From the category archives:

Water

Have Family, Will Travel

by Alan Rider

Given the sub-freezing overnight lows here in the last couple of weeks, I’m really looking forward to a little family trip to Florida we have planned for next month. 
Highlights include going back to swim with the manatees off Florida’s west coast, an interspecies encounter that I found to be nothing short of amazing the first time around.  We’ll also be checking out a few new extraordinary experiences, including watching one of the last remaining Space Shuttle launches before NASA pulls the plug on the giant rocket-planes in 2010.
And speaking of family travel, I wanted to say a special thanks to Shannon Hurst Lane, one of the four adventurous ladies [...]

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WAY Too Close For Comfort

by Alan Rider

Coming face-to-face with a great white shark (from the safety of a shark cage, of course) is something that’s been on my to-do list for some time.  Now I’m having second thoughts.
Why, you ask?  Well, when I mentioned the idea to my friend Jim McDonough (an avid northern California surfer who regularly braves shark-infested waters when he’s not doing his web development/marketing thing) he turned me onto this video.  Seems these two guys got a little more out of their shark-diving trip off the coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula than they bargained for.  Talk about close encounters! 
Does this mean I’m crossing this off my list of future extraordinary experiences?  Nah.  But I [...]

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8 Great (Affordable) Gift Ideas

by Alan Rider

It’s time for XTRORD.com’s first-annual holiday gift guide.  And, if you’re a regular follower of this space, you probably already know how I feel about giving and getting more stuff that, let’s face it, none of us really needs.  But giving someone an extraordinary experience? Ah, well, that’s a different story altogether.
So with a nod to the dark clouds that seem to be hanging over the global economy in general and many folks personal finances in particular right now, I thought I’d focus on extraordinary experiences you can give that will blow the recipient’s socks off without breaking the bank (herein defined as under $200).
In no particular order then, here [...]

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Hangin' 10 In Hawaii

by Alan Rider

Today marks the 49th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. Looking back on the past half-century or so, it’s clear the islands have given us something much more important than the music of Don Ho and the overpriced nightly tourist luau.  Namely, the sport of surfing.
Fact is that surf culture has now penetrated every corner of American society.  If you need proof, look no further than the teenagers in the Rip Curl board shorts and Quicksilver t-shirts hanging out in your local mall.
To get a real feel for what all the buzz is about, however, you’ve got to get out on the water and experience surfing first-hand.  I did just that at [...]

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Little Boat, Big World

by Alan Rider

I may not be a sailor, but I do know an extraordinary experience when I see one.  And I think it’s safe to say 16-year-old Zac Sunderland is having one right now.
Given the fact that he’s been raised on and around boats since the day he was born, it’s not really all that surprising that young Zac daydreamed about becoming the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo.  What is remarkable is that he’s found a way to make that childhood dream a reality.
Zac left Marina Del Ray, California in mid-June in a 36-foot  sailboat he bought with money he’d saved from doing odd jobs.  At last report, [...]

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