NFL, Beer Fest and strangers oh my!

•October 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I was born with a Vagabond soul and restless feet. I’ve never been rooted in anything other than my faith and family. My body literally aches and craves travel the way I imagine an addict battling his or her impulses while withdrawing. My home is gorgeous. My friends are gorgeous. I have no contempt for my location or my blessings. It’s quite the contrary. I have a passion, an infinity and a compassion for all the other unseen and un-sensed experiences hiding around the corner.
This week I escaped to Denver, Colorado. I had lived here as a child and just driving in from the airport flooded my senses with warm memories of my youth. Suddenly I was transported to the top of the New York Life building sharing an orange juice on a date with my Papa. I was almost immediately seated in the ridged pew of that tiny baptist church listening to the melody of fire and brimstone pouring courageously from my daddy. The memories swell, I swoon and my heart is filled with joy.

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Day 1 in Denver is all me and damn do I love my independence! I wandered into downtown with one objective, the Thursday night football game. As I passed a small cigar shop I felt my body pull to the door and my mind talk me out of it. Then the most magical thing happened, cosmic intervention, the wafting smell of a familiar tobacco blend from the days I used to share in a humidor with my (at the time love) JP. In this moment I was certain, I am that I am. I slid in and out of the humidor with a goal and precision. The clerk cut my cigar and kindly pointed me in the direction of a cigar and whiskey bar where I could watch the game. Just moments through the door of the Brown Palace Hotel cigar bar I knew I was in my territory and among my kind. Smoke billowed in and out of the pockets of laughter. Old friends caught up and colleagues brainstormed over far too much whiskey. I was among friends. Of course I’ve never met a stranger in my life. That must be what made me reach out to Michelle for a light. Oh, beautiful Michelle, with a heart of gold and joy for days. Michelle welcomed me so unabashedly into her fold that the waitress was genuinely surprised when she learned that we had just met moments before. Michelle and I began a personal banter that mirrored one another so closely that even our travel plans had mimicked one another this year. Shortly after I met Michelle she introduced me to her close friend, Guy. Guy was a man after my own heart. His gentle demeanor was only trumped by the hilarity of his sarcasm and humor. This was a crew of random interaction that I instantly knew would be in my circle for a long time to come. And as luck would have it Michelle is reasonably local to me! Guy on the other hand is going to have to be burdened by my returns to Denver to paint the town by his side.
Throughout the night we traveled as a pack and met many interesting people. Angel Ariel met Angel Gabriel, another soul warrioring vagabond. We all met the Aussie Steven, only my fellow soldiers and marines will understand when I say he was straight Queensland and amazing company. It’s been too long (months) since I’ve independently perused a city’s night life and reveled in the shared energy of the strangers it has to offer. I laughed so much that the morning would leave me with appreciated rib pain.

The following day was designed for just me and my best friend. We covered what limited local ground I had missed and then hopped in a car to go explore the sights and smells of Boulder, Colorado. As a sidenote, this is one of the most genuinely appreciated days of my entire trip. There’s something about being able to just wander and explore with your best friend that brings an undeniable peace. We ate at a place called Snooze and enjoyed Bloody Mary’s by the name of “Bangkok” that will change my perception and expectation of a Bloody Mary forever.

“Be bolder in Boulder,” was plastered everywhere and I can’t help but think that the world needs this moto for all of us who have been lured into the monotony of life’s predestined routine. As I am pondering this thought we wander into a bookstore where I read the words, “keep Boulder weird.” Those of you that know me know that this phrase confuses me. First of all, is this a secret movement? We’re trying to KEEP; Boulder, Portland AND Austin weird from what I understand. If we must propaganda a life directive then can’t we protest for excellence? Or at least normalcy? Have we really just accepted that this is the new state of regulation? But I digress, it’s already close to 4 PM and we’ve got first call at the Great American Beer Festival this evening.


This is my first beer fest. It’s everything that I anticipated and then some. Try to imagine less of the bar scene and more of a delighted congregation of people with a mutual appreciation for beer. The crowds are the size that you will never purposefully integrate with a second time. Each of them where’s a carbohydrate necklace. Some kind of string adorned with pretzels, protein bars or even doughnuts. My favorite must’ve been the man with a neck full of, bakery size, chocolate chip and bacon cookies. Some sentences you never imagine uttering in your life, “I try not to eat cookies off of strangers necks,” ranks among one of my top. But I definitely ended up using it that night. The beers we’re so phenomenal that I only had to toss out one. My partner in crime and I paced our selves well and by the time last call was collectively counted down we were feeling steady enough to continue on for the evening. What better way to wrap an evening but to head to “Church.”


