Another Year in Review – and The Road Ahead

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to 2017!happy-new-year-sparkler-gold-animated-gif.gif

Last year was a real doozy for everyone, everywhere. There were some great things that happened; Giant Pandas, Humpback Whales, Manatees and Sea Turtles are no longer endangered! Leo FINALLY won an Oscar! The Ice Bucket Challenge helped fund the scientists who found the gene for ALS! Woohoo!!

Your favorite adventurers had some pretty epic awesome this last year, too! Let’s not forget our incredible trip to Nerd Mecca, our personal guided tour of Jet Propulsion Labs, and our trips to  various beaches! We even took our mews Matilda Pants to the beach!

Along the way we made some pretty incredible new friends, and we certainly learned a lot. Some of the nicest people we encountered on our adventures were (but certainly not limited to)…..

Harvest Hosts – Kim and Don are incredible people. We were gifted a membership with them, but were unable to use it. They not only refunded the gift to the buyer, but they also gave us “Does Not Expire” membership status! If you are on the road, and looking for a unique and awesome adventure, be sure to check out what Harvest Hosts has to offer!

Royal Prestige – Before we hit the road, we bought a full set of these amazing pots and pans! This set was going to last us the rest of our lives, if we took proper care of them. They have a great layaway program, and we were able to make payments until we were finally able to purchase the set. Granted, the set was expensive, but worth it. Of course the thieves new the set was nice, too, and they took every last piece. Even the salad shooter. Over $3000 worth of cooking items. After some convincing from the Head of our Fan Club, we emailed Royal Prestige to see what could be done. They were VERY generous and offered to sell us another set for 50% off. While we are not financially able to take them up on this offer, it was very kind of them. If you are looking for the best set of pots, pans, and cooktops in the world (and worth their weight for RVing), please check these guys out!

Geeks Who Drink – Our Brother from Another Mother works as a QuizMaster, and is a Quiz God with GWD. When our RV was first stolen, he started a GoFundMe for us that literally saved our lives. He sent it out to everyone he knew at GWD, which is a lot of folks, and through their donations we were able to find places to stay, eat, and keep the Mews healthy. We also made a couple life long friends in the process! We can’t wait to see everyone at the annual GeekBowl in Seattle, and give HUGE hugs to our Brother From Another Mother, as well as our new favorite Quiz Mistress, and our favorite Wedding Crashers from Texas!

There was, of course, the whole business of our RV, and everything we owned, being stolen or destroyed. Then dealing with “Outdoor Planet” (We aren’t allowed to say who they are, but you know who they are), then Outdoor Plant “losing” our trailer…not to mention that it took them OVER SIX MONTHS to repair damages from the theft. That is a long time to be homeless. So, while we waited, and waited, and waited some more, we set up an AwesomeSauce Headquarters in sunny California!

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During the course of the RVpocolypse, we drained all our resources. From hotel rooms and Air BnB’s, to traveling up and down California a few times – and back and forth to Vegas a few times, to eating, taking Mews to the vet a few times (turns out stress can really do a number on pets), to the adventurers getting sick (stress can also really do a number on people)…then getting a “Brick and Mortar” HQ. When you have no job, and no real rental history for a few months, getting a rental can be very difficult. We had first and last months rent, and a security deposit, which helped A LOT. That, and a very understanding and cool landlord, got us into a very cool house. A nice fenced yard for a Mews to meander, filled with hummingbirds, oranges, and a few bugs we have never seen before. After that we set up gas, electric, and internet. All with down payments.

Then there was the task of getting some furniture. We needed a bed for sleeping, chairs for sitting, and a table for eating (not to eat the table..but to eat at! Silly). Our table doubles as desk, our chairs function as chairs, stepladders, and cat bed holders. We also needed to get some clothes! After a few trips to all the thrift stores, and one trip to a new mattress place, we were able to function in our house.

To make a long story short (too late), we went through all of our monies dealing with the RV, the legal stuff, and getting back on our feet.

