Justifiable Expense

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?

howie outside

 

Here is what we have decided.

ADVENTURE!

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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).

So, that’s that then.

Are YOU ready for more adventure?

 

 

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If you’re reading this, I’m lost

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

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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.

Cripple Creek, Colorado

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.

no idea

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?

cat past

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!

AwesomeSauce Ratings:

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)

Are you Ready?

3…

2…

1…

LAUNCH!

AND THEY ARE OFF!
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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.
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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….

A LEAK!
https://www.instagram.com/p/BGueLRGtAbH/
WHERE?! WHAT! WHY?! Where was the water coming from? What is going on? Why won’t it stop? AHHHHH!

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!
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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.

Speaking of…

Are you Ready for an Adventure?

The Duo Does Deadwood

Awesome K and I were looking for something to watch. It was one of the rare nights we were home with nothing to do, and thought that loafing on the couch sounded like the best idea. So, we perused the usual places, Netflix, our DVR, and our extensive movie shelf. Nothing. Nada. Zilcho. What were we to do? Just then, A.K remembered a show he had seen, and loved. HBO’s Deadwood! I was skeptical, Westerns have never been a favorite of mine, but he was so enthusiastic, I couldn’t say no!

After a couple of episodes, I was hooked. Even though the show was not filmed on location, it was still filled with snippits of history. The death of Wild Bill Hickok! Calamity Jane! And, of course, Seth Bullock. Seth happens to be my favorite, by the way. Not just the character on the show, but the man himself. Mr. Bullock has such an interesting story! Last, but not least, the infamous Al Swearengen! Mr. Swearengen is particularly interesting, because there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot known about him, and we all know how much I love a mystery! So, after watching the show for a little bit, I started to research the real Deadwood, South Dakota.

One thing led to another, and we decided we needed to see this piece of the wild west for ourselves. It just so happens that they have some casinos there, so not only could we get a rich lesson in history, we could also play some poker! A perfect combination! We were also able to find a brewery the A.K had heard about, so we knew this was the next adventure for us. We left for Deadwood on a Saturday morning, with me behind the wheel. We stopped for our (my) obligatory road Starbucks, then we were off!

We made a couple of minor pit-stops on our way to our first real stop in Rapid City, S.D. We stopped to see if we could see the Oregon Trail – as all the signs said we could – but we were unsuccessful. We drove around a little bit trying to find some of it, but quickly gave up. While it would have been neat to see, it was not our main focus. We had a brewery to get to! Onward!

Firehouse Brewing Co Hose Our first stop on our Deadwood Adventure was in Rapid City, S.D. To some this may not seem like a very exciting destination, but we couldn’t wait to get there. A.K had heard of a brewery there that had some pretty amazing food and brews, and I couldn’t wait to see it because of the growlers they sell! I had been saving my pennies in order to buy one of these magnificent beer vessels, and I was not disappointed. The Firehouse Brewing Company in Rapid City was everything we hoped it would be, and more!

