Saturday, January 21, 2012

Naked Snow Angels :)

 Naked Snow Angels

Fallen Angel? :) by JOn's ~=:-) view

Naked Snow Angels…
Almost Everyone has made a Snow Angel at some point in their life.
But not everyone has had the joy of making one naked.

I was one of those who had never before experienced the feeling of naked in the snow for most of my life. That changed when I was almost 30.

For the first twelve years of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the freedoms and joys of naked enjoyment. But from the time I was twelve, I mostly went into hiding my body. Even with all the naked freedom I had been taught as a child, for some odd reason nobody ever encouraged me to feel the wonder of snow while naked. Then from the age of twelve, there was no way I would have even entertained the idea. (you can read my blog about “The joys of naked as A Child, then Lost” here:  And you can read about my “Coming out of the (naked) Closet” here:

Some of the photos in this blog show Me Nekkid! (because it is kinda hard to not have nekkid photos when illustrating Naked Snow Angels)
If you have a problem with naked, you have three options:
1- You can choose to not look.
2- You can choose to look with an open mind, or with closed eyes.
3- You can choose to scroll past the photos and only read the text.
Perhaps you are not sure if you have a problem with seeing someone simply naked enjoying life, in a non-sexual manner. That is ok, too! You are more than welcome to find out here if you are Ok with it. (Nobody will know you were here, and you don't have to tell anybody.) Finding out what is comfortable for you is easiest when done in a safe place. I guarantee nothing I post will ever be considered unsafe, illegal, or even remotely obscene. All of my stuff is always family-friendly, and often just plain funny.
The Nakedness does not show up until far into the story... so you can read most of the story before the nekkid pics show up. I'll post another Nekkid Alert just before ya get to anything revealing, so ya can cover your eyes if ya want...

Now, before I tell you how I happened to end up naked in the snow, let me fill you in on a couple of details that led to this. When I met Cara in 1995, we instantly became best of friends. (I write quite extensively about her role in finally coming out of the naked closet in the above mentioned blog.) Many times we would be someplace together, and the topic of skinny dipping would come up. We would say that “If we ever decided to do that, we would do it together.” Then when it would snow, or the topic of snow came up we would say “If we ever would go naked in the snow, or make naked snow angels, we would do it together.” Cara worked in the one-hour film developing center at PayLess (later became Rite Aid), and I always took my film to her for developing. I trusted her with my pictures, and she always did a wonderful job with them. Another perk of having her develop my pictures was that often she was not with me on my adventures, and this was how I could easily share the joys with her, even when we could not get together for long lengths of time. Often she would leave notes tucked in amongst my pictures… making comments, expressing joy, or even jealousy about having not been included on an adventure. She loved living my adventures through the photos, and also knew she was the very first to ever see them! She knew she was special, and she knew how important we were in each others’ lives.

In 1998, I was still very much hiding my body, and would never have considered being naked in any place where I might be seen, or even take pictures of such an event. That is what makes this even more of a mile-stone:

My Tracker... topless in January 1998
This was in Death Valley
In January 1998, I was driving home to Portland, Oregon from a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. I had mapped-out a scenic journey from Vegas back to Portland. This led me through some serious mountain driving in the snowiest part of the winter. I had a Geo Tracker which had proven unstoppable in deep snow. This was an incredible little vehicle!
I was prepared for any condition that may come my way, and had several routes planned in case the weather turned bad. On my way to Vegas, The entire state of Oregon was in a Blizzard, and a solid sheet of ice for driving. I had chains for all four wheels, and new tires, too. Fortunately, on the trip home, the weather was clear. When I left Vegas, it was early in the morning, and chilly. I knew I was headed out across Death Valley, so I took the top down on my Tracker. I drove with the top off enjoying the cold January wind, and sunshine while driving in the daylight. It was such a spectacular, beautiful drive! I could marvel at all the magnificent mountains, the sky, the clouds, the vast desert, and the fresh air. I dressed in my ski clothes, so I was never cold. Because it was January, it got dark early in the mountains, so I closed up the top, and kept going.

As I crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the darkness, it was a magical night! The road I chose to travel was easy to drive in the summer, and I was about to find out how treacherous it was in the winter after a heavy storm. I expected the worst, and even expected I would have to turn back after a couple of hours. The road had been packed snow before the storm, but hardly traveled since the snow fell the previous day. The gates were not closed, but the signs made it clear that it was not maintained, and four-wheel drive and chains were mandatory. No Problem, I could do that! My Tracker proved to be wonderful in the deep snow! The firm, packed road was about 18-inches below the fluffy stuff. Without chains, I was able to keep going without any difficulty. At times, the snow that my bumper was pushing was above the headlights, but I hardly needed the lights. The glow of the stars, and moon were so bright on a fresh-blanket of snow! After two hours, I finally saw another vehicle going the other way. That one was a very large pickup fully chained, and struggling to hold it straight. We slowed as we passed each other, gave each other a wave, and kept going.

Needless to say, that after all this time, I needed to make a nature-call! Well, here I was in the absolute middle of where not a single person to be seen for miles and miles. Did I just stop and go right there? Nope. Like I said before, I was still not open about the possibility of anyone ever seeing me… even going pee… nope! I always found a secluded spot. So, what did I do? I found a side-road, and drove up it. I did not go far, just enough that if any other vehicles drove down the main road, they would not see me.

It turned out that this little road ended right where I had stopped anyhow. But it was almost like it had invited me there! I had found what seemed like a small perfect circle opening in the trees. It was almost a perfect circle. The trees stood tall like sentinel guards all around, and it seemed like a perfect, shallow bowl in nature. I had driven just to the edge of it, and was in awe! The snow that had fallen was deeper here, because there were no trees above. I left my motor running, but turned off the lights, and just stood in awe. I walked to where the trees were to make some yellow snow, and was quite surprised to find that once bits and parts were exposed to the night air that it was not at all cold! (Anyone who has ever needed to pee in the snow knows all too well how fast bits will shrivel and retreat, almost making it impossible to function in those conditions) I was amazed that it actually felt comfortable exposed to the winter!