Church is a local nightclub that is made from exactly what you’d expect, a converted church. I have never had so many mixed emotions. On one hand I was inspired by the beauty of the church and the creativity of the club engineers. On the other hand I was struck with the conviction of the potential blasphemy. Feelings aside I wandered the beautiful theological anomaly with my friend until we were both brave enough to join the random collection of drug induced pleasure on the dance floor. Taking in the people around me I was fascinated. So many with such reckless abandonment and all of it being communicated so differently. We didn’t stay long in our new found eccentric fashions but definitely long enough to enjoy and appreciate the beautifully orchestrated chaos and art. Just a short Uber ride back to our hotel and we would sleep heavier than we have all week in anticipation of more to come tomorrow.

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Morning would find me wandering the streets of Denver to my newest “favorite” coffee shop. There’s something so empowering about the self-expression independent seeking creates. I read a book, enjoyed some people watching and engaged with the incredibly uplifting homeless society that seeks rest in the center of downtown. A dozen coffees and half a dozen breakfast burritos later we were all warmer emotionally as much as physically. I never want to loose this desire to be hands and feet.

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Meeting back up with my travel partner we travel the opposite direction in town to take in some more; bookstores, some shopping, terrific swordfish at an amazing restaurant and some more local greats. The evening was spent with local friends enjoying; college football, tailgate, good local beer and a steak! The local beer came from one of the best sports bar environments I’ve had the opportunity to be in recently. The company was of undeniable character and the love swept over the table as much as it did the home. It was immediately apparent that my hosts viewed friends and family the exact same way I do. I was both honored and humbled that they were so happy to open the doors of their heart and their home to me. Alas, my eyes are barely holding themselves open and our hotel is a half an hour away. Time to head back and rest up so that we will be completely capable of being consumed by the pandemonium that the Broncos/Falcons game brings tomorrow!

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Game day! Where to begin?! Priorities first, my teammate and I both go to our respective corners in order to prepare our fantasy draft lineups. We chase that with a beautiful trail walk and meet up for some coffee with our friend from last night. Watching my partner in crime interact with one of his longtime friends is the cherry on top of all of this. The honesty and genuine experiences can’t help but place both of them in a safe enough space to completely reveal their personalities and their hearts. I am fascinated by the purity of the connection that they share and humbled that they have opened it up to me.

Off to lunch at my friends old stomping ground I have some of the best Mongolian I have ever had. The ingredients are fresh down to the last herb and spice. The sports bar setting is decent and gives us the opportunity to watch the beginning football games associated with our lineups. Hopping into an Uber we part the orange and blue seas as we drive to the stadium. Our seats were nosebleed. The traditional Broncos quarterback, Trevor Simeon, wasn’t playing due to shoulder injury and our rookie was on the field. My cohort has lived in both of these teams states so we are at a win-win football game, that is unless neither team plays well. The excitement of sports events is always so enveloping and adrenaline driven. I love every second of it!

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As the game wrapped we realize tonight is the night for the Second Presidential Debate and we will not be missing it! Watching it in the hotel room is neither one of our speed so we make plans to head back to my cigar bar. Walking in I’m familiar with the bartender, Ibrahim. He recognizes me immediately and his heart felt smile brings me happiness. I make arrangements with him and the two textbook Southerners to change the Sunday night football game to the debates for an hour, definitely a tricky request but it’s amazing what you can do with love and a smile.

After the debates wrapped and as we finished the last of football for the day we both realize that it’s time for sustenance. We head down the street to a pizza place that my partner is familiar with. The food was good but my real exult came from playing football in the streets with him on the way. Downtown Denver, 16th St., is designed for buses and pedestrians. This leaves quite a bit of concrete football field running the center of the street. If I learned nothing else on this trip it’s that I will always carry a mini football for moments just like this.

Back to the hotel for an early call at the airport and I’m already dreading wrapping this trip. Morning came too soon and we sailed effortlessly in and out of the travel rigmarole. The car was returned on time, we were neither too early or too late for our flight and the flight was direct. Touching down in Austin I am certain of one thing, my travel docket is about to be jampacked. The weather here is beautiful and everything just as I left it… For now.