A must have for any beer enthusiast.
A must have for any beer enthusiast

After filling up on food, beer, and hilarity, we hit the road. Rumor had it that it was going to snow, and snow a lot, so we had to hustle to Deadwood. An ominous sky hung over us while we scurried through Sturgis, and we made it to our hotel just as the first flakes began to fall. We arrived at Cadillac Jack’s Hotel and Casino just in time! Situated just outside of the main stretch, Cadillac Jack’s is a great place to stay. Comfortable, great gaming options, nice rooms, and you have two different hotels to choose from! Both are connected to the casino, so no matter what side of the house you stay on, you are still close to the games. We stayed in in the Cadillac Jack’s rooms, as opposed to the Marriott, and were very impressed. The room was very large, comfortable, and VERY affordable. If you are looking for a reasonable place to stay, I would check them out. If you are in it for the history, though, I might look at staying on Main Street. ((A handy tip when looking for a room, try Hotels.com. We have found incredible rates on a number of our adventures, but especially to Deadwood. If you have a specific hotel in mind, check their website, and especially their Facebook page. Often hotels will advertise special rates and deals on Facebook. If all else fails, call them and ask for a discount, especially if it during their “off season.”)) We settled into our room after a painless check in, then hit the casino! I have spent a fair amount of time in casinos, especially lately, and I have to say that I really enjoyed Cadillac Jack’s. Everything was spaced out nicely so that nothing felt cramped or scary, there was a good variety of games, and there were two separate areas dedicated to table games, one for poker only, and the other for Black Jack and what-not. The poker room seemed a little small, but I am used to the Ameristar that has a TON of tables, it seems, so seeing only a couple of tables seemed small to me. There was at least one table open for a cash game, though, and there was a rumor of some decent daily tournaments. We headed off to check out the slot machines and other table games, and to just relax after our drive.

Snow-pocalypse
Snow-pocalypse

The next morning we stepped outside to a mini Snow-pocalypse. The dreaded blizzard was in full force, and there was no going anywhere. While we were a little bummed, we made the best of it by checking out the previously mentioned poker tournament. A.K has played in tournaments before, and has even played at the World Series of Poker (a couple of times), I, however, had no tournament experience (other than video games). Needless to say I was a little nervous, and A.K was calm, cool, and ready to kick Deadwood booty! For my first ever live tournament, it was pretty stress free. The buy-in was only $13, with a $5 re-buy, so I didn’t need to worry that I was going to lose all our money in my first “big game.” Even with the blizzard, there ended up being a decent turn-out, with two full tables of players. Everyone playing seemed really nice (and obviously everyone knew one another, small town and all), and the game itself was pretty low key and fun. I didn’t do all that well, but I can say I was not the first knocked out, which is nice. A.K was a different story, however. He was ON FIRE! That little poker room didn’t know what hit it! Well, maybe not quite that dramatic…First he was doing well, then he made it to the final table, he made it “to the money”, then he ended up winning the tournament, winning $177! I was pretty impressed (although I know he is a phenomenal poker player), and I think everyone else was pretty impressed, too. Way to kick butt A.K!

Luck was definitely on our side that afternoon. After A.K won the tournament, we checked the weather outside and it had let up! There was even a little trolley running! We would get to see some of Deadwood after all! YAY! We bundled up and headed out.

Deadwood TrolleyWe decided to take the super cool trolley to upper Main Street, and walk back down. Deadwood is not a very big town, and when the weather is nice it would be easy to walk pretty much the whole place. If you wanted to, you could ride the trolley in a large loop around the town, and pick and choose where to get off at. There are multiple stops on the route, and the trolley runs into the wee hours of the night, so if you change your mind about all the walking, you can hop on the trolley to get you where you wanted to go. On our trip, we almost didn’t make it up the street, the roads were slick and the snow was pretty deep in some places. Luckily our trolley was pretty tough, and we made it to our stop.

We started meandering down Main Street, looking in at all the cool little shops and what-nots. There is so much history crammed into such a small town, I was afraid we would miss something! Luckily there are placards all over the place letting you know who was here, how something happened, and where you were standing. It was nice to see all the information was readily available. Despite some places were closed due to weather, or it being the wrong day of the week (turns out Monday’s are pretty dead, so bare that in mind. It’s always good to find out in advance what days most places are closed, if Monday’s are their off days, or Wednesdays. Be sure to plan ahead!), we were still able to see a lot of the things we had hoped for. One of our first stops was to check out the Historic Bullock Hotel. Built by Seth Bullock, it was originally a warehouse and (I think) hardware store. After a fire burnt down the warehouse, Seth built his hotel on the same site. While we were checking out the gorgeous hotel, we learned that Bullock was the father of two daughters and a son (nothing like the show said of his family), longtime friends with Teddy Roosevelt, and was appointed the first forest supervisor by Roosevelt, in addition to being Sheriff, and entrepreneur. We learned that Seth may even haunt his hotel, and that one of his favorite spots is the grand fireplace on the first level. It was said to be a favorite of his in life, and apparently still loves it after his death.

