Many of you have asked on the status of our RV. WELL! We have a doozy of a story for you!
As you might remember, our RV was stolen back in June of 2016. After being recovered, it, and the tow trailer for the Smart Car, were taken to Camping World Las Vegas. Where it sat. And sat. And sat some more. Baking in the Nevada heat in the dead of summer. Do you know how hot it gets in the Nevada desert? The average is 104, but it can, and did get up to 114 degrees. 114. They have weather advisories for the extreme heat! We have all heard the joke about cooking an egg on the sidewalk, well, in Nevada, you could do just that (on the asphalt. The average temperature for an egg to cook is 158 degrees. The asphalt can get up to 2oo degrees on a 114 heat day. TECHNICALLY you can’t cook an egg, because the heat source needs to be constant, but you get the idea).
If the temperature could do that to an egg, imagine what it can to do unprotected tires, and roof. Yup, destroy them! The roof has sustained damage while sitting at Camping World, but they are not going to fix the roof, because “They cannot prove the roof wasn’t damaged before hand, the roof wasn’t damaged during the actual theft…” and they don’t care. They refunded us the inspection report money from Camping World Colorado, saying that Camping World in Colorado did not do a quality inspection of the roof. So, even though their company inspected the roof, okayed the roof, DID NOT report damage to the roof during the initial inspection in Las Vegas, they are saying they have no liability for the damage that happened on their lot. So that’s fun. We don’t even know the state of the tires. Why is that you ask?
BECAUSE THEY DON’T INSPECT TIRES! Yup. Even though they claim to install and inspect tires, and tire pressure monitoring systems, they don’t actually. You know how we know? We were told, and received an invoice showing, that the replacement tire pressure monitoring system was installed. It wasn’t. There was no explanation for this, other than “we don’t work on tires.” So why does it say, on the invoice, that they do, and that they did? Are they lazy, lying, or negligent?
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
Awesome K went to retrieve the RV, and attached towing trailer, on Friday, October 21st. Camping World had the RV and trailer, in their possession, on their lot, for;
… or 16 weeks
… or approx. 3 months
Between July 1, 2016 and October 21, 2016 (exclusive) there are:
The numbers of weeks, months and years are rounded down to the nearest full value. The number of days is always exact.
In that time frame, in addition to not completing all the work, the roof baking off, the tires melting, and the remainder of our stuff being cooked inside the RV…they “lost” our towing trailer. THEY. LOST. THE. TRAILER. Yup. “Lost.” After searching the lot a few times, calling managers, calling more managers, and more searching, Camping World told us that we “should probably go ahead and file a claim with our insurance, because they lost the trailer.” So Awesome K filed another police report, filed another claim with insurance, and left. Without the RV, because he had no way of driving it, and the car, back to where we are now.
What about surveillance? Maybe someone saw something?
Nope. Turns out there is absolutely ZERO security of Camping World. No cameras. No guards. No gates. Nothing. The locks we had for the trailer were in the center console of the RV. So someone there unlocked it, then they lost it. Perhaps they took it to the desert to bury it? Maybe they sold it? Maybe they tried to put it in a blender?
The world will never know, because of total and utter lack of security. Oh, and they keys to our RV? In the ignition, with no doors locked. So someone could have driven off with our RV, too. Again. They wouldn’t even have had to destroy the steering column to do it this time, either.
Our insurance said to “just buy another one.” Oh, ok. Sure. Oh wait! This was a custom built steel trailer, from Nebraska, made specifically for a Smart Car. Not to mention we are…for lack of a better term, broke. We don’t have thousands of dollars to “just get another trailer” with. So that’s fun.
Words cannot begin to describe the way we feel (but the below gif does). This nightmare will never end, thanks to Camping World.
Please. If nothing else comes of this, learn from us. DO NOT use Camping World for anything serious. At all. Ever. Even their prices for products is too damn high! Everything they sell there you can get on Amazon.com, or any number of places. It may seem like they have the monopoly on RV resources, and literally everyone you talk to will refer you there. PLEASE DON’T DO IT!
We will compile a list of reputable places, at some point, and post here it. Eventually.
Here at AwesomeSauce, we have some pretty incredible family and friends. You should know, you are in that group!
There is Mama AwesomeSauce (AwesomeK’s Mom). Santos is the Head of the AwesomeSauce Fan Club. Sir Christopher is our official Mews Knight, and Protector of the Realm. Mr Hart is Head of Nerd-istics.
We may not have ever mentioned, however, the incredible Pants’. Mr. Fancy Pants (AwesomeK’s brother), is a world-class photographer, and is currently working as a Digital Strategist for Four Kitchens, which is one of the coolest sounding jobs ever. Ms. Smarty Pants (the Worlds Greatest Sister in Law) is literally a Rocket Scientist. Which isn’t intimidating at all. Her mind-blowing resume includes working at MIT, Ball Aerospace, and she is currently doing amazing space stuff with Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Yup. Our Sister in Law works at JPL. Again, not at all intimidating.
Our adventures landed us in sunny and fabulous Altadena, California, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from JPL!
What is JPL, you ask? One person there described it as the “Disneyland for Nerds.” Which is pretty accurate, actually. If you are unfamiliar with JPL, we recommend you watch the movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon (you could probably read the book, but as we have not actually read the book yet, we cannot say one way or another if JPL is featured. They probably are…). Poor Mr. Damon gets stuck on Mars, and the top scientists in the world have to figure out how to get him home again. Where does NASA go to find these top scientists? JPL! Who works there in real life? Ms. Smarty Pants! So…Ipso-Facto-Presto-Changeo, that makes Ms. Smarty Pants one of the world’s top scientists! Which she is. Which is slightly intimidating. If you want a REAL history of JPL, you can check that out HERE. Needless to say, some of the top scientists in the world are at JPL.
The Worlds Greatest Sister in Law, Ms. Pants, blew our minds recently by taking us on a personal guided tour of JPL!!! It truly is the Disneyland for Nerds. It was…hard to put into words just how truly Awesome it was. The campus itself is HUGE. JPL might as well be its own town. There are streets running through the campus, each named cool names (no we won’t tell you what), multiple cafes and cafeterias, two gift shops, at least one museum, their own fire and police departments, and SO MANY SCIENCE PLACES! All they need is on-campus housing, which they might have, but we weren’t privy to that information. We got a tour of the museum, and watched a quick movie about how JPL came up with, and executed, the Mars landing for Curiosity. We saw a cube of Aerogel – the worlds lightest solid – that was used to collect meteor dust on the Stardust Mission. The best part of the museum was that we got to see some of the projects that Smarty worked on! Actual space missions, like Kepler and Maven. Her official super amazing space missions are: GOES-R (and the computer they used was named Zuul. THAT is how awesome she is!), Deep Impact, Spitzer Space Telescope, WorldView 3, MAVEN, TSIS, NPOESS, Kepler, OTB, and LADEE.
