Bucket List Travel

Bucket List Travel Can Improve Your Health, Broaden your Perspective, Even Lead You Into New Careers

If travel is something you long for, I encourage you to do it. Don’t let fears or worries stop you.

Study after study reveals that travel is good for us. It’s good for the body and good for the mind. It lowers stress, strengthens relationships and gives you memories for a lifetime.

Whether you like natural beauty (think rivers, mountains, beaches, waterfalls), cultural experiences (think museums, concert halls, art galleries), or historical sites (think battle grounds or presidential libraries), traveling to these places can enrich and enlarge your life in numerous ways.

Want to be amazed? Fascinated? Awed? Travel somewhere you’ve dreamed about but never actually been. Or, return to someplace wonderful you visited decades back and feel the wonder anew.

My husband, Al, and I began to travel in earnest after we were involved in a serious automobile accident in 2012. That wreck brought home to us how fragile life is. How it can be snatched away in a moment, in the blink of an eye. We decided to stop putting off our travel dreams.

Since then we’ve cruised through the Panama Canal, visited the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, ridden on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, cruised the Mediterranean, driven the Blue Ridge Parkway, and cruised the Mississippi River on an honest-to-goodness steam-powered paddle-wheeler.  Next spring, we’ll cruise the fjords of Norway.

We’ve been pleased to learn that travel is associated with lower rates of heart disease, reduced risk of depression, as well as increased brain development. Yes, our brains can develop even at our “seasoned” ages.

Activities such as touring a museum, finding your way through an unfamiliar town,  walking along the beach have positive mental, physical and social benefits.

Traveling develops new skills. And that increases confidence.

When we travel and meet people from unfamiliar cultures, we may find new ways of looking at life. And that can give us a different perspective on things. We may find ourselves growing intellectually and emotionally.

Because travel often includes walking, we may find ourselves actually getting in better shape. We may even lose weight and gain muscle as we hike, stroll, walk or amble about.

Escaping the every-day, if only for a weekend, can energize and renew us.

Travel is fun.

And you never know where your travels will take you. Al and I have made friends we never would have met otherwise. And we found our travels so amazing, that we began to write about them.

So travel has turned us into authors. We write travel memoirs, filling them with all the wit, wisdom, discoveries and surprises we experience on our journeys.            This year, we’re publishing three books about a trip we took in 2014.

Color_Cover_Promo_72dpi copy


Cruising the Mediterranean, describes our adventures in  Amsterdam, Venice, Athens, Istanbul and other places. It was named an Amazon #1 best seller in the senior travel category.

Indie Book Reviewers say that the book is “…full of adventure and life and great advice on traveling.”



FindingOur second book, Finding Ourselves in Venice, Florence, Rome & Barcelona,  was also named a #1 best seller in the senior travel category. In addition, Amazon named it the #1 Hot New Release in Venice travel guides.

In this book, we visit local markets, famous sites, and quiet out-of-the way neighborhoods, staying in Airbnb apartments and using Barcelona’s hop-on hop-off bus to show us around.

Rick Bava, author of In Search of the Baby Boom Generation, said this  about the book: “The beauty of these wonderful places shines through every page.  I recommend it for Baby Boomers and others whose hearts long to travel. You’ll feel like you’re right there…”

And we have a third book, coming out soon: Cruising the Atlantic, Our Epic Journey from Barcelona to Miami.

          I tell you this to underscore how travel can take you places you never dreamed of. Who would have imagined that a wreck caused by a texting driver slamming full speed into us would result in our becoming travel memoir authors sharing our trips with readers around the world?

But there you have it. We’re either writing about a trip, planning a trip, or we’re on a trip, enjoying all the benefits of travel.

At our age, we have the time for travel and we have more money for travel than we had as young adults. Still, we are careful with our travel funds, and try to get the most value for our dollars.

If you have a travel dream, I encourage you to take it.  Travel now, while you can. The Internet can make the trip easier than ever. Nearly every city, state or national park has a website where you can check out tours, lodging, points of interest, even maps of the area.

Do some online exploring, plan with care, fuel your sense of adventure, trigger your imagination, then make your dreams come true.

Al and Sunny Lockwood have traveled by foot, car, rail, air and cruise ship. Everywhere they go, they capture unforgettable moments — Al with his camera and Sunny with her reporter’s notebook.  Their work has been published in magazines and newspapers. This photograph was taken in an Athens coffee shop, when Al and Sunny ducked inside to escape a sudden downpour.  You can contact the Lockwoods at  sunnyandallockwood@gmail.com











Originally posted 2016-09-09 08:55:48.

