A Recap of Burning Man 2011 | Video and Photos

IMG 7192 300x225 A Recap of Burning Man 2011 | Video and Photos

This marks my third burn, and perhaps the most peaceful. I can never compare against the first burn – I was a virgin, unsure of what to expect and excited by everything. Second burn I was crabby. Never again will I allow myself to ruin the experience. This burn was particularly special, because it was my first time seeing the Temple burn.

For those of you who have never experienced Burning Man, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing this, but it’s true – it’s impossible to explain or describe Burning Man to someone who hasn’t gone. Strangely enough, amidst the booze and dust, I find I have some of the deepest conversations on the playa. One guy I spoke with said, “This isn’t a counter culture event, this is culture.” Plain and simple.

There are more than 50,000 people on the Black Rock Desert behaving however and wearing whatever they please, yet there is no chaos or judgment. I think this is why it’s so hard to adjust to the “default” world, as it’s known on the playa.

IMG 7179 300x225 A Recap of Burning Man 2011 | Video and Photos

The Temple at Burning Man 2011

Three days on the playa is sufficient for me. This year we actually went on a quest for camps playing anything but house music – not to say the music and the dance parties can be a ton of fun. The one thing I will never grow tired of is the Temple. This year it was the most beautiful work of art on the playa. I believe it’s worth traveling to Black Rock City just to experience it. It’s unbelievably powerful. Each year I’ve told myself I won’t cry without success. People from all over the world pour their heart into this structure with written messages and mementos of their loved ones. Messages of love, regret, joy and hope.

IMG 7181 300x164 A Recap of Burning Man 2011 | Video and Photos

The first thing I saw upon reaching the Temple this year was a couple hanging a poster of their daughter, quivering lips, fighting back tears. The picture is of their daughter’s senior portrait.

IMG 7180 300x225 A Recap of Burning Man 2011 | Video and Photos


The energy at the Temple is palpable and gripping.

Perhaps even more beautiful than the Temple itself is the burn. Tens of thousands of people gather to see it, and when it starts to burn the crowd grows completely silent.

Pushing Myself Outside of My Comfort Zone

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions many years ago. Mostly because I could never keep them. I would always vow to eat healthier and work out more, and I could never live up to the standards I had set for myself.

After several New Years with no resolutions I decided to set a goal for the remainder of my life – to push myself outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. In the beginning I was much more disciplined about documenting my “scary” endeavors – going to a new workout class where I didn’t know a soul, or the moves – trying something new athletically, or perhaps hardest of all, admitting that I really don’t know what I’m doing and ask for help.

I’m not the most athletic person and have never really been great at anything. Academics were always easy for me, but I failed to see that as a strength growing up. Now, whenever I doubt myself or feel like the awkward girl in sixth grade, I remind myself that no one is watching except for me. That usually helps. Thankfully, I’ve also developed a great sense of humor.

playing Pushing Myself Outside of My Comfort Zone

Right before I found out I was pregnant (winter 2008) I started taking guitar lessons with Jean-Paul at Maytan Music Center in Reno. Not only is Jean-Paul a musical genuis, he’s incredibly patient and encouraging. (I know, it’s his job, but you never, ever feel that way in his class.)

Tonight I went way beyond my comfort zone. I would even venture to say further than traveling internationally alone. I played my guitar (and sang!) in front of a group of people. Even people I know!  I’ve been known to attempt to play with friends after a few glasses of wine, but nothing to this level.

Even when I practice at home I stop playing if Manfriend comes into the room. He’s an amazing guitarist, and like most things, I’m self-conscious. While Manfriend couldn’t be there tonight, I did perform in front of four of my closest friends. I was so nervous. My voice was shaky, and I couldn’t see a soul ten feet in front of me. But I got through it and felt like a million bucks – even if I missed a few chords. This was precisely the type of motivation I needed to practice, practice, practice.

Sharing the video here with you is taking the next leap for me. Please note – I talk when I’m nervous, which is why I felt the need to explain what I was playing to buy me some time.

What have you done lately that pushed you outside of your comfort zone?

My Top 5 Must-Do Summer Things at Heavenly

September 24, 2011 will mark my five year anniversary in Reno. I love thinking  back to the first time I drove into Reno from I-80. It was the middle of the night, the downtown lights were glowing, and I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to make the best decision of my life.

IMG 4182 300x200 My Top 5 Must Do Summer Things at Heavenly
I’ve learned so much during my five years in Reno Tahoe, but each time I make a point to explore the area, I find I still have a long way to go. There is so much to see/do/experience here. I suppose that’s the magic of being a local. If you’re open to it, the fun never has to stop. So, I must politely disagree with Death Cab for Cutie. When you start to feel like a tourist in your own town, you’re probably having the most fun.

Photo Friday – Standup Paddleboarding in South Lake Tahoe

It’s a belated Photo Friday, but what I intended to share two days ago.

This is a shot of Ladies Night on Regan Beach in South Tahoe with the South Tahoe Standup Paddle Shop. If you’ve thought about trying this sport, but not sure how to get started, hang out with the good people of South Tahoe SUP. Our first paddle was comfortable and unbelievably fun!

Have you tried SUP yet? If so, what did you think?

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