For unknown reasons, and without even any thought, I stripped off all my clothes, and frolicked, danced, and totally lost myself in the pure nature I had found myself suddenly in. It was the most pure, peaceful place I had ever experienced. There was not a sound to be heard for miles. The stars were the brightest I had ever seen, and that snow was the softest, fluffiest, and was not even wet! I was absolutely in Heaven!

At the edge of the naturally-formed perfect bowl, the snow had formed a slight incline that was just perfectly inviting for a flop, face-first into the snow! Yup, I just put my arms out, and fell forward into that wonderful pure soft fluffy blanket of snow! It was so soft and fluffy that it was like falling into a pile feathers without ever hitting bottom. I sank in about a foot deep. Then I just stayed there a moment and soaked up all the joy. Needless to say, I made a mess of the perfect imprint when I climbed out. But I still was not cold, or even very wet! I knew I needed to make a perfect-imprint without messing it up. So, I went and got one of my shovels. Then I went to another spot that was untouched, planted my shovel into the snow next to it, and flopped-in again, face-first. Then I grabbed the shovel-handle and pulled myself upright without disturbing the imprint. Then I moved over a few feet and did the same thing backwards. I had made two absolutely perfect body-imprints in the snow!! I was just thrilled that I had been able to do this, and the thought of creating angel-imprints had never occurred to me. These imprints were amazing, and I could not believe that they actually showed a perfect mold of my naked body! I ran back and got my camera. Then I went and took pictures of each imprint. I took pictures of the magical area I was in. But I did not take any pictures of myself… no way! I was still totally hiding any sign of nakedness! But the fact that I actually took pictures of my perfect-naked-imprints actually blew me away.

I was still amazed that I was not at all cold! I went and flopped into the snow again, face-up this time, and stayed there totally marveling at how wonderful this was! I watched the starry sky, and the snowy tall trees in a perfect circle all around where I lay. All this time I had wished Cara was on this trip with me, so we could enjoy the naked snow together. I knew she would see the pictures, but I wished she could have enjoyed it with me! I was still totally naked, and then I noticed the snow actually had a warming effect. I was staring to understand how a snow-cave could actually keep you warm. I stayed there for quite a while. Then suddenly, I could hear the sound of a vehicle coming up the road from miles and miles away. I knew that vehicle was at least ten minutes from where I was, but I instantly hurried and got dressed, and drove out of there. After a few minutes of driving, I came upon that vehicle coming toward me. This one flashed their lights signaling me to stop. I did. It turned out this was a State Trooper patrolling the roads. (At that moment I was very glad I was dressed!) He pulled up next to me to chat. He had me stop just to inquire how I was and if everything was alright. We chatted a bit about the road, and conditions. He was surprised I had come through with no chains, but easily accepted the fact that I clearly knew what I was doing. I told him where I had pulled-off so that when he got to that point he would not be concerned about having to see where stray tracks went. (I did not tell him about being naked.) He assured me the road ahead would be no problem for me, and we went our own ways. Ironically, I had to chain-up once I got on the main roads again… because there was no snow, just ice. I traveled that night as far as Medford, Or, and stayed at my Dad’s until morning when the highway would be clear again.

When I got back to Portland, the first thing I did was take my film to Cara for developing. Normally, she would just leave notes with the pictures, or wait to talk with me when I picked them up. This time, she called me immediately! The first thing she said was, ”You were naked in the snow without me!” After we talked a bit, she confessed that she likely would not have gotten naked anyhow. And in all likeliness, I would not have either if she was there. She absolutely loved the detail the pictures captured of the imprints… and I was absolutely mortified that I had actually taken those pictures. They did show every detail, and I might as well have just been in the picture myself. I do not recall what ever happened to those pictures.

That first time naked in the snow planted a seed that would forever make me want to be naked in nature as much as possible. It would take many more years until I was truly willing to be naked where anyone might actually see me. Many times I was in snow, and wished I would screw-up the courage to go naked, but I never would. Finally in 2005, I did it again. That was almost seven years later! I was in Virginia, and it snowed. I had already gotten used to be outside nekkid, and my neighbors totally accepted me, and hardly even blinked. (you can read about how that came about in my blog “Oops! I Forgot to Put Clothes On!”:
The first time it snowed at my home in Virginia, I got up while it was still dark out, and went outside to play in it. I danced, I frolicked, I was as happy as I had been that one time so long ago! I had finally found the freedom and joy I had refused to allow myself to experience! I took one picture of myself while I was dancing in the parking lot. Then, I noticed my feet were turning numb. I ran inside, and put on socks, boots, and a hat and scarf. Then I went running down the hill, and played, danced and frolicked naked in the soccer field not far away. I did not take my camera, but I made dozens of Naked Snow Angels all over that soccer field! I was so totally excited to finally have broken the chains that held me locked-up and hiding my body! I was totally freezing my Butt off (and other parts, too!) but I was so thrilled at my joy and freedom, I did not care. Besides, I knew I could go jump in the warm shower as soon as I got back home.

Then I heard giggling, laughter, joy, and just good clean playful fun from the surrounding dorms and homes. This was smack in the middle of a college, so there were houses, dorms, and other buildings all around. I did not care. This neighborhood had already proven to be safe, comfortable, accepting, and free. I was about a quarter-mile from my own home, and did not bring a single thing for cover, or warmth. When I found where the laughter was coming from, I saw there were kids doing the exact same thing I was. (I say 'Kids' because to me, they were kids, but they were actually young adults) By the time I was so numb and cold that I had to go back home for warmth, There were many of the kids coming outside, and onto the field… some naked, some in pajamas, and others totally bundled in coats. As I came to my building, there were two of my neighbors on their own balconies who had been watching me the whole time. (They were each wearing only a blanket, and enjoying the snow in their own way.) They were laughing, and saying how wonderful it was to see me so free! This was The Absolute best neighborhood!

