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‘Live for Today’ viewer e-mails and stories

Read some of the stories we used for the series.

What's your biggest dream? Do you want to dive the Great Barrier Reef? Or, do you want to find a long lost friend? NBC News' "Today" over 400,000 e-mails from viewers and has narrowed their choices down to the top fifty things that everyone should get to do in their lifetime. Here are some of the e-mail submissions from viewers:

Say thank you (WATCH THE VIDEO)

"Each year I watch the major award shows — the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys, etc. Every time I watch these shows I have the same thought — that everyone should have the chance before they die to give an "acceptance speech" to thank those of whom have made them the individual they are today... I may not be Jamie Foxx but I cried with him as he spoke of his grandmother, as I know how deeply that relationship effected the core of his existence. I felt the pride of Hillary Swank and the strides she and her mother made from a trailer park to standing on that stage as my mom made so many sacrifices herself to raise me... So often it is not until that person has passed that we voice our gratitude or tell others of the importance those individuals have meant to us. Why wait until they are gone? That is an experience everyone should have in a lifetime." —Kim Ronan

No. 50: Hover in a blimp (WATCH THE VIDEO)

“My father was an employee of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and retired after more than 30 years of service. Ever since I was little, I have just loved to see the Goodyear blimp flying over Akron. It has been my dream to one day take a ride in it. My husband even tried to get me a ride for my 50th birthday, but to no avail. This would be at the top of my list of greatest things to do before I die. I hope you can make it happen for me.” — Carole Gergely

No. 47: Play with the band 

"I would like to see my husband conduct a famous band before I die. My husband is a middle school and high school band director in a small town in Washington State. Because of cut backs in the arts he is the only teacher in our district to teach instrumental music. He runs between two schools, puts in many extra hours and money to insure that everyone who wants to play an instrument has a chance to learn. I am so proud of him and what he gives to his students, he is more than a Band Teacher! He doesn't have time to enjoy music for himself and I know he would love to play in a famous band, and it would also make my heart burst with pride." — Heather May

No. 42: Dine on a world class meal (WATCH THE VIDEO)

Today Show

"I am a stay at home Mom who loves to create a fantastic meal for my family and friends. I am lovingly called "Momma Lea" because if you come to my home you are going to be fed and fed well. My dream is to study with a master chef. I know my way around the kitchen and I would love to share my passion with a pro." — Leanna Christie

No. 37: Gondola ride (WATCH THE VIDEO)

"My dream is to take a gondola ride in Venice. I have never traveled outside of the country. With being a mother of six children as you can imagine our vacations usually involve some amusement park, beach or kids activity. I do have a fear of flying, so I would have to address that fear before ever going to Italy... I would love to take my husband and try to rekindle the love that seems to have been put on hold while we are raising our family. I find the spark that has disappeared, while we have been walking babies to sleep, changing diapers, playing "tooth fairy," having slumber parties, addressing nightmares, and oh yes....dealing with teenagers! Someday I will lay in my husbands arms while a man name Luigi paddles us down the waterway." — Judy Hughes

No. 36: Be a bat girl (WATCH THE VIDEO)

"I want to be the bat girl at a Red Sox game. I love the Red Sox and I'm a huge fan. I think it would be amazing to be able to be in the dug out with the players and see what goes on behind the scenes. I love Baseball and it is America's favorite pastime!... My dream is to be able to sit in that dugout at Fenway Park, and chat it up with the players, and eat peanuts and hot dogs, and sit where the best of them have." — Kandi Ames

No. 33: Go white water rafting (WATCH THE VIDEO)

No. 32: See the Kentucky Derby (WATCH THE VIDEO)

I would like to see my mother get what she's always had at the top of her list and that is to attend the Kentucky Derby. My mother is 81, and has been caring for my father who has Parkinson's Disease. She grew up during the depression and has worked, along with my father, to raise and provide for their four daughters. She loves horses and has always spoken of sitting in the stands at the Derby wearing a hat! Every year when the Derby rolls around, she watches it with interest and says how she wishes she could see it in person before she dies... — Sheila Hatala

No. 31: Steamboat ride

"At the top of my to-do list is to take a trip up the Mississippi river. When working in Baton Rouge, La., I would see the American Queen dock across the street from where I worked. When I retired, I vowed I would someday be on board as the boat steamed away from the dock and I would be on the deck of that paddle wheeler viewing life along the banks of the Mississippi, and possibly, if I twisted the arm of the calliope player, getting a lesson on the calliope and playing a song on that wonderful musical machine!" — Betty Jo Smith

No. 29: Dirty dancing (WATCH THE VIDEO)

No. 28: Paint New York City red (WATCH THE VIDEO)

No. 24: Star in a Broadway show (WATCH THE VIDEO)

No. 23: See whales migrate (WATCH THE VIDEO)

“Thirty-one years – that's how long I have carried this torch. It started with a simple black vinyl record that I sent away for from the Oceanographic Institute. I was so excited when I put it on the record player and out came these haunting sounds that literally made me cry, and feel such a connection to the beautiful guttural singing of the humpback whales. I would love to be able to experience the kinship I felt when I first heard those songs so long ago on that simple vinyl record. I need to see one of our earth most treasured creatures with my own eyes, feel its presence next to me.” – Darlene Rain

No. 20: Hot air balloon ride (WATCH THE VIDEO)

No. 17: Skydiving (WATCH THE VIDEO)

“I would like more than anything to skydive with my dad. He was a paratrooper in the army many years ago but, because of knee problems he was not able to continue. Three years ago my father was diagnosed with colon cancer and had knee replacement surgery in August of 2004. It is his dream to skydive for his 70th birthday which is May 2, 2005. My dream is to go with him. Please consider us for your 'Live for Today' contest.” — Peggy Andrews

No. 15: Be a movie extra

No. 13: Long lost love

No. 11: Race car

“I am a 33 year old mother of 2 who drives a Dodge Grand Caravan (This is the standard of stay at home moms with kids to transport everywhere). I am so totally enthralled with Nascar. My favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I try never to miss a race and keep up on all things Nascar!! People can't believe this is my sport of choice because they say I am so demure and quiet. If they could only see me watching a race or someone bad mouthing my Jr. Anyway, enough about my infatuation and on with my dream. I would like for my favorite driver to take me around a track going at least 180 miles per hour or more (I'm dreaming my wildest dream I might as well dream fast). I also would like to drive it myself, of course at a more respectable speed. I would love to spend a weekend at the race track getting to experience the whole racing weekend. Life would never be the same for this stay at home mom who drives a Dodge Grand Caravan.” — Miechel Bassett

No. 3: See the pyramids (WATCH THE VIDEO)

No. 1: Go on safari in Africa (WATCH THE VIDEO)