Advertisements

Blog Archives

My Bucket List Trip is here!

Denver, Colorado.

The chances are likely, that as you’re reading this, I’m on my way to, or have already arrived at my Bucket List Trip destination: Denver, Colorado.

But why Denver for a Bucket List Trip? I’ll explain.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to take a trip to a city I’ve never been to and see a concert. So, when a band or a musician I like goes on tour, I always look at the entire list of the cities they’re visiting to see what might work for a possible Bucket List Trip.

Several years ago, I booked a Bucket List Trip with my best friend to Las Vegas to see John Mayer. I bought our concert tickets and was ready for the trip of a lifetime.

And then John Mayer had to have surgery on his vocal chords, and he cancelled his tour. I refused to believe it until I checked my email and saw the refund from the ticket company. My friend and I still went to Vegas, and we had a blast, but it didn’t end up being one off my Bucket List.

As many of you know, I’ve been going through it (what I would consider Hell) since September, when my dad had brain surgery to remove a mass. He passed away in February, shortly after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

I am still very much in pain, and sometimes it feels worse than it did the day he died.

In November, after my dad’s surgery and diagnosis, I saw on Twitter that R&B artist Khalid was going on a new leg of his tour. I’d wanted to see him so badly, but the tickets were always so expensive.

I looked at the stops on his tour, and yes, he was coming to Austin, but he was also performing at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre – a place I have ALWAYS wanted to see a concert. If you’re not familiar with Red Rocks, it’s the only natural acoustically perfect concert venue in the world. Basically, it’s at the bottom of a canyon, and the pictures look insane.

The tickets for the show went on sale just a few weeks after I saw the tour list, and I vowed to get myself a ticket. So, on a Saturday morning between dance classes, I locked myself in a dressing room at the studio and purchased a ticket for the show at Red Rocks.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre; photo from Denver.org.

At the time, I had no idea I’d be grieving, no idea that I would so desperately need a vacation, but alas, here we are, and I’m so thankful I’ve planned this trip for myself!

But I’ve been waitin’ all year to get the hell up outta here
and throw away my fears.
– Khalid

I started listening to Khalid about a year ago. I heard his single, “Location” on the radio during my commute to work and I liked it so much, I wrote it down in my phone.

Months later, I took a trip to Indianapolis to see friends, family, and a guy I liked. Well, one of my friends refused to see me, my family lied to me, and the guy turned out to be an asshole with a house straight out of an episode of “Hoarders” (and recently confessed to my best friend that he actually liked her all along). 

I couldn’t get out of Indiana fast enough. When I got to the airport, I decided to download “Location” and I had it on repeat for a few days. Slowly, I started buying other songs off his album, “American Teen”, and before I knew it, I was listening to the entire album on a loop.

In September, when I flew to Chattanooga to see my dad before his surgery, I was listening to his album to comfort me while I was hysterically crying in the airport:

I cried for my entire Lyft ride to the airport, through security, and once I got to my gate, I found a corner and cried. I cried so hard that someone from TSA came to talk to me to see if I could calm down.

The truth is, how could I be any semblance of okay after what had just happened? In just four days, I’d received the news about my dad AND all of this drama that comes along with my dad’s side of the family had come crashing into my face.

I felt alone; I feel like I don’t have anyone rooting for me; and I was scared shitless that I’d never hear from my dad again. I knew one thing for a fact: I wouldn’t be getting updates from his partner anymore.

Two things stopped me from crying for my six hours of travel home: my trusty Khalid album, and the Dallas Cowboys’ burger kiosk at gate A21 in the DFW airport. It’s the second time I’ve eaten there, both times I was upset, and both times I’ve abandoned my vegan lifestyle to get the Cowboy Blues burger and it is so worth it.

It’s cheesy, but music has always comforted me, and it’s something my dad and I had in common. He loved all sorts of music, and my very first concert was with my parents, seeing one of my dad’s favorite bands, Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs.

So yes, I’m AMPED to see Khalid, and I’m as equally excited to see Red Rocks… I will probably cry over stimulation overload and I’m okay with that.

The thing about Red Rocks is that there’s always a 99% chance of rain given its location and natural setup. Part of planning for this trip meant reading lots of guides and other blogs from people who’ve been to Red Rocks before. From that, I learned what kind of shoes to wear, and what to pack: an empty water bottle, warm clothes, and a rain poncho.

