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Exclusive | Dream To Dare: My Travel Resolutions For '09 Part Two

Exclusive | Dream To Dare: My Travel Resolutions For '09 Part Two

Dolphins and wigwams and snow, oh my! Our regular columnist Dennis Hensley goes public with his travel-related goals for 2009.

To me, the appeal of hot air ballooning lies in the fact that it seems adventurous and extreme sporty but all you really have to do is stand there and occasionally dip into a well-stocked picnic basket. The ultimate thrill would be to go up in a balloon with other balloons floating through the clouds around me, perhaps at the 2009 International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October. As views-of-a-lifetime go, that would be right up there -- literally. And if you happened to have forgotten your Grey Poupon, perhaps someone could toss you a jar from a neighboring balloon.

In my hometown of Holbrook, Arizona on historic Route 66, there is an iconic, kitschy landmark called the Wigwam Motel, which consists of 15 individual teepees spaced out in the shape of a U. I lived less than a mile from the Wigwam Motel for the first 17 years of my life and have been home countless times since but I've never followed the motel marquee's urging to Sleep in a Wigwam Tonight. Next time I'm home, I'm making it happen.

As roadside motels go, it's quite famous. There was a Wigwam Motel homage in the Pixar movie Cars, with traffic cones standing in for teepees. The Wigwam also turned up not long ago on The Oprah Winfrey Show, when Oprah and gal pal Gayle made their cross-country road trip. After not being recognized by the desk clerk -- I've never been more proud of my hometown! -- and cracking a joke about the lesbian rumors that dog them, O and G were shown to their respective teepees. But Oprah had a problem with the lack of windows or something like that and refused to spend the night there so the gals headed to the comparatively posh Days Inn up the road. What a pussy.

So in 2009, I'm checking in because how often do you get to do something Oprah didn't have the balls to do?

So there they are, my travel resolutions for '09. The rundown may seem a bit ambitious considering how much economic uncertainty and personal anxiety there is in the world right now. The good news is, it doubles as my Bucket List.

Part One | Part Two

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