On our tour, we saw replicas of Curiosity, the Mars Rovers, and SMAP – the Soil Moisture Massive Passive that unfolds in space, and calculates the Earths moisture levels! We got a good look at what the wheels of Rover looked like, because they use 3D printed versions of them as sign post holders, which is pretty rad.
The Worlds Greatest Sister in Law then took us over to the COMMAND CENTER! We got to see the door to Launch Command, and look through a window. Which was AMAZING! Then we went up some sneaky stairs and got to see where the Deepspace Network was! There were a ton of screens and huge monitors on the wall (yes, like in TV), all monitoring different satellites and missions. You could see data coming in and data going out and sort of what was happening! That area is manned 24 hours a day, always collecting and sending data, monitoring missions, and doing a whole lot more stuff we aren’t allowed to talk about here. IT WAS AWESOME!!
The next stop was to sneak a peek into one of the Clean Rooms. Everyone that goes into a Clean Room has to wear what was affectionately refered to as a Bunny Suit, which consisted of a mask, hat, coat, and booties in this case. They can be full suits with full masks sometimes, like a clean hazmat suit. The clean room we went to was not the “cleanest” of the clean rooms, which was evident from the Bunny Suits, and this room was allowed to have 10,000 particles (of whatever there are particles of…here is a technical site that explains stuff) per cubic foot of air. For some perspective, there are usually 1,250,000 particles in a cubic square of air. Some cleaner clean rooms can only have 1000, or 100 particles per cubic foot! The temperature and moisture are also closely monitored, always kept cool, and there must be a certain amount of humidity so that static electricity doesn’t build up and fry the electronics. The air is circulated through filters in the ceiling, pushed through the room, and collected at through more filters in the floor. In her past, Smarty has worked in a clean room – and was a little nostalgic remembering her time there, until she remembered how uncomfortable the full hazmat type bunny suits are.
We didn’t get to see the official workspace of Smarty, but she DID point out her building! It was large, brown, and had no windows. There, she is currently working on the Mars2020 Mission! Each piece of a satellite, or Rover, or mission, usually has its own team. There are teams for Every. Single. Piece. The drill and drill bits that drill into the ground, that collect samples to analyze. The camera on the drill. The arm that the drill is on. The wheels, the windows, the everything. It is truly awesome!
On our walk we noticed a group of young men huddled in a corner, under a tree. Smarty chuckled and said that was one of many Pokemon Go gyms. Apparently there are a few gyms, and spots, on the JPL campus! The greatest minds in the world, huddled together on a break, training their Pokemon was a fun sight to see. Turns out rocket scientists are just like everyone else! Well, almost.
Speaking of work, after our AMAZING tour, the Worlds Greatest Sister in Law had to grab a very quick noms, then was off to a super secret mission meeting. We squeezed her (but not until her eyes popped out, she needs those for science), thanked her profusely, then we parted ways. We did a little shopping in the super cool JPL/NASA gift shop, then headed on our way.
If YOU want to get onto a tour of JPL (granted, not a personal guided tour from Smarty), just click this LINK to find out more! Be sure to plan WELL in advance, as tours are usually booked at least six months out.
We want to give a HUGE thank you to Ms. Smarty Pants, the Worlds Greatest Sister In Law, for the personal tour of the Disneyland for Nerds! Getting to be at JPL was the tour of a lifetime, and we couldn’t be more impressed! Thank you!!!!
AwesomeSauce Rating: ARE YOU KIDDING?! This is the Spades Royal Flush. This is the best of the best.
Days have gone by. They have turned into weeks. WEEKS have gone by. Then we get a phone call! Hooray! Joy! Something is happening!
Wait? What? No. Nothing is happening.
We told the Big Box Store that we would be leaving for California, and if we needed to do ANYTHING before we left, they should let us know. Being told there was nothing we could do, we drove four hours away.
By the way, you don’t know what fun is until you, your spouse (neither of which could be described as “svelte“), and three cats (one of which is also not at all svelte), cram into a Smart Car. With the rest of what you own. For four hours. Through the desert. In July.
Probably shouldn’t help AwesomeK drive.
ALL the cats on Saucy G
Matilda Pants is NOT amused.
Lana stole the bed. Matilda plots her demise.
After the ride of a lifetime (or the ride that felt like a lifetime? Either way…) we ended up Altadena! We settled into our very nice Air BnB, and waited. After about a week and a half, we finally got a phone call! YAY! Something was happening! Wait…no…no..instead we were told that we needed to come back to Vegas. Apparently they hadn’t had a chance to look at the RV yet, because of all the debris. Oh? Is this not something that could have been taken care of BEFORE we drove away? Yes, it could have, by the way, but we were told everything was cool. It wasn’t.
So, we hopped back in the car (sans Mews), and drove the four hours back to Vegas.
Do you want to know another way to have ALL the fun? Clean out the carcass of your dead dreams, throwing away ruined and broken goals, all the while in 115 degree heat. OH, and the carcass of your dreams is at least 120 degrees or more? By the way, the holding tanks have probably melted, because they sure smell like they have. That is a very distinct, and unique, smell. Rotten fridge, boiled waste, melted plastic, and despair all mixed together under the Nevada sun.
After about two hours, uncountable trash bags, blood, sweat, tears, and only a little bit of gagging, we finally got all the trash and ruined things out. We moved the rest of the things to the bunk area, and out of the way of anyone who needed to get in and get to work.
During all this we found a few more things were missing. There was the weird stuff – like the coffee press, the rack of knives was literally torn off the wall, and the jar of cooking utensils. Then there was the devastating. That term gets used a lot when describing all this, but there it is (and Saucy G doesn’t feel like using a thesaurus right now). We mentioned previously that the thieves had desecrated the urns we were transporting, and that they had tossed the urns around. Turns out they also STOLE one of the urns. STOLE. AN. URN. Who does that? After finding the first SIX urns, they get to the SEVENTH URN and thought, “you know what? They can’t ALL have ashes in them, lets just take this one.” Maybe they thought they needed an urn. MAYBE they were just trying to hurt us as much as possible.
WHO STEALS AN URN?!
We packed up what was we could into the SmartCar, and got ready to drive the four hours back. Stopping into the office of the Big Box to let them know we were done, we were then informed that they would not be able evaluate the RV for three weeks. THREE. WEEKS. Just to ASSESS IT! All the while, it is sitting in the Vegas sun, tires exposed, wires exposed, holes in the hull…then when they DO finally assess it, then the insurance company will decide if it going to be totaled or if they are going to fix it, and what they are going to fix. Which might not be everything. THEN it will take AT LEAST another couple of weeks JUST TO GET A WINDOW! Not any of the other parts, or fix any of the other things.
