adventure

Brave Enough

“What are you doing tonight?”

“Um….. why?”

I was walking out of work.

“Tennis clinic. You should come.”

Pause….

Then the textual parade of excuses… It’s my only night at home this week. It’s my laundry day. I don’t want to wait around for two hours. I’ve never played before. I don’t have the right shoes.

(Inside, the mental parade of excuses…I don’t like looking stupid. I’m uncoordinated and awkward. I don’t like not knowing what I am doing. Shit, I’m just scared to be bad at something.)

The the opposing thoughts chime in…I’m always grouchy when I’m not invited to things. (I call it a case of the “pouty-pout left-outs.”) But how can I be mad if I don’t take people up on it when they include me?

I took the long drive home, started my laundry, got my stuff together for the next day, then changed my clothes and headed back out to go to tennis. I’m not gonna lie, my mental soundtrack was a long grouchy list of complaints. I was not fun to be around, so it was good I drove by myself. “Will there be other beginners?” I asked in text. “Yes” my friend said. Ok. Now to just jump into something completely new. Deep breath and go.

I felt kinda thrown in the deep end. Drills started without the “this is the racquet, this is how you hold it, this is what the parts of the court are called” ‘Tennis for Dummies’ I expected and needed.

But, I just hopped in line, asked some women their names, cheered for them when they made a good shot, laughed at myself when I made (many) bad shots, felt sort of accomplished when I made the occasional good one…and just kept going. I laughed. I moved. I listened. I tried. I did something entirely new. And then, miracle of miracles, I did it again the next week.

It does take bravery to take on new things. For some reason, it feels especially brave to do it when you can just be old and set in your ways. But learning continues at all ages, or at least the opportunity to learn does. Keep those bravery muscles fresh and limber. Keep friends around you who push you to keep trying things. Be adventurous. Be willing to suck at something new. It’s the only way to eventually get better.

adventure

It’s Time to Roll

Rolling out on a plush set of new wheels is my newest project or vision. It’s 2022 and I decided to try some new things, see some new places, meet some new faces and fill up my memory bank with a bunch of adventures. I’m aiming for 50 new-to-me adventures this year and of course I will blog about a few as time passes or maybe while I’m passing time in my RV.

Off I went to get me a motorized recreational vehicle. Not too big and not too small. Just the right size for a long weekend or a short trip. Small enough fit into a national park but not too small to make me feel like a sardine in a can. The first trial run is set on the calendar to make sure I’m packed and stacked with the essentials and operating efficiently so I can enjoy my trips wherever the road takes me.

My Amazon cart is filling up with the wish list items, the need list items, and a few recommendations from friends to be a road warrior of sorts. A-camping I shall go. How many states will I adventure through or to? Who will I take with me? How many photos will I share? Will a be a camping enthusiast or will I just give camping a go?

Nobody really knows, including me. The point is I’m giving it a try. I’m taking a leap of faith. I’m dumping my piggy bank out to say adventures will pay more dividends than the going rate of interest at the bank. Don’t wait. Today is here. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. 

The wheels are rolling. The mind is flowing. The adventures are about to be growing. If you are an avid camper, van life extraordinaire shoot me a reply and let me know what you recommend for my must haves for my new temporary home on wheels. 

adventure

Mystery Coffee Date

The adventure begins with the drive. Over the bridge, missed exits, over the bridge again and again. The chaos that ensued on the ride to the coffee house in an unknown city was one for the record books. Giggles galore, but we made it!

The Bold Bean was our destination for today’s adventure. The task was to order three coffees selected by the barista with ingredients unknown to us. A complete surprise to uncover the flavors or fail trying. We sipped and sipped. We took notes on our phone for suspected flavors. We snacked a little to cleanse our pallet. We had to sip and sort out the flavors. We failed miserably.

Coffee 1 was a lavender vanilla latte. We thought it had curry. This was a major failure on our part.

Coffee 2 was curry chocolate cappuccino. We got the chocolate right only because of the darker coloring but we really thought the flavor was nutmeg. Wrong again!

Coffee 3 was iced vanilla / honey / cinnamon. We got the cinnamon right only because of the aroma and the residue on the top of the ice. Also we thought this had oat milk but it was whole milk. We are not good at guessing.

This adventure was super fun. 1 hour of sipping, sorting out flavors, snacking on pastries and lots of photos to prove how bold we were today in trying something new to us.

My partner in crime was my pal Kim who traveled miles upon miles with many missed turns, oh shit moments, and too many bridges to count for this experience. It’s a one of kind Saturday morning episode of KT’s Bad Idea Club. She was a willing participant for the most part.