The GemAfter checking out some more of the buildings around town, we headed toward the infamous Gem Saloon! The Gem Steakhouse and Saloon is now part of the Mineral Palace Hotel and Gaming, with the Gem as a restaurant on the second floor. On the site of the original Gem, built and run by the notorious Al Swearengen, the Gem Steakhouse and Saloon is a great place to stop and get a bite to eat. The prices are reasonable, with the menu following the Deadwood (show) theme. You can order the (Dan) Dority Black and Bleu Steak, Mr. Woo’s Pork Ribs, or Merrick’s Ribeye. They also offer Calamity Jane’s chicken and Joanie Stubbs Grilled Swordfish. I had the black and bleu, and A.K tried the garlic ribeye. Both were delicious, and well worth the stop.

One of the places we were really hoping to see, and didn’t get to because of the weather, was Mount Moriah Cemetery, the final resting place for Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock, and a few other famous Deadwood residents. The snow was too nasty, unfortunately. If you are planning on going, make sure you wear good walking shoes, and plan for at least half an hour of looking around. We heard it is a bit of a hike to see Seth Bullock’s grave, so keep that in mind when planning your visit to the cemetery. Wild Bill and Calamity Jane are pretty easy to check out, we heard.

We walked back to our hotel and reveled in the little bit of history we were able to take in on that snowy Monday afternoon. While we didn’t get to see and do everything we had planned on, it was still a lot of fun to traipse through a snowy Deadwood.

Two-Headed Calf!
Two-Headed Calf!

The next morning, before heading back to AwesomeSauce Headquarters, we decided to try and check out the Adams Museum. It was closed the day before, which was a bummer, and we wanted to try to see it before we left. We were in luck as they were open and ready for visitors, so on our way out of town we made one last Deadwood stop. When you go to Deadwood, this is a must see location! While it looks small from the outside, the three level museum is packed to the gills with Deadwood history and items, as well as some rare and unusual items from all over! There was a whole section dedicated to Wild Bill and Calamity Jane, which was really neat to see. It contained Hickok’s last letter to his wife (that they read on the HBO show), memorabilia from his show days, clothes, and so much more! We learned a lot more about Calamity Jane’s past, the woman who claimed to be her daughter (which turned out to be untrue), and were able to get a better idea of who the wild woman was. There was also a neat section in the museum dedicated to the Jewish founders, and the Chinese population of Deadwood. One of my favorite sections was the oddities section, with the not-to-be-missed two headed calf!

Stunning
Stunning

On the upper floor you can learn about the town’s history. Fires! Gambling! Brothels! Read the headlines from original newspapers, and learn all there is to know of Deadwood’s beginnings, and almost ends. There is also an area with some of the most intricate and beautifully wooden furniture! In the basement you find out more about the first schools, and how it was to be a learning child in a lawless town.

After a wonderful morning spent in a great little museum, we had to head home. Driving out we noticed a lot of land for sale, and “joked” about when we win the World Series of Poker, maybe we would buy some land and build a house in the Black Hills. It is a gorgeous area, and it would be easy to move in and relax. Maybe pan for gold in the streams while enjoying quiet nights with the stars, trees, and wildlife for company. Sounds pretty nice, when you think about it.

All in all it was a very fun adventure! I highly recommend going to Deadwood, via Rapid City. We are going to go back sometime when the weather is nice, and hopefully see more of what Deadwood has to offer. We might even try to make it to the town of Wall, and check out the Wall Drug store we saw so many signs for!

Thank you for joining us on our adventure! Is there someplace we missed that you think we should go? Want more information about one of our stops? Got a spot we should go on our next adventure? Tell us about it!

