Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether. – Hunter S. Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The last day of 2018 was a blurred concoction of preparing, planning, cleansing and anticipating the new year, mixed with our signature carefree air of impulsiveness and excitement. During the day I tried to, somewhat successfully, wrangle a plan and set in stone where life will take me in the next 12 months. It’s funny how the simple turn of a calendar can make you simultaneously feel the weight and promise of a whole new chapter, a whole new part of life. While productivity is always good, the endless adventure must go on, and J Cole and I try to exercise our spontaneity as often as possible. In true form we were a bit late on the draw to make the four-hour trek to Vegas by midnight, but we decided to spend the first day and night of 2019 in the city of Sin.
Our first drive through the desert was picturesque. The sun set at 4pm and left us with a watercolor sky of pinks and blues, and as we climbed up to 4,000 feet elevation the snow-covered ground looked so out of place amid the cacti and dry plateau’s that surrounded us. I had romantic expectations of Las Vegas, somewhere between the era of The Rat Pack and Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing. But alas, as we checked into our room at Caesar’s Palace, we were amongst the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free (quite literally, as we forgot what fresh air smelled like for our 24 hours there). Regardless, we dressed to the nines, and had a couple cocktails and snacks in our room because we are #ballingonabudget. After a long night, two bubble baths and a call to guest services to extend our checkout an extra hour, we hit the road. Driving back to Los Angeles, talking, getting McDonald’s fries, and listening to podcasts about Julius Caesar and the mafia, was unquestionably a highlight of the trip. And even though, in J Cole’s words, “Lady Luck did not cast her smile upon us” that night, being with my love in that crazy, lawless, spectacle of lights was all the fortune I needed to ring in the new year.