My Letter to Fear

I love when I hear something inspiring that makes me think or reflect on my own experiences. I was fortunate enough to have some inspiration this past Sunday, when I heard Elizabeth Gilbert speak about her new book, Big Magic (P.s. Buy it! – locally please!). Her new book is about living a creative life, and the purpose of fear. She said that fear should not be completely gone from your life, and that fear and creativity actually depend on each other. She told us fear is more than welcome to join her throughout her journey with creativity, but in no way is fear allowed to make any decisions or have a voice. I absolutely loved this. Elizabeth wrote a letter to fear telling it just that: that it had no voice in her life, but its presence is more than welcome.

This inspired me to write my own letter to fear. My personal acceptance of its purpose and putting it in its place. Fear and I have come through hell and high water. Sometimes I could win, and tell fear to shove it, but more often than anything, fear found a way to make me feel vulnerable and afraid of an outcome I wasn’t sure of. When I first started writing this letter, I couldn’t stop thinking about The Little Rascals and the lovely note that was sent to Darla (for reference, please see video). I wanted to so badly to grill at my fear and tell it to stay out of my business and that it truly did make me want to vomit. In my head there was so much I wanted to yell at fear for. For all the times it held me back to living a my creative life, but I decided to take a step back and be really honest with my fear. To let it know that I did appreciate it for being there, because like Elizabeth Gilbert had mentioned during her talk, “If you live without fear, you would pretty much be a sociopath” (not exactly the direct quote, but close enough). So I decided to take a crack at writing to my fear as truthfully as I could, and I decided to share it with you all.

Dear Fear,

How’s life treating you inside my head? You have been putting in a lot of extra hours lately, and for that, I respect your want to work over time, but it doesn’t mean you will be compensated for it. I wanted you to know that I am no longer trying to quit you. That I am okay that you are up there in my head, giving me all the ways things can go wrong with what I want to do. What I am thankful for is that you have no place in my heart. My heart belongs to me and my creativity. You know creativity, right? I’m sure you have met before. Its the one that you push off the swings every now and then because you aren’t the biggest fan of sharing my mind. Well, creativity and I have had enough of your bullying. Creativity and I have the reins in this here body of mine, and I would like for it to stay that way. I know that you are here for a reason, and that sometimes I will hear your voice and start to feel my palms sweat and my anxiety kick in, but instead of listening and following your voice, I’m going to turn to my heart and let creativity be my guide.

Forever and always, but never in charge you will forever be.

All my love,

Virginia

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#vegasbuffettrail2015: Checking off my Bucket List

Vegas. Sin city, or what I would like to call “sinful eating”. Since I live a 4 hour drive away from Las Vegas, I have a hunch that I will be in this city more than I ever expected, so with this, I have created a new item on my bucket list: To eat at every buffet on the Las Vegas Strip.

Last week, I had the opportunity to get in as many buffets as I could within four days, and with already having one on my list from my first Vegas visit (thank you, The Wynn Hotel), I was feeling pretty confident that I would make a dent on The Strip. Well, needless to say I tried, and failed miserably, to eat buffets during both lunch and dinner, and decided on day one to settle for buffets being dinner only.

Through Vegas streets and frigid desert nights, I conquered four buffets during my trip. Below are my current rankings of all the buffets I have been to thus far, and hopefuls for next time.


5.) Flamingo Hotel: Paradise Garden Buffet

Scenic view at the buffe

Scenic view at the buffet

This hotel gave me all the feels as it was the first one I recognized from the Griswold’s vacation movie and knowing that it is the oldest hotel on the Strip (developed by the mafia, no less) made it even better. The Paradise Garden offered scenic views of flamingos and incredibly large fish swimming outside near the pools, and a good amount of food options. One plus was that it provided wine or sangria with the meal, which no other buffet did (kudos, Flamingo), which was a great start to my buffet trail journey. The food selection was standard to any other buffet I have visited, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there just weren’t any surprises. Overall, I left happy and full, and fell asleep at 7 o’clock.

4:) Paris Hotel: Le Village Buffet

Looks just like the Eiffel Tower, doesn't it?