Fear not! Some other highlights of 2016 was that Awesome K was able to get a couple of interesting jobs! He was a food inspector for items going to the South Pole, he served a new culture of people in “Little Saigon,” finally landing a regular gig doing what he loves, dealing cards! He is now a dealer at a Four Diamond Triple A rated casino resort! Fancy-schmancy! Saucy G FINALLY started really working on her novel writing, and has gotten a great start on a few stories. Even the Mews are back to work, with Archer head of Agriculture, Matilda is Head of the Neighborhood Watch, and Lana continues to work in Security while dabbling in being a Cat Food Critic. We also welcomed a new Mews to our Team! The incredible and marvelous Castielanova Bagginsess Pants, or Cass for short. He is working closely with his idol and mentor, Archer, and learning all there is to know about being an Adventure Cat.

Our final bit of excitement in 2016 was FINALLY bringing the RV back home! We were able to drive her from Vegas in late December, and she was home in time for Christmas! 2673.jpg

So, 2016 had it’s ups and downs, like a roller-coaster at Circus Circus, but we ended the year healthy, safe, and together. What more could we ask for?

Thanks for helping us through 2016, we honestly and truly could not have done it without you and your never ending support! You are beyond Awesome, and we love you to pieces! you-are-seriously-awesome

We aren’t sure what 2017 has to offer us, but we have a few ideas as to where we would like to go with it. What about you? How was your 2016? What are you looking forward to in 2017?

 

 

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MidSummer Scream!

Groupon may be one of the best tools in any travelers arsenal. Not only can you find amazing deals on just about everything, you can also find tickets to events and attractions you might not have otherwise known about!

One night we were chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, when we started cruising Groupon for something to do…

That’s when we saw it. A MidSummer Scream! A convention for horror, Halloween, and everything in between. Ghosts! Horror movies! Haunted Houses! REAL Haunted Houses! ALL HALLOWEEN ALL THE TIME! So, of course we had to go to that! 20160731_124420

We opted to go on the final day (remember, the final day of a convention or show is the best day, you get the best deals!), for the deals, and for the panel discussions. We were able to find a schedule online, and saw that one of discussions was going to be about the Winchester Mystery House! Saucy G has ALWAYS wanted to go there, hearing legends of it from her parents, and Awesome K had always wanted to go. He spent a lot of time in that area growing up, but never made it to the house. winchestermysteryhouse1

HOLY CRAZY PANEL, BATMAN! That discussion was AMAZING! We got to see pictures that no one else has seen, we learned the history of the house, and Sarah Winchester, AND we got some super sweet insider info! We learned about a few psychics who have come through the house, a couple of ghost hunters and their adventures, and we got to hear about a particularly interesting seance that happened in the house recently, performed by James Van Praagh! The best part was at the end, everyone who attended the panel was gifted a YEAR LONG MEMBERSHIP to the new Skeleton Key Club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, ALL the exclamation points are needed). Now the Duo can go to the Winchester Mystery House ALL THE  TIME! FOR FREE! Plus discounts on the gift shop (which is, of course, filled with all sorts of fun stuff), as well as discounts on tickets for friends! So, if you want to go to the coolest house ever built AND have an adventure with the DUO, now you can! 20160731_182351

After the panel, at the Winchester Mystery House booth, they were selling shadow boxes that contained actual relics from the house! The only had a few, and they were WAY out of our budget, but they were incredible! One in particular had blue tile, some crown molding, and a piece of wallpaper, all original from the House, for around $400. Saucy G may kick herself for the rest of forever for not getting that. Such a gorgeous box, an amazing bit of history, and it might even be haunted! If you happen across a this shadow box, let Saucy G know, she might be able to scrape up some cash. Or trade you. Or beg and cry at you. That sounds fun, right?

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You can almost see a corner of one of the Shadow Boxes. *sigh*

After enjoying our incredible panel, we hit the floor at the Midsummer Scream!

The entire show floor was covered in a fog. Screams echoed through the halls. A zombie shuffled by, a bag brimming with delights from the underworld. Slender Man stood tall and opposing, while a couple of rotting nurses took a selfie with him. It was perfect! The only way this event/day could get better would be haunted kittens.

