The Fabulous Adventures Of Luda Downs presents: The 2013 Bucket List

Last year, I put together a list of things I wanted to do/places I wanted to visit and it helped shape my year. I figured that since it worked so well the first time (coupled with the fact that I hate making new years resolutions and believe bucket lists shouldn’t wait until your final few years) I had to do it again. I’m also convinced that sharing it with others will help me get these things don, for whatever that is worth.


I’m already sure 2013 is going to be jam packed with all sorts of ridiculousness. I’m slated to DJ three weddings, attend a fourth as a guest and be the best man for a fifth. Needless to say, I’ll be a busy man in 2013. Yet, I still want to get the following things done.


1. Somewhere warm for NYE 2013: Arguably the biggest long shot on the list, I’ve been inspired to get out of town for NYE 2013 for a handful of reasons, most of them having to do with how much I hate winter in Chicago. Also, part of me has been wanting to do something new for NYE for years. Yes, I realize going out can be a tad on the expensive side, but it’s not as if I (or my group of friends) goes out and does something nice often. Going out for NYE … or going somewhere warm in this case … appeals to me.


2. Kane County Cougars game: The Cubs made a savvy move by making the Kane County Cougars the team’s A-ball affiliate, leaving the Peoria Chiefs in their dust. Kane County is where the Cubs’ future stars will get their starts. Might as well get a glimpse of Jorge Soler & Albert Almora  before they become household names.


3. See Kobe Bryant live: At Pacers, at United Center, at Milwaukee: I’ve been a huge Kobe Bryant fan since the day he entered the NBA. However, I’ve never seen him live. Bryant is now 34 years old & I’m fearful I’ll never get to see one of the all-time greats in the flesh. Bulls tickets can be a bit pricey, so I might make a road trip out of it. Seeing the Lakers at Milwaukee is probably the best option, considering I can make that trip overnight. However, seeing Bryant in Indianapolis is an option a co-worker suggested & said I should not pass up.


4. One Cubs/Brewers game in Milwaukee: It’s a tradition unlike any other. I have to do it, just on principle. The hard part will be finding time.


5. Cubs/Cardinals game in St. Louis: I’ve tossed this idea around with a friend & considering how busy I am until July, I’m thinking an August trip to Busch Stadium for baseball’s best rivalry for a weekend set could be in the cards.


6. See Justin Verlander pitch: For someone who isn’t fond of Detroit, the Tigers sure seem to have a handful of my favorite players. Miguel Cabrera is one of my favorite hitters to watch, and Prince Fielder is a fun dude. But I have yet to see Justin Verlander do work on the mound live and in the flesh. A trip to Comerica Park to see Verlander pitch would also knock off another stadium off the Luda Downs Ballpark Tour. This one might be more difficult than it seems as summer will prove to be awfully busy.


7. Eat at the following places suggested by Lou Uhler: Los Comales, Eppy’s Deli, Cheesie’s, Aloha Grill, Hop Haus, Burger Joint, Epic Burger, La Cocina, Phils Last Stand.


8. St. Louis trip in April: I’ve been promising Philly, Brian & Alexis that I’d make a trip to StL for about a year now … and it’d probably be a good idea to visit them before the June wedding. Thinking an April train trip could be affordable and allow me to visit take the Budweiser Brewery Tour, too.


9. Visit New Glarus Brewery in Wisconsin: Thanks in part to friends with good taste in beer, I’ve become hooked on Spotted Cow & Totally Naked, brewed in Wisconsin. I had planned on making a trip to the New Glarus brewery, but something popped up, then winter came. No excuses in 2013. I’ve got to make the trip.


10. SIU vs. Illinois (Aug. 31): The “Let’s get somebody fired!” Bowl pits Dale Lennon vs. Tim Beckman in what might be a loser leaves town match.


Is there something that should be on the list? Let me know & I’ll try to squeeze it in.


Honorable mentions: Go to as many summer festivals in Chicago as possible, take the Chicago pizza tour, make my own ice cream in the summer, see Mike Trout do Mike Trout things (Cubs game. Sox game. Don’t care.), become the subject of a Taylor Swift love/break-up song; West coast trip to Seattle; train trip to Carbondale; attend social media night at Wrigley (assuming they do that again this year)