yoga regimen, or the sky high cigarette prices in Chicago, but January 2, 2012 was different than any other days I tried to quit smoking. I just knew it was time, and I was ready for this life-altering change. I had my last cigarette on 1/2/12 at 2 PM. I have a tracking app on my phone, and it has been 1 week, 1 day, and 36 minutes since I quit, and I have saved $54.89 (as well as my life). I am using the Blu e-cigarette for when I have cravings. Each day gets a lot easier, and though this may seem like a minor accomplishment to some, it has given me the confidence to tackle future adventures.

    • Kimberly Hula 4:16 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink

      Welcome back Andrea! And this is a HUGE accomplishment. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say Congrats and that you are a week 1 inspiration!

    • Andrea Gargano 4:35 pm on January 10, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks!! I’m glad I’m able to share it here!

    • Berton 12:12 am on January 11, 2012 Permalink

      One day at a time, this goal can easily be reached! Just look towards reaching the end of the day, and every day, you will succeed!

    • Andrea Gargano 9:52 am on January 11, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks for the support and advice!!

    • wip78 7:01 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      Awesome!!! Congratulations. I agree with Berton…one day at a time. Soooo proud of you!!!

    • sixofclubs 10:09 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      I have had you linked since a few weeks after the last post on your blog and followed acts of kindness loosely. I will watch with anticipation and participate where I can.

    • sixofclubs 10:10 pm on January 12, 2012 Permalink

      And – quitting smoking sucks, but it is worth it in the end. Promise 🙂

    • Andrea Gargano 10:27 am on January 19, 2012 Permalink

      Thanks! I’ve made it past the 2 week mark! (17 days)

  • DebbieP 10:09 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52   

    I’m fighting off a hesitance to drop this before I even begin. What’s an adventure? Every day is an adventure if you just open your eyes. Anyway, no one wants to read about just any every day. So this week I decided to visit a museum. I’ve lived in the Chicagoland area for more than half my life and yet have seen very little of it. You see, I was a suburban mom. That means that instead of visiting museums, I was visiting soccer fields, and baseball fields, and football fields and basketball gyms and ice rinks. Occasionally I might get to visit a school auditorium. So now that my children are off in an attempt to become productive citizens and move on to having their own children and visiting soccer fields, and baseball fields, and football fields yada yada yada I can venture out in the Chicagoland area and act like a tourist if I want. The first museum I visited was the Museum of Science and Industry. And what exhibit did I see first? The Dr. Seuss exhibit! Does anyone see the irony here? Anyway, there was a lot more to see than just the Dr. Seuss exhibit but too much to see in just an afternoon. So I’ll go back. But before then I’m feeling a little out of sorts so maybe my next week adventure will be to attend a Bulls game……

    • wip78 10:59 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Yay! Get out there and explore this wonderful city of ours…especially during this fantastic weather!! Welcome, fellow adventurer. Game on!

    • Christine John 11:10 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      LOVED your blog…..sorry I missed it. Want to see the “jellies” before they leave? I HAVE to, but have not as yet.
      You go girl !!!! ……and don’t look back !

    • Lorelei 6:44 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      You couldn’t have picked a better city to explore for a year! At least for the first year…

    • Neil 9:06 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Love it! I’m feeling like I need a little adventure in my life!

    • NancyV 10:42 am on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      You know what they say, “You can rest when you’re dead!” Here’s to many adventures in 2012!!!!

    • Kimberly Hula 12:55 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      I’m going to echo all these sentiments when I say the city is your oyster and you are a delight for taking advantage of it! Happy trails!

  • wip78 5:57 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52,   

    A year of adventure: Take 2 

    A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Ms. Hula about a reprise of this campaign. I was a member of the original cast back in 2010, and those first couple of weeks were filled with adventure- quitting smoking, a food challenge, reality t.v., acquiring a trainer, and a few others. What a send off!  But,  as many of us are all too familiar with,  life takes us in a different direction and our focus is placed elsewhere. My year of adventure came to a halt during the first quarter after getting into a fender-bender with my roommate’s car (what a headache!….which also started my nasty habit of smoking again), and the daily grind and being a creature of habit smothered my desire to be adventuresome. There were times I wanted to get back on “Train 52” , however, being embarrassed that I had let so much time pass by, I abandoned the campaign altogether.  Over the past year and a half, I have experienced several personal challenges.  I have learned life long lessons that have made me a much stronger, reflective, and authentic  individual. I am thankful for all that I have encountered because they have led me to the person I am today.