Boomers Can Be Inspired By Reading And Writing

So as we boomers go about our daily routines in life today, don’t forget some of the best in life comes from that which has been around for a long time; Reading and Writing. It has always been a positive action. It is one of the few things that has not changed. So may I suggest that if you find yourself unable to sleep, try reading or writing as I just did. Treat yourself. Be Inspired!

boomers can't sleepThere are times that I wake up in the middle of the night.  I look at the clock and sleep will not come.  Many times, I have read that it is better to get out of bed when this happens.  In order to turn a negative situation into a positive, I find reading or writing helps to quiet my mind.  It is a wonderful way to learn, be inspired or just relax into doing something that is healthy.

Writing  can be a creative way to express one’s own feelings.  When we put thoughts on paper and reread what is written energy is released.  That energy may be positive or negative.  Writing can help us get a better perspective on things that we may want to do.  Actually there are times that we can learn from our own written thoughts.  As we write we may experience pleasurable thoughts.  Memories of times that were buried deep in our minds may surface.  It is a way to express our inter selves.  We may find that it is not only healthy but something that can lead us to positive action.  When writing we can create our own personal world.  Then again we may find that we have written something so creative that we want to share it with others.  The more that we write the better our writing becomes.

Who knows, maybe you will become a well known author like Nora Roberts. You can read more about how Nora Roberts became a great author at www.noraroberts.com.  One of my favorite quotes by Nora is, “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.  If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.  If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.”  Try writing and be inspired.

Reading exercises our mind.  Knowledge leads to greater and bigger things.  Some like to read for pleasure and enjoyment.  We read and become inspired.  It can start us on a road to success. It expands our minds and can motivate us to seek out our true potential.  Reading can lead us to places that we have not been before.  It introduces us to new ways of thinking.  Jack Canfield’s writing is some of my favorite. He is the originator of Chicken Soup For The Soul.  His writings are motivational and inspiring.  In one of his writing he teaches how we can obtain our wants by asking.  Jack explains how we can be trapped by the fear of rejection if we ask and someone says no.  On the other hand, Jack Canfield writes how we can succeed by asking and overcome that fear.  Maya Angelou is another inspiring writer.  I enjoy reading her writings. Maya’s books, poems and autobiography are very inspirational.  One of my favorite quotes by Mary Angelou is, “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”

So as we boomers go about our daily routines in life today, don’t forget some of the best in life comes from that which has been around for a long time; Reading and Writing. It has always been a positive action.  It is one of the few things that has not changed.  So may I suggest that if you find yourself unable to sleep, try reading or writing as I just did.  Treat yourself.  Be Inspired!

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Originally posted 2011-09-29 10:00:34.

Boomers Participate in Senior Games

Boomers Participate in Senior Games

This week I was a participant in the North Fulton Golden Games, a collaborative effort by 5 local cities that provides a month-long series of Olympic-style events and activities (shot put, discus, one-half and one mile walk, one-mile run, tennis, golf, and bowling) for adults age 50 and older.

Participants compete in track and field events, pickleball, tennis tournament, golf tournament, Bocce ball competition, ball room dancing, swimming and more. I came in first in the one-half mile walk in my age group and enjoyed several other activities. Our senior center helped with sign up and even transportation.

There is a state competition and in my state it is the Georgia Golden Olympics which is scheduled for September 17-20, 2014 in Warner Robins, GA. Every state has a similar event and here a senior games list by state. All this feeds into the National Senior Games Association which will have the 2015 National Senior Games in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul in July 3-16, 2015 in which they are expecting 12,000 athletes ages 50 and up from all over the county.

Here are some photos from our local senior games.

senior games torch ceremony
senior games torch ceremony


discus throw at golden games
discus throw


shot put at senior games
shot put


mile walk at senior games
mile walk
toss event
Toss event
football toss at senior games
football toss – good throw!
brisbee throw event for seniors
frisbee throw
seniors horseshoe event
crowd at senior games
crowd at senior games

National Senior Games will be in Minnesota July 3-16, 2015.

See post about my visit to the Georgia Golden Olympics

Originally posted 2014-05-03 07:39:49.

Retirement Activities – Enjoy Your Local Park

Retirement Activities for Boomers –
Enjoy Your Local Park

at the park

It is nice being a retired baby boomer and having the time to enjoy the outdoors.  I especially enjoy visiting Newtown Park, one of our nice parks in Johns Creek GA. I bet you have a nice park near you too that could be enjoyed.

Parks Are For Enjoying

Everyone has a park nearby, maybe they observed from the road as they drove to work or visited for a short time on the weekend. But when you have the time you can really enjoy a nice park, all free of charge which is something when you are retired.

Spend some of your time at your park and you may make it a regular retirement activity and place to enjoy like I do. I usually visit my park about 5 days a week, sometimes with more than one visit per day. Some of the things I enjoy at our park I have listed here.