This post brought to you by G-Sauce. G-Sauce is a member of the AwesomeSauce Duo, and author in the Are You Ready? blog series. She works closely with the AwesomeSauce Duo P.R Manager – and Mews – Sir Archer Funnyfoot, with the Trip Coordinator – and Mews – Miss Matilda Pants, and with the Head of Logistics – and Mews – Secret Agent Sam. She loves a good cup of coffee, enjoys reading, and has a soft spot for all things nerdy.

 

Looking for Adventure!

Here at AwesomeSauce Headquarters, we are always plotting and planning our next adventure. Whether it be a trip to the local breweries, a jaunt to the far reaches of the state, or on a road-trip, we are always looking for things to see and do!

We gain inspiration for a variety of sources. One of G-Sauce’s favorite websites in particular, Roadside America, is a treasure trove of adventure ideas! Often while planning an excursion, G-Sauce will check there first, to see if there is anything worth finding, such as a giant Muffler Man, or the World’s Largest Pistachio Nut.

Do you have any recommendations? Any wacky, crazy, awesome, and perhaps little known pocket of awesome that you want to share? Tell us all about it!

Blast From the Past – Oskar Blues

Looking for adventure? Why not check out this Blast From the Past!

Originally Posted 11/30/12

 

Earlier this week Awesome K and I went on a whirlwind tour of a few of Colorado’s finest breweries. Our Epic Adventure included a trip to the Odell Brewery in Fort Collins (as described in Part I), as well as a brief trip to the Fort Collins Brewery and with a grand finale at the Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont.

After touring the Odell Brewery, A.K and I skipped down the street – arm in arm – down to The Fort Collins Brewery. Ok, maybe we didn’t actually skip arm in arm, but we could have. We were kind of hoping to take a tour of their brewery while we were there, but they only do tours on Saturdays, and it was a Tuesday. We could see the brewery through the glass windows in their restaurant, Gravity 1020, so we we were able to catch a glimpse of their beer magic.

Fort Collins Brewing Company is delicious

While there we grabbed a quick snack, and yes, another beer. I had something dark with a hint of chocolaty goodness, and A.K had something dark with a hint of something…else that was delicious. Our snack, however, was A LOT more memorable.

A.K introduced me to Poutine. “Fresh-cut french fries smothered in Kidd Lager mushroom gravy and topped with cheddar cheese curds” with some steak added. Sweet Baby Cheesits this was one of the most delicious things I have eaten in a long time. The mushrooms melted in my mouth, the fries weren’t too soggy, and the cheese was delectable. A true delight!

After out wonderful appetizer and beer, we trucked on down to Longmont for dinner. I have been to Oskar Blues a couple of times before, but I have to say that going with A.K was a totally different, and much better experience. He makes everything an awesome adventure!

A cool lamp at the Oskar Blues

For dinner at Oskar Blues, I had the BB King Burger with a side of mashed potatoes, because that’s how I roll. A.K was a little better about his dinner diet, and had the Jambalaya. I washed down my incredible burger with some of Mama’s Little Yella Pils. After all the dark beer of the day, it was a refreshing and light change. Not normally something I enjoy, but I loved the pairing with the burger.

I had heard of the Tasty Weasel, but had never been in. Surprising, since it has such a great name! I convinced A.K to stop in with the promise of Skee-Ball. Not to pass up a chance to show off his mad skills, we swung by after our delicious dinner. A.K had just recently had a Tap Takeover at his bar, The Archive Room, with Oskar Blues as the star. It was a huge success, and it was neat to see, and try, some of the beer that was featured at his Takeover. He and his bar are also planning on having their holiday party with Oskar Blues, and after eating at the Homemade Liquids and Solids restaurant, the Bar Manager was hoping to incorporate dinner into his holiday event. I had thought that they might also visit the Tasty Weasel, if the Skee-Ball was worth it…but first, our reconnaissance mission to the warehouse hole in the wall bar/brewery.

