I am an extremely fortunate person, and an even more fortunate Milwaukeean. By founding OnMilwaukee.com at such a young age â€“ I was 23 at 1998 â€“ Iâ€™ve had too many amazing experiences to count. Almost every opportunity to do something cool in this city has been at my disposal, and I never forget that, even when Iâ€™m having a bad day at work.
But becoming an entrepreneur in my early 20s also presented some challenges. I never had the chance to backpack around Europe. I havenâ€™t taken one of those long, detached vacations where you turn off your brain and stop checking your email. I had to take the decade more seriously than most of my peers, because running your own business is serious business.
Throughout this time, however, Iâ€™ve made it a priority to cross items off my bucket list. Visiting Cooperstown to see Robin Yount inducted into the Hall of Fame; driving my own car on the Autobahn at 135 miles per hour; hanging out with the Violent Femmes post-show; flying above Milwaukee with the Blue Angels, and much, much more.
One more bucket list item, though, awaits me this weekend, and just in time. On May 27, Iâ€™ll turn 40, and Iâ€™m not overly excited about this milestone. Three days later, one of my oldest friends, Eron Laber, also hits the big 4-0. To commemorate it, weâ€™re finally doing something weâ€™ve talked about for years: hitting all the Brewersâ€™ minor league teams in one weekend.
Thatâ€™s right; this afternoon, weâ€™re driving to Beloit, then Montgomery and finally to New Orleans to catch road games of the single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, double-A Huntsville Stars and triple-A Nashville Sounds. Itâ€™s a ton of driving in a very short time.
Eron and I havenâ€™t taken a road trip like this in many years, probably since we decided to actually drive to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training (another bucket list item) in 2000. We have to give major props to our wives for being OK with this trip, because theyâ€™ll be single parents while we speed south to Bourbon Street on Saturday night.
And of course, there is a work component to this trip. Iâ€™ll interview players at each stop and return with a great feature article. But this is certainly mostly about having fun the weekend before we turn 40.
Because, as Iâ€™ve learned, no one is going to fill your bucket list for you. If you donâ€™t take the opportunities, and sometimes force them, they donâ€™t happen. And all youâ€™re left with is regret.
Like I said, Iâ€™ve been extremely lucky. Iâ€™ve seen most of what I set out to see. And Iâ€™m looking forward to filling that bucket again this weekend. Even if I have to drive a few thousand miles to do it.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Aug. 22, 2016
I've said it for years. Door County means different things to different people. Whether your idea of this magical peninsula is nature or adventure, shopping or relaxing, friends or family - or a mix of everything above, one storyline arcs above all the rest: Door County is what you make it.
Published Aug. 19, 2016
My friend Drew Olson has a new work address. The veteran Milwaukee sports journalist / broadcaster - and former OnMilwaukee.com senior editor - ended an 11-year run as a talk-show host at ESPN Milwaukee (540 AM) last week and will begin a new chapter with The Big 920 (WOKY) on Monday.
Published Aug. 18, 2016
This Saturday, Priscilla Presley - actress, activist and, perhaps most notably, widow of Elvis - is coming to Milwaukee for "Elvis and Me," an open conversation at The Pabst Theater about the life and experiences of the original First Lady of rock 'n' roll.
Published Aug. 3, 2016
I didn't really even know I was interested in driving a motorcycle until the House of Harley invited me to take a Riding Academy New Rider course. In three days, I checked something off my bucket list that I didn't know was on it. I took it seriously, and it was hard. But also really satisfying.
Published July 25, 2016
Jessica Tighe is an appreciative person. While the Elm Grove native has worked in West Virginia, the Quad Cities and La Crosse, now she's home and co-anchoring the morning news on CBS 58. Ask Tighe how it feels and she actually gets goose bumps: "I have family here. I'm invested in this market," she says with a smile.
Published July 11, 2016
Summerfest 2016 may have come and gone, but the memories will live forever - because we at OnMilwaukee took enough photos and video to fill a large hard drive.
Published July 9, 2016
Playing before the Barenaked Ladies and OMD, Howard Jones got the 6 p.m. spot at the BMO Harris Pavilion Saturday night, and while that's not exactly top billing for an artist who had 15 top 40 singles during his career, I'll take it.
Published July 9, 2016
In a word, Paul McCartney was amazing tonight. I feel beyond fortunate that I've now seen him play twice. Now back at the office, at midnight, Bobby is writing the main review, but I have some stuff to say, too. Random stuff, so please indulge me.
Published July 7, 2016
Go ahead; get those laughs out of the way. I'm trying to write a serious review of Anthony Ray's Big Gig show. You, of course, know him as Sir Mix-a-Lot, and unless you listened to his tapes in the early '90s, you probably recognize just one of his songs.
Published June 30, 2016
If you've ever bought an official Summerfest T-shirt, hat or other branded gift, it's first gone through Dan Elias. As vice president of The Specialized Marketing Group Inc., he's managed the merch for the Big Gig for 17 years.