When I woke up that Tuesday morning, it was, to all intents and purposes, an ordinary day. Except of course, It wasn’t. Continue reading “This must be the place.”
Now I like it hot just as much as the next person. For example, the current pleasant weather we are experiencing across the UK? I very much like this hot. I also like a good cup of hot strong coffee, hot peppery chillies in food, and a hot glowing fire in deepest darkest winter… Continue reading “Some like it hot.”
I’ve always been a massive fan of the avocado. Growing up, I would watch my mother prepare this delicious and exotic snack for me. I would gaze with burgeoning delight as she scooped it’s green flesh from it’s tough bruise-purple skin; rippled and hard like a crocodile, or the folds on a tortoise’s neck. It was such a treat, and I would anticipate it’s arrival with impatience; eager to devour it’s creamy flesh, slick with oil and peppery vinaigrette. Continue reading “The Avocado, baby.”
Today it’s our last full day here in Vegas and we have tickets to a pool party. I fully intend to spend the day soaking up the sun and, quite frankly, raving my ass off.
We get up early to arrive for the 11am start and wearing my party chic swimsuit (Thankyou Nordstrom!) hop the Deuce bus up the strip to Encore.
It’s a beach club part of the Wyn brand hotel and the queue is already busy when we arrive. After a stricter bag search than you get at the airport (was it really necessary to throw away my sealed mints??) we make our way in.
There’s a central pool surrounded by waterside cabanas, some set further back with private pools, then rooms behind those, and on a balcony above. The DJ stage is in front of the pool and the decks are already on the go.
There’s nowhere per-se to sit on general admission tickets and we certainly didn’t have the 3-10 grand (I know!!) spare it cost to afford a tiny lounging spot, so we pitch up poolside.
We jump in the water as it’s quite hot. Just 44 degrees, no big deal. We jam to the warm up DJ’s and it’s getting even hotter.
There’s no shade so we stay in the pool to ensure we keep cool as it’s a 7 hour party.
The beach club fills up quickly and pretty soon we are surrounded by a variety of guests.
It’s a little like high school cliques and people fall into the various categories: The jocks, The Abercrombie models, definitely The Plastics, and well, us.
Fortunately, we make friends with some fellow cool girls and a few guys with a cabana and chat and drink and dance together which is fun, our stuff stored handily on their poolside bed.
Water here costs a mere 11 bucks so we switch to beer as it makes more sense economically, however it goes against everything our parents taught us about not drinking and hanging out in the sun all day. Oh well.
The combination is getting us more laced than normal and we’re having a raucous time.
There’s about 4000 people here and most are posing and trying to get off with each other gypsy grabbing style-it’s something else.
People are dancing and splashing in the pool and climbing all over the cabanas.
The waitresses working the club are gorgeous Victoria’s Secret type babes who serve drinks and cavort around on trolleys spraying champagne on folks, taking turns dressed as sailors to wield birthday cakes for lucky birthday boys.
It’s truly crazy.
Hendrick B is on, and then Avicii takes the decks to cannons firing shiny gold and blue streamers.
The place erupts and we go wild. we all sing along and I’m jumping up and down poolside like a mental patient.
His set is great and I pop my finest dance moves, which are totally awesome, and I think I look the business (Not that my ability to judge this may have been impaired by the sunstroke in any way).
People are diving and splashing about and the cabanas basically get trashed, but it’s so much fun.
The set comes to an end and we wander dazed up the strip, doing some unnecessary shopping before grabbing food to soak up the sun and alcohol.
Back at the hotel we head to the arcades and the outdoor rollercoaster, which the bro says was pretty cool at night, not that I would know as I had my eyes closed screaming all the way round.
We gamble the last of our cash at a blackjack table with friendly fellow gamblers, and even when they take pity on me and throw me some chips, I still lose it all meaning I haven’t had to visit the cashier once this trip. Ahh, them’s the breaks.
When we go to bed I struggle to fall asleep. It’s been a great last day herein Vegas, but I can’t quite believe that tomorrow I will be leaving the USA and heading back to reality. Boy it’s been quite the ride.
This morning I awake to the sound of the ocean and the delectable scent of freshly ground coffee. Breakfast hungrily consumed and I head out front to the beach. It’s deserted save for a mother and her small child playfully kicking in the shallows.
The sun is beginning to make an appearance after lazily hanging back, and I’m grateful of the breeze to keep me cool.
It’s been an age since I’ve swam in open water so I head onto the hot sand and, running the last few steps, dive in. The tide breaks, fizzing up like aspirin around me as I splash gently back and forth.
I laugh and grin wildly with a smile only the horizon can see, enjoying the moment.
After a while I starfish and let the waves toss me lightly back to shore, where I wash up with the shale and the seaweed.
I walk along spying shells perfectly white like bleached bone and use this time to reflect on my travels so far. I’ve only been away for 16 days but already I’ve had experiences which will stay with me for a lifetime. I can’t believe I ever debated whether or not to take this trip.
Save some fleeting moments of insecurity, since setting foot on US soil I’ve done things I’d never thought I would, with a confidence I didn’t know I had. I’ve been ambitious, fearless, and strong.
I’m saying ‘yes!’ wholeheartedly instead of umm-ing and ahh-ing over no, or an awkward maybe. America is bringing out the best in me and reviving those parts that somehow got lost for a while back there in the harsh reality of stony-faced London.
I realise in this moment of tranquility, the depth of sadness I’ve been carrying around this last year-slowly losing sight of the person I am; how euphoric I now feel to have found her again.
I’ve stopped asking questions, I’ve stopped worrying. I’ve started living every day like its the blessing that it is. I’m out in the world and I’m part of it instead of on the outside looking in.
I’m full of colour as the grey blows away out across The Atlantic, hopefully never to be see again.
I gaze instead across the ocean, nothingness ahead of me, knowing for once, everything is out there within my reach, and that I finally have the courage to take it.
I’m no longer made of glass, about to break; I’m a Phoenix rising from the ashes, reborn.
I stand awed on the edge of forever, thinking how this is the last place on my travels I expected to have such a profound revelation, but happy that it snuck upon me anyway. I realise in this instant, I can do anything if I put my mind to it, and that thought excites me. Taking a deep breath of the heady Florida air, I start by running full pelt across the beach and leaping back into the frothing sea, a trail of fire burning in my wake.
I awake early this morning after a deep sleep worthy of the dead. I’m not really sure what to do with myself after yesterday, as I have a feeling the best experiences to have in Savannah won’t be written in any guide books or internet reviews. Continue reading “Anything but ordinary, please”