Skee-Ball and Beer? Don’t mind if I do!

Little did I know when we walked in that the Weasel was actually the BREWERY! Of course a lot of the operation was done for the evening, but it was a really neat surprise to see the brewery dwarfing the seemingly small bar. After grabbing a handful of peanuts, another dark delicious beer, and some quarters, we found our way to the Skee-Ball. After a few “practice” rounds, and getting schooled by an eight-year-old (why there was a child in the bar is beyond me…), A.K started to get into a groove. I was impressed with my score of 220, but after hitting the hundred mark a few times in a row, I was quickly dominated. Turns out A.K really does have mad skills!

PWNED

He went to the bar to get more quarters, leaving me to marvel at the brewery next to me. The warehouse/brewery seemed huge! I wished I could see more of it, and made a mental note to find out tour times for the next time I was in Longmont.

A.K came skipping back (not really, he’s just so energetic that I imagine him skipping through fields of hop flowers) and asked me if I had ever met The Gubna, of the famous Gubna IPA beer. I said I had not, and suddenly I was whisked away to meet one of the founders of Oskar Blues! A.K told The Gubna of our adventures throughout the day, and he was a little shocked that I had never been on a brewery tour before that morning, and insisted on taking us on a personal, private brewery tour RIGHT THEN! How could a girl say no?! So, after grabbing another pint of delicious dark beer, we were off!

It wasn’t running, but this is the super rad bottling machine

There are not enough words to describe the experience; Impressive, Wondrous, Marvelous, Delightful, Sense-sational! It was so good, I have to make up words. We learned about the expansions of the brewery, where the company was going next (and in what states), and about their unique flavoring process. Being on such an intimate tour of the brewery with The Gubna couldn’t have been any better….or so I thought! While we were investigating the wine barrels and discussing various tastes to come from them, The Gubna pointed to a man in workout clothes talking on a cell phone, “Hey brother! What’s happenin’?” Brother? As in Dale? Of DALE’S PALE ALE?! Yup, the one and only. So not only did I get to meet The Gubna, but A.K and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dale! He was incredibly nice, gave us some more fun facts, then we were off again on the rest of our tour!

One thing that really struck me while we were hanging out with The Gubna was how in tune with his business, and his people, he was. Every single person, whether it was the dude mopping the floors, the man operating a forklift, or one of the brewers, he knew them all by name, and was genuinely happy to see all of them. A warm hearty greeting was given to each person he saw, and that meant more to me than the types of hops used…a man who is that passionate about his company, and that good with his employees, is really something. I could gush on and on about it, but I will just leave it at the fact that I was impressed.

After we were done with the best brewery tour a person could hope for, we were pretty tuckered out. We managed to finish our beers, play a couple more rounds of Skee-Ball, then we were headed home.

All in all the Epic Brewery Tours were just that, Epic. I went from knowing almost zero about brewing, to having met and walked with some of the founders of some of the best beers in the country. Learning their histories, smelling the hops, seeing the processes involved, it was pretty mind blowing, in the coolest way. I am now more than a little obsessed with learning more about the brewing process (I might even dabble in making my own…or…or not), and I am more than a little obsessed with learning more about ALL THE THINGS! I want to go on every tour of every factory, ever. I want to know how tattoos work. I want to see candy being made. I want to go to NASA and learn about space travel! I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS! Looks like I have a lot of adventure planning to do!

Until next time!

Meandering Home

For the first time in my life, I was able to plan a road trip route, and drive it myself. This was a huge step for me! I was in total control of where we went, and how I got us there. It was so freeing, and exciting, and mildly terrifying, all at the same time! I was going to take us on an adventure!

Our first not-so-planned stop was at the Sandia Resort and Casino. We stopped in to see what they had to offer for dinner, and Awesome K (or A.K, as I like to call him) mentioned that the Poker Room was decent, so I thought it was worth checking