Want more good news? Well! Worry not! There’s more!
Remember the Casino where we were parked? Where we were assured by security that the RV would be ok? Parked under a camera, under a light, where it was stolen in broad daylight? Under the “watchful” eye of security? Who then LITERALLY LAUGHED IN OUR FACES? Oh yeah, so, we got a letter from them this morning stating that they found themselves not liable. Surprise surprise. They thought they didn’t do anything wrong, and we are outta luck. No, there was no number to call or any way to appeal. Thanks a lot, Casino. Again, a real kick in the gut. Not even a comped meal, or a “hey, sorry your entire house was stolen under our watch, and your dreams crushed, here is a coupon for a buffet.” Nothing. Just a one page letter telling us to go away.
Now we are back to hurry up and wait, while wallowing.
This is the exact opposite of awesome. UNAwesome. The Anti-Awesome.
Thankfully the Mews are happy and healthy and safe. We are safe. So, here we are, and here will wait until something else happens with the RV and we can move a step forward. Maybe. Hopefully.
Anyone want to go sit on the beach with some (possibly adult) beverages? We need a beach day.
Rating: You sit down at a table, then get moved to another table. The table you were just on, and got moved from, just one a Jackpot, and everyone at the that table gets $400. You get no dollars.
Adventures hardly ever go according to plan. That is easily an understatement when it comes to ours, but lets not get into that here.
Due to circumstances (STILL looking at you, Thief. May you step in cat barf every morning…) beyond our control, we found new ways to adventure in Vegas! We found ourselves in a Casino Hotel on the Strip, which is fancy, AND expensive.
Adventure Pro Tip: If you are thinking of going to Vegas, and will have access to a car (which is a good idea and a bad idea), then it is best to stay OFF the strip. There are a plethora of other options, and some even have a shuttle service to the Strip.
When we go to Vegas, we usually stay in a Caesar’s Entertainment Property. We have had decent luck with comps, and they are familiar territory. What are comps, you ask? WELL! What a wonderful and weird world you are about to embark on! First off, whenever you go to a casino, make sure you get a Players Card. You can get one at any Customer Service Desk, or they can tell you where to go to get one. You will need a photo ID, so they know you are you. They will ask for a mailing address – you are welcome to decline – or you can give them one. We always give them a mailing address, because they will send fancy coupons in the mail! As far as we know they don’t sell your address to anyone, but don’t quote us. These fancy mail coupons will offer COMPS! Comp is a lingo way of saying complimentary, or comepleaseplayhere. Sorta. The fancy mail coupons usually have comps for free buffet, some free “slot play” where they give you fake money on slot machines that you can turn into real money, or table play, which works the same. Fake money to possibly earn real money. The best comps are when they offer you a free stay! These are becoming more and more scarce, but they do still happen.
To earn these magic comp points, you use your players card at EVERY SINGLE THING in the casinos. Buying an overpriced coffee? Make sure to ask for points and give them your card. Eating dinner? Grab those points! Of course, the easiest way is to use your card whenever you play. You can put the card in all the slot machines, and leave it in during your play. You can also earn points (maybe?) playing table games and poker. Be sure to hand them your shiny new card so you get credit for your play. The card itself can also be used to redeem points at buffets, gift shops, and sometimes on your hotel stay.
WHEW! SO, after your not-so-brief comp tutorial, now you are ready to find a place to stay! As we mentioned, we usually stay at a Caesar’s Property, because of the magic comps, and what nottery. However, this year we had a CAR! Traffic can be mildly terrifying on the Strip, but the rest of Vegas is pretty easy to navigate, and opens up a whole new realm of places to go, places to stay, and ways to adventure. After we left the Strip, we went to our very first Air BnB, just a ways off the Strip. It was amazing! Well, it was different, and cheaper, and amazing in that we had never stayed at an Air BnB before.
Air BnB is a fancy new way to stay places. You can rent almost anything from a person, from a couch to crash on all the way to a penthouse suite. If a person has a space available for you to stay, they advertise on Air BnB. We found some interesting listings, to say the least. Luckily we found a place that allowed our Mews, was less expensive than a Casino Hotel, was a private space (not crashing on a couch or a spare bedroom), and was inside a gated community. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good for a week. (A coupon for you! A coupon for me! Hooray! www.airbnb.com/c/genevieves161)
With the freedom of our little tiny car, and the Air BnB all set up, we set out to adventure a wee bit! We were still a bit shaken, not stirred, about our recent defilination (Saucy G decrees that this is now a word. Defilination – When something has been defiled recently, in the past tense, to an extreme. You’re welcome), so we kept to places we were somewhat familiar with, or that seemed safe. We also stuck pretty close together, and not just because our car is the size of a Matchbox.
One of the things we were able to do was to check out Casinos NOT on the Strip! The Orleans is probably the closest to the Strip, and the nicest that we found. If you like slot machines, this place has A TON. There is also a decent sized poker room, LOTS of table games, and a who slew of other things to do! They have a bowling alley, movie theater, kids areas, and lots of different food options. We heard from a reliable source that their laundry service is also very reasonable. They DO NOT, however, allow pets. So, keep that in mind when traveling with your own pet crew. With the re-introduction of UBER to Las Vegas, you can also grab a quick ride from there to the Strip, if you were feeling so inclined. This really is a nice one-stop-shop if you are planning on a stay. Clean, nice, we give it a solid Flush (rating based on the fact that we did not actually stay there, and cannot speak for the rooms. Also, the whole No Mews for Yous policy is a bummer). (Here is an Uber Coupon for you, and one for me! Hooray!! https://www.uber.com/invite/genevieves489ue)
Another place we checked out was Arizona Charlies. This is a local favorite, so we had to see what there was to see. If you are a smoker, this is the place for you! Also, if you prefer low lighting, this will also be high on your list. The slot machines were ok, and the people were VERY nice. The poker area was…well…it left a lot to be desired. Poker, however, is not their main focus. If you want Bingo, then look no further! Charlies has the biggest, brightest, and wildest Bingo Hall Saucy G has seen in a while. It is very clean, well lit, seems to be smoke free, and there is a game every odd hour, so you never have to wait long to get into the action. The Bingo Hall is located on the second floor, next to the 24 Hour Buffet. If Bingo is your Bag, then Charlies is for you. The dining there also surprisingly spectacular! At Ron’s Steakhouse they have (or had, hopefully it is still there when you go), an incredible three course steak dinner deal for $27.99. You get an appetizer, then you get a starter of salad or soup of the day, then you can choose from a few different steak options. Sides can be added for an extra fee, that might be $2? THIS is a hidden steak gem, and is not to be missed. Reservations not necessary, however they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, opening for dinner at 4pm to 9pm the rest of the week. Ron’s Steakhouse gets a Flush with a Straight Flush Draw. Arizona Charlies (without rating Bingo, and Ron’s is a separate rating) gets a high Pair. The smoking, poker area, slots, and lighting left a lot to be desired. Like we said, though, the people are SUPER NICE, so they get the higher rating.
