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.

adventure, family

My Photo Reel – AL Edition

Sweet. Sassy. Sporty. Special. Sisterly. Silly. Spontaneous. Sneaky. Smart. Strong.

The S words above describe some of the photos I see on my reel of A/L. The silver lining of their relationship is captured in the many adventures they shared over the years. The photo reel speaks 1,000 words about their bond and adventures together. Two amazing souls brought together by a sport. The game of lacrosse. A game I coached for many years. The girls who I coached for season after season. Two of my favs.

I have watched them grow. I watched them shed tears. I watched them glow up. I watched them conquer fears. I watched them lean on each other. I watched them team up in other sports and dabble in outdoor activities whether it be water skiing or snowboarding. It’s been a blast for me. I watched them have so much fun on and off the field. Sometimes miles separated them. Sometimes age groups separated them. Sometimes schools separated them. Sometimes teams separated them. No matter what they found their way back to each other. Time and time again the duo reunited without skipping a beat. It might also happen their moms are friends too.

Mountains of memories. From grade school to middle school. Then on to high school. Through a pandemic. From cross country trips to out of the country travel. They developed a thick bond. Now it’s time for college for one. New experiences on the horizon. They will have another shift of time and distance. It’s my hope that their bond will endure the shift of time, the distance, and barriers of life but only time will tell. So far they have been constant for each other but may have periods of drifting. As one leaves the sport does that mean the bond breaks or takes a sabbatical?

My photo reel is real. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My reel captures life memories and experiences over time with special people. This post is dedicated to my two girls who have grown up in many ways together. Enjoy the glimpse of the duo. I know I will.

As the holiday season is upon us I know my gift this year is recognizing the special bond these two have and how much joy it’s been to watch them shine together. Whether their relationship changes tomorrow or not they have so much to be thankful for in each other. 

Sports can provide a team but also a sisterhood. Many may not understand the value of the team experience if they never played sports. Leaders rise in sports. Camaraderie is fostered in sports. Lessons are learned in sports. Win or lose is temporary on a scoreboard. The scoreboard of life show the winners who emerge from sports and conquer their life dreams, fears and so on.

Hopefully my photo reel shows the power of a sport and how much one can gain from a team or even one person on a team. Maybe this duo will continue to grow in the years ahead and create their own photo reel of new memories from college to adulthood.
This holiday season the duo was able to add two more states to their travel book. Nevada and Arizona. Many photo ops. Many adventures. Plane rides. Car rides. Dirt trails. A sweet way to wrap up 2021. I heard giggles. I saw smiles. I heard snide comments. I saw a sisterly love. A bond brought together by a shared team experience and sports connection built over time. Adventures with your partner in crime are always good.

No mountain too high for these girls to climb. No adventure they can’t conquer together. No substitute for their relationship. A new age band is ahead for them to traverse but hopefully they will find a way to make an annual trip together in the years to come.

Cherished memories celebrated herein as we roll into the 2022 lacrosse season which will officially be the last time these two knuckleheads play their main sport together with their peers. Tears will come but so will the smiles.

adventure

Going Dutch

My daughter and I recently hit the road and headed to Texas.

It wasn’t too far into our trip that I declared “I don’t want to eat at any chains on this trip.”

If you’ve followed the Chicks for a while, you know we try to support local and small businesses as often as we can, so no chains seems right up that alley. But it was early the next morning when I had to add an asterisk to my “no chains” rule. I made exceptions for chains that didn’t have locations anywhere near our home. And so, bright and early, I started a trek to a coffee chain I had heard about called Dutch Bros.

Dutch Bros. is one of those chains with a cult following. There are secret menus. Collectible sticker days. IYKYK kind of stuff. Thankfully, at 5:30 am there was no line, so I had plenty of time to quiz the bubbly young woman at the order window.

I’ve weaned myself from coffee sweeteners and even cream for the most part, so this would be a treat. My favorite holiday drink is a peppermint mocha, so I ended up with a Dutch Bros. toasted peppermint bliss cold brew. My second drink was an Americano with soft top. If none of these make sense, check out the Dutch Bros. website. I also accidentally ended up with a hazelnut truffle mocha.

All were deeee-lish. Positive messages on the windows and the drink tops. And the woman at the window was a total gem! Win all around.

Yes, it was a chain, but still something completely new and different. Get out and explore and try new things, wherever you may be!

adventure

It’s in the Details

A surprise picnic. The weather wasn’t great. We didn’t even really know the area. The option to hike it in would have been too much to carry.

A friend scouted a park with a pavilion. We wandered in tandem with the vague directions we had, then finally stumbled on the spot.

The coolers, tucked in the back of the jeep for hours, and boxes and bags were ported out. Then the spoiling began.

A white tablecloth was the foundation. Topped by a fall-themed tablecloth with muted hues. Draped with care over the metal picnic table. Then, fancy bamboo plates and utensils. Yellow napkins folded at each place. Then, the finishing touches…jewel-colored velvet pumpkins that later doubled as party favors / remembrances for each of the women there. A fall candle bought brand new for the occasion, glowing and sharing a hint of apple scent. A table worthy of special guests. Even out in the middle of the soccer fields and playgrounds. Then, a build-your-own lunch spread courtesy of Trader Joe’s. Nothing too fussy. Just nibbles to try.

In recent years, I have grown to love surprising people…not in the sense of surprise parties, but more about delighting people with over-the-top unique details. Whether it be decorations, unexpected custom cookies that match their party theme, party favors that make people giggle, artist-created invitations, or a meal fit for a queen, it feeds my soul to make people feel special and make occasions memorable. People are worth celebrating.

This also extends to presents I may drop on porches on a random Tuesday. Life is a challenge for many. Why not make people smile?

I hope when they pull out that pumpkin each fall they smile and remember a great day, and someone who cared about them enough to plan something special. Spoil people a little sometimes. They are worth it.