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As always I love hearing from you! I appreciate your feedback. Email me; where you’d like me to go, what you’d like me to eat or what you would like me to see. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you! ariel@searchingnotlost.com

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An open letter: To whom it may concern

•September 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

To whom it may concern:

I am a mother fucking warrior. Too much? Too bad. It’s true, I am a mother fucking warrior. I am also compassionate. I was given the gift of mercy at a very young age. When I was a kid I thought it was the worst curse ever. You see, I grew up in a family of seven very independent children and two strong loving parents. There’s a certain weakness that I associated with mercy. I saw their strengths and their stoic nature beneath pressure and I longed for it. I was jealous of all of them. Their skin was rhinoceros thick and I was like a little June bug just waiting to be smashed beneath the weight of their daggered sarcasm.

I graduated high school at an early age after just 2.5 years. Although it’s worth noting that I had to wait the last half of that third year, filling it with work and extracurricular college courses, before I could walk the graduate walk. That’s when I began to work three jobs in order to support my newly proclaimed adult lifestyle at the age of 16. The metamorphosis definitely began then. I was too naive to see it but that’s definitely when it began. In the process of getting back-and-forth from all these jobs and my community college, where I was obtaining my AA in psychology, I found that it was difficult to maneuver as a 16-year-old on a permission slip from your family. Knowing that I was going to have to step up or shut up I requested from my parents to be emancipated. Now, most people associate emancipation with some sort of negativity. There is absolutely no hidden or underlying context here. I strictly requested emancipation so that I could begin the new chapter of my life that I felt suited for. I was a woman before my time. Knowing that there was nothing personal attached, and that the sole purpose was to gain professional freedoms, my parents agreed and graciously signed the emancipation request. I mailed in the paperwork with proof of my employment and housing and within weeks California just gave me custody of myself. In hindsight I realize that someone should have at least made eye contact with me. After all, we can say or write anything, but it’s the sum of our actions that prevail. Very shortly after being emancipated by the courts I found a gracious (or equally naïve elderly woman) who was willing to rent me her duplex. This is where I would spend the remainder of my civilian days as a teenager. Looking back now I realize how few apartments I stayed in throughout my life. It never struck me as odd until this week. *Below are some of the many duplex I have lived in over the years*

One night, while working the graveyard shift on one of my many jobs, God would see fit to intervene in my life in the form of a man named John McLough. John and I had worked together for a few months and had gained a certain kind of comfortability so when he came into work and requested that I attend his recruiter meeting with him to make sure that he was getting a square deal I was more than happy to oblige. Little did I know that while he was taking his test the excitement of travel and getting out of that tiny town would sweep over me. *As a side note I’d see John again in Iraq of all places. It’s a small military after all.*

* I intend to fill many of these holes this coming year/2017*

There’s no telling what brought me to the military, save for the absolute acknowledgment that it must’ve been God. As with everything else in my life I acted with impulse. Gut checked certainty. If I’ve learned anything in my few years on this earth it’s that my gut never leads me in the wrong direction. I just have to listen and stick to it. Instinctually certain I signed the paperwork, for what would change my life forever, in just a matter of moments. Everything after that was a whirlwind. I had breakfast with my parents and told them about the decision I had made. Their shock was palpable. Everyone questioned me. Everyone. No one thought I could make it through the grueling processes of the military, nevermind boot camp. It wasn’t because people thought I wasn’t strong enough. It wasn’t because people thought I wasn’t smart enough. My heart was the problem!! It’s because people thought I was too kind. Too kind??!! I don’t know how often I heard the words, “You smile too much.” The recruiters office even started a jar where they would put money in it every time I couldn’t go longer than 10 minutes without smiling. That jar was always brimming. Much like my smile. In Boot Camp my joy would prove to be both a blessing and a detriment. But wouldn’t you know it, I made it out just fine.

Immediately after leaving Boot Camp I started assuming leadership positions in the military. I got to work trauma and then emergency room overseas where I was exposed to hands-on training that doctors and physicians stateside can only dream of after years of their education. Because of that training I was indoctrinated into the green side of the house/marine corps which would take me to the middle of Iraq in the early and most formidable years. That’s where I would learn lessons about how to balance my mercy with my strength. I have no doubt that the training in this balance has and will  save my life time and time again and I owe that virtue honing to the military.