The concert is rain or shine, and many times it does rain, and the concert keeps going. But sometimes, they cancel it. And I will be damned if this turns into another John Mayer/Vegas/Non-Bucket List trip!

I’ve kept this trip very close to my heart – I’ve only told a few people – because, well, this trip is for me. I’m traveling alone, as I often do, and I’m experiencing this on my own. So many people I know have been to Denver already and I wanted to keep things new to me – sometimes it puts a damper on things when people share their experience with a place before you even get there.

Ever since my dad’s passing, I’ve been very aware of my own mortality. I’ve always felt some sense of pressure to live life, and do things, and don’t regret a moment… but that feeling is very amplified as of late.

I’m also very aware of people around me and what they’re doing with their life: whether it’s planning and taking trips, or building a business, or having a family… I’m just here, and I feel like I’m being left behind. So, this trip is coming at a perfect time – a time when I feel like I need to just get out there and live, and do something I have only dreamt of doing.

I wanted to plan my own activities and make this trip a complete getaway. So, aside from the concert, I do have a list of restaurants and breweries that I want to indulge in, and I’ve got a few sightseeing things on my list. I also treated myself to a fabulous hotel right in Downtown Denver. I’m looking forward to a true adventure.

For the sake of being present, I’m keeping the social media documentation to a minimum. I plan on posting a few Instagram pictures (@OrangeJulius7), but will be staying off other channels.

I’ll tell you all about it when I get the chance.

Advertisements

John Mayer’s perfect setlist.

Hello, love.

Well, I’m heading to Vegas on Thursday and aside from seeing the Backstreet Boys, the excitement of the Strip, the relaxation of the Palms’ pool (and bar), I’m also seeing my soulmate, John Mayer.

I’ve loved John Mayer since the first time I saw him live, when I was 16. If you do the math, that was almost 16 years ago – a very long time to be in love. But, like most relationships, we’ve had our ups and downs…

Almost exactly five years ago, I made plans to cross an item off my bucket list: Go to a city I’ve never been to and see a concert.

That city was Las Vegas, and that concert was John Mayer. I bought the tickets, lined up to meet a friend there, and we were SO excited. But about six weeks before our trip, John Mayer cancelled his tour because he had to have surgery on his vocal chords, and would be on rest.

Needless to say, I was crushed. But, my friend and I still decided to go to Vegas, and we still had a lot of fun. It would be another long while before John Mayer went on tour. And when he did, I saw him three times, in three separate states. I’d seen his tour so many times that year, I’d nearly memorized his set list, and could often tell by his guitar choice or chord tuning, what he was about to play.

But that was, like, three years ago – and now the guy is finally back on tour. I’ll be honest, I’m not so sure about this album, “The Search for Everything“. Yes, there’s some songs I like, but it’s no “Paradise Valley” – I absolutely love that album.

When he released “Love on the Weekend“, he promised he was going on tour, and he also said it would be everything we’d ever dreamed of. Whoa, whoa, whoa – big promises! It’s really okay, John, you don’t have to put on a nationwide tour just to finally profess your love for me.

Kidding aside, I got to thinking about what a perfect John Mayer concert would look like. After seeing him at least a dozen times over the years, I’ve heard him play some of my favorites. But what if there was a concert full of them?

I’ve refrained from looking up the setlist for this tour, but I’ve put together my own – what would be the perfect John Mayer concert setlist for me? This was tough, but here it is:

Why Georgia

If I Ever Get Around to Living

Moving On And Getting Over

Waitin’ On The Day

Split Screen Sadness

Born And Raised

Love On The Weekend

Clarity

On The Way Home

Tracing

In Repair

Dear Marie

Stop This Train

*Encore*

In Your Atmosphere

Wildfire

…What do you think? We will see how his concert compares… I have absolutely NO idea what to expect! I’ll definitely let you know… (you could also follow me on SnapChat and see for yourself @OrangeJulius7).

 

Dreaming of (becoming) Britney.

The Queen.

The Queen.

A few weeks ago, a coworker headed to Vegas for the weekend to see Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood. I was SO jealous…and couldn’t wait to hear all about it come Monday.

Since Britney debuted with “Baby One More Time,” I’ve been a huge fan. When she took over MTV in her school girl uniform, I was in high school, and on the dance team — I wanted nothing more than to dance like her.

I went as her for Halloween, I attempted to get my hair cut like hers, I was inspired by her fashion sense, and I even did 500 sit ups every day, because… well, that’s what she did. And you can’t argue with her body; she looks fantastic!

