Tag Archives: memories

Just a month ago…


There has been so much that has happened lately that I have had a hard time trying to write something down but today has been  one month since Dad passed. It’s taken me about a month for things to calm down a bit and sink in.

A little over a month ago I packed up my car, Gatsby and started driving back to Vegas. I left Nashville to be back with the fam. Dad was super ill and I knew that I needed to be back to spend as much time as possible with him as his days appeared to be numbered. Little did we know, his days were to soon come to an end. We got into town very early in the morning on the 23rd, later on that day he went to the hospital and then a little over a week later on the 6th he breathed his last breath.

I made it just in time.

And now it has began to truly hit me. It has been an absolute whirlwind and now that the dust seems to be settling, reality is setting in. My dad is gone. Yes, he is absolutely in a better place without any pain and suffering but I miss him so much. I am my dad’s twin. I look mostly like him and personality wise, I am very much Dan.

He was an incredible man When he was a kid, his parents abandoned him and he had to grow up on the streets. He was a wild child. He was a fighter like none other. He did not know how to give up and did whatever he had to do to get ahead. He had nothing and worked his ass off to come so far. His journey was a difficult one.

And in the midst of it all, he loved us with everything he was. He wanted the absolute best for my mom, my brother and I. He was a man full of dreams and ideas. He busted his ass to get ahead. He could talk your ear off with his stories and make you laugh when you felt like absolute shit. He had no shame. Once he had an idea in his head, there was no stopping him.

His love for his family and those he loved was incredible. He was compassionate and caring. He knew what it was to be hungry, with nothing and lonely therefore he did whatever he could to make sure that those around him would not have to feel that way. Yes, he was rough around the edges, to say it nicely, but he truly had a heart a gold under it all.

He taught me to preserve and never give up. To fight and do whatever needed to be done to accomplish my goals. He taught me how to be wild and free. He showed me how to find solutions to problems and how to enjoy the little things in life. He taught me how to shoot a gun when I was five, when I was a toddler he would take me out body surfing in the waves, he would take me on crazy roller coaster rides before I probably should have, we would sit on a dock and fish for hours, we would wander around the woods just for the heck of it. He would stop on the side of the road to pick me some wild flowers. He showed me how to ride a bike and then later taught me how to drive in a big ass suburban. He encouraged me to pursue the desires of my heart, how to cook without recipes and not let fear stop me in life. He showed me how to love people regardless of their status and to have compassion for all.

He was a crazy, wild man.

He had more hopes and dreams than probably most people. He had so many plans that he did not get to accomplish. There were places that he longed to go to, things he wanted to do, people that he wanted to meet.

But I guess that’s where I pick up the ball. That just might be the place where I keep going from. I loved his wild heart. Although, I think it came across a bit harsh at times and most people didn’t really understand him, I loved that fire within him. His passion, his unending dreaming, his love. I will forever hold that dear to my heart. I will forever carry that wildness within me. That tenacity and stubbornness to accomplish what needs to get done in order to achieve what I want in life.

Yes at times he drove me crazy but I will forever miss him. It sucks not having him around anymore. Not hearing his crazy singing and not having him bugging me. I hate walking up to the house and not seeing him sitting outside with his book enjoying the night air. I even miss his crazy commentary, not really know what he was talking about but dead certain that he was right whilst watching basketball games.


I know that life will never be the same without him here. It sucks knowing that he didn’t get to grow old with my mom, give me away on my wedding day (if that ever happens) or get to see those grandkids that he always wanted. No matter where life may take me, he will forever be in my heart. I don’t understand and there are so many questions that I have. I hate that he had to go in the way that he did but I know that in some way or fashion it will all be okay. It probably wont be today or tomorrow but some day down the road, it will be okay. Of course, I have come to realize that I will forever feel like there is a piece missing without having my dad here on earth anymore, but I know that one day I will see his crazy ass again and it’ll be a glorious time.



