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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Reality check at 50

By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Staff Writer

Greg Taylor • The Honolulu Advertiser
Aging baby boomers love to obsess over their impending 50th birthdays. Increasingly, they are planning to jump out of planes, fly the Concorde around the world, climb to the top of Mauna Kea and all sorts of other exotic, expensive things. And they have to do them NOW! Before it is too late. Before they turn 50.

"Fools! It's already too late!" I want to shout. "Get real!" By the time we're worried about turning 50 we already know that we will never have enough money or time to do all the great things we were put on Earth to do. All that's left is learning to make do with leftovers.

By the time you're half a century old, you should be able to finally distinguish the fantasy from the reality. Here's a guide for those baby boomers who still can't tell the difference about what they want to do and what's realistically possible.

Fantasy meets reality

Learn to paint like Van Gogh.
Cut ear while shaving.

Read "War and Peace."
Read "Death of Ivan Ilych."

Explore the British Museum.
Explore the Bishop Museum.

Visit Hershey chocolate factory.
Visit Hawaiian Host factory in Hilo.

Ride the San Francisco cable cars.
Ride the Waikiki trolley.

See Paris in the spring.
Rent "Singing in the Rain."

Rockefeller Center at Christmas.
Honolulu City Lights in December.

Learn to tango in Buenos Aires.
Dance lessons at Arthur Murray Studio.

Sip tea in a Kyoto garden.
Cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Hike the Great Wall of China.
Take another visiting relative to the top of Diamond Head.

See the ruins of Pompeii.
See the ruins of Kalapana.

Visit the Athenian Acropolis.
Gyros on Fort Street Mall.

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico.
Lei Day with the Cazimeros.

Sleep in a haunted castle.
Camp out at Sand Island.

Climb the Great Pyramid.
Lunch at Pyramids.

Visit Machu Picchu.
Collect Pikachu.

Kiss the Blarney stone.
Get drunk at Murphy's.

Bathe in Iceland's Blue Lagoon.
Swim in Hanauma Bay's Toilet Bowl.

Stay at a five-star hotel.
Robert's Overnighter to Kaua'i.

Pilgrimage to Graceland.
Host an Elvis video party.

Buy your own island.
Spend a day at Magic Island.

Ride a Harley across America.
Watch "Easy Rider" one more time.

Weekend in Vegas.
Weekend in Vegas.

See the Northern Lights.
See the Southern Cross.

Visit the Galapagos Islands.
Discover exotic wildlife in the bathroom.

Visit the Amazon rain forest.
Hike on Tantalus.

Float on a barge along the Nile.
Float on plastic shark off Waikiki.

See sunrise from Haleakala.
Sunset 'mo bettah.

Play golf at St. Andrews.
Get a tee time at Ala Wai.

Take in the Indy 500.
Ride the H-1 at 3 a.m.

See a sumo match in Japan.
See a sumo match on cable.

Ride a mule in the Grand Canyon.
Wouldn't you rather ride a mule on Molokai?

Test drive a Ferrari.
Carpool to work.

Go on safari in Africa.
Go crazy at next Safari Sale.

Run with the bulls in Pamplona.
Pray for a bull market on Wall Street.

Go whale-watching.
Go whale-watching.

Visit the Serengeti Plain.
See the savanna exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo.

Jump out of a plane.
Ride the roller coaster at the Punahou Carnival.

Visit a nude beach.
Take a bubble bath.

Dive the Great Barrier Reef.
Picnic lunch at Chun's Reef.

Learn how to be a clown.
Make a fool of yourself at the Christmas party.

Eat fugu in Japan.
Eat 2-day-old Spam musubi.

Ride the Orient Express.
Ride the CityExpress.

Participate in an Indian powwow.
Attend an OHA meeting.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Watch shift change at HPD headquarters.

See an opera at the Met.
Watch Three Tenors on public TV.

Hawaiian birthing stones.

Attend fantasy baseball camp.
Play in a fantasy baseball league.

Straddle international date line.
Fly to Guam.

Write Great American novel.
Write another silly column.