    With that being said, I’ve noticed I am in need of a little spice in my life….to experience something unfamiliar, something new, something exciting.  To challenge myself mentally, physically, and/or emotionally….and I just want a  year full of fun!!  What a better way to fulfill this need by participating in adventures based on my terms?!  Intriguing?! Keep reading… (More …)

    • Lauren Maki 6:30 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      I’m doing the Polar Plunge in February at NU! It’s so much fun! Also, now I’m inspired and I’m starting my own year of 52 adventures.

    • wip78 6:35 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Join us!!! Share your stories here. We would love to read about them:)

    • wip78 6:37 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      P.S. I’ll join you for said plunge.

    • Kimberly Hula 12:56 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Roberto, I love every ingredient you’ve cooked up here! When I’m next in Chicago can we be adventure pals?

    • wip78 9:05 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink

      Yes, please!

  • Berton 9:25 am on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52, Diners Drive-ins and Dives, , Minneapolis   

    Week 1 – Eating at a Dinkytown Landmark 

    Previously, I started adventuring by eating at Matt’s Bar, the Minneapolis landmark, to try their famous Jucy Lucy.  So this year, I began by going to the Dinkytown neighborhood in the University of Minnesota to, for the first time, eat at Al’s Breakfast.

    I started my adventure by arriving here at 6:05 a.m.  For those that don’t know, Al’s Breakfast, which was featured on the Diners Drive-Ins and Dives TV show on the Food Network, is notorious for long lines.  The reason why is that they only are open for breakfast..and there are only fourteen stools in the entire restaurant.  It is one counter top.

    (More …)

    • wip78 6:07 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Awesome!! Grease always makes food taste better. By far, my favorite meal of the day is Breakfast. I shall make one of my adventures to visit a new breakfast/brunch place. Yummers….thanks for the inspiration!

  • inkstainedangel 8:16 pm on May 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52, , ,   

    Adventures 1,2, 3, and 4 Oh my! 

    Not one, not two, but four adventures in one blog post!? Well, this is ground breaking! You’re just going to have to read more and enjoy. 🙂

    Adventure #1- The Garden

    This is my on-going adventure, and lately adventure is an understatement. The weather up here has gotten freakishly chilly, and most of the viney-plants that I planted earlier last month have all died. I have about two sugar pumpkins, a squash, and a cantaloupe left of six jack-o-lanterns, three sugar-pumpkins, three squash, three watermelon, and three cantaloupe. I have enough seeds, and enough time to re-plant, but right now its a mess. And because of the weather, all the seedlings I have inside perished from lack of sunlight. All there is left to do is persevere and try again! (And I have to tell my mom to stop buying new seeds, because I have no place to put them yet o.o)

    Adventure #2- Cooking Dinner for 8

    Holy crap! Eight people, and my mom tells me to cook?! I can hardly make Mac&Cheese from the box without help from my younger sisters!

    I wake up in the morning as my mom is getting ready to go to work and getting dinner started. She looks at me as she’s putting a couple of frozen lamb-shanks into a large black casserole tin. I look at the daunting mess of dirty dishes in the sink as I remember that I forgot to take care of them last night. But before I could open the dishwasher to clean up the disaster looming over my kitchen counter, my mom says,

    “We’re having shepherd’s pie tonight, and I need you to make it,”

    In my head I’m screaming my head off. Outside, my sleepy and groggy body manages to let out a “what?”

    “Can you cook tonight?” she asks. I look back at the dishes, and back to her and shrug. (More …)

    • yearof52adventures 7:46 am on May 17, 2010 Permalink

      Way to go lady! YOU are on a roll!

    • faolan01 4:49 pm on May 24, 2010 Permalink

      4 great adventures you have there! congrats on making the big family dinner!

    • Malerie 2:01 pm on May 3, 2011 Permalink

      Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brihtgeend my day!

    • Staysha 2:23 pm on May 4, 2011 Permalink

      Hey, good to find soomene who agrees with me. GMTA.

  • skywatcher 9:02 pm on April 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52, soapmaking   

    Adventure #1/52: The Smell of Lavender 

    I love, love, love the scent of lavender.  I even tried to grow it, but my Black Thumb is so much hardier than any plant.  There was no question about the fragrance I would choose in my initial soap-making attempt.

    The first – and possibly most challenging – step was to find the Martha Stewart Holiday magazine that I bought (okay, I admit it) 3 1/2 years ago.  While looking for the instructions, I came across a recipe for limoncello.  Umm…but I digress.

    The needed supplies were already in a basement cabinet, purchased…well, you can probably figure that out; I’ve wanted to try this for a long time.  The process was really quite simple:  cut the amount of glycerin desired off the block, and then chop it up into tiny pieces.  At first, I was going to melt it in a double boiler, but I had visions of future chocolate truffles tasting faintly of lavender bubbles, so I opted for the microwave.  Not difficult.