After my shower, I went back outside, still completely naked, but with my camera to take pictures of my snow angels… but the entire field had been made a mess by all the kids. There were now hundreds of people of all ages from all the surrounding neighborhoods gathered in this one soccer field to play in the snow. Not a single one of them cared that others were naked. I enjoyed that so many people were safe, comfortable,and happy. Because I could not get good pictures of my snow angels, I walked back up the hill, got dressed, and drove around exploring all the winter wonderland. I stopped several times that morning and made naked snow angels in the farm-country I was exploring. Each time, I was not far from farm-houses, so I hurried to get dressed and move on again… but smiled knowing when they came out, they would discover naked snow-angel prints in their yards.

I got many more wonderful snow days naked while in Virginia!

Then In 2007, I moved back to Oregon. Much to my surprise, I ended up living with people who actually enjoyed and encouraged my nekkidness! (They also enjoyed learning the joys of nekkidness... they just were not as willing to do it as publicly as I was, and usually stayed behind the camera while photographing me in my joy!) 

OK... If Ya Don't Wanna see Nekkidness, Cover your Eyes Now...
~Naked Alert!~ The following pics show Me Nekkid.
If you do not wanna see Me Nekkid, cover your eyes.
If you aren't sure... look with an open mind. :)
Don't Blame Me if You suddenly burst out laughing, smiling, and having fun, though! ~=:-)

Much to my joy and surprise, this was when I was first able to BE an actual Naked-Snow-Fairie! Hehe (just look at the picture, then you will understand.)

Me, Nekkid snow fairie
Yup! I am not afraid to be a Fairie... and a Snow Fairie at that!
(the funniest thing was my housemates were more surprised that I would actually do this...
...and even more surprised when I was willing to allow them to photgraph me, too!)

The teenage girl who was also living there took much delight in fitting me in her purple and black Fairie-wings, and then was thrilled that I would actually allow photos to be taken.

Yup, Of course, I made a Naked Snow Angel, too!

me nekkid making snow angel
Yup! It was really Really COLD! But it was Sooo Worth it! :)

Then I ran inside and took a nice hot shower! After I was thoroughly warmed again, and the snow had been falling more, I went back out and played, and danced, and frolicked in the joy of falling snow!

nekkid me in snow

Then, of course, once the snow had piled really deep, I just had to sit in it!

Aigh~COLD bench seat
AIGH! Yeah, it was a bit... ummm, of a shock.... but something you just gotta experience!

Yup, it was COLD!! This snow and weather was much different than the very first time! But it was still an experience I had to do!  By the next morning, we had over 8-inches, but There was no more playing in it, because it also had turned to solid ice. Snow against the naked skin is wonderful, but Ice is not. Ice cuts, scrapes, and hurts. I still enjoyed it, but just not actually with bare skin in contact with it. It snowed for several days, and we had well-over a foot, and it was frozen solid! I spent as much time outside naked in that snow as possible. I even spent Christmas day out there next to my fire! The absolute best way to spend a Christmas Day!

Then, I finally got a chance to make a Naked Snow angel while I was at work one day!! It started snowing, and by early afternoon many people had decided to leave work early. I waited for the snow to accumulate enough that I could actually make an effective Naked Snow Angel.

It's cold out... Put on a hat and scarf! :)
Gotta make a nude snow angel! :)
The most perfect accidental clothing...
I did not purposely cover myself with the scarf in either of these photos.
It just happened to fall in that position in each shot!

And the best part was, It was My Boss that took the pictures! I was out there for about ten minutes naked, then many more of the employees decided to leave for the day, and came out just after I got dressed. Some of my coworkers knew I was gonna do this, but did not know when. I had to just take the opportunity when it happened, so I could not run in and tell those who wanted to watch. Some expressed disappointment at not being able to come and watch, or take their own photos.

Last year, I got to make Naked Snow Angels, Play, Frolic, and Dance in Enumclaw, Washington.

Nekkid Snow Angel

The best part of the naked snow time in Enumclaw, was that finally someone was willing to join me! Anita totally got nekkid, played,and danced with me in the snow... and allowed her picture to be taken, too!

At least the last memory I created of playing nekkid in the snow before moving to Vegas was one I would cherish forever! This time with Loved ones was equally as wonderful as the very first time so long ago!

This year, I am in Las Vegas, and January is almost over. It would seem I will not get to make any Naked Snow Angels this winter.

I have been able to play naked in the snow every year since 2005. I miss it this year.
I have no doubt that I will be able to make more Naked Snow Angels...but I just gotta get out of Vegas to do so! Perhaps Anita will decide to join me the next time, too...

I often hear people say “no way” or “that’s crazy”, or some other thing like that about naked in snow. I try and tell them how wonderful it is, and they usually do not believe me. I think it is a feeling everyone needs to feel for themselves, and until they actually do, they will never know what they are missing.

One thing I can tell them without any doubt is that it is The Absolute Purest way to feel Heaven while on Earth. My recommendation to you: If you decide you wish to try this, be plenty warm before you strip-off your clothes. Play fast, then get warm, and dry again as fast as possible. If you are not frozen, stay and play some more. Feel the nature. Experience Nature. Take some pictures, because you may not get the opportunity again, and it is worth it. Do it alone, or with a friend… or in a group! Any way you do it, just be sure and try it at least once before you die. You will not be sorry.

If it is snowing where you are, WHY Have You Not Gotten Nekkid in It Yet??
Hope you have a wonderful snow play-day! Enjoy it for me, will ya? JOn~=:-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Love Five Guys!

I Love Five Guys!

five guys sign by JOn's ~=:-) view

Haha, No, I do not have Five boyfriends… Nor do I even have one!

