Las Vegas 2.0

Las Vegas has marked many milestones in both Tree’s and my life.

I lost my virginity here when I was 16. Woohoo! Just kidding, it was actually very anti-climatic. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the pun).

Then I landed here briefly around age 23 during my run-riot days and, of course, made things worse. Suffice to say this is not the best town to bring a habit.

Then 7 years later, at a wine tasting event at the top of Mandalay Bay, I first laid eyes on the love of my life, sitting pretty as he was in his tight t-shirt and smooth olive skin, just waiting for me to land in his lap and profess my undying love. Woohoo!!!! For reals this time.

A couple years after that, I got a phone call while I was in LA from one of Tree’s climbing friends telling me that Tree had fallen 40ft at Red rocks and was being helicoptered to a nearby hospital. That sucked. But oddly enough that accident, as horrible as it was, changed the trajectory of our lives. Before the accident our relationship was like a series of honeymoons–once a month we’d meet up somewhere and have a lot of fun–but we could never figure out how to reconcile my dreams and his dreams. Then, during Tree’s recovery, he was in a wheelchair for 5 months and needed a lot of help.  So I would fly up to Seattle on the weekends (I was going to UCLA during the week) and relieve his mom (or dad or brother) to take care of him. Somehow between pushing him to Starbucks and cooking him dinner, we were finally able to ‘see’ a future together. It’s funny how sometimes our deepest dreams–the ones about love, commitment, and intimacy–are hiding in the most mundane places.

And, now, six years after that, we’re back in Las Vegas, plus one. In fact, in just a few days Tree and I will celebrate our 9 year ‘getting together’ anniversary. As much as we love reminiscing about those raucous days in Sin City, when we were in our early thirties and stayed out all night partying like rock stars, these days as a family are infinitely better.

Soleil walking through downtown, the coolest part of Vegas by far.

Soleil Downtown

This time around we have Soleil, and it makes all the difference.  

Honestly, I always thought parents just let their kids roam around Circus Circus while they played slots all day. I had no idea Vegas had so much to offer…. like GIANT PENGUINS!


Soleil hugging penguin

And GIANT UNICORNS!

Sol and Unicorn2

And GIANT ROCKS!

Sol and Daddy climbing2

We spent at least a couple days a week rock climbing. Well, Sol and Tree rock climbed. I just went along for the nature ride and to spot Soleil. Unfortunately, I’ve STILL been nursing my shoulder injury, which some X-rays and an MRI later has turned out to be a pinched nerve in my neck caused by three herniated discs. Physical therapy here I come.

Last night Tree and I were lying in bed, his feet swollen after a long day climbing, my neck and shoulder aching after a long day of being mom, and we were trying to picture what we were going to look like in another 10 years, 20 years…we couldn’t bear to think beyond that. We should have had at least one more kid to help Sol push our wheelchairs.

Family climbing

Mama and SoleilSoleil has been loving her days in the wild. She runs around and picks out her own projects. “This one! Esto!” she says, pointing at bigger and bigger rocks.

Mama spotting Sol

Mama spotting Sol2

You really have to try hard to see her at the summit, but look how proud she is. Go Soleil! Brazos arriba! Sol at the summit!

Tree had some great climbing days, too.  Thank you Lorenzo for keeping my honey safe! Now put a helmet on, dammit.

Lolo

lolo 3

I carry these childhood pictures of Tree around in my wallet.  He must be around 8 years old.

Little Tree

Now look at that smile. Some things just never change.

Lolo 2

I like to look at his kid pictures when I’m mad at him. It reminds me that underneath it all, we’re just kids in grown up bodies living grown up lives.

While Tree was off having his fun, Soleil and I were hitting the Strip! Okay that’s a lie. But we did go to the Gilcrease Animal Sanctuary with Lisa (Lorenzo’s wife), her friend Michelle, and their kids, and we saw goats, pot belly pigs, ducks, geese, pheasants, mules, and more animals I can’t remember.

And then all four kids got naked and one little boy pooped behind a bush, and we got kicked out. Who says the party stops after having kids? They don’t even have to be drunk to strip down and defecate in public.  But don’t worry kids, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! Your secret is safe on the Internet.

