The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

Wild has basically two definitions according to Google:

  1. living or growing in the natural environment, not domesticated or cultivated.
  2. uncontrolled or unrestrained, especially in the pursuit of pleasure.

blondes go camping

For a big chunk of my life my friends and family have called me “Wild”, and I always took a slight offense to that up until this point in my life. See, while this separation has brought new challenges to my forefront and can be full of some sad trying times, it’s brought me to the beautiful realization that being wild is my nature and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I lived for a long time dealing with shame about my actions, feeling guilty for doing things that made me happy when other people would judge those actions as something other than the joy they were bringing me. I felt like it wasn’t ok to be wild. That being wild was a mistake within me that I needed to somehow tame. And try to tame myself I did. I got married, “settled-down”, had babies, all in efforts to become what other people around me were telling me I was supposed to be. To live a life that would be accepted by everyone else instead of judged. The day I realized my marriage was really truly over and no matter how much tame living I did there was no fixing it, I let all those flying fucks right out the window.

being wild camping canoeing florida state parks

I’m the kind of person in a relationship where I’ll literally give up who I am as a person in order to fulfill the wants/needs/desires of my partner. This is what I thought love was like, but at the end of all my relationships I’ve been left a shell of a person. Realizing, no wonder he left me I’m boring as shit and my life basically revolved around him. Ew, I know. Learn with me from my mistakes tho… When my marriage ended I made it a point to start to learn about myself more. See, I was at this point of being able to live the life I wanted to, but was unsure of what kind of life that was. Slowly but surely I found myself slipping back into my wild ways, but there was a new sense of power with them this time. I’ve discovered that if I could describe myself with one single word I would use the word Wild to do so. No regrets or shame surrounding it this time either.

 

You know that famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well that’s where I’m at right now. For so long I allowed others to make me feel ashamed for doing things that brought me joy. I allowed the judgement of others to rob the happiness from the fun I was having. This Summer I stopped giving other people my consent. I decided to be who I want to be and live the way I want to live. As long as no one is getting hurt what business is it of ANYONE’S what or who I’m doing with my life? My children are loved, well taken care of and living beyond blessed lives. On my days without the kids I literally do WHATEVER  THE FUCK I WANT. & it’s magical I swear. I’m proud to be wild.

In late August one weekend without the kids I woke up on Saturday morning and just decided to go camping. Out of no where. One of my best friends agreed to go with me and we just spent the weekend in the forest making s’mores and vibing out on music. We went canoeing in Springs, walked nature trails and built our own fire. It was badass and I felt a sense of calm in the wilderness that I’d never known before. I wasn’t afraid of the huge spiders because I felt in my natural habitat. Like where has camping been all my life?

Since then I’ve spent more time outside the past few months than I think I have my entire life combined up until this point. I feel a real connection to being outside. I feel free & connected to all the right things. While I love my online community I also adore being away from cell service, where no one can reach me and where I can’t cyber stalk any of my ex’s because I’m alone. Being able to disconnect from my phone has proved to be such an incredible experience for me. I like to find state parks in driving distance after work to go on hikes after a long day cooped up in the office, I like swimming in water so clear I can see the fishies around me, and I love going down a trail- not knowing where it will end just trusting that I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be at some point.

I recently went on my second adult camping trip with my brother a couple weekends ago and Ocala is AMAZING this time of year. I can’t wait to get back up there soon! The whole point of this post is: it’s okay to be wild. Even if we’re just coming from a lush standpoint, it’s okay to make the things that are pleasurable to you a top priority for you. And pleasure isn’t just found in sex, drugs, booze, and partying. I find pleasure in cooking a meal for myself from scratch, even if I’m the only one eating it. I find pleasure in dancing half naked in my kitchen to Taylor Swift on full-blast and not having to listen to someone bitch about it not being “real music”. I adore being able to finish a bottle of champagne in an hour if I want to just as much as I love being able to pack up a tent and a pillow and sleep outside for the night with only water and a cliff bar to sustain me.  I don’t understand where or when being wild became a negative thing to be, but IDGAF about how anyone feels about my wildness anymore. I’m forever trying to surround myself with natural elements, be unrestricted with the actions that bring me happiness, and live my life to the fullest, however wild that might be.

If you’re interested in going camping I added a few of my favorite inexpensive camping essentials, I definitely recommend trying it out. It was a ton of fun and if I can keep myself alive in the middle of nowhere anyone can.

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Viva Las Vegas – Day 2

Viva Las Vegas – Day 2

There’s no sleep in Sin City, that’s for sure. Between going to bed LATE Vegas time and waking up early east coast time, we didn’t get much sleep. However, we were thrilled to get day two in Las Vegas started with some fun.