This is one of those statements that could easily be taken slightly out of context from how I intend it.
Any way you wish to interpret this, have fun with it. Although I guess in all fairness, you could look at a guy, and think "Where's the Beef?" That is Not the kind of beef I seek. The Five Guys I happen to love is actually a Burger-Joint.

In 2005 when I ended –up in Charlottesville, Va, I found myself in a brand-new world. I was in a place where everything I ever found comfort in did not exist. I was starting all over. One of those challenges was to find a feel-good place to get a great burger.

When I found Five Guys, I was not exactly looking for a burger-place, but one found me! I was exploring a shopping-center to see what stores were around. I also was hoping to find a bite to eat at the same time. I stumbled upon The Five Guys, and instantly knew I had found what I needed. The Five Guys was not a front-and center feature in the shopping center. It was actually tucked into a fairly secluded and almost dark back corner. There was a brightness emerging from the windows of the otherwise hidden and dark nook. Above the windows was red block-letter sign that only said “FIVE GUYS Burgers and Fries”. There was nothing to say exactly what this place was, but the bright red and white décor was inviting, and felt energetic. Inside, I could see that is a busy, comfortable, relaxed, but not overly crowded place. I drove past two more times just to be sure. I was definitely drawn to this place… although I was still not sure what kind of food they served.

Five Guys!

Five Guys!I parked, and walked toward the place. As I walked in, I could tell it was not some crappy burger-place. I also could tell I had found exactly what I needed. As I entered, I was immediately filled with feel-goods! The energy, sights, smells, and feel of the place was very positive, happy, energetic, friendly, and comfortable. The place was sparkling-clean, with vivid bright red, and stark-white tiles, lamp fixtures, and décor. As you enter, you see large open boxes of peanuts in shells, and a sign inviting you to take a handful, and even
throw the shells on the floor. (I would later discover the sign on the door that said “If you are allergic to peanuts, do not even bother to enter. We use peanut-oil, and have open peanuts all over the place.”)

Then you notice how the line for ordering is formed… stacks of huge sacks of fresh potatoes in the red and white Five-Guys labeling form a dividing “wall” between the line and the tables.

The menu-board shows they simply do only three items… Hamburgers, hotdogs, and fries. But you quickly realize there are endless possibilities and selections. They make every burger, hotdog and fry fresh-to-order, and make it exactly how you ask for it. They never have pre-determined toppings… it is the customer’s choice. Every employee greets each customer, and they happily cook your order right in front of you! There is nothing hidden, and that is part of the appeal that makes it so comfortable. They happily add each item you wish to have on your dog, or burger, and they always make them accurately.

The Burgers are always fresh, juicy and perfect! (The sign says, “We always cook all of our burgers well-done.”) The Hot Dogs are grilled, not steamed, and are done to perfection! The fries come in two choices… Regular, or Cajun. They are fresh-cut, complete with the skin, and fried in peanut oil… fresh hot, crispy, and delicious! (a “small” order is waaay larger than you might imagine.)
Once you place your order, you start to look around some more. You grab a handful of peanuts, throw the shells on the floor, and eat some while you watch all that is going on around you. You notice all the wall-decorations are copies of articles written about Five Guys!

Heaven On a Bun
One of hundreds of quotes, signs, or articles inside and about a Five Guys

There are food-magazines, travel-magazines, local newspaper reviews, ratings about where different food-establishments rank compared to their competitors. There published articles showcasing the history, growth, and story of how Five Guys started. There are letters written from the community. There is a cork-board where you can add your own index-card-comments, drawings, or other musings. There are pictures, stories, and wonderful feel-goods related to community involvement, and outreach. The place is focused on the positive. The employees actually seem to enjoy their jobs. The customers are happy. So, while you eat your peanuts, look at all the fun all around you, and listen to the people cooking your food, you hardly notice that any time at all has passed. It is easily five to ten minutes from when you order, until your food is done. This is not a bad thing. You see how each customer’s order is cooked fresh, and you even see all the work these employees put into the detail of adding each topping as ordered to each item. The atmosphere is hardly one where you feel like your time is wasted.

five guys bag
Some of the best things come in plain
brown bags!

Once you get your order, you have been soaking in all the wonderful feels about this place, and then the real joy begins! The food is handed to you in an over-flowing brown-bag. They place your burger, or dog, wrapped in foil in the bottom of the bag, then they add a cup of the fries you ordered. Then they pour tons of loose fries on top to over fill the bag. You take your food to your table, and it is almost as wonderful as Christmas!

Five Guys!As you unwrap, and dig-in to your treats, it is both satisfying, and fun! You know from the very first fry you gobble down that these are the best fries you have ever had! As you unwrap the foil around your meal, you see, and smell how fresh, juicy, and delicious it will be. Then you bite into it. You have just found burger-heaven!

After that first visit, I knew I had found the absolute perfect burger-joint!

The next day at work, of course, I told my coworkers about my joy. As the new-comer to town, I expected that I was spreading old news. Surprisingly, none of my coworkers knew what Five Guys was! I was mortified that they had not already explored this. I began to go to Five Guys often, and share my joy with everyone who would listen. It did not take long before the word got around, and my coworkers started going, too! Then I started working at more than one Dominos, and I shared this joy with those people, too. It was always the same story… they had seen it, but never knew what it was, or ever considered trying it. It never took long to get more people interested, and also for them to become regular customers.

Over the next two years in Virginia, I converted many people to Five Guys Lovers. I was also pleasantly surprised when my managers, or even the owners of the company started giving me Five Guys Gift Certificates! My love of Five Guys was well-known by any who were around me in Virginia.