Up until Iraq the undertone was always the same with me. My mercy too strong. My compassion to forgiving. Everyone I met was certain that I would never be; strong enough, brave enough, or bold enough. But that just fueled me. That set my spirit on fire with something that it absolutely needed because in resistance I find my strength. As with all alphas, when you tell us “we can’t” it just  propels us to find the solution  to prove that we can. And I can.

Somehow, despite all of this growth and time, people still confuse my mercy with weakness. Although I have gone through the metaphorical change it’s not visible so people take it for granted. People see my mercy and think that I can be manipulated. People see my kindness and believe that I am weak. People see my compassion and believe that I cannot stand firm. People see my love and believe that it is a weakness that I will always succumb too. But people are wrong.

My mercy gives me the roots to show you grace but not be moved. My kindness gives me the strength to forgive you and accept you even at your worst. When I see you hurting and when I see you lacking it is my compassion that draws me close enough to reach you.

And my love. Oh, my love. My love is so agape I have yet to meet anyone with the same standard. But it is NOT the chink in my armor. It is not what brings me pause. My love is what helps me to hold you accountable. To hold myself accountable. My love for you is what helps me to know that the best choice I can make for you is to always be available as a resource but not as your steppingstone. All of these things combined; my mercy, my compassion, my kindness and love are a compilation of what makes me me. And all of these things together are why I’m still in your life. Not because I’m weak. Not because I’m too blind to see you for who you truly are or how you truly behave but because I have a type of agape that people just haven’t experienced yet and that agape leaves me room to have faith and hope in you.

I have fought many battles in my life. Battles against ex-husband’s, battles against drugs, battles against people and places that you feel like are only in the movies. I have fought many wars and lived many lives. And I’m nowhere near the end of them all. But what I have learned above all, what has been made so exceptionally transparent to me, is that agape will ALWAYS prevail if you can remain patient and steadfast. That and……
I am a motherfucking warrior.

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As always I look forward to hearing your feedback. Feel free to email me at ariel@searchingnotlost.com. Like, comment, follow and share the blog so that we can all journey together. Additionally I would love to see your photos of your most recent travel.

6 slides, 1 bobsled and an adventure to remember

•September 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s 5 am. I think we slept at some point in those dark hours. We are all three up and very slowly moving towards a waiting van to shuttle us to the airport car rental agency. Quick showers all the way around give way to fresh-ish faces and positive attitudes. We say goodbye for now to our home away from home, the Venetian, and saunter into dawn to catch our ride.
The van was quiet, save for the jesting Goose, and the hangovers were noxious. A short jaunt in the van and a hop onto an effectively timed shuttle and we were at the rental car counter. As usual Goose’s banter and charm brought us a car upgrade and we were out of the garage in under thirty minutes. I took first shift behind the, still relatively tiny, wheel.
The ground between Vegas and Utah is best described as barren. Miles and miles of green sloping hills gave way to hours worth of flat grass plains full of hay barns. The drive was long and dauntingly silent with the exception of my cohorts simultaneous snoring. I gave it the good old college try and delivered us safely into Utah before folding to my exhaustion and passing the metaphorical baton to a secondary driver and settling into my sleepiness.

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Park City was everything notable that I expected from the picturesque magazine photos. Greenery was prevalent and the weather was such that it begged for the windows to be rolled down. As we breezed our way into the Olympic Park the adventure and excitement began to creep over the entire car instantly. Using the car as a shield we changed abruptly in the parking lot into exploit ready clothing and hastened our pace up the hill to what we knew would be a chance undertaking of a lifetime.
At the top of the hill we collected our passes and headed straight for the bobsled! With a twenty second tutorial and warnings that could scare some of the bravest away we tossed on some helmets and positioned ourselves into the two most aggressive seats available. Goose sat in position four, the very back of the bobsled, with an expected 4 to 5 G-Force. I positioned myself directly in front of him, position three, with an expected 4 G-Force. There was no one in front of me so I was instructed that I could either keep my feet out straight or sit “Indian style” but that the latter was the recommendation to keep me in the bucket. Crossing my legs and armed with that underwhelming knowledge and education we were hurled down a hill. The driver may have only been pushing the cusp of 20 years old but he handled that rocket like a boss. Swiping the very sides of the hill we made it down the mountain at high-speed’s in the 70s and in just under a minutes time. What a rush!!! * Tomorrow I will discover a bruise that runs from my top left hip all the way down to below my left knee. The pain will be well worth it. * There is something about all these new adventure badges that  reminds me of the necessity to live “on fire” and brings me pure joy.