This was the first annual event, so the show floor was not as jam packed as it could have been, but what was there was quality stuff. In addition to the Winchester Mystery House, there were several exhibitors and panels about haunted houses, make up artistry, and how to get into the horror business professionally. One entire section was made into a haunted house, but we might have been too scared to go in. From all the screaming, it seemed pretty awesome, though. There was an area where you could have Halloween effects and makeup done, which also looked AMAZING! A lot of booths were mini room escapes, promoting their larger attractions (like the game on your phone, but in real life. We NEED to do that one time).  There were also a lot of booths dedicated to paranormal investigations, a horror museum, a vlog about scary baking (which  we are following, because she is a delight), all sorts of cool and kooky things to purchase, and…..HAUNTED KITTENS! KITTENS!!!

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We didn’t take this picture – but these are the kittens!

Ok, so the kittens PROBABLY aren’t haunted, but as we all know, kittens and cats DO keep bad demons away from your house, so everyone should have at least two (for demon hunting, and to keep each other company). The actual booth was dedicated to cat and kitten adoption, and awareness of the perils of being a black cat*. Saucy G MIGHT have lost her mind a little bit, kittens and horror all mixed together like this. IT WAS EPIC! And this was just on SUNDAY! (This is also the reason there aren’t a lot of pictures taken by the duo. Too much awesome makes for a forgetful photographer).

We didn’t go Saturday, but we wish we could have (Long Beach was a little far from Altadena, AND we didn’t really know about it until it was too late to plan ahead)! On Saturday night there was a Halloween Ball, with only the greatest band of all time….OINGO BOINGO! OINGO….BOINGO!

All in all it was probably one of the coolest events we have ever been to, other than Nerd Mecca of course. Although it is definitely on par with Nerd Mecca…this had all horror all the time, goth makeup, and haunted kittens. It is really hard to top kittens. If you are in the Long Beach area, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this screaming good time next summer! Don’t forget to check for discount tickets on Groupon! (This blog was not sponsored by Groupon, but if they do sponsorships, let us know).

AwesomeSauce Rating: Royal Flush. There were kittens! Horror icons! We won year long admission to the Winchester Mystery House! It does not get better than this, unless we went to the Fest for free. Or got paid. Seriously, this event was one of the best ever in the forever ever, and you NEED to check it out next time! We will be there!

Don’t live near Long Beach, but are dying for some devilish delights of your own? Fear not! Click HERE for a list of some horrifying haunts coming to your area!

 

*Black cats are the hardest to get adopted, due in part to the stigma and superstitions behind them.  During the month of October, it is especially dangerous to be a black cat, as they are often targeted for some nasty tricks. There doesn’t seem to be a concrete answer as to why they are less likely to be adopted.  In fact, in some cultures, black cats bring about the best of luck! groucho-cat

Nerd Mecca

We, Awesome K and Saucy G, were sitting around, minding our own business one Saturday evening in Altadena/Pasadena. Nothing much was going on. Then BAM! WHAMO! KABOOM! A figure descended from the Heavens! This magnificent creature from the Ether bestowed upon us TWO FREE TICKETS TO COMIC CON!!!!

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Morgan is like a God!

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON!!!!

C.O.M.I.C! C.O.N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who are unsure as to what just happened, let us attempt to explain. The San Diego Comic Con is sort of a Nerd Mecca. For 46 years, the San Diego Comic Con has brought together everyone in the comics industry for a mega convention. It has gotten exponentially larger over recent years – and has started to include movies, TV shows, books, and all things that are considered “nerdy” or “geeky” or just straight up AWESOME! Everything from video games, to Game of Thrones, to Emily the Strange, to Lego’s. All the things that this Saucy G LOVES. ALL. Comic Con is often the place to premier new and cool stuff, as well as a place to meet the stars of your favorite Nerd-dom, and to get your hands on all sorts of rare and exclusive swag. To be able to go to this epic event is a quest for many a nerd/geek/gamer/comic-lover/etc. The San Diego Comic Con is the King of All Cons. All other Comic Cons (Denver, Salt Lake, etc), aspire to be the San Diego Comic Con. Hence the “Nerd Mecca.”20160724_141233.jpg

Tickets to get in, however, are often expensive, and often sell out almost instantly! We didn’t plan ahead, and when we found ourselves in SoCal (Southern California, or SoCal as the cool kids call it) during Comic Con, we knew we were out of luck. That is, until the Nerdy Angel arrived and handed us two free passes (please refer to the above photo)! Not only were we getting in free, we were getting in an hour early! We could have a quick look around before the throngs of people came crashing through the doors.