As I enjoyed Five Guys, I also continued to learn about their history, and geography. They were an East-coast company. I enjoyed many different Five Guys locations as I traveled around various areas of the upper-east Coast region of The US. Then in 2007, I found myself in Oregon again. I really did not grasp how important Five Guys had become to me, until I realized there were none anywhere on the West Coast! Finally, over a year later, I discovered one had just opened in Beaverton, Oregon! That was October, 2008. I immediately went to see if it was the same Five Guys, or a completely different thing, which happened to have the same name. As soon as I entered, I knew it was the same Five Guys! It did not take long until I was spreading the word to those in the Portland metro area about my love of this place. In the next few years, they also opened several more around the Portland Metro area. Also, while in Oregon, I discovered many wonderful street-vendors who truly understood what made burgers and hotdogs great! So, I was never far from any decent place to get a great burger, or hot dog.

Delicious Meal at Five Guys!
Bacon and Mushrooms seem to bulge out of a Five Guys Hot Dog Bun!

In February of 2011, I moved to Las Vegas. Once again, I found myself in a brand-new world, with none of my old-favorite comfortable, happy burger-spots, or hot dog spots. I was very disappointed that the Vegas scene really does not understand good burgers, or hot dogs. It seemed that everyone who mentioned any place they considered a good burger, or hot dog only confirmed that the Vegas people really had never had a great burger, or even a good hot dog. Everyone in Vegas wants to promote the Chicago, or New York Style… But not a single one understands good old-fashioned American Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. I found that in Vegas, you pay extremely high prices, but get lousy food, and even worse service. They seem to want to sell a name, or the real estate the place sits on, but do not feel that creating a wonderful meal is worth their effort. And food carts? Forget it! There are no real food carts in Vegas! (They need to visit Portland to see how it is done properly!) I tried every burger place and hot dog place I could find. I got sick of wasting twenty bucks for a lousy burger, or dog! I searched the web, the news papers, and the phonebooks to hopefully find someplace that understood what a good Dog, or Burger was all about, without the exorbitant price just for a location, and a lousy meal.

In March I did see a Five Guys in quick passing. I was driving Anita somewhere, and the destination we were headed to was the important mission of the day. I saw a sign for a Five Guys. The part of town I was in was totally unfamiliar to me, and I actually had no idea where I currently was, or how to find it again. After that day, I searched and searched to hopefully find it again. I knew I had seen it, but I could not find it listed anywhere, nor could I find anyone who knew about it. I had almost given up hope of finding a great burger in Vegas. Then in September, I saw a one-line mention of Five Guys in a neighborhood newspaper. There was a Five Guys “in my neighborhood” according to this paper. This newspaper listed different food establishments within the surrounding neighborhood. This paper only mentions the street the places are located on, but not actual addresses. This “surrounding neighborhood” mentioned encompasses about six-square miles, and the street named also happens to run the whole length of town, so it would be another challenge to find this supposed Five Guys. I looked online again, and in the phone-books. No place were any Five Guys listed in Vegas.

Five Guys!
The Five Guys Sign is not exactly obvious...
But I spotted it from the moving bus!

Finally, in October, 2011, I stumbled upon that Five Guys tucked into a small strip mall! As I went past on the bus, I recognized the street name and at the same time caught a glimpse of the long-ago familiar sign that is Five Guys. I got off that bus, and walked back to it. It was definitely just like the original one I had discovered so long ago in Virginia. It was almost hidden, and just waiting to be discovered. As I went inside, I felt old-familiar feelings surrounding me! By this time, I had also given up hope of finding polite, happy people in Vegas. That stop at Five Guys changed that for me! No matter how rude the Vegas people are, somehow Five Guys managed to find kind, happy, considerate people. I decided that if I ever need to find a new job in Vegas, I would go work at Five Guys.

I had finally found the Five Guys again! While talking to the manager, I learned there are indeed two others in Vegas! There was actually one other in Vegas, and one in Henderson. That explained the one I had passed when driving Anita in March! We went through Henderson, and I had no idea it was not Vegas! Since October, I have visited Five Guys many times. I still try other burger, or hot dog places every time I find one that looks promising, but I am still always disappointed.

I guess my love for great Burgers and Hotdogs has made it so I am very picky about what I would consider worth my money and time. I was taught early in life to appreciate the things that make me happy, and at the same time, seek quality, and expect great service. But there are some things I refuse to compromise on. Food is one of those areas. I refuse to pay for crappy service, and lousy food. If I am gonna get that, I might as well go to a cheap casino, and get a 99-cent hot dog. At least there I am not ripped-off, and actually get better service than I would expect for a buck. But so many Vegas places want to charge beteween 12 and 20 bucks for a lousy burger, and the workers act like they can be rude, because they cater to so many tourists, they assume they will never see those customers again. (And sadly, that attitude guarantees the customer would never return.) It does make me sad that so many people in Vegas are willing to compromise quality for some supposed famous name, or piece of real estate, instead of actually seeking a quality meal, friendly service, and a wonderful value all at the same time. At Five Guys, you get Excellent Service, Wonderful Food, and a Great Value! A Loaded Burger, or hot dog, and an insane amount of fries will not even cost ten bucks ata Five Guys!

I am happy to have finally found the Five Guys again, and will let everyone who wishes to listen know how wonderful they are.

I am not at all ashamed to admit “I LOVE FIVE GUYS!”
I leave you with a close-up of the Five Guys Cajun Fries.... Please do not Drool on the picture. ~=:-)
Cajun Fries

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Backyard is The Real Thing...

The Real Stuff Happens Off Stage.
If the saying “All The World is A Stage” is true, then I choose to view what is behind the scene.
Snowy fire, Christmas day by JOn's ~=:-) view
One of my favorite creations I made in a back yard.
I created this bench, arbor, and firpit in a backyard I had in Beaverton, Oregon.
This back yard, and neighborhood perfectly represented what this blog is all about...
The Real life happens in the back yard!
It seems more and more people really attempt to put on a performance when they know others can see them. I prefer watching people when they are relaxed, and doing what they do without a known audience… Or more appropriately, when they know they are fully visible, but do not care one bit.

Have ya ever noticed that inside cars, or in backyards are perfect places for people to go about their lives without acting as if they are needing to put on some sort of performance?