Observe nature at the park whether it is a trail through the woods, native plants, ducks on the pond, blue birds nesting on a fence post, tad poles and fish in the lake or squirrels running about.

This morning, I took the photo above of sun lighting up the top of tall ornamental grass on the border of the community vegetable gardens.

Get some sunshine and fresh air. Even a short time will give you some vitamin D. Fresh air is good for your lungs and spirit. Getting out in nature is rejuvenating. It is good to get away from the computer and TV for awhile.

walking at the parkGet your exercise at the park in a natural way by using the walking trails. Join a walking club or walk with a friend and the time will fly by. I am a member of the Park Place Pacers that walks every Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes more. Many parks have a recreation center with a gym. Swimming pools are common at parks. In the community building or in our case the active adult center, my wife takes yoga, I take Dancing with the Stars and there is Zumba and Silversneakers exercise classes too.

Use the shelters and other park facilities.  Our park has a community building and an active adult center and is building an amphitheater.  There are picnic pavilions and bar-b-que grills. Many parks have recreation centers at the park.

games at the parkPlay games at the park. There is all kinds of kid’s atheletic fields at the park and it is nice to stop for awhile to watch a 3 year old take his first turn at T-ball or the older kids playing baseball, soccer or lacrosse. Our park has two Bocce Ball courts and we have a regular baby boomer team that plays on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Playing Bocce is great for socialization and physical activity. Boomer games that can be played at a park include adult softball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, badminton, pickleball, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, bean bag toss or cornhole as it is sometimes called.

Inside the community buildings, in our case the active adult center, there are board games, bridge games enjoyed by a large number of folks and of course bingo.

Enjoy your hobby at the park. As you can see I like to take photographs at the park. There are countless ever changing scenes providing subjects for you. I have seen people with the artist easels painting watercolors scenes at our park.

dog parkEnjoy the dog park Bring your dog to the park and spend some time together or just stop by and enjoy seeing the dogs running around chasing things and playing with other dogs.

Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning during the Summer at our park and it is an exciting time to visit the park. Fresh vegetables and home products, crafts, jellies, breads, fruits, and lots more.

Arts in the park is held several times during the year with art displays or craft shows where local artist have their wares for sale.

Entertainment in the park including a movie night with big screen movies after dark and on weekends a band plays music sometimes. Can’t wait for the new amphitheater to be finished and see what that brings.

Meditate and live in the present at the park. Just sit in the sunshine on a park bench and do nothing. Watch as people and pets go by. Sit and gaze at the pond and all the things happening in nature there. Stroll over to the community gardens and see how things are growing. Watch a bocce ball or softball game for awhile.

Visiting the park is fun, affordable and good for you.

Parks are not just for kids, they can be a great retirement activity as well. Get out and take some time to enjoy your local park. Do you go to the park now? Do you like the outdoors? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Originally posted 2013-12-12 00:07:59.

Retirement Activities: Enjoying Your Deck

Great Retirement Activity: Fix up your deck or patio to spend some time enjoying the outdoors.

I know, there are many cliques’ about enjoying the outdoors in your retirement.  The oldest one is about sitting in your rocking chair on your front porch and watching the world go by.  Then there’s the one about stopping to smell the roses.  Well as it turns out, I think there is something to that.

First of all, you finally have the time to spend enjoying the outdoors without being rushed.  Then there’s something refreshing and relaxing about enjoying nature.

There are many wonderful national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite,  Zion, Smoky Mountain and many others that you will find a good percentage of the visitors are retirees enjoying themselves.  There is even a National Parks Golden Age Passport for those of us age 62 or older. The Golden Age Passport is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee.  State parks and local parks are nice to visit too.

But today I would to talk about another place to enjoy nature: your deck or patio.  Almost everyone has one and they can be a great place to enjoy fresh air, experience early morning and sunsets, birds and small animals, smells, flowers and trees and all kinds of sounds.

We visited some friends who are renovating a home in Big Canoe, a resort community in the North Georgia mountain and loved their deck and screened porch. See top photo. Talk about wildlife!  We saw turkeys, birds, squirrels and the day before our visit there was a bear seen from the deck.

So lately I decided to fix up our deck a little and spend more time enjoying the outdoors.  First up I ordered some privacy screens off Ebay and put them up on both sides of the deck.  That’s one way to enjoy the deck is to do little projects yourself to fix it up and customize it like you want it.  It takes time but you are outside the whole time.

Next I picked up four patio chairs to replace those ones we have had a long time.

I researched the internet for deck plants and picked up a couple.  Got a plant caddy for the larger one so I can move it to the sun and back to the sitting area when I want to.