For now, this is a season that I must walk through, although if I’m completely honest, it feels as if I am barely able to crawl through some days. I trust and know that in some way life will work out, as it always does. I trust and have peace that although it may not always appear so, God has it all in control. This year so far has been a rough one filled with storm after storm but one day I will feel that sunshine again and be able to wander to my next adventure.



The year that was…

I recently went back home to Vegas. I havent been home in about 7 months. Its always interesting to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.

At dinner with one of my friends, she mentioned that I seemed happy. That I was enjoying life. That I was having fun.

Next month will be a year since I have moved to Nashville. At this point last year I was burnt out, exhausted and pretty much dead inside. I needed something new. A new adventure, a new place, new people…everything new… I could no longer exist in the bubble in which I found myself so comfortable in. I could no longer go along with the motions. I needed to break away in order to become alive again. I needed to breathe in the air of someplace new. To see new sights. To be in a place in which I could begin again. It was more of a move of survival more than anything.

2014 has been quite a year. I have been to 16 different states, drove over 6,000 miles and flew over 9,000 miles.  I have driven my car from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. From one coast to the other. I have gone to cities that have been on my list to go to for years. One by one, I’ve been able to check things off my life list (which Im pretty sure is a never ending list) I have started over in a new city, in a place that I have never lived in before. I have survived. It has been a difficult year as well. There have been many tears, many times when I just wanted to throw in the towel, to tap out, to pack it all up and move back home. Yet it has been a good year as well, personally. Although I did not accomplish everything that I had wanted to, I am thankful for what has happened and who I have become.

I am thankful for this crazy journey that has led me to this point. I love all the colorful characters who are a part of my story. I have come to enjoy all the crazy stories, illogical happenings and just random situations in which I have found myself in. I’m sure that if I sat down and wrote everything out I could possibly have a somewhat interesting book to read. This year has truly been quite a ride but as I look back am a grateful for what 2014 became. Of course there are several things that I would do differently but at the same time, it is what it is and here I am.















Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset



















And now, I look ahead, 2015. Looking forward has been quite foggy as of late, but I think it’s starting to clear up. I can begin to see again. To look through the telescope. To see where this compass of mine is pointing to. I think I know where I want to go next. As far as the details of how, when, where exactly…well, that’ll come in its time. But for now, I have hope for whats ahead. I have an expectation for what may lay ahead. I know that it will not be easy, but just about everything in life thats worth something will cost you something great. There is a great cost for this wandering heart of mine. It is uncomfortable most times and there are quite a few tears that are shed, but this is the life that I have chosen to live. It probably doesn’t make much sense to most, but I honestly can’t be bothered. I go where the wind blows. At the end of the day, I want to know that I chose to live. To be me, to live my life.

I do hope that you have an incredible 2015! May you accomplish great things and enjoy the journey along the way. Do things that scare you and laugh more than you ever have. Go out, wander & explore this beautiful world that we live in. Make the most of the year that lays ahead.

Much love from Nashville!!!




Once upon a Sydney wandering…

The other day I was going through some of the pictures on my computer.

Looking back at those photos brings back all kinds of wonderful memories so I thought I would share some of them.

This one is from wandering around one of my absolute favorite places in the world, the Sydney Botanical Gardens.

It was about a 30 min train ride from where I lived in the suburbs to downtown Sydney. I would try to go as often as I could and wander about the city, but when I just needed a bit of nature I would go to the gardens. In the midst of a busy and sometimes chaotic city, the gardens are place to get away from it all. It’s about 158 acres with 8,900 different types of plant species. It’s a wonderful place to wander about when you just need to see something beautiful.






































I miss this city more than I can put into words. When I finally decide to put some roots down this is the one place that I would be okay to do so in. I know that one day I will return again but for now, I treasure these pictures and memories.

Thoughts From a Morning Hike



Since moving to Nashville, I am obsessed with being outdoors.