In October, when I needed to take my computer in for repairs, I got a much-needed view of some real-life people behaving as nice, kind, caring, loving, happy humans. So much of the “performance” people in Vegas put on daily is the exact opposite. So many people in Vegas seem to think they need to act rude, violent, hateful, mean, and just flat-out anti-human. It baffles me how many people in Vegas really go out of their way to attempt to ruin another person’s day.

This particular day had started off the same way. It was Friday, the 21st of October. Because of how rude everyone had already been earlier in the day, I was not exactly looking forward to the trip to Best Buy. The people on the busses, and around town were in extreme mean, rude, and just acting in an awful manner this day. The trip to Best Buy means three different busses, each with at least a half-hour wait between them, and the transfer-points are not exactly places I enjoy hanging-out. It takes a full two-hours just to get to Best Buy from my home. I also knew that I was now going to be without my computer for a couple of weeks.

Five Guys!
The Five Guys was well-hidden... I just happened the notice
the sign that makes me happy!
(I had previously searched, but there were none listed...)
So just happening to stumble upon it was
exactly what I needed!
While riding the second bus, I saw a ray-of-hope outside the window. There was a Five-Guys Burgers in Vegas! In the 9-months I had lived here, I had not once found a great place to get a good burger. I immediately got off that bus, and went to the Five-Guys! (I will write more about my love of Five Guys later). That stop seemed to be a turning point in the day. The people in Five Guys were the friendliest I had met since moving to Vegas! Then I went and completed the rest of the journey to Best Buy.

(Please visit my Blog about My Love of Five Guys! You can see it here:

I have had plenty of experiences with The Geek Squad at Best Buy, and often they are pleasant, but frustrating, too. This afternoon, I happened to get the absolute nicest Geek Squad Guy Ever! With only one week left on my warranty, he set it up for basically a whole-new computer.

As I left Best Buy, I Knew I would just barley miss the bus to start the return-trip journey. As I rounded the corner to the bus stop, I saw my bus just starting to pull away from the curb. In Vegas, the bus drivers NEVER wait, or stop. It almost seems like they enjoy pulling away just as you approach the bus. This driver was half-into the lane of traffic, and stopped for me! I could not believe it… He actually stopped, and let me board!!

Double Decker Bus
The Deuce Bus. You can see how the top level easily has a
a wonderful view! (The fences beyond the bus show how tall the bus is.)
This bus was a Deuce! The double-decker bus. I got a seat on the top-level, in the very front. This is the very best seat and view on the entire bus! You are seated thirteen feet up, with very large windows all around. Much like when you climb a tree, and can watch the entire world below, this is how it feels when riding in this seat!... With the exception, that in a tree, you are not moving, and have to wait for the world below to come past you. On this bus, you can watch the world go by, as you make your journey. From here, everything is a bit different.

Instead of seeing just what is visible at window-level in other cars and vehicles, you see down into the cars. Have ya ever watched what people do inside their cars? It is amazing what people do inside their vehicles! (Not to mention the items they have inside that are not normally visible when looking only above the window-line.)

Instead of watching people at eye-level on the sidewalk, you now are viewing them from above. When people board, or exit a bus, we are used to watching them from the same level. It is quite hilarious to see their antics from above!

We are used to watching birds in the trees, and on power-lines overhead. But when you are at the same height as them, they seem totally different.

Not only is the street-scene different when viewed from above, so too are the surrounding neighborhoods.

From the top deck, you can see every backyard, looking well above all the fences, shrubs, and other usual barriers. Backyards are magical. I have always been fascinated by the scene you see in a backyard. People put on a show in their front yard. They present what they think others want to see, or pretend to be what they want others to believe they are. Backyards show people in a real-way. In the backyard, all barriers are forgotten. People relax, go about life, and enjoy their own little patch of nature.

In the front yard, everyone acts like they are on stage, and put on a show. They act, dress, and behave in a way that is not how they would in the backyard. The back yard is where real life takes place. This is very much just like in the theater. On stage, the performers pretend to be what the audience expects them to be. Performers stop acting the very second they go behind the side curtain, and are then back stage. Back stage, they can relax. Just like the back yard.

In the backyard, everyone knows they are fully visible to neighbors, and passers-by. They know it is not even close to being a private place. But that does not seem to matter. The backyard is magical in how it automatically takes away all those ways we perform in the front yard. In the backyard, people are safe. It is their own little piece of the world where they can freely enjoy the outdoors without worry, fear, or concern. In the backyard, nobody cares about how others see them.

Often, The best views are only available from the tracks....
Have you ever taken a train trip, or just walked along the tracks? The tracks usually go behind the houses, or the backside of the city, or even behind the fanciest of places. Whether it is a home, an office, a country-club, a private estate, or a farm, you see a completely different side of life from the back side. But that also is what is expected. The people on those properties put on a show, and make everything look one way in the front, but on the track-side, they do not. I have always been fascinated by how comfortable, happy and relaxed people are on the back side. On the front side, it baffles me at how uptight, uncomfortable, and stuffy they are. When you see people outside from the track-view, they are very comfortable, and relaxed. If a house is in need of repair, it is often only fixed on the front-side, and the back is left how is naturally is. People are the same way. In the front of a house, people usually dress a certain way. On the side facing the tracks, it is not uncommon to see people naked, in their underwear, half-dressed, or even just wearing their most worn-out, yet comfortable clothes. Often when you pass by a house on the front side, the people you see will sometimes give you a half-hearted greeting, because they see so many people always coming past, it becomes a chore just to put on the show to greet them properly. When you pass behind a house on the railroads tracks, those same people will heartily greet you, and make you feel welcome. I believe this is because they are most comfortable, and relaxed, not performing, when they are in their back yard.