Gilcrease Animal Sanctuary

A goat named Houdini stole Elijah’s banana, and then this funky chicken stole my celery stick. What a racket.

funky chicken

Geese 2

Goose

A big highlight was when Abuelita came to visit, and we went to Red Rocks….

Cyndi and Sol2

and to the Springs Preserve, where we saw an awesome show performed by rescued parrots….

Parrots

and then we painted a miniature bird house and ate anything we wanted at the brunch buffet.  If you think saying no to a 2 year old is hard, try saying no to a grandparent.

Sol paintingI absolutely love the picture below. With Sol’s grimace and clenched fist, and Noah’s red eyes, they look like they belong in that old movie The Warriors…..

“You warriors are good. Real good.”

 “The best. Can you dig it?”

Soleil the wife beater

…Or maybe just in a Clif bar commercial.

Rock climbing kids

Tomorrow we head out toward Bishop, California which will be decidedly more wild than Vegas.  As much as we’ve loved being here, we’re longing to get outside the city and camp a little.

Also, I pretty much finished decorating the Bounder so next post will be an interior tour. 

And, other big news, my new web site is currently being built and will hopefully launch next month. It will continue along the same lines as Sprinter Life with daily life updates but with more to offer like free guides, road recipes, essays, and a question and answer forum.  I want to keep the same openness and honesty, and obviously highlight doing rad shit in beautiful places, but I have some higher aspirations, too. As I get closer to launch date, I’ll share my whole vision with you all.  In the meantime, if you have any suggestions or requests, please let me know. I’m all ears!

Okay, you want to know the new name?  Sneak preview!

 

COMING SOON…..

 

Nomadly in Love logo

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Un gusto haber coincidido con una linda persona!… Saludos y buen viaje….te estaré leyendo…=)

  2. Was only there once, for the Vegas Half Marathon – got shin splints walking around downtown the day before :/

  3. I LOVE your new blog name!! Wowzers, it’s just right.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Omg stevie hope the pinched nerve isn’t from all the head banging in your youth. Saw jodean.call at Starbucks last week haven’t seen her in 15 yrs! she is prego with first baby we were reminiscing about the three of us in gym class anyways girl love the new name of the website can’t wait to see it! Much love zaina

    • Yay for Jodean! That makes me so happy to hear. As for the pinched nerve, I would not be surprised one bit that it’s a product of ‘too much fun’ in my yester years. What was that they said about XTC draining your spinal fluid?

  5. lol. oh Stevie, I love you…and the new blog name! Glad you guys are having fun <3

  6. Gorgeous gals!

  7. First time reading your blog. Very entertaining. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Can’t wait for the next entry!!!

  8. LOVE IT!! It suits you all perfectly. I can’t wait to hear about it.

  9. Vegas is cool. Bishop- Tree must be in climbing mode.. lol

  10. well, that was tim posting.. sorry

  11. Stevie
    I remember paragraph 1 as it ACTUALLY happened 😉
    Love you
    Looking forward to your new site.

  12. What a GREAT name! Can’t wait to see what evolves, as I have loved following Sprinter Life for the past couple of years.

    • Thank you! I’m super excited to dig a little deeper within my writing process, give back a little more, and expand the awesome community that’s been journeying with us all these years. If you have any suggestions, let me know. I’d love to hear them from you.

      • As for expanding community, you might get your site listed on hitchitch.com, which is a master list of sorts of all RVing blogs, with a small description of each. I get a lot of traffic from that site… Best of luck!

        • Thanks for the tip, Suzanne. I’ll sign up with them. By the way, I enjoyed your Black Canyon posts. I love the Colorado river–it taught me what life is really about. Tree’s going to do another Grand Canyon trip on a raft or kayak in January 2016, but Sol and I will stay behind.She’s still a little too young for those rapids.

          • Stevie, you will need to send him an email and have your blog added. I believe you can also send your short “bio” about what the blog is about.

            Thanks so much for your kind remarks about the Black Canyon post. I just finished my 3rd and final post on it this morning with a quote from Edward Abbey, “The love of wilderness is an expression of loyalty…the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need.” I know this resonates with you, Sol, and Tree as well, which is why I have enjoyed your blog!

