In the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” two retirees make lists of things they want to do before they kick the bucket and set out to accomplish them.
You no doubt have a few things you could put on your "bucket list". What are they?
It's now May 2010 and in the six months since DH retired, we've done some fun travels and a lot of really good eating (we're serious foodies). I'd amend our original Nov 2009 list as follows:
1) Alaska cruise - still on for late Sept 2010. Even better, some friends are flying up to Seattle to meet us right afterwards and we're going to show them my favorite city, as well as Victoria BC, for a full week. We'll drive up and back from CA, so looks like we'll be gone at least a month if not more.
2) visit New Mexico - done in March 2010. The Exploritas trip was fabulous (you can read about it on my blog: http://exegesis.yolasite.com/travel---new-mexico.php). Very intense cultural immersion, wonderful educational experience. When you don't know much about an area, it really helps to be with great tour guides and friendly people.
3) go to the Smithsonian museums in Wash DC - we will postpone this to next year or later. DH suffered hearing loss in his ear several years ago, and it was slowly coming back with regular acupressure treatments. But the changes in cabin pressure on the two plane trips to NM again damaged his hearing. He's almost completely deaf in his left ear again which is disheartening. It was also physically painful for him, so we've decided no plane trips if we can avoid them. We're thinking of maybe taking the train across country instead.
As far as taking day trips around our area, we went on a CA Delta cruise with Exploritas. As we live hearby and had driven up, we just kept going, adding a two-week tour through the CA Wine Country. We hit Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Russian River, for a dining extravaganza! Expensive but had a great time, beautiful scenery, fewer tourists in the off-season. Lots of driving - an 800-mile trip in total. I made separate blog entries for traveling in New Mexico and the Wine Ctry, and dining in both too.
In six weeks we get out of our comfort zone and go to a week-long retreat at a Buddhist monastery. Very different for us, should be interesting. We spent three days in March visiting Monterey and Carmel, CA. The monastery isn't far from Monterey so we'll take a couple of extra days afterwards to return to Monterey (actually we'll stay in a B&B in Pacific Grove nearby), then drive back home. We're only 90 min. from Monterey so it's an easy road trip.
We haven't spent much time visiting San Francisco itself. Traffic across the Bay Bridge is hideous, and almost everyone we know has moved out to other areas. DH got hired to do some project work for his old employer, but once he finishes that up we'll take public transit in and do some things we haven't done in dog's years! Eating is always wonderful in SF although parking is a serious problem everywhere.
I've been thinking about this lately as I am retiring in a week. So far, I've got
Ride in race car around track
Go deep sea fishing, ie., marlin or something big (even tho I'd throw it back)
Im sure there will be more as I think about it.
The problem I have with making a list of things I want to do when I retire is I do not wait for retirement to do them. I always wanted to go on a cruise to Alaska. So, I did that. I always wanted to build a cabin in the mountains. Did that too. Wanted to buy a motorcycle and ride across the United States. Did that two years ago. I wanted to take my family to Mexico and get a condo on the beach for a week. Did that last year when my son got married on the beach. I just don't seem to be able to create a list without accomplishing it about as fast as the list gets created.
One thing I want to do in retirement is to become a prep-cook in a fancy restaurant. I have no experience cooking much but I really want to learn so working in a fancy restaurant seems like the best place to go to learn. I don't care if I get paid. I only want to learn from a chef how to prepare great food. I have not done this one yet because restaurant work is mostly done in the afternoon and evenings. Since I still work during the day I try to go home to be with the family at night. But, one day the kids will be raised and I will be looking for a great restaurant who wants a hard worker.
snowshoebob007, you might wish to investigate a hotel & restaurant management program at one of the community colleges. Some of them are surprisingly good, and frankly you will have a better opportunity to see if you really would enjoy the industry. It's a thin-margin business so people are reluctant to hire someone who can't jump right in to work the lines at full speed.
It sn't a matter of salary; everyone in the kitchen has a very specific job and that's ALLyou focus on. A worker needs both experience and the right techniques; they don't have time to teach you how to hold your knife correctly or chop onions properly! You need to know the terminology; e.g., the verbal 'shorthand' used in a commercial kitchen. A school can teach you that, and more.
If you have ever seen the BBC comedy series "Chef!" with Lenny Henry, it's a very accurate depiction of what it is like in the 'pressure cooker' environment of an upscale restaurant. Imagine you're the hapless sous-chef being screamed at all night by an irascible perfectionist prima donna, and you'll understand why you need training BEFORE you try to step into a restaurant kitchen.
My DH, who graduated from the San Francisco City College Hotel & Restaurant program, one of the best in the country, loves the "Chef!" series and gets a real kick out of it. He also admits that's one of the many reasons why he left the hospitality industry for a union service job, and has never regretted it, LOL.
I, too, was going to recommend that you take some food prep courses (depending on where you live, there are also culinary institutes or schools) and maybe lower your sights to an "OK" restaurant to start with - or maybe even offer to cater a few luncheons at your church, temple, or social organization. Believe me, it will be an eye-opener. Some friends and I offered to cater a church wedding reception and also an ordination luncheon. Everything went well (except for maybe when the fire department arrived just as the pastor was consecrating the Host because one of our cooks forgot to turn the heat off under the ham glaze but that's another story) but we could hardly move by the end of the day. It took me another day to recover. I myself came to the conclusion that this is a profession for people much younger than myself! But, for you - good luck and go for it!
PS. I love "Chef!" also.
Come up to our B&B and I'll get you started. Engineer husband who has become my prep cook will translate. :-)
Seriously, the basics are just another technology. Once you have the mechanics and chemistry understanding, then you can get artistic. Go to a library or bookstore and get a cookbook for children. They usually tell you things the recipe books don't because they assume you know them.
Start simple. Have fun! What's the worst that can happen?
Complete our entrepreneurial business plan here at Coppertoppe Inn & Retreat Center around 2014.
Dump, recycle, give away, archive off-site almost all material possessions.
Endow a wing at a local library for our book collection so someone else can maintain it and we can still visit.
Build a modest base/bunker in the mountains, get a small camper and roam the continent solving problems, setting up computers in schools and libraries, starting youth centers, etc and disappear one morning leaving only a business card with a silver bullet on it.
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