Before I wrap up this post I must also explain the ambiance of the coffee house. It’s an eclectic and calming place. From exposed ceiling beams to the abundance of brick and simplistic furnishings. The patrons are a mixed bag. We have two cyclists nearby breaking from their morning ride. A few couples out on what appears to be a morning date. A few groups of young ladies catching up on life. The strays on their laptop as a big party of one. The dad who is adventuring with his toddler boys to the coffee shop. Soft background music adds to the calm.

And I can’t forget to give a sweet nod to my barista. The fun girl who helped me with the challenge. The one who took a picture of what she made so she wouldn’t forget after she took 50 other orders. And the name for the order was Frances today. For those of you who know me would giggle as I always use an alias at a coffee shop when ordering.

adventure

Rainbow Sugar Socks

The adventure has begun. Rainbow Sugar Socks and Rainbow Fancy Feet have joined up for an adventure with Happy Pixie Duster. Who would have thought my calendar flip today would have provided such a spark to my little weekend getaway?

The traveling trio now has fun names or aliases to use on our road trip. Sure we will be chasing rainbows and sprinkling pixie dust on our travel but we also have fun names to giggle about. There really is a purpose for the travel but that’s almost secondary to the fun, companionship, and memories that we will create along the way. I’m in the midst of an adventure challenge of sorts. Many unknowns under this cover, but friends are required for success. The cover below is a sneak peek.

This challenge is a scratch off of sorts with timed activities as well as location specific tasks. A wonderful gift I received this year that will be full of many unknowns which is perfectly fine for me. I guess part of the challenge is coercing my friends to partake in the unknown without being able to back out. The first friend is taking that leap of faith this weekend. It’s going to be epic.

This blog post will be dedicated to the first of many assigned adventures. Wish us luck and stay tuned for a recap if it’s story worthy.

adventure

Sin City

I took a trip to sin city with my mom recently. It was a trip for the memory books for sure. Seeing the city and how it’s changed through her eyes was amazing. I can’t include all the highlights as there were too many but I can jot down a few of my favorites. The photo below looks like a postcard. However it’s just a shot from the parking lot we parked in on our first night. 

Let’s start with what’s that smell? From the constant aroma of marijuana in the streets to what seemed like raw sewage seeping through the ground at times on the strip. Then there was the clouds of smoke that casted smells of cigars or cigarettes of all kinds when moving throughout the casinos. I even think she noted the smell of burnt toast each morning going to our condo elevator. However there was a pleasing scent of gingerbread and pine needles in the Bellagio hotel while immersed in their holiday display. Clever use of the HVAC system I’d assume. Too bad the nice smells can’t overpower the gross ones. Oh, the smells that created giggles galore.

We took a trip to old Vegas or Fremont Street which had changed so much since her last visit. This area was revitalized. She was mesmerized with the laser show above her head set to today’s hit music. See photo below. In a corner she also enjoyed a DJ playing upbeat music while dancing and entertaining the crowd with her fancy hula hoop moves. 

Of course there were other sights she wasn’t as fond of, like the barely-dressed young girls dressed with feather plumes bearing their butt cheeks. Some had whips but all were looking for men she said. To hear her recount this was hilarious. She also saw the rougher side of life gone bad. The homelessness of the city. From those asking for money when you left a restaurant to those sleeping in the streets with signs looking for beer money. Very sad to see. I would drift off thinking about what got each person into the state of homelessness.

There is another side to sin city many may not ever visit. Maybe it’s a short car ride to see Seven Magic Mountains. Maybe it’s a unique visit to the Container Park. For this blog I will talk about the day we took a trip to Valley of Fire State Park. The history and experience was impressive. The rock formations were amazing. The colors of the rocks tied in so well with the sky. Pictures are great memories but somehow don’t do the experience justice. We also got a glimpse of some cool wildlife as an added bonus. 

Taking the scenic route always adds value to any trip. The photo ops. The time together. The soaking in of all nature has to offer. These are the priceless moments.
We can’t end this post without a good damn story. Thus we close with the damn experience. The Hoover Dam that is. A short drive from Vegas. You will start in Nevada but end up in Arizona after a short walk. A great little way to say you visited both states. The walking bridge was a hit for us this trip as it was constructed after my mom visited many years ago. She had a new viewpoint. A new experience. It was fun to hear her reminisce on what it looked like before for travelers. For one there wasn’t a security checkpoint similar to the airport or military installation. That was the first wow moment upon arrival. Nonetheless the beauty of the area didn’t disappoint.

Signing off from sin city.