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Both Goose and myself felt a little rattled after our adventures with bobsledding and determined that it might be a good time for a quick refuel at the barbecue pit before heading down the slides. This is where we met our gracious hosts. What warm hearts! What was a stranger just five seconds ago greeted me with the largest hug and a welcoming heart that was instantly familiar. Making quick friends and shoving hamburgers into our stomachs at a rapid pace we rallied to make the four-story climb to slide down the equivalent of the largest slip and slides I have ever seen.
The 6 Slides gave way to a single pool that was being aerated to break the surface tension on an average of every 30 minutes. Although the objective of the aeration was obviously to minimize the damage to the people, coming down 5 feet from the air, it was a catastrophic fail. We watched as the slip and slides rained down people that received; concussions, dislocated shoulders, dislocated jaws and so much more. The Military crew 3 feet to my left was looking on to watch the “shit storm” and acting as commentators and comic relief as the day progressed. I couldn’t help but find myself in the mix of good company until one of them suggested that I, “might be put to work soon,” and that was my cue.
The slopes at the base of the slides varied in angle. But on most slides people were achieving heights of more than 4 feet in the air, at minimum, before barrel rolling into a pool. Our newly assembled team mustered at the top of the slides to discuss how we intended to hit the water. In hindsight we were adorably laughable. When flying off the 300 foot long slide and falling down the 5 feet from launch your only hope is to land in a position less than death. Luckily we all achieved this goal. Barrel rolling with a half spin off my first slide I was pleased right up until the second my bodies newly accustomed Texas thermometer hit that icy abyss of water. It literally took my breath away. I was stunned. When I resurfaced it took me a moment to catch my breath before I could swim over to the edge of the water. All of a sudden that cool and crisp air that I had rolled the window down for was the equivalent of a blizzard. The second time at the top of the slide was much more consternate. All I could think about was how cold that iceberg was going to be when I hit it. Launching off the slide and dreading the water the second round brought me down in almost a dive. And as I looked on I could see the hesitation of all my party as they swept down the slide fearfully approaching what they knew would be an ice bath. We played the remainder of day until the cloud coverage came in and demanded that we relinquish our strength to the temperatures that be.


After a quick rendezvous at our hosts home, and light freshen up, we headed back out to downtown. It was quaint and adorable. I know in my heart of hearts I could never live in this town but the vacation here has such an appeal I understand how people get swept away. We enjoyed some homemade chocolate, some comedic shopping and of course visited a whiskey distillery for yours truly.  The whiskey here is worth every penny of it’s overpriced bottling. It’s almost clear in color and some of the smoothest I have tasted worldwide. While enjoying my first flight of whiskey Goose made friends with the only other Texans in the bar that hadn’t arrived with us. More business cards were exchanged and we sat down for a dinner that was truly to die for. The company was phenomenal, the food was superb and the customer service was warm and conversant. We spent a little while shopping in the distillery shop where I would discover every woman’s best friend, Whiskey chocolate, and then trickled out into the evenings fresh air to walk off our very full bellies.

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Back at the hosts home we repacked and adjusted for morning. Spending quality time laughing and storytelling until catching a few hours of shut eye and heading off for our flight.
Utah was absolutely charming! The people where affectionate and the city was tender. The fondness of the community will definitely linger with me and lure me back for some snow excitement in the future. With no complaints from the absolute peace in my heart I shut the door on this chapter of Utah for now and mark yet another state off my list.

As usual I enjoy you sharing my journey with me! Please feel free to; like, comment and share. I hope you’re following me for future adventure updates. And of course I would love to receive your emails on future destinations you would like me to visit. Ariel@searchingnotlost.com

Inside some inside jokes

•August 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I have a way with reckless abandonment. My friend recently made the comment that some people have vagabond blood in their DNA but I am completely comprised of it. It’s not the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time, in my life that an unrooted word would be used in order to describe me. There are many names that I go by; hippy, hybrid, nomad, anomaly, vagabond, wanderer, hurricane, adventurer, cageless-bird…. The list rattles on but they all verify my true weightless identity. I definitely identify with a semper gumby (always flexible) mentality.