Living in the desert for so long, I’ve missed seeing actual trees and living in a place with distinct seasons. After having such a cold winter, any moment that i can sit outdoors and enjoy the sun, you know im there.

I would have to say that it probably started when we moved to Missouri when I was 5. Or maybe even before that, as a toddler my parents would take me to the beach and I would throw a fit when it was time to leave. I LOVE the ocean…I mean, I was born in Oceanside, CA.

Then it all probably got worse when we moved to Missouri. We lived in Branson West for two years. For the most part, we lived in a trailer park. Yes, we lived in a couple different double wides. Its really quite redneck but hey, it was great for the time being.

All the kids in the neighborhood would run around, playing and causing a ruckus most of the time. In the summer we would all go down to the lake and spend out days swimming. In the fall most of us had to rake the leaves in our front yard, only to jump and mess the piles up. During the winter, whenever we had snow days we would all gather together and shovel our neighbors driveways for spare change then we would all go sledding together. In the spring we would run around lost in our own world of imagination. No matter what we would run, barefoot most of the time and just enjoy life.

The road we lived on was a dirt road. It was on this dirt road that I learned how to ride a bike. I can’t even begin to count how many bloody knees and elbows I had. There was a sharp turn at the end of the street and I ate it so many times. But nonetheless, I learned how to ride that banana seat, rusty pink bike that my dad bought at a yard sale. That was my pride and joy. Speaking of pride and joys, I had an awesome bug collection. I had all kinds of butterflies, spiders, walking sticks and just about any other type of creature I could put in my shoebox. Then there was also my killer rock collection. I thought I was so bad ass.

One of my favorite things was going fishing. Most of the time it was with my dad. My dad tried to get my brother into fishing but he would just be quite impatient and would rather play with his cars on the shore. We would grab our fishing pools and walk down to the lake and fish for hours. I loved it! Just sitting there, waiting for something to bite, then reeling the fish back on in. (I did catch a turtle once, which was kinda sad but we got him back to his merry way. Another time, I caught a cottonmouth, for those who may not be familiar, its a black poisonous snake and when it opens its mouth, its is white inside…therefore the name cottonmouth. We quickly cut the line and just let the snake fend for itself. )


Even when we moved up to Springfield, we were still running around with the neighborhood kids, riding our bikes, going to the pool in summer and getting in trouble all the meanwhile.

We didn’t have very much at times, but I loved my childhood. It felt like we were actually kids. Even today, it feels like it was a different world then. We would roam about all day and then when it would start to get dark we would know it was time to get back home before your mom called for you and you got in trouble. We had the freedom to just enjoy life. Before we all had cell phones, when the internet was all dial up and you were only allowed to be on for like an hour because your parents needed to use the phone. Back when we would tape TRL onto video tapes. Back when, it felt, like life wasn’t all that serious.

Living in Vegas, you never saw kids running around. They have no idea what it would be like to run barefoot through a field and have to check for ticks at the end of the day. They don’t really know the freedom of just being able to ride your bikes down to the park to play football in the rain. I feel, like if i had grown up in Vegas, I wouldn’t really have much of a childhood.

For me, its something that I treasure dearly. All the memories, all the redneck neighbors that we had. All the sleepovers, all the bruises and cuts. All of it is quite dear to me.

And maybe thats why I so enjoy the outdoors and this part of the U.S.


It brings me back to a much simpler version of life. It brings me back to my core. It reminds me that even through the trials and rough patches, its all going to be okay. That no matter how small I may feel, that theres a God out there that created it all and knows about every grain of sand and every creature that roams about. If they’re taken care of, then I’ll be taken care of and life will be alright.

Call me crazy, or whatever but being out in the midst of the beauty of nature, its where I feel God the most. Past the noise and the distractions, its out there where I feel refreshed and somehow know that in some crazy way it will all work out, like it always does.

So thank you for going down memory lane with me. I know it was a bit sporadic and random but as I was just wandering about on my hike today, I couldn’t help but think of all these things.