I think all Britney fans can agree, that we’ll forgive her for that whole Kevin Federline f*ck up, and we kind of get the meltdown thing. Shit happens.

What’s important is that now she’s completely back, and living large in Vegas. My coworker’s trip got me thinking — how awesome does Britney have it?

For an artist like her, meaning one who had a ton of hits but isn’t producing new material currently, she’s got a pretty awesome setup. She’s got a contract in Vegas, puts on a one-hour show nearly every night, lives in the Planet Hollywood hotel, and gets a fat paycheck.

I was reading an article a few months ago about her workout regimen (on top of her regular performances), and she mentioned that she loves eating sushi regularly — which I’m sure is delivered right to her hotel door from Koi.

So freaking jealous.

On top of all this awesomeness, let’s face facts, Britney Spears could date any guy she wanted. And that is most certainly a power I want to have. I realize that’s an incredibly superficial wish and there’s probably a few guys out there that aren’t interested in her… or are there?

Now that her contract is extended, I’ve got more of a chance to get to Vegas and see her show (I saw her a few times in concert when I was in high school), but I’m sure it’s nothing quite like the Vegas show.

Anyone been to the show? I’d love to hear the details!

Packing: music fest essentials.

The sandy shores of Hangout Beach!

The sandy shores of Hangout Beach!

I’m heading to Gulf Shores today, in hopes of reliving one of the best weekends of my life at the Hangout Music Festival! Three days of sand, sun, cocktails, and of course, MUSIC! This year’s headliners are Sam Smith, Zac Brown Band, Beck, Foo Fighters, Skrillex and Diplo, along with many other great bands. I’m amped!

But the thing about a weekend like this is, you’ve really got to get the essentials down. And since I went last year, I knew exactly what kind of supplies I needed to add to my bag. They are:

  • Poncho: This year, it’s supposed to rain (let’s hope it doesn’t), but this poncho is small, so it won’t take up any room in my backpack.
  • Insect repelling band: I’m allergic to mosquitos, so I’m always packing bug spray. This bracelet will keep the ‘skitos away while I’m dancing in the sand.
  • Wisps: You never know when you need a dose of fresh breath (they DO have a wedding chapel at Hangout Fest)!
  • Ziplock bags: I packed these mainly for my cell phone just in case it rains, but you never know what else you could use it for.
  • USB Charger: This is a super small charger that will give your phone one-hour of talk-time if you get into a bind. Hangout Fest is cool enough to provide charging stations, but you never know!
  • Kleenex: For sneezing, napkin use, or porta-potty needs if necessary.
  • Glow bracelets: Umm, I need this for all of the night shows!
  • All-purpose wipes: For basically everything.
  • Feminine wipes: I thought these would be good for the porta-potties, but also just for in general freshening up after sitting in sand and wearing a bathing suit for 12 hours.
  • Hand sanitizer: after bathroom and before meals.
  • SPF lip balm: burned lips are the worst!
  • Band-aids: just in case.
  • Q-tips: not really sure, but they’re small and easy to pack.
  • Deodorant: Being outdoors in the sun all day, and into the night, might lead to a stinky situation.
  • Hair ties: Sweatin’ on my blowout.
  • Gum: Again, hot guys.
  • Toilet paper: Porta-potties (I’m telling you that’s the worst part of this whole thing).
  • Glitter: I need glitter to sprinkle all over myself, because I can, and I want to shimmer all weekend.
My Koncert Kit!

My Koncert Kit!

Love my list of essentials? I’m actually selling my “Koncert Kit” (because I can spell Koncert with a “K” and I can like it) in my Etsy shop! It comes with everything I’ve listed above, plus it comes in a cute cosmetic bag to store it all in.

Use it for music festivals, fairs, outdoor events, parties, gifts, camping weekends, etc. The kits are customizable, so just let me know what you need and I’ll be happy to pack it for you.

After these crazy weeks of work, I’m so, so excited to spend a weekend of fun and relaxation in the sand with my great friend, Marcy! We are hitting the road (it’s about a 4-hour drive to Gulf Shores) this afternoon, as the first day of the fest is tomorrow. Tonight, we’ll be loading up our coolers in preparation for tomorrow, and we’re definitely hitting up some sushi and karaoke tonight.

Follow my entire weekend on Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter @OrangeJulius7 — see you there!