    Once the glycerin was liquefied, I added lavender essential oil, color, and oatmeal flakes that I had run through the food processor. (The last ingredient was my own idea.  No dried lavender around, but I thought things needed a little texture.)  I used plastic yogurt cups as my molds and let the soaps harden for a couple of hours.  The result is shown below:

    When it comes to “authentic” soap making, I cheated.  There was no lye, no lard/vegetable shortening, no constant stirring involved.  I have a book with “real” soap recipes on my shelf, and one day I’ll experiment with one of them.  But for now, I have my pretty little pink (pink?!) rounds of lavender soap, and they smell delicious.  I feel calmer already!

  • faolan01 11:16 pm on April 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52   

    Adventure #1 – Beginning the Adventure 

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so it only seems fitting that my year of adventures should begin with a single, simple adventure. So here it is, my first adventure is joining this budding community and making this post declaring my commitment to a year of adventures. Some will be completely new while others will be things I’ve done before and decided that I need to do again. I have a partial list of adventures I want to have this year, but as for the rest…well I’m fairly certain that life will provide me with plenty of opportunities to find more adventures.

    So in no particular order (other than that which I thought of these), here is my list so far…

    2. Take a cooking class

    3. Go to a wine tasting

    4. Go skydiving (More …)

    • yearof52adventures 11:19 pm on April 20, 2010 Permalink

      Welcome aboard! I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that we are so happy to have you!
      Happy Adventuring!

    • jeindeer 11:34 am on April 21, 2010 Permalink

      Hey there, and welcome! Those are some really great adventure ideas, and I’m looking forward to hearing about how they play out (especially the motorcycle road trip).

    • faolan01 6:26 pm on April 21, 2010 Permalink

      Thank you, and thank you! Adventures that involve my bike are the ones I’m looking forward to the most as well, and will likely end up being paired with other adventures (road trip to check out an art museum perhaps?). I’m having a great time reading about the adventures others have been posting, and look forward to seeing what everyone does this year.

    • adventurechaser 8:51 am on April 24, 2010 Permalink

      28 – I have done it a couple times and it is fantastic helping others adventure – a couple lead to an adventure of my own – see poetry reading. I love all those ones that involve your motorcycle – as someone with a motorcycle license with no bike I will settle feeling the wind through my hair through reading about your adventures.

    • how much should i weigh 4:24 am on May 1, 2010 Permalink

      wow fun stuff dude.

  • kimkin85 11:02 am on February 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52, , , ,   

    Adventures Begin! (Recap) 

    Greetings, fellow adventurers!  As I have been negligent in posting my adventures thus far, I thought I would start with a quick roundup of what my first few adventures have been.  (Don’t worry, in future posts the storyteller in me will really come out as I share my experiences in exquisite detail.)

    Adventure 1: Worked for a week at the elementary school where my mother teaches art.  Keeping track of six classrooms each of Kindergartners and third graders is a crazy fun time, but it reminded my why I decided not to be a teacher.

    Adventure 2:  Had my very first phone interview–with a woman in Austria!  It’s now official and I’ll be starting my three month internship at the library of the Salzburg Global Seminar in September.

    Adventure 3:  I had the unintended adventure of finding a local doctor who would believe me that I do indeed know when I have a sinus infection and would give me a prescription.  That part was a success, unfortunately, I did not recover fast enough for my scheduled oral surgery and had to put that off for a few weeks.

    Adventure 4:  Getting back into swimming.  Awkward hours at the campus gym is a terrible excuse, so this week I set a schedule and stuck to it.  Few things are as energizing as being in the water, although it would be nice if it were the Caribbean instead of a pool in Boston in the winter…

    Adventure 5:  Last week’s adventure was a visit to the MFA to see the famous mummy head.  It was fascinatingly disturbing.

    This week’s adventure will probably be to think of something that actually sounds adventurous when I write it down.  Wish me luck!


  • Stephanie 8:10 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1/52   

    Adventure #1 

    I’ve been a bit delinquent posting my adventures.  Let’s go back in time, shall we?.  It was the first week of January and I decided I needed to get myself back to the gym after all of my slacking around the holiday season.  Why not start off my year of adventures with a new class?

    I was originally going for Spin class, but apparently there is a sign-up process that I wasn’t aware of, so I wasn’t able to get into the class.  Who knew there was so much bureaucracy at the gym?!

    Luckily for me there was another class going on at the same time – Group Kick.  I thought it was fate, and figured I would give it a shot.  It was an hour of high energy cardio kicking, punching, jumping, and yelling (yup – yelling!).  It was the best way to let out all of my post-holiday frustrations (A POST-IT?!  I’ll give YOU a Post-It!).

    By the way, in case you’re wondering that girl in the picture isn’t me; it’s Buffy the Gym Girl (seriously!).  She’s my inspiration!

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