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

City Sounds

Ah the sounds of the city. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the city without distractions to just soak in the sounds of the city.

It was a Monday morning. I don’t have an alarm set but I was awoken by the church bells. A very distinct sound. A sound I just had not heard in some time up close, early in the morning. Shortly after, the jack hammer started. Then the car traffic. The city was awake and so was I.

The city sounds are so very different from my home setting. I wake to birds chirping. I almost never hear a car pass at the time I rise. I definitely don’t hear jack hammers. What a difference on this Monday. I continue to hear the sounds of people in the hallway of my hotel in clusters. No sleeping in for this girl. Hammers are starting to bang. Leaf blowers are going full force. Air conditioning units are making sounds. I think I even hear the pipes flowing water in neighboring rooms. Large trucks are shifting gears in the roadway.

As the day turns into night the city sounds a bit different. The sounds of the horses on the cobblestone paths. The sounds of tourists navigating a ghostly tour. The sounds of a wedding taking place in the hotel. The cars passing by. The walkers giggling on the street as they go towards the ice cream shop.

The church bells continue to ring. As I focus on the sounds of the city I can’t ignore what lies beneath within the city. The poverty. The homeless community that appears in both day and night. Looking for something, anything. A side of life I again hadn’t seen in a while because Covid has kept me out of the city for the most part. My world is so small in comparison to what’s largely going on elsewhere. 

So much activity in the city today.

adventure

Drone Life

I did a thing. I bought a drone. Not really a new gadget type of girl but I could see some value in having one to use for different situations. And of course for fun.

It started with the purchase. Then directions. Then becoming a pilot. The directions were pretty interesting. The accent of the woman in the you tube video was entertaining. At the end of the day I was able to launch the drone. Fly the drone. Land the drone.

For me that was a major accomplishment. Nothing broke. Nobody was harmed during flight. It was so much fun. I got a few runs in before the winds picked up too much. 

Next step is to actually use the camera and video features. I even think you can program it to follow you as you move along or if you’re riding something. We shall see how I do next time around.

Drone flying wasn’t really on my bucket list but it was out of my comfort zone. Definitely glad I gave it a whirl.


nature

Plop Plop Plop

Not too long ago I wrote about sounds of the night. Specifically sounds at a friends house while in the backyard on a peaceful evening.

I also said I would test the sounds of the night elsewhere. This weekend it was on the farm. Another peaceful time but also different atmosphere. A rustic paradise nestled in the mountains but hidden in a mystic valley.

First, fireflies light up the air space in the distance. Then a bat flies by from time to time. Some light off in the distance from neighboring homesteads. These may not be sounds but it’s part of the vibe or atmosphere. A different kind of peaceful evening.

It was the calm before the storm. The clouds were bringing in a cooler, crisper air. Rain was lurking. You could smell moisture on the way. Does anyone even know what rain smells like? I think I do.

Into the cabin I go. The cabin with the red roof. The metal roof. Just like that the rain swept in. First, the wind starts hissing. Not a full howl but the leaves a-shaking in the trees. A few little branches hit the roof with a faint sound.

Then a drip, drip, drip sound appears. The sound of a dripping faucet comes to mind. Quickly it shifts to drip-drip, drip-drop, drop-drop-drop. The drops come faster. They turn into plops. Plop-plop-plop.

Plops don’t last long (neither do the plops in a toilet) oh my. Not quite a monsoon but a hard rain rolls in. One that would drench you if you had to run to car from the grocery store. Fast, hard, fiercely pounding rain. The sound was amazingly satisfying on the red roof top. The metal rooftop made the rain experience special.

It wasn’t long until I dozed off to sleep. A peaceful sleep. Unfortunately I know many who don’t sleep well at night especially with all the life stresses of a pandemic front and center.

It is my hope that just one reader will listen to their nightfall sounds and enjoy them as they drift off to sleep. For some it may be a subway train, for others it may be fast cars on their Main Street. Wherever you are enjoy tonight. I know I will.

awareness

Nightfall

It was a Tuesday evening in summer. Not too hot out, maybe 75 degrees. Sitting at a friend’s house in their backyard by their pool. Surprisingly no kids were around, not even in the pool.

No laughter. No whining. No birds chirping. No splashing of water. No dog barks. Nightfall was upon us. A simpler time of day in the yard.

The sounds of the night were so very different from the sounds of the day. What an interesting thought or moment in time to recount in this blog. Nightfall.

Creatures of the night were awake and singing to us. From the grass to the trees sounds were in full force. Crickets for sure were out in full force. Was there one or many? I can’t say for sure but it seems orchestrated or echoed.

A variance of chirps and high pitch zaps and wonky sounds in stereo in the backyard. It was calming. White noise, pink noise or whatever noise this refers to. It’s a peaceful sound. A simple sound of the peace within the environment.

How these sounds differ if the environment was a beach, a farm or a cruise ship. The click of the air conditioner turned on. Clack, buzz and the vibration hum set the background tone. The crickets sing on top of the bass sound. Layered on top are random zaps from a nearby bug zapper. Katydids egg on the crickets with their anthem. It’s a full blown orchestra if you listen.

Don’t let the silence kill you. Enjoy the carefree whispers around you. As a mom those silent times are few and far between. Embrace the silence. Enjoy the whispers from the grass to the trees. Appreciate the calming sense of the sound. If you tune out the chaos of the hustle and bustle of today’s world you will most likely sleep better at night.

If on a farm would I hear bears wrestling at night? Would I hear the moos of cows? Would I hear the sound of grass crackling when a deer passes by? Would I hear the sound of a horse wrestling in the solitude of his barn? Would I hear the sighs of those taking in the stars at night from their back porch? I may just have to research this.

I do know if I am at the beach instead of the backyard the night sounds are distinctively different yet calming in a different way. The rushing of ocean waves. Simple sounds but in a repetitive pattern. Swoosh. It may have a soft finish if the wave hits the sand or a harsh sound if the wave hits the rock. How a storm can change the sound in the backyard, the beach or the farm.

From a distant thunder to shaking of the roof when it draws near. To the sound of rain hitting your roof. And how different the sound is if your roof is metal vs. straw.

Nightfall. The sounds that ensue. Have you slowed down to appreciate the sounds of the night in your part of the world? How do your sounds differ from mine? Sounds are soothing. Enjoy your next nightfall. I know I will enjoy my next nightfall wherever my night falls.