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Recently a friend of mine needed to go to Utah for some personal matters. The second I heard it come out of her mouth I knew I would have to attend. I had never been to Utah as an adult. I had heard a lot about it and the very mention of it gave me an itch to mark it off my list. Within hours our tickets were booked and the decision was made.

Shortly after deciding that we would indeed make this trip together a friend was over at the house visiting and it would appear has the same travel urgency that I have. He heard about the childless trip and the palpable joy swept the room as he declared he was coming. There are moments in life that become snap shots. Stills of your existence if you will. Moments when you evaluate the second as it is ticking by you and are overwhelmed with the certainty of your positions. This was one of those moments. I have surrounded myself with incredible people that are very much like me. Me, the identified anomaly has similar people in my vortex. I could not have been any happier than I was in that very moment!

It’s no surprise that a week AFTER booking our tickets, while discussing our different routes of entry into Utah, when my friend suggested we stop in Vegas the answer was an undeniable and immediate YES! We all scrambled to the phones in order to change flight reservations in order to all converge in Las Vegas!  It’s never enough for any of us to just travel rather we all need to: feel, experience and live the journey. We all crave the living behind it all. Shows were booked, adventures were sought out and plans were compiled.

The morning of Vegas had my internal alarm clock ringing well before execution time. My Littles were where they belonged, the photos had all been removed from my iphone and I was enthusiastically waiting for my partner in crime to arrive. I should have known the second he arrived with my favorite coffee in hand at 5:30 AM that this was going to be a seamless trip. We hopped into the rig and headed for the airport with a certain kind of child-like enamor that is so rarely mutually shared, especially at that hour.

Arriving at the airport well in advance we had ample time to park front row seating to the terminal and wander in with an aimless pace. We did a little shopping at the airport the way only tourists can. He bought me an Austin sweatshirt that both moved me and made me chuckle. Texas is definitely his stomping ground and for me I’m always 1 foot out the door. The irony behind the tourist sweater was not lost on me. Heading over to our gate just in time for boarding we get onto the plane with the ease and grace of a team that has been doing this together for years. There was only one layover of the day giving us enough time for a fresh cup of espresso and airport massages.

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I have never heard a spa so loud. My travel partner, Ben, is hilarious! A people person if ever I met one. He doesn’t encounter one soul that doesn’t love everything rolling off of that ninth generation Texas cowboy tongue of his. Kneeling facedown in a massage chair he can’t help but engage every single person and attendant with hysterical rhetoric that would culminate in the exchange of business cards and phone numbers for all of us as we head off and onto the next plane where my comedic counterpart can’t help but engage the people in the seats around us as well. Before we ever left the tarmac he had the woman in front of us tossing popcorn into his open mouth. My searchers all know that I am compelled to be silly and engage people around me with hopefully contagious joy. This travel partner brings out the best pieces of that in me for sure!

By the time we reach Vegas we are moving as one gelled unit. He is using my nickname “Maverick,” because of my history and driving, and he is “Goose.” Making fast friends with the driver of our shuttle Goose gets the insider details on the strip that only his personality can draw out of someone. We step out into our stunning hotel, the Venetian, where he makes friends with the attendant at the check in counter for perks and chaos galore. The hotel and the room are both excessive and visually overwhelming. We would spend the day exploring Vegas, the strip, the secrets that had been shared and really really great espresso from a company I’ve only had in New York.

The evening air was cool and a perfect contrast to the Texas heat we had been used to just hours before. We stepped off the strip and into a gondola that would circle around our hotel lot.
“What do you do for a living?” Asked the gondola driver

“She is a stay at home mom and I am an Astro engineer.” Said Goose.

“OOOh! Fancy!!! And the Astro engineer thing is kind of cool too.” The gondola driver through back without a moment of hesitation.

The uncontrollable laughter that ensued almost halted the beautiful serenade that I can’t, and would never want to, un-hear.