Finally, we decided to go to a place that was literally calling our name…the ADVENTUREDOME! The Adventure Dome is located inside Circus Circus, which is a whole different world of entertainment. If you have kids, and don’t mind crazy crowds, Circus Circus might be worth a look. Above the main slots area is a whole area dedicated to kids. It is JAM PACKED with carnival games, arcades, a McDonalds, and everything a kid could want. It is very camping (camping = Where do you sleep, when you go camping? In Tents. Intense. Camping is the AwesomeSauce way of saying something is intense. Again, you’re welcome), and very loud. The arcade was pretty sweet, with a lot of different games. Most games were $1 to play, so keep that in mind. We didn’t play any carnival games, so we don’t know their prices. The most notable thing at Circus Circus, however, is the live circus acts that go on above the gaming area. They have high flying acrobats, jugglers, a hula hoop lady, and they all perform above your head as you play. Shows are generally every half hour, but worry not. They will announce when they next show will begin, so you won’t miss a thing. Now, lets get to the meat and taties part of this adventure, The. Adventure. Dome.
AHHH! TIGER! *Not a real tiger
This is amazing, and I need him in my house
This place is AMAZING! Granted, it is not the largest theme park in the world, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in awesome. We highly recommend you get the All Day Pass. The All Day Pass covers most of the rides there, and if you plan on riding rides, it is the best deal. It pays for itself after three rides, basically. It does not cover mini golf, but we got a coupon for a substantial discount when we got our passes. It also does not cover the Sponge Bob experience, which we were ok with. Probably the best part about the Adventure Dome was that there were virtually no lines. At all. We went on a weekday, so that probably had something to do with it, but it even with school being out the lines were almost non existent.
The rides. Oh the rides. Turns out AwesomeK is a bit of a rollercoaster junkie, which is awesome. If you want to see a grown man light up like it’s Christmas and you just gave him a puppy, take AwesomeK to rollercoasters. The first ride we dared was the Canyon Blaster (spoiler video HERE). It is a wee whip-lashy for Saucy G tastes, but it was AWESOME! It took two late 30s somethings, and turned them into giggling, screaming kids again. That right there is worth the price of admission! The second coaster, which is conveniently located at the exit of the Canyon Blaster, was the EL LOCO! There are no words, really. It was, well, Loco. This is probably one of the best coasters Saucy G has been on! Not at all whip-lashy, and it has all the things you could want in a ride. Upsidedowns, corkscrews, screams, all the things. It was AMAZING!!! THREE EXCLAMATION POINTS! LOUD NOISES! *ahem* Anyway, El Loco is not to be missed. If you go, and only pay for one coaster, make it this one. Adventure Dome also has the “take you straight up in the air, then drop you like a silly” ride, which is always a favorite. The going up was scarier than the coming down, and the up is VERY high in the dome, which is pretty sweet. They have other standards, such as the swingy boat thingy, the ride that takes you up then flips you upside down a few times, the one that is all the spinny, on a spinny, which has more spinny (too much spinny for Saucy G), and a few others. There is also a great kid area, with less camping rides for smaller folks.
That guy can’t believe how awesome Canyon Blaster is
They have a couple of theater style adventure rides, which (we think) are also covered in the All Day Pass. One of which was the “Pacific Rim” attraction. Rarely will we ever give a very negative review. To each is own, and everyone likes different things. We don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, so unless something is so awful and should be avoided at all costs, we do our best not to be negative. The Pacific Rim attraction is one of those rare exceptions. Please, please do not do this. Learn from our adventure. The “ride” is the only real wait we encountered at the Dome, which had us a little excited. Saucy G really enjoyed the film, so this was going to be, hopefully, a highlight of the day. No. NO! First you wait in line, and watch a clip from the movie. Cool. Gets you excited. Right on. When it is your turn, you get filed into a small dark room. OOOH! EXCITING! THEN! WITHOUT WARNING! Nothing. Nothing happens. One small TV, which is awkwardly placed so that only two people can really see it, plays the same clip of the movie you just watched while waiting in line. After the clip is over, you wait in awkward silence, in this closed off black room, for what feels like an eternity. Finally, when you are almost done contemplating all of life’s mistakes that got you to this point, you are ushered into another small room with seats. You buckle yourself in and wait. Finally a projector that is in much need of repair begins to play a scene from the movie. You are supposed to feel like you are in the giant machine, fighting a beast from the depths of the ocean – possibly another dimension – but instead you are assaulted on all angles. You view is not that of the cockpit, but rather you are just watching the movie. The platform you strapped yourself to starts to move and jerk in what, we can only assume, is supposed to be in time with the good guy’s machine. Instead it just jerks you around sort of willy nilly. The hectic jerking could make anyone nauseous, which is the only thrill of the ride. Will I barf everywhere? Will I get a migraine? Who knows!
After being tossed around like a rag doll, while a broken projector plays a scene from the movie, and the speakers crackle with the familiar sound of brokeness, the ride stops. You are then ushered out, and back into the world. You didn’t even save humanity from the beast! At all cost, please please please avoid the Pacific Rim attraction.
Other than the complete assault on the senses from Pacific WhyGodDidIRideThat, the Adventure Dome gets a SOLID Full House. SOLID. Almost Quads. Absolutely worth it. Great family fun, and not TOO pricey. They might even have a Groupon available, or other such coupon, so keep a keen eye out.
There you have it. Our Post RV Apocalypse Adventures in Las Vegas! Overall it was a lot of fun, and we didn’t die! We will, of course, be back to Vegas. Next time probably without the Mews, and hopefully with less loss up front. Hope you enjoyed! If we missed something, if you have adventure tips for fellow travelers, or want to let us know what you think – please comment!
When you lose everything, it’s hard to know where to start. When your life goal and new “career” was to be an adventurer, and someone steals and destroys your house, it is very hard to know what to do next.
We are so blessed, and so lucky to have such an incredible support network. Friends, family, and a vast new network of people who believe in your dream, and are pulling for you. Our friend, and official AwesomeSauce Geek, Jason Hart, set up a Go Fund Me to help us rebuild after The Thief ruined everything. (Yeah, still hoping you read this blog, although now I believe you don’t know how to read. Or understand big words. Jerkface.) Anyhoo, we were overwhelmed with generosity, love, and support. Between Paypal and GoFundMe, we were suddenly no longer desperate to survive!