Looks just like the Eiffel Tower, doesn’t it?

The theme of this buffet was cheese. So much delicious cheese I could have cuddled with it all night. And when I say cheese, I mean cheese in all variations. I had a delicious cheese tray variety as an appetizer, a cheese entrée, and the winning prize of it all: the cheesecake. As a new member of the cheesecake club, I was hesitant to try the dessert, but it was so pretty on display, I couldn’t let it out of my sight. I ended up eating four of those mini cheesecakes with raspberry on top. I was in cheese heaven from beginning to end, which is fitting considering France is well-known for its abundance in cheese. The buffet was very french cuisine, meaning fancy with minimal options, but fancy nonetheless. I did not try the duck, but it did look good. After a few trips down the buffet line, I had sampled everything I wanted, and just went back to the cheesecake.

3.) Planet Hollywood: Spice Market Buffet

This buffet was my lunch attempt, and why I had to decide on only doing buffets for dinner. I left so full, I don’t know if I even ate dinner that night (…just kidding. I ate at the reception I attended. But it was a very small meal). I was really impressed with all of the options they had, including the Middle Eastern section of the buffet. I had delicious humus and chicken curry that could have been its own meal, but of course I had to see what was going on elsewhere. This buffet was the first I went to that had a decent salad bar, which people who know me know I appreciate a good salad bar. I had a wedge salad that I had to do a lot of picking to get around the tomatoes, but it was still really good. The only reason why this buffet couldn’t crack the top two spots is because the food options were there, they just weren’t explosive enough to leave me daydreaming.

2.) The Wynn: The Buffet

Cue the beginnings of daydreaming. The Buffet (bonus points for The Wynn for keeping it simple with the name) was my very first buffet experience in Vegas, and I am glad it was. It set the expectations high for any other buffet to come after because of its amazing decor and spaced out range of food, but also because of its dessert room. Yes, I said dessert room. It is a literal room! You walk in and there are trays upon trays of options, including the love of my life: tiramisu. I remember eating so much I looked forward to walking down the Strip back to our hotel. I remember leaving Vegas craving the food from The Buffet, and thinking at that point in time I would never return, that I was glad that was the buffet I chose to go to.

1.) Cosmopolitan: The Wicked Spoon

And then there was The Wicked Spoon. I never knew love until this place. I always knew I liked the Cosmopolitan. I like the layout of the hotel and this was the only place I actually won money in (only $10 but a win is a win), but I did not expect their buffet to be THAT good. To be honest, the original plan was to eat at the Bellagio buffet on our last night in Vegas. Fortunately for us, the line for the Bellagio buffet was the largest I have ever seen for food, so we went to the next one on the list. I am so happy that this was my last buffet in Vegas for this trip. There were so many food options and they were not just any old standard buffet food. There was ratatouille and spicy mac and cheese. There was Steak and the true love all, this pan smeared salmon with leeks and deliciousness all packed in one plate. I tried everything at this buffet from the cute wedge salad to some siracha honey hot wings, but I kept coming back to that salmon. At buffets, I try not to return to the same meal more than twice, but that salmon just wouldn’t keep eying me as I passed the other food choices. The waiter we had even called me out on it, betting that I would grab another plate of it on top of my dessert. There was no need. I had to say goodbye at the fourth plate and move on to dessert. The cheesecake they had here, a dulce de leche style, was pretty amazing too. Not as amazing as the Paris cheesecake, but I was so happy about everything else, it made this cheesecake just as good. The icing on the cake for this buffet was that it has to be the only buffet on The Strip to serve Coca-Cola products. That should be enough to sell you right now. I am not a Pepsi person, but every buffet I went to before Wicked Spoon, I had to suck it up and order a Pepsi. I am still reliving this delicious buffet and hope to return to it again.. and again.

Thanks for the shout out Cosmopolitan Hotel!

Thanks for the shout out Cosmopolitan Hotel!

So good...

So good…

I know there are still more buffets to tackle, so I do have some hopefuls I am looking forward to eating during my next visit: The Aria, Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace are on that list. Until next time, happy Vegas Buffet Trail of 2015!

V