            Grand Canyon rapids are still on my “experience list,” so I hope Tree will do a few guest posts! 😉

  13. Tim Wilson says:

    Watched a sad and sobering documentary on Parrot’s 🙁 Safe travels! Tree-lets climb!!!!!

  14. Peggy Ditch-Langdon says:

    So looking forward to your blog!! I love Sprinter Life and now I’ll have two that I will read and cherish…I don’t read any other blogs at all…

  15. Abuelita says:

    NOMADly in LOVE launches soon! Great News!!

  16. Naomi Chance says:

    Awesome Sauce! – Love seeing all your pics and updates and lo<3e the new name.

  17. Dave Adair says:

    Looking forward to the next incarnation! And I hope there’s a video of the van tour…

  18. Lilia Castro says:

    Un gusto haber coincidido con una linda persona!… Saludos y buen viaje….te estaré leyendo…

  19. Lilia, ya fuimos Las Vegas, pero te aviso cuando regresemos. Tenemos que unir las familias y tomar pisco sours y comer comida Mexicana y Peruana! 🙂

  20. Jock Bradley says:

    So you got the MRI, Soleil went climbing and Tree got naked in public? At the very least I hope you are okay and that the MRI was precautionary and yielded no negative results.

  21. Maritza Johnson says:

    I LOVE your new blog name!! Wowzers, it’s just right

  22. Nancy Patterson says:

    Best name ever!

  23. Lauren Neel says:

    lol. oh Stevie, I love you…and the new blog name! Glad you guys are having fun

  24. Lara Mays says:

    First time reading your blog. Very entertaining. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Can’t wait for the next entry!!!

  25. Terri Williams says:

    Sol at the summit is awesome.

  26. Cindy Sherman says:

    Beautiful ladies!

  27. Darlene Meadows says:

    Beautiful!

  28. Uncle Mick says:

    Was only there once, for the Vegas Half Marathon – got shin splints walking around downtown the day before

  29. Looking forward to the new site!

  30. Hello. I wanted to ask what your plans are for Soleil’s education? Im sure yall have decided to cross that bridge when it come up but Im just curious. I have seen other blogs were families are homeschooling with the help of an internet site ( the name escapes me right now) that you register on. My wife is a teacher herself and I know she loves to teach her kindergarteners and I see it is a challenge for her to come home and help educate our own kids now that they are older. Teaching all day then teaching all night is really a strain on her. With the testing the way it is all I hear is her and other teachers say is that all they teach is for the test. I see the stress it places on our kids as well as the teachers. I would like to see my kids educated to be free thinking and critical thinking. Not trained seals.

    Thanks

    • Hey CJ. I couldn’t have said it better myself: “I would like to see my kids educated to be free thinking and critical thinking. Not trained seals.” Not to say that I don’t value formal education. On the contrary, I loved a lot of my experiences in education, particularly at the small private school, Le Lycée Francais de Los Angeles, that I attended, and UCLA. But, as your wife, pointed out, it’s getting harder and harder for teachers to give those spellbinding lessons and take those ‘Dead Poet Society’ kind of leaps. More than anything, I want Soleil to love learning and see life as opportunity to do just that. So, yes, to answer your question, we will be homeschooling, but I hope to pepper her education with some great programs, or perhaps some time in alternative (nature) schools. We shall see, but I’m excited that we get to tailor an education that’s just right for her.

  31. Loved hearing about your trip! You’re right the party doesn’t stop with kids :). Looking forward to your new site. I always enjoy your writing and it’s wonderful to see how things have evolved for your family the past few years.

    • Hey Liv,

      It’s so good to hear from you. Sorry for the extreme delay in my response. I’m always running behind these days, but having a blast anyway. Tree and Soleil and I are in BC right now, and we’re thinking of heading to Tofino for a few days next month. Any chance we’ll get to see you and your brood? We’d love to hang out!

      • Hi Stevie!

        Yes we would love to hang out. I tried to email you at the address provided here but it bounced. Do you want to email me your phone and/or email address and we can connect there? I also sent you a FB DM hopefully you can get it. I think you might begin Squamish right now?

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