Dinner! Oh. My. God. Dinner! I almost don’t know what else to say. We ate at the only steakhouse in the world that ages their steak for three months. Three months! The average is three weeks. This steak dissolved in your mouth like it was always destined to intertwine with your tongue. The standalone steak dinner was complemented by; pickled asparagus, jalapeño lime corn, muscles, hand-spun pastas, fresh baked bread, and hand-shaken drinks that could bring you to your knees. The only thing the Carvino restaurant lacked was a cart to wheel you out to your hotel room at the end of dinner. But in keeping with the gold standard they were unable to accept our refusal of dessert and culminated the entire event with a chocolate boci to die for! With our leftovers in hand we shopped our way up to the hotel room where we could freshen up before heading down to the smoky casino for the remainder of the evening.

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While on the floor my girlfriend, Isis, who had originated this trip idea finally arrived! Our trio was complete and trouble had officially found Vegas. We gambled the night away and decided at 3 AM we should probably head to bed the only problem was we are a trio of adventurers. We almost made it 100 feet before we decided that we must head out to the strip one more time. Walking through the casino I somehow caught the attention of a very very drunk man. This caught the attention of my crew. And in what can only be described as a pirate oogling me the joke emerged that he had to switch from his bad eye to his good eye in order to make sure he was really seeing what he was seeing. Photos, shenanigans, exploration and memory sharing took over the next two hours before we finally, reluctantly, headed home for showers and a quick nap.

Resting from about 5 AM to 7:30 AM we all hopped up and headed out for breakfast. In keeping with his alpha cowboy standard Goose sat down and had drinks ordered before we can even situate our purses. I’m sure breakfast was delicious but it was hard to discern after the espresso, bloody mary’s and sangria that prefaced it during our waiting time. All of which were phenomenal and consumed well before the food arrived. Feeling like we had the caloric intake to last us the rest of the week we headed out to explore the opposite direction on the strip. The day was full of shopping and gambling, but the most important piece was the laughter! It’s always amazing to me the types of inside jokes that develop on trips like this. Some of the silly shenanigans I know will last for decades to come. My favorite during this excursion was when I stopped in to buy a pair of linen pants. They were stunning! Floorlength, white, flawless linen pants….or so I thought. Goose would spend the next hour trying to convince the sales women to sew pockets into these pants before I purchased them. The entire staff was full of good sports. And had I not been so adamant I’m fairly certain they may have found a way to make pockets happen on the daggum pants. The hilarity of the situation was priceless but the sentimental value beneath it, the level of how much he valued my needs, was an extraordinary reminder of the type of strength and love other people also have rooted in them.

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My partner in crime, having never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, agreed to attend “Love” with me. Love is a show about the musical revolution of the Beatles. Dressed to the nines we headed into the lobby where we were greeted by one of the sweetest couples and bought margaritas that could have easily been mistaken for a big gulp at 7/11. As has been my experience with any Cirque du Soleil show it was absolutely breathtaking. The aerial acrobatics, the insanely bright neon colors, the sounds and the interesting visuals all culminated in a show that kept you leaned into the front of your seat and eyes plastered on the happenings around you. At one point in the show they sent a white sheet up the audience that a portion of the audience was below and a portion of the audience was above. Our primetime seating had us in just the right space. The sheet stopped right at us where we could choose to be beneath it or watching the sides above it. Both positions were equally enticing and offered a new dynamic to the show. We both left the lobby enamored but Goose left ready to see every Cirque du Soleil show on the strip.

Back to the hotel to wrap up our wild spur the moment vacation we decided to stop at the blackjack table for a little more gambling. Those of you that know me know that I cannot gamble worth a lick. It is something about the idea of lying that makes it difficult for me. I can’t help but feel like the entire thing is based on deceit and I just want to be honest. In turn I lose money so I just don’t gamble. In fact, upon hearing that I was headed to Vegas , one of my best friends suggested that I avoid the poker table like the plague. So, as I sat next to goose gambling I did the one thing I knew how to do best, help. Every time he or I won any money I took the chips off the table. Once my pockets were full I excused myself to the cashier’s cage and let him finish out his hand. Up $300 and with just enough time to take a shower and have a nap before grabbing our suitcases and picking up our ride, we headed to the room as a trio, with memories that would last us a lifetime.

Goodbye for now Las Vegas but you will be seeing this trio again for sure!

As usual I really enjoy sharing my journey with you. Please feel free to: like, share, comment and follow. And I’m always looking for suggestions on my next destination. Email me at ariel@searchingnotlost.com

•January 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

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Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

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•April 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Talent Is Underrated