Backyards hold a truly magical wonderment for both the people using them, and the people who can see them. Backyards take on so many wonderful different qualities. Some become gathering places for things. Whether those things are junk, or treasures, they are welcome there. Many have odd collections in their back yards. Many have pets, some unique, some common. Some have cars, boats, and other big “toys”. Some have playgrounds. Some are used for storing needed supplies for their businesses. Many have pools, Jacuzzis, decks, patios, and awnings. Some are just plain dirt. Some are solid concrete. Some are wonderfully landscaped. Some have gardens. Many have barbeques, fire pits, or even fire places. Some have elaborate furnishings, entertainment systems, and even stages. Some have forts, and other hiding spots.

While there are so many different styles of backyards, they all have the one common feature. People relax in the back yard. Relaxing, and being comfortable is different for every living soul. But the one thing that seems to be common among everyone in how they relax, is that there is no dress code. It seems that relaxing has no dress code… except that one wear what they are comfortable with. Or, in many cases, not wear anything at all. This, too, is a wonderful thing about back yards. Even the people who would never allow another to see them naked out front, do not care if anyone sees them naked in the back yard. This applies to almost any form of clothing, too. Those who would never allow anyone to see them in their swim suit, underwear, or even any other possibly revealing clothing, happily will be seen in these in the back yard. (Well, perhaps, not happily, but they seem to not worry about being seen.)

On this particular day, while riding the bus, I was happy to see so many people outside enjoying their yards. I had noticed that during most of the summer, almost everybody stayed indoors, and the back yards looked abandoned. Seldom, if ever, did I see anyone enjoying their yards. I often wondered if I could knock on their door and ask if I could use these abandoned yards, since they did not. It saddened me to see so many beautiful yards, and not a single person using them. I was often told that the reason nobody is ever out, is because it was too hot to be outside. Even those with pools said it was too hot to enjoy the pool. Umm, excuse me!? Isn’t that the whole point of having a pool??... to enjoy it while the weather is hot??

This particular day was a Friday evening, and almost the end of October. The days had started to cool off a little, but it was currently 85 degrees, sunny and warm, with a slight breeze. It seemed that everyone was done with their school week, work week, and thoroughly cherished the magic a backyard holds. It also seemed like everyone was grabbing what little bit of summer still remained before the sun went further south. I saw people doing their laundry (hanging it out to dry), polishing boats, sweeping patios, and sorting accumulated junk. Others were building things from scraps. I saw people barbequing, and gathering socially. I saw groups of kids having swim parties. I saw old people relaxing on a patio swing. I saw single people relaxing in Jacuzzis. I saw kids getting their horses ready for Saturday events.

Every one of these people were comfortable, relaxed, and enjoying their back yards. Not a single person cared that they were visible to others. Not one person cared that they were visible to the world while naked, in their underwear, half-dressed, or in raggy-clothes.

All my life, I have loved the way people behave in their back yards. I like real people, and relaxed people. Every place I have lived, you see neighbors enjoying their back yards. They relax. They do not mind if others see them. They are welcoming, and comfortable. People enjoy life in whatever clothes, or lack of clothing is comfortable to them. People are always naked in their yards. Those who see them, or join them in their yards welcome, and often join in the same manner. Often, even when I was in most-hiding stages of life, I would happily relax in swimwear, or almost nothing in friends’ back yards. You knew that if you were welcome in their back yard, you also were safe, and they would not every consider making you uncomfortable. You also knew that anyone else who happened to stop-in was also safe. That held true until I moved to Vegas. Until this particular day, I had not seen one iota of comfort, or relaxed life in people’s yards. People in Vegas are the most uptight I have ever met. People in Vegas seem to be all about being in other’s business, and not wanting anybody to relax, or be comfortable. The views people have here about simple nudity is incredibly naive, ignorant, and seemingly feared. They somehow have the impression that ANY Nudity is all about porn. They expect to see people in the ‘sex-industry’ naked, and cannot fathom anyone else having a desire to not wear clothes. For the locals, if they see any skin, they cannot see it as anything but sexual. It really is sad how shallow they are. Everywhere you go in life, there are naked people, and nobody even blinks twice about it. Except in Vegas. I have never before met so many people that believe anyone seen naked is somehow connected to porn. I will often find places I can enjoy life nekkid, but I have to be cautious about it, because of the way they treat it here. It is not at all illegal, but everyone thinks it is.

