CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the New Year approaches, it's not too soon to put together a list of stuff to accomplish and sites to see.
A Beckley couple began checking things off such a list in 2013 and they hope to finish it in 2014.
The important thing is to savor each experience and not rush through the list, said Kristin Ayers, 24.
She and her husband, Jeremy, 27, have so far checked off 19 items from a list of "55 things to do in the Mountain State." They became inspired by a list that appeared in a Daily Mail on June 20, 2012 (West Virginia Day).
While they both grew up in West Virginia, there were sites they had not seen and others they wanted to see again. For example, taking a tour of the state Capitol as an adult brings insights that did not register if you were a kid, Kristin said.
They took a liberty now and then of adjusting the list. Instead of BASE jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge, they watched other BASE jumping enthusiasts during the annual Bridge Day Festival in Fayette County.
Kristen said they are trying to muster up the courage to do some things.
"We went zip-lining and have no fear of that," she said. "The thing that really scares us is whitewater rafting. We can swim, but neither of us has the desire to do that."
Jeremy and Kristen started a blog about their adventures at www.enjoyinglifessimplethings.blogspot.com.
When starting a list, Kristen suggests researching to see if there are other items that can be done while in the same vicinity. Check in advance for special offers on tickets, hours, and extra attractions.
"We went to Blenko (Glass Co. in Milton) on a weekend and they only offer tours during the week," she said.
While working through the list, they ate a West Virginia hot dog at the Hinton Dairy Queen, visited the Mystery Hole at Ansted, stopped at a Tudor's Biscuit World to try a "Mary B," joined leaf peepers at Babcock State Park's Glade Creek Grist Mill, weaved their way through Cooper Farms' corn maize in Milton, caught a West Virginia Power baseball game, attended a West Virginia University football game, toured Blennerhassett Island in Parkersburg, had a picnic at Hawk's Nest State Park, and checked out the Coal House in Williamson. They also enjoyed a trip to Lewisburg, dubbed "America's Coolest Small Town" in 2011 by Budget Travel magazine.
They ate at Beckley's King Tut Drive-In, dined at Pies and Pints in Fayetteville, shopped at Tamarack, and saw "Honey in the Rock" at Theatre West Virginia's Cliffside Amphitheatre in Grandview.