Our first stop was The Neon Museum, a graveyard of all the great Old Las Vegas signs. We had a wonderful time looking around at all the old signs and learning their history. I also have a whole post dedicated to The Neon Museum Experience, so I won’t spill TOO many of the details here.

the neon museum las vegas

After hitting up The Neon Museum, we decided to go check out Old Las Vegas/Fremont Street. The Fremont street experience is totally unique. It’s so much outside of the strip that it feels like it’s own version of the strip, just slightly more “vintage”. We grabbed drinks at a hotel I assume was only named after my own hearts desire, The D. Before walking right into Fremont East. Fremont East feels like where most locals go when they want to go out. There’s really cool dive bars and the prices are MUCH better than they are on the strip. There’s cool vintage signs everywhere, and everyone walking around just has that certain cool AF vibe.

the d las vegas

fremont east las vegas

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We ate lunch inside The Golden Nugget at The Paradise Buffet. This was an experience all in it’s own. While I can’t say that the food was amazing (it tasted pretty cheap, because it was pretty cheap), the way the restaurant is set up and all the gorgeous attention to detail in this Chinese Garden style cafe was worth the scavenge for decent grub. I felt like a princess in my pink plush booth, surrounded by ornate light fixtures and wonderful topiaries, definitely come for breakfast if you can – I’m sure their french toast is better than their lasagna and you’ll love being in the atmosphere this buffet offers.

paradise buffet old las vegas

paradise buffet las vegas

 

After lunch we went to the room to rest for a bit, then changed clothes and headed to Caesar’s Palace. Both Jawny and I had drink campaigns to shoot for there, and James was at the Black Jack table with a co-worker so it all worked out perfectly to spend the afternoon checking out the hotel part. After some casino exploration, Jawny and I stepped inside the Venus pool, on accident actually we were just trying to find a bar, and we walked into this 21+ area thinking it was like a club at the pool and then all of a sudden titties were out EVERYWHERE. While I am all about the free spirit lifestyle, I wasn’t in a mental state to pull my DD’s out at that point so we quickly got some God’s Mimosa’s from the bar and explored OUTSIDE the closed curtain. The pool at Caesar’s is truly unlike anything I have ever seen or experienced before in my entire life. The numerous statues, fountains and sculptures all in true Greco-Roman style where just magnificent to behold in person. Walking into the Garden of the God’s Oasis I felt really overwhelmed with the excitement and stunning amenities. Maybe it was the $30 perfect mimosa talking, but I honestly think I could just live my life at that pool area and be a content AF individual.

 

the gods mimosa ceasar's palace

garden of the gods oasis caesar's palace las vegas

garden of the gods oasis caesar's palace las vegas

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Since I was stupid and didn’t wear my bathing suit to Caesar’s pool, we headed back to The Palms and hit up their rooftop pool for a bit before changing clothes to have dinner at the AYCE buffet and going out for the evening. Our first stop that night was the Bellagio. I HAD to watch the fountains, which play a new song ever half hour. We missed the first one so we walked inside to check out the current conservatory art installation and grabbing a fancy drink at the bar.

bellagio las vegas

After a certain point, Vegas just seems like a bunch of the same stuff with a different theme surrounding it, but it’s still to go check out the different themes to each piece of real estate out there. We hit up The Cosmopolitan to have a drink at the ultra swanky Chandelier, took in the sights of the bright neon lights of the strip, then finally got prime viewing space for a wonderful fountain show at the Bellagio.

paris las vegas at night

The days and nights are long out in Vegas, so after the show we headed back to Fremont East to check out some of the hipper and cheaper night life. Our first stop was Commonwealth, a very Euro style pub with live music and a rooftop deck. While we sipped on cocktails we plotted our next stop, and decided on Beauty Bar. Beauty Bar was probably my favorite bar. It legit looked like a beauty salon inside, but instead of hair styling tools at every station, there were rows and rows of every liquor you could think of. They had some live hardcore music, which was a suprise given the very girly decor, but I was into it. I was beat after Beauty Bar since waking up at 7am, so we went back to the hotel for room service and bed right after so we could make the most of our final day in Vegas.

paris las vegas at night

The Neon Museum – Las Vegas

The Neon Museum – Las Vegas

the neon museum las vegas

The second day we were in Vegas I hit something that’s been on my bucket list for years, The Neon Museum. The Neon Museum is like a graveyard for literally the best and BRIGHTEST (see what I did there) of Las Vegas’s Street Signs, only the museum gives them a new life both in the daytime and at night when the whole park lights up in all the olden glory and splendor of the good ol’ days.

the neon museum las vegas

Jawny and I decided that since we were all about experiencing Vegas nightlife in the present, we’d hit up the museum during the day and I’m really glad we did, because it gave us the ability to get great photos and also see the character and real age of these glorious old signs.

There’s really nothing like experiencing this old boneyard in person. Some of my favorite signs personally were:

the neon museum las vegas

Sassy Sally, not only sounds like my legit spirit animal, but according to our tour brochure, Sa$$y Sally used subliminal messaging in her sign with the two $$’s encouraging gamblers to spend money and win big!

the neon museum las vegas

At 188 feet, The Stardust sign was the tallest in the world in 1968.

the neon museum las vegas

If you don’t want this guy to be your new best friend, we can’t be friends.

the neon museum las vegas

The Lido de Paris was a show at the Stardust, which was imported from Paris in 1958 and ran it’s final curtain call in 1991. The show ran for 32.5 years, seeing audiences of over 19 million people throughout it’s 22,000 performances.

the neon museum las vegas

While I couldn’t find much information on the Clark Inn, it was most definitely my favorite sign to find (for obvious reasons).

The Neon Museum is open daily from 9:30am-11pm. Next time I’m out west, I’ll definitely be checking it out at nighttime, when all the beautiful signs light up and you can really see how resilient the ghosts of this town really are.