This day, I was pleasantly caught off guard when I saw so many yards with naked people! After seeing the first yard with many naked kids at a swim party, I figured it was just a bunch of kids seeing if they could get away with it. But, I noticed the kids were very comfortable, and relaxed. They were not acting as if they were trying something for the first time, nor did they react when the bus pulled-up alongside their yard. If they had been trying it out for the first time, or seeing if they could get away with it, they would have all watched the bus to see what reactions they got. They saw the bus, and flat-out did not care. There were no clothes, or swim suits laying close-by for quick grabbing and cover-up. The towels were far away from the pool on the chairs, so they also were not used for cover-up. The kids had clearly come out of the house naked, and intended to stay naked. These kids also were not using the pool to hide their nakedness. There were easily fifteen to twenty kids in that yard, all naked. Some were in the trees, some were on the balcony, some were in the play-structure, some were swinging, some sliding, some in the water, and some lying in the sun on the patio. It looked like a big party for the kids. There were a couple of the moms inside the open sliding door. (They were dressed.) Likewise, there was a group of kids the same age right next door all wearing their swimsuits. The second yard was elevated, and looked over the first yard. None of the kids wearing suits looked at the ones who were nekkid as if it was unusual. When I later saw the old couple sitting on their porch swing, I noticed that they, too were comfortable, and did not react to the bus looming over their yard. They were no more than twenty feet from the bus. When I saw the naked guy in a Jacuzzi, he was just simply relaxing, and not at all trying to be creepy. He, too, had no clothing, or towels nearby. This indicated he was comfortable coming outside naked, and did not feel the need for cover. When I saw the lady hanging her laundry in only a pair of panties (they were bright yellow!) She did not care that the world could see her. She was a grandma-type, and very plump, and without a bra, her boobs hung below her belly. The funny thing was at this point a couple of teenage boys took a picture of her from the bus. Must have been quite a thrill for them. Then later I saw a crowded back yard that looked like some sort of family-gathering. (Family gatherings look different than friend-gatherings.) That gathering had some of the people nekkid, some in swim-suits, some in casual clothes. They ranged from very young to very old, and each age had a mix of dressed to undressed. Not a single person was acting weird, or even looked twice at the bus. They all went about their back yard activities in a relaxed, comfortable manner. This would indicate that none of this was new to any of them, and it was everyday life. Very Comfortable, Safe, and Relaxed. Next door to them was a gathering of what looked like country-club golfers, and there was only a low-shrub between the yards. The country-club golfers did not look uncomfortable around the naked ones next door…. Nor were they acting like it was somehow a thrill. They looked just like any respectable neighbor should… Comfortable in their yards. (But the funny thing was, the country club people looked a bit uptight and uncomfortable around each other.) A few houses down, there was a bunch of ladies sitting on the balcony in towels, while their boys played naked in the pool below. These boys all had their wet swimsuits right next to the pool’s edge, indicating they had been wearing them, then decided to take them off. (The only thing I thought was unusual about this was that there were only boys.) At this point a little girl on the bus started giggling, and had her mom, and sister look at what she saw. The mom looked horrified, and attempted to cover her daughter’s eyes. The girl said she just wanted to see them, and kept pulling at her mom’s hand. It was funny. The older sister in the seat behind her was grinning hugely. The two teenage boys who had taken the picture of the granny in yellow panties looked absolutely horrified, and could not wish the bus to pull away fast enough. The boys got off the bus at the next stop, so I would imagine they knew those boys they saw naked in that yard.

As the bus went further, we were more into wide-open yards, where the people had horses, cows, and assorted other farm-type animals. These were not so close to the road, and had only sporadic wooden fences around portions of the yards. The entire yards were fenced with wire, built for keeping animals, but not designed for any sort of privacy. As is true with anybody who has farm-type animals, they are not terribly modest people, nor are they easily made to feel shameful about being comfortable. But Even I gotta admit, that when ya see naked people taking care of their horses wearing only boots and hat, I did a double-take! There was a group of young kids about fifty-yards from the road seeming to be getting their horses ready for a Saturday event. There were trees and shrubs lining the road-facing side of the property, so they were fairly secluded back by their stables. But they also were not exactly hidden, either. That is the magic of back yards! This yard seemed to be a group-shared area for all those with horses. It seemed to have five houses that shared this area as a back yard. There were young kids who looked to be between the ages of five, and maybe thirteen or fourteen. They were each only wearing their hats, and boots. (Some were muck-boots, and some were cowboy boots.) They were washing, brushing, and tidying their horses. It made me laugh, because they must have understood the joy of being naked in the open air, with the sun shining, and how uncomfortable wet clothes were. They all had tan lines that were very obvious, so you knew they often wore swimwear when out in the sun. Of the six kids out there, only one was a boy. He looked to be about 10 years old, and not one bit uncomfortable around all those naked girls. The youngest girl was about five and she was riding bareback on a horse that was being led by the one who looked the oldest. On the other side of the stables, four older teenage boys, and one older teenage girl were fully dressed, and shoveling, moving hay, and doing labor-work to clean the place up. They were not looking at the naked younger ones, or even seemed to care they were out there. It would appear they had outgrown their freedom, learned shame, and their naked younger brother and sisters did not phase them one bit.

It was quite refreshing to see so many people doing real activities in their back yards. I had almost totally given up hope that any real humans existed in Vegas at all. I knew the magic of back yards existed everywhere… but had been wondering why Vegas was different. I could not imagine going through life so uptight that nobody ever relaxed. Perhaps I was spoiled by having so many wonderful experiences as a child. Perhaps by being around so many people who actually encouraged life, living, comfort, and safety jaded my views. As a child, I had the privilege of getting to see people and enjoy people in back yards. I wrote extensively about my childhood freedoms, and naked acceptance in the blog titled: “The Joys of Naked as a Child, then Lost”. You can see it here:  My own yard was also as safe, and comfortable as a child. Everyone’s yards I was ever in as a child, and most of my adult life was comfortable, relaxed, and safe. The only exception was the family on my Dad’s side. For some reason the uptightness was always on the perimeter when in these yards. Swimsuits were allowed… only while swimming. Otherwise, you had to be in proper clothing. Naked was never allowed at any of my Dad’s family. Because these were so uptight, I never looked forward to spending time at these relatives’ homes. I truly liked people who were real, comfortable, and accepted people for who they were. I have never liked being around people who act like they are on a stage and putting on a show for others. (Leave that for the theater.) Live life as real humans, open, honest, and relaxed.

Meanwhile, I am living smack in the middle of a complex and neighborhood where I do not feel I can live life. I merely exist here, and will continue to look for places I can escape to. The thought of the freedom I saw in that neighborhood reminds me that there truly are real people who value life, safety, and comfort in Vegas. Even if there were apartments available in that wonderful neighborhood, I know the price would be so expensive I could not afford it.

I have been along that bus-route many times since then, and occasionally see a few people (both clothed and naked) enjoying their yards. But it would seem that day late in October was the one day almost everybody decided to make the best of the fleeting warmth of summer. It is early January right now, And I have noticed that the days are starting to get a wee-bit longer again. The sun seems to have come up a notch above its low winter arc. Soon the sun will shine on my balcony again, and I can start enjoying more time out there. Perhaps I will discover a place in Vegas that I could live affordably where I could enjoy a yard, too! Perhaps I must just sit-tight and wait until I get to my next place I will call home.

May you find the magic of a back yard near you! Whether it is your own yard, or you get to enjoy someone else’s yard. May you find comfort, peace, safety, and relax!