Comic Con is HUGE! In recent years it has become too large for the Convention Center that it is in, and has started spilling into the streets and local businesses, which is awesome. If you were a business owner near the San Diego Convention Center, Comic Con has to be the equivalent to the retail Black Friday – for a week straight. It must be especially awesome to have a company come to you and rent your ENTIRE BUSINESS for the week of the Con. We saw one restaurant completely taken over, and turned into a hub for an upcoming TV show. One local hotel lobby was turned into the Hall of Faces from Game of Thrones! Every where you looked in San Diego, there was something related to Comic Con, and it was glorious.

Inside the main convention center there was a TON of stuff to see. If you are ever planning on going to Comic Con, you really should at least go for two days. One day to take it all in, one day to really focus on what you want to focus on. Honestly, your best bet, even it if is the most expensive, is to go all four days. A day to take it in, a couple days to catch all the different events and panels, and finally a day for shopping. We always recommend shopping on the last day of an event, as most of the dealers are VERY willing to make deals in order to not pack and haul out as much stuff. Don’t be afraid to ask for a Last Day Discount! Planning ahead for something like Comic Con is a must. Many exhibitors will have “exclusive” free gifts, or items only for sale at the Con, or other rare items, and if that is something you want in your collection – having a game plan going in is a must. (Click Here—->cci2016_exhib_hall_map <—For a Map)

We, however, were just excited to be able to go! We didn’t really have any plan at all, except to see everything we could.

Like wide eyed children on Christmas morning, we journeyed up and down the aisles in sheer awe and wonderment.There was SO MUCH TO SEE!mind-blown.gif

Meandering was a little difficult, as other people had VERY serious agendas. It got a little intense at a few instances, with people pushing and some yelling. It resembled Black Friday in this regard, too, with people pushing and shoving and doing whatever they needed to in order to get “the thing” that they were after. Again, plan ahead people.

Some of the highlights of the Con were the hidden gems we found. Tucked in between two larger booths was a small table with two ladies surrounded by art. The artist, one of the two ladies, was modestly describing her work. We picked up some small postcard size pieces of art (we are going to order larger pieces some day, when we have a place for art), got her autograph on each one, and made a real connection with an amazing artist!

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Comic Book Cats. Does it get better?

Another amazing exhibitor was the Steam Crow Monster Scouts! If you ever run into a Monster Scout we HIGHLY encourage you to chat with them, get the back story, and learn more about this awesome community. Awesome K and I are both learning how to be scouts, and are hoping to earn some badges soon. Yes. Badges. Real life badges. This is a real scout group focused on the love of monsters! It is pretty amazing. They have camp outs, activities, and all sorts of amazing things. AND YOU CAN EARN REAL LIFE BADGES! Saucy G is obsessed with earning achievements, finding a real life achievement earning opportunity, in one of our favorite fields (monsters), is beyond awesome! Please pop on over and learn about becoming a Monster Scout!

Saucy G loves horror movies. The cheesier the better. She had an extensive horror movie collection that The Thief stole from the RV, and is often something that stings the most. A couple of the booths at Comic Con were HORROR MOVIES! Troma made an appearance, which was a delight to see, but the real gem was Full Moon Horror. If you haven’t seen the first Puppet Master movie, featuring William Hickey, you should. You are in for a real treat! That is, of course, if you like horror movies. Like most horror series, they eventually get…a little..ah…crazy. Crazy, cheesy, fun. The guys at the Full Moon booth heard the sad story of Saucy G’s movie collection getting stolen, and gave her a HUGE DISCOUNT on their movies! She ended up with the Puppet Master movie collection on BluRay, two plush dolls, and two bobble heads! AMAZING! Thank you again, Full Moon, you really made a horror movie fan’s week with your generosity!