This, however, brings us to our current worry. Well, mine, let’s be fair (Saucy G here, Professional Worrier). What if we go on adventures, and we offend people who have supported us? Our savings did get depleted while we were in Vegas. Vegas is expensive, and sucks you in. One week in Vegas is a LOOOOONG time, two weeks is an eternity. We didn’t have a real fridge, or way to cook food in Vegas, so we ended up eating out a lot. That right there drains one’s account very quickly. Let alone trying to replace things (pillows, soaps, dishes for cat food, etc). That all adds up quickly. Thankfully the funds donated helped us get back to feeling ok, and not “oh God what do we do.” It got us back to feeling like we could do what we do best, adventure.
This was, and is, a huge dilemma for us. What if people who donated to our cause despise how we use the funds? Loathe us for going back out and doing what we planned to do with our lives, adventure? Do we post about adventures? Do we “check in” on social media and talk about things we are doing? What do people expect of us; adventure, or hiding out in a room? Granted, I have basically a PhD in Hiding Inside, but I was hoping to broaden my repertoire, and add outside to the list of places that we/I go. Is adventure a justifiable expense?
Here is what we have decided.
It is in our blood. It is in our nature. It IS what we are!
We will also be VERY frugal. For a number of reasons. We STILL don’t have any word on the RV, other than “it will be looked at soon.” Looked at. Not worked on. Looked at. It could be well over a month before we can even get in it again, IF they don’t total it. There are hints that it might just be totaled. So we are saving many pennies in case that happens (most of the Funds, actually, if not all). We are also not really replacing anything. At all. Not only because we have no place to put anything, but because we don’t know where we are going next in our lives. So we are saving to see where the road takes us, and what we need to supply for that adventure.
With all of the saving, and not replacing, we now have a reserve of monies for adventures. So we are going to do just that! ADVENTURE! We are going to check in at places, we are going to see the things, we are going to try the noms, we are going to do what we do best. Well, what we think we do pretty well, anyway.
We hope against hope that we are not offending any of our supporters, but we also believe that some of the support was to get us outside again. No one wants to read a blog about not ever leaving the house (well, they might. I hope they do, actually, because there are going to be MisAdventureous Agoraphobe posts, and it would be a bummer if no one read them).
We would like to thank you. Yes you. The outpouring of support, compassion, generosity, and the sharing of your own stories has helped us more than you know.
It’s not a lie. This has been devastating. Terrifying. Speaking for myself (Saucy G), I have had thoughts of giving up.
We won’t give up, though. We will never surrender!
First, we have to see about repairs. Insurance will cover some, but not all. We are going to have the Big Box Place look at it, and repair it if possible. This has us a little wary, but the work will be “guaranteed” by insurance.
Other than that, though, we are pretty much on our own. Insurance will only cover the minimum of what was lost, only $3000. That SOUNDS like a lot of money, but the impressive new pots and pans set cost $2500. Granted, we wanted to live a minimalistic lifestyle, but this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. Obviously we won’t be getting the impressive big kid pots and pans, but there is so much to replace! All the things! Literally!
We are also looking into where to stay in Vegas for the next week or so. It’s harder than one might think to find a room, that allows pets, over the 4th of July, in America’s Playground. *sigh* They are either WAY expensive, WAY sketchy, or WAY Don’t Allow Pets. Who knew.
We can tell you that we slept like babies last night, though.
Waking up every two hours crying.
When we awoke this morning, it was a brand new day! The sun was shining, the Mews were smiling (well, not really, they are starting to get antsy), and we started on “Operation RV Recovery” or “Operation BAD GUYS SUCK, We are AWESOME.” Not knowing where to start, we thought we would check out social media to see what the rest of the world was up to.
Turns out you were all trying to get us back on our feet!
Jason Hart has been a friend to Awesome K for over *cough lots cough* years. He is like a brother-from-another-mother. Well, Mr. Hart has set up a GOFUNDME page. This is so Awesome, and Wonderful, and Thoughtful. It is so, well, Awesome!
The name on the account is Saucy G’s real name. Apparently AwesomeSauce Duo isn’t a legal name. Silly.
Today we are feeling a little better. A little stronger. A lot more loved. Thank you, again, for lifting our spirits when we needed it the most. It can be a scary world out there, but it is also filled with wonderful people. Thank you for reminding us of that.
More to come soon. Maybe even an adventure post or two, since that is what we do after all!
Today has been a crazy whirlwind day! This is on top of a crazy whirlwind week!
A couple of days ago we found out that the Worlds Greatest RV had been stolen from where we parked it behind Bally’s. We weren’t even supposed to have parked behind Bally’s, but due to A/C issues, and melting Mews’, we had to get a hotel room. So there we were. Us and the Mews’ in the hotel room, and the World’s Greatest RV in the East Parking Lot, under a light and a camera, with security driving periodically through the lot.
We reported our loss to Bally’s security. Metro PD. Most importantly we reported to you. The wonderful world of social networking! Thank you! Your sharing of our story, your keeping your eyes peeled and ears to the ground (not literally, it is 1000 degrees outside). A wonderful person out there FOUND our BABY! Metro was alerted, and officers responded. Without you, it might not have been found. Certainly not as quickly. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!
It was found in what looks like a residential neighborhood close to the Sam’s Town Casino. I don’t think Metro asked around to any of the houses, but who knows. Maybe they did. IF they did, no one mentioned it to us. Anyhoo…Before we could get to it, the World’s Greatest RV was towed. At first we were upset, but it turns out that it is a LOT safer in the tow yard than it is anywhere else. The lot has barbed wire, electric fences, and 24/7 security. It LOOKS like RV jail, but it should be safe there.
So, we rallied ourselves together, and headed down to the tow yard to assess the damage. We were honored to have Michael Burton of Action News Las Vegas on scene with us, covering our story! Michael and his crew mate (who was amazingly nice, but we don’t remember his name) did a very good story on our blight for the evening news. It didn’t really have the happy ending they, or we, were hoping for.
Seeing the RV was terrifying, wonderful, and nerve-wracking. Going inside was sickening. Violating. We felt/feel defiled. Our home was destroyed. You hear about places getting “tossed,” but until you see it for yourself, you don’t really get the devastation. Every drawer was pulled out and emptied. Every cabinet thrown open. Literally thrown, some of the hinges were pulled off. What little furniture there was, was literally thrown around. A stranger, a “Bad Guy” literally touched, and destroyed everything we own. Most of the stuff was taken. Again, you hear anything not nailed down and don’t think about it, until you realize that most of the stuff wasn’t nailed down. If the couch wasn’t literally bolted to the floor, it probably would have been taken, too. Which would haven been fine, it’s not a comfortable couch.
A lot of the stuff we expected to be gone. The 400 DVD’s and Blu-Rays. The 100 or so video games. The PS2, PS3, and PS4, and original Nintendo were, of course, taken. The flat screen TV’s (the 32″, and the backup little 12″). Our printer/scanner/all in one fancy thingy was taken. Obviously, it was a fancy thingy. Jokes on them! That thing is nasty to connect to! HA! Take THAT BAD GUYS! *ahem* Anyway. They took our fancy new pots and pans that we had used only once. It was our first ever “big kid” set of pots and pans. They took dishes. They took shoes. Clothes. Our ottoman from Amazon. ALL of my fly-fishing stuff (four fly rods, some Abel fly reels ((one that was engraved with Saucy G’s name, and info from when she was on the Junior USA Fly Fishing Team)), flies – some that G’s Old Man had tied. They tossed books. They turned over the medicine cabinet. Everything was defiled.
Even the “tile” backsplash was ripped off!
Ripped cords out of the wall.
What’s this? Not worth anything? Let’s throw it on the floor and walk on it then
Our tiny bedroom trashed
Even cat beds were stolen. CAT BEDS!
The most heartbreaking, gut wrenching, disgusting part is that they torn open and ransacked our parents.
There were seven urns in the RV. Why? Why so many ashes? That seems morbid. Well. G’s great grandparents passed, and their ashes went to G’s grandparents. Then they passed before the ashes could be spread. The ashes went to G’s mother.
She was diagnosed with cancer, and passed before she could spread them. The ashes of five people were then passed to Saucy G to spread them.
She has her great grandparents, grandparents, her mother, and her cat, Secret Agent Sam. Awesome K has his father’s ashes.
One of our stops was to spread them in Catalina, CA, and Reno, NV. Looks like some of them are stuck in Vegas. Maybe some ashes got on the Bad Guys, and it freaked them out. Maybe now they will be haunted by a VERY angry Marine. Who knows? Mostly it hurts because we know they were looking for valuables, and the urns are boxes, but the urns are also clearly marked with their names, and their death dates. Now they are all over the RV.
The Bad Guys stole our home. They tossed it. They took everything we own (even some souvenirs, like crushed pennies from each of our stops), and what they didn’t take, they destroyed. The police treated this as a stolen vehicle, not as a robbed home. It’s true, it is a vehicle, but it was our lives. Our goals. Our dreams. Our family. Everything.
So here we are. We are staying at Bally’s until Saturday, then we don’t know where we are going. Next week is the 4th of July, which is a huge holiday. We won’t be able to be in the RV, so we have to find a place to stay in Vegas. We would take the RV, but the window was smashed, the ignition trashed, and who knows what else was damaged. We aren’t sure it is even driveable, and if it IS drivable it isn’t safe until we get things repaired. Even AFTER it is fixed, it still feels…wrong. Someone was in our home. Someone touched all our things. They sized us up and took what they wanted. They destroyed what they didn’t want and they destroyed our sense of safety; our sense of trust. People talk about feeling fear when they enter their home after it was robbed, and we feel fear. What if it happens again? What happened while they had it? There is so much uncertainty. There is so much missing. For goodness sakes they took socks. SOCKS!
So that is where we are at. Insurance probably can’t cover the thousands and thousands of dollars (roughly 40k) worth of missing things. No one can replace the urns and the missing bits of our parents.
We will figure out what to do next, and keep you updated. Thank you for sticking with us, and for helping us getting our home back. Hopefully the Bad Guy gets caught, but we doubt it. This guy seemed to be a pro, or ballsy. He took our home at 10:45am. Either way.
So here we are. In shock. Tired. Confused. But we are safe. The Mews are safe (they even took the cat beds. CAT BEDS! WHO DOES THAT?!). For now we will wash the clothes we have, put some food in our bellies, and be thankful that no one was hurt.
This is a High Card. They say they worst hand is poker is 7, 2, two different suits. This is that hand. If there could be a worse hand, this would be it.
Thank you again to everyone who shared our story! You got our RV BACK! You got our story out there. Without you, we wouldn’t have even gotten our home back. Thank you. We are humbled and honored to be a part of such a wonderful community of people. Thank you for the love and support. We love you, too.
After leaving Meteor Crater Park (post coming soon), we headed to Vegas Baby!
Every year the AwesomeSauce Duo go to the World Series of Poker, held at the Rio in Las Vegas. This year would be no different. Well, a little different. We were bringing our house, belongings, and the Mews team with!
We prepared for the heat (we thought). We had tested, and retested the “house” air conditioning. We had it inspected by professionals. We bought a secondary floor unit for when we were plugged in. We had been making ice for days.
At the KOA at Sam’s Town, we plugged in and cranked it up.
Then the circuits blew.
Then they blew again.
Then the Mews started to melt.
After trying everything, and calling everyone in the city, we decided it was safer to put us and the Team up in a hotel. The Mews are too important to be left in the heat.
We were told by the hotel casino security to park our beloved RV in the oversize parking lot. There are cameras, lights, and security checks the lot periodically, so we felt sort of ok leaving our home there. We took some clothes, our cash, our Team, and checked in.
We checked on it Friday. We checked on it Saturday. We checked on it Sunday.
Our home was stolen on Monday.
It was stolen from the parking lot at 10:45am on Monday, June 27th.
It is white with blue trim, with two large logos. Our family crest on the back that says “AwesomeSauce Duo” with cats, bacon, playing cards, etc. The other large sticker is the link to our website on the drivers side, http://www.AwesomeSauceAdventure.com
We filed reports with Bally’s and Metro PD.
Everything we owned (basically) was in the motorhome.
One of the things that hurts the most was we were transporting seven urns. My (Saucy G) great grandparents, my grandparents, my mother, my father in law (Awesome Ks dad) and our cat, former Head of Security, Secret Agent Sam.
The remains of Saucy Gs family were left to her to spread their ashes in Reno and Catalina, CA. All we really want are the urns back. They mean a lot to us.
There was a lot of other stuff, too, but we know that recovery of that is less than likely. The fishing gear that belonged to Saucy G that had so much sentimental value. The book of crushed pennies the Duo was collecting at each stop. The books. The photos. The dvds, games. The travel scrapbook. The hand made quilt and blanket, the AwesomeSauce pillow that were wedding presents. Everything.
Not only did someone steal our home, and our relatives remains, they crushed us emotionally. We had just started this incredible adventure after years of planning, saving, and dreaming. We are devastated.
We are trying to keep our sense of humor, though. We are ok. The Mews are ok.
In addition to our home, they took the Smart Car trailer that was attached to the back.
If you happen to see a motor home with large AwesomeSauce stickers, Colorado Plate MQT-304, please contact Metro police and reference event number 16 0628-2051. Telephone 702-828-3204
Thank you so much for your time, and any help would be greatly appreciated.
TL:DR, Motorhome/house and trailer were stolen. Giant AwesomeSauce Duo sticker on the back. Please call police if spotted.
Our very first Official Full Timing Stop was the Cripple Creek KOA in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
I don’t think there is a way to convey just how much we loved it! We ended up added a day to our stay, because the park was so nice. Now granted, we had literally nothing to compare it too, but still. It was lovely. The views from the “Worlds Highest KOA” are incredible to say the least. Coming from Denver/Lakewood we had some pretty great views, but nothing really compares to being at 10,000 feet. The lack of “light pollution” was incredible! It was the first time anyone on the team had seen stars in ages! The evenings were cool, almost chilly, which was a delight for the middle of June, and the temperature during the day was very pleasant.
In addition to having not seen stars in ages, it had also been ages since Saucy G was up a mountain, so to speak. She grew up at 7,000 feet, but had been in the city for too long. Luckily no one got sick, but it definitely winded us whenever we did anything active.
*Adventure Tip: When heading to higher elevations, remember to drink LOTS of water! It is very easy to get dehydrated when the air is thin, and dehydration can lead to nausea, dizziness, and worse. Please remember to also take it easy on yourself when out and about! Your body is being starved for oxygen, so don’t feel bad about taking breaks to catch your breath. If you DO get sick (such as headache, exhaustion, sick to your stomach, etc.) be sure to keep warm, try some Tylenol for a headache, hydrate, rest, relax, and you should be ok. If you still feel gross (like a bad hangover) see a doctor, get some oxygen, or go to a lower altitude. Altitude Sickness sucks. Dying from it sucks worse, so keep an eye on yourself and your adventure mates.
Being our first ever stop, we had really no idea what we were doing. Sure, we had read all the forums, and watched all the videos, but having never done any of it ourselves, we were a little (a lot) nervous. Luckily, we happened to meet Tom from KOA! He was AMAZING! Not only did he answer a barrage of questions, he also took the time to come to our site and show us a few things. He also introduced us to a couple of other full timers (who, conveniently, were parked behind us, and next to us), just in case we had more questions. In hindsight, they MIGHT have placed us there on purpose, closer to other full-timers, so we wouldn’t be adrift in a sea of unknowing. If that was the case, we have Tom to thank for that, too. Everyone was SO NICE! Our neighbors across the way checked in on us, without making it look like they were checking in on us, a couple of times throughout each day. It was really comforting to know we weren’t alone, and it was nice to meet other full timers so quickly! Little did we know that you sneaky RVers are EVERYWHERE! Which is awesome.
What else was there than the amazing KOA you ask? Did we do anything other than revel in our awesomeness of being on the road? Why yes, yes we did.
Cripple Creek was the site of a great “salting” hoax (adding gold to soil to make it look rich), and was primarily used as a pasture after that. Then BAM! Actual wonderful gold was found, and the town became a mining town, as so many were once upon a time. It was a rough and tumble mountain town, with taverns, a brothel, and gold in them thar hills. So much gold, in fact, that the mountains near Cripple Creek are still being mined for gold today! Cripple Creek was the location of the famous “independence load,” one of the largest gold strikes in history!
Saucy G wanted to try panning for gold, but since we didn’t know the laws, and if it was restricted or not, we decided against panning. Instead we hunted down riches in a way we are familiar with, POKER!
In addition to being a town filled with history, mining tours, and a super sweet train ride, Cripple Creek is also one of two gambling towns in Colorado. On the main street through the city, you can find casinos on either side, boasting slots, table games, and our favorite – poker. If you are looking for a poker game, we highly recommend the Midnight Rose. There is a current high hand promotion, a bad beat, and they offer tournaments on a regular basis. Once in a while they will have a promotion where if you play a certain amount of hours (three? It might be three. You should check for yourself just in case) you get comped a room for the night That’s a sweet deal, if you ask us.
Awesome K and Saucy G both sat at the tables, and got some action. We found that it was like stepping into a house game, everyone knew everyone, and everyone played basically the same hands. If you can figure out what the hands are, you are in good shape to make a decent amount of money. What hands are they? That is something you get to find out for yourself! No need to give away ALL the secrets here! The slots are a lot of fun, too. There are pretty much all the games you could want (Saucy G is partial to Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Wonka (surprise surprise, she’s a nerd)), and the table games are all available. Awesome K loves nothing more than finding an empty craps table, and he was lucky enough to find one. A couple monies ahead later, and we were feeling pretty good about our trip.
On our last night in Cripple Creek, we headed down to the “Down Under” buffet, which Saucy G thought was clever because it is literally down under one of the casinos (the Midnight Rose). It was a nice spread, lots of fresh and good looking choices. In addition to the normal buffet fare, there were crab legs, a prime rib station, and a fresh pasta station! The pasta station was a wee busy, which is to be expected if you ask us. Pasta = delicious. (Pasta also = carbs = fat = sad face. Little known fact, though, when you eat pasta at a casino, the carbs don’t count. THEY. DON’T. COUNT), so Saucy G wandered off When she came back, the poor lady running the station was still overwhelmed, but was nice enough to talk Saucy G through the pasta process. Becoming overwhelmed herself, G asked the Pasta Lady to “make her favorite.” Happy that pasta was in the meal forecast, G went back to the table to nom some prime rib. After a while (who knows how long, one does not count time when waiting for fresh foodstuffs in a casino), the pasta was delivered. A tip was given (of course, because anyone who makes your food and/or delivers your food deserves a tip. They make pennies, so you should give them dollars), the Pasta Lady was thanked profusely for the food, and the pasta was admired. For a brief moment. Then it was devoured. DEVOURED. It was SO GOOD! Fresh spinach, delicious bacon, green peas, onions, white sauce, what isn’t there to love?
Little did we know, poor Pasta Lady had had a heck of an evening. People were rude to her, some were down right mean. She was working as fast as she could with her two little skillets, but deliciousness takes time. Something some people forgot, apparently. Kindness was non-existent in her evening. Which is unfortunate.
Saucy Rant: Though you are the center of your universe, you are not the center of everyone else’s. Sometimes things take time and patience. I know you are hungry. You had a bad beat at the poker table. The slots took all your money. Your sweetheart nagged you, and work sucks. Or perhaps it is the opposite. Perhaps the world is the mollusk of your choice, and you are very important! Very busy, much to do. NOTHING excuses nasty behavior to others. Perhaps the food is too salty, then you kindly, and preferably without making a scene, mention that the food might be a bit salty. I bet the person cooking it would make you something more to your liking. Perhaps your food took a while to get to you. What you might not have noticed is that there were four or five people who ordered ahead of you, and even though the station looks empty of customers now, there is actually a backlog of orders. You do not need to berate the person cooking the food. The world can be a hard place to handle. Please don’t make it harder by taking your frustrations out on another life. A little patience, and kindness, can go a LONG way. “Be Excellent to Each Other.” /end rant
We made it a point to let our server know just how much we enjoyed our dinner, especially the pasta, in hopes that maybe he would relay it to her, and boost her evening a bit. Awesome K has many years of experience in the food industry, and he understands just how rough it can get, so we wanted to let her know she was appreciated. Luckily our server happened to be the manager! He let the Pasta Lady know how we felt, and he relayed to us that it “made her night.” Which, in turn, made ours.
So, if you happen to head to the Midnight Rose, and you go to the Down Under Buffet, tell the Pasta Lady we said hello, and be sure to try her incredible dishes. Even though it might take a bit, it is well worth the wait. Say hi to Jon for us, too! He is a pretty darned good manager, and a heck of a server (he will recommend the cheesecake to you. DO NOT TURN IT DOWN! SOOOoooooooOOOOoooo Good! Remember, also, a little kindness can go a long way, especially for the people who prepare and serve your food.
All in all, it was a pretty epic way to start our RV adventures!
Cripple Creek KOA: QUADS – Tom and everyone there was absolutely wonderful. The site was level, the views were amazing, the price was right, and it is close to adventure while still giving you enough distance for a quiet, star filled night.
Midnight Rose Poker Room and Casino: Full House. Sally is probably one of the best dealers around. She is knowledgeable, keeps the game going, and is fun. There is usually some action, and decent tournaments. Table side food and drink service.
Down Under Buffet: Full House. The food was good. The buffet was fresh. The Pasta Lady is awesome – her creations are worth the wait. There can be a bit of a wait, but such is life. We went on a Friday night, so the prices were weekend prices. Service was excellent, and the cheesecake was marvelous.
Cripple Creek Adventure: Quads. We will definitely be back, next time we cruise through Colorado, and we HIGHLY recommend that you check it out. Whether you enjoy gambling, hiking (which there is a TON OF), history (there are a couple of cool little museums, a train ride tour, and an underground mining tour), a not-to-be-missed playhouse, or just getting away from it all, Cripple Creek is an excellent choice. Of course we love the KOA, but if you are not RVing, or want a break from your house on wheels, we also highly recommend the Midnight Rose hotel. We have stayed there in the past, and were pleasantly surprised – AND you might be able to get your room for free if you play enough poker! Be sure to check with the poker desk for details and current promotions.
*- We are not at all licensed medical people. DO NOT take what we say as official medical advice. We speak from experience, and a Google search of WebMD. If you feel ill, or have questions, please consult a licensed physician. We cannot be held liable for any medical, mental, financial, or otherwise unnoted…um…stuff. So. You’ve been warned. Seek a professional.
(None of the pictures in this post were the work of the AwesomeSauce Team)
Yup, we did it. We finally hit the road! With a lot of help from our friends and family, of course. We were very fortunate to have Mama AwesomeSauce, Michael the Painter, and Sir Christopher Knight and Mews Guard of House Fluffington to see us off. We cracked a bottle of champagne (we would have broken it over the hull, but we were scared of what that would do to the engine, and tires, and street, and what nots), toasted to our travels, then the AwesomeSauce Duo and Mews HIT THE ROAD! It was a tearful farewell…so many emotions! Sad to say goodbye – Saucy G has lived in Colorado her whole life! Scared of what was ahead (terrified, if truth be told). Excited to finally be on the road after years of planning and hoping and saving and and and…
We pulled ourselves together, and headed west! Our first stop? The KOA at Cripple Creek, Colorado. I know, not very far for our maiden voyage, however we had a few reasons for the semi-close to home stop. We wanted to make sure our first day of driving wasn’t too long and strenuous for us, and mostly for the Mews. We wanted to see how the A’Tuin would handle the road, and we wanted to be able to test out all of our hoses, connections and everything else in a park that was sort of familiar. We have never been to a KOA before, but we had been to Cripple Creek, so if something went horribly wrong, at least we would be in familiar surroundings, and close enough to “home” that if the rig blew up we could get back ok. It was sort of a security blanket stop, as well as a test run before we “got serious” and left the state.
Boy are we glad we did! We didn’t have any major disasters, thank goodness, but that first day was a learning experience! First, just because it looks cute while you are parked does NOT mean that the decorations or whatevers you have are practical while driving. Items shift while in transit (we should have listened during all the in flight safety talks), and those items WILL find a way to the floor. Or will move to against the door of the cabinet, like a booby trap in a kids Christmas movie.
Adventure Tip– Secure ALL THE THINGS. Seriously stuff will move around.
Secondly, no matter how much you plan, and prepare, something will go wrong and/or possibly break. We made sure we had solar for when we weren’t plugged in, we checked our roof, we made places for Mews to sleep and hide, we had two different inspections on the rig itself JUST to make sure everything was ready to go. Feeling smug and secure, we plugged into our first ever site, got the water and electricity going, and settled into a “normal” house. We washed our hands, a lot, we cooked in our fancy new cookware (this stuff is truly amazing, more on that later), and we did dishes.
Then…it happened. Like a scene out of a horror movie. It crept. It slowly seeped its way into the kitchen. The unsuspecting couple, minding their own business, living life unawares of the threat that lurked around the corner….
We quickly shut everything off, sopped up what we could get to, then went hunting for the Moist Menace. We ended up ripping out part of our cabinet under the sink to get to the problem. It was HORRIFYING! There is was. A HUGE CRACK in our drain pipe going to our grey tank. HUGE. How did it get there? Was it from winterization? Perhaps when the big box company was installing the new toilet, they cut the pipe without noticing? Or goblins snuck into the rig and sliced the pipe, just for a laugh (I KNEW I should have burnt some sage before we left). Whatever the cause, there it was. Now the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink were inoperable until we get it fixed.
Worry not! We didn’t let this get us down. Until we can fix it, or get it fixed, we have come up with a solution. Tubs! There are three tubs, one for each sink. When we wash dishes we have a soap tub, and a rinse tub. There is one it the bathroom for catching water, also. Luckily the shower seems to have its own drain into the grey tank, so we end up emptying our tubs into the shower after use.
After that frighten, we checked every other connection we could find! Pipes, hoses, (almost) everything.
Again, we missed a spot. Later, when we were leaving our second KOA stop, we, well, couldn’t leave. The engine wouldn’t start! OH NO! DISASTER! Where do we get a new battery? Is it the battery? Is it the alternator? Is it some deep engine problem that Saucy G knows nothing about? AHHHHHHH!
Nope. It was a loose connection on the battery. A VERY nice man at the Santa Fe KOA (our second stop) found the problem, tightened the connection, jumped our battery, and sent us on our way.
SO, as the old saying goes, something something mice and men, planning…and…err…um….
You and never plan for everything ever, because something will come up. Turns out this Full Time Lifestyle has a whole new way of life to learn! So many new things, new problems, new solutions, new new new! Who knew?! The best part is that it is all worth it. The leaks, the creaks, the battery, all of it are worth it for the adventures.