Got a bird feeder and installed it on a deck pole with a nice blue bird on top.  I got one with an extended arm that hangs out away from the deck so seeds will not mess things up.

In addition to my large natural gas grill, I have one of  the kettle charcoal types too.  It takes longer but nothing like the real thing.

I am refinishing my old patio chairs and putting them in a seating group at the other end of the deck.  Now one area is always in sun and the other in shade depending on time of day.

Projects still to come are:

I filled the woodpecker holes, hammered down the nails, then used the rest of the wood filler to cover nail holes and some bad knot holes.   This means I will need to stain the deck, but hey I am going to take my time.

A gate at the top of the stairs will be nice so I have been researching that on the Internet.  A gate will serve a few purposes like child safety when the great nephews and nieces visit.  Plus Coke our cat enjoys the deck too where she can sniff the air and watch the birds, but once in a while she decides to make a run for the stairs.  She doesn’t get too far because she only has 3 legs and I can catch her quickly, but I am hoping a gate may keep her on the deck.

I am sure other things will come to mind to keep me busy on the deck but I am learning to stop and take it all in with a fruit juice or cup of coffee in my hand while I learn to “stop and smell the roses”.  Maybe it’s time to venture out to your own deck or patio then do some Internet browsing to see how to improve and enjoy your deck or patio.

Originally posted 2012-07-29 11:17:43.

Thirty Good Reasons For A Boomer To Get Involved At A Senior Center

Working Boomer has been giving a lot of thought about getting involved with her community senior center. Here are 30 reasons boomers and seniors should visit their senior activity centers.

Some of you may know that I am a single working boomer.  Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought about getting involved with my community senior center.  Since I work the night shift and all week ends it is difficult to have a social life.  Also my family has been suggesting that I check out the senior center in my community.

So I did a little research on senior centers and discovered a good deal more about them, their programs and activities.  There seems to be many good reasons to visit and participate in the community senior center.  Maybe you can relate with me as I list some of the benefits that I might expect in my own life as I use my senior center.

  1. At a senior center I can make new friends.
  2. Since I am single, who knows, I might just meet that special someone
  3. It is more fun to laugh with a group of people than sitting at home laughing by myself
  4. There will be a lot of friendly folks there to love and love is a good thing.
  5. By socializing with like minded folks it will give me a new way to learn
  6. It is a place to relax
  7. The center has healthy tasty meals and I love to eat.
  8. It is a drag to eat alone so at the center I can enjoy dining with others
  9. There are games to play which will strengthen my mind
  10. Some of the folks will be a lot wiser than me and I can learn from their stories
  11. There is a place to exercise and workout.  I really need to loose weight.
  12. They have a billiards room therefore I can really get into that.
  13. Dancing use to be one of my favorite things to do and they offer dance classes plus have social events
  14. The folks there go on senior trips by bus.  Since I drive for a living, it will be nice to allow the bus driver to do the driving for me.
  15. Sometimes they go to the gambling boat.  I love to play those slots.
  16. They do taxes.  I have never done mine so not only can I get someone to do my taxes just maybe they will teach me how to do them.
  17. It will be a great opportunity to give away a smile.  My dog doesn’t really care if I smile or not.  I work night and don’t see many folks therefore I am not involved in much smiling.
  18. It is very inexpensive and I live on a limited income.  Most of the activities are free.
  19. The center is within blocks of my apartment and it will not take much gasoline to drive there.  They even have a bus that will pick some folks up.
  20. Since it is in my plan to move from here to a over 55 apartment or senior community, I am sure that I can get information about the best places in the area.  Who knows, I might even find a good roommate.
  21. Instead of sitting around alone on holidays, I can meet folks to be with and enjoy holidays
  22. My daughters are very busy and would really be happy to hear that I am going to the senior center
  23. Since I am off 2 days during the week, it will give me something to do.  I might even want to volunteer.
  24. There is a huge crowd there on bingo day.  I might even get good enough to play more than one card plus I like to play games.
  25. Sometimes they do crafts.  It is finally time that I learn to do some and get into the arts.
  26. It would be an excellent way to learn more about my community.
  27. There are times they go out of town on mini trips.  I have a lot of vacation time therefore I could enjoy vacationing with others.
  28. As I get older and even now, it is important to have a support system.  At a senior center I can develop that.
  29. The center has meals on wheels.  The last time I had a hospital stay, it was difficult to fix meals for myself.  This would be real nice.
  30. Also, I might be able to get assistance for transportation if I am unable to drive to the store.

This  blog is getting very lengthy.  That is a good, thing because I am now excited about getting involved at the senior center.  There is much more that I could write but I will wait and write more after I have attended.  It is amazing when one writes out a positive list how much more exciting a new adventure can be!

Originally posted 2014-03-09 19:02:32.