Some of our other “small” favorites were Emily the Strange (Saucy G LOVES LOVES LOVES Emily the Strange), Cyanide and Happiness, and Bone, just to name a few.

There were also HUGE spaces for the “larger” favorites. DC, Marvel, Dark Horse Comics, Game of Thrones, Star Wars…Too many to name. One of our favorites was the “American Gods” booth. “American Gods” is one of Saucy G’s favorite books, written by one of her favorite authors – Neil Gaiman. “American Gods” was picked up by Starz, and we can’t wait! We waiting in what was actually a pretty short line, comparatively, to get a picture and an exclusive key chain. While in line we were treated to the teaser trailer that was released for Comic Con, which was pretty awesome!

We saw some of the costumes for the upcoming “Rogue One, a Star Wars Story,” which was pretty amazing. Wandering around, we ran into the Walking Dead, which was a little scary, but awesome.

Going upstairs and into a different part of the convention hall, sort of by accident, we found where there were all the autographs happening! Stan Lee was setting up to start signing autographs – but tickets to it had sold out WAY WAY WAY in advance – we aren’t kidding about planning ahead. Like, months ahead. In a booth at the end of an empty line was a beautiful woman, signing a couple of autographs, sort of no big deal. It was the talented and wonderful Nichelle Nicols of Star Trek fame. Saucy G REALLY wanted to go say hi, and say what a huge inspiration Nichelle was in her childhood, but she chickened out. If you are out there Nichelle, and happen to have read this, know that you are loved and that there is a nerdy girl out there who thinks you are the bees knees – but was too star struck to stop by your signing.

All in all, it was a mind blowingly amazing day. Saucy G is still in shock a little that it happened! It is hard to remember everything we saw and did, there was so much, and we ended up walking about 10 miles total that day! We are sure that we have forgotten something, so this may get edit updates as we think of things we saw and did. Truly one of the best adventures ever. Ever. In the Forever Ever!

Let us leave you with a few closing tips…

PLAN AHEAD! Tickets go on sale at the beginning of the year, ish, so if you want to go be sure to find out exactly when they go on sale, and be ready to buy. THIS PAGE should update as it gets closer to ticket time. Also, be sure to get the list of speakers, events, and signings in advance, so you know what to do and where to be, and when.

Be Ready to Walk! No joke. Wear comfortable shoes, and be ready to walk all over the place. We aren’t joking in that we walked about ten miles that day, and that was just one day!

Save your pennies! If there is a booth selling stuffs, and you can hold out until closing day, do. MOST booths and exhibitors will make deals with you on closing day. Although, it never hurts to ask for deals earlier in the show, too. Worst case they say no, and you pay full price. Best case you get a sweet deal!

BRING YOUR CAMERA! Everyone has a camera in their phones, but don’t forget you have it, either! You never know when you might see a star on the exhibitor floor! Or if you just want to take a sweet picture of your favorite exhibitors booth. Be sure to ask, however, if photos are ok – some booths have exclusive stuff for Comic Con eyes only. You also don’t want to miss all the AMAZING costumes people are wearing! Again, ask if it is ok if you take a picture – remember these are still real people. Most will say yes, and most will probably pose for a cool shot!

Have fun! Remember, this is the coolest event ever. Stay positive, have fun, and remember that other people are there to have fun, too. Try to not yell at people, or get snippy and rude. Be nice, have fun!

AwesomeSauce Rating:

Well..um…ah…

ROYAL FLUSH! Are you silly? What else would it be? Spades Royal Flush, with a jackpot bonus. A Royal Flush, while playing with kittens, eating your favorite foods (and they won’t make you gain weight} while listening to your favorite jams, hanging out with your favorite people. Mecca. Royal Flush Mecca.

A HUGE HUGE HUGE THANK YOU to Morgan and the Team at Diamond Select Toys for giving us the best day ever. This was on of the best days of Saucy G’s life, easily top 10. Thank you thank you, a thousand times thank you! It means so much to us to be a part of the show this year. THANK YOU DIAMOND SELECT TOYS!

 

PS – Be sure to check out our Facebook Page, and our 2016 Comic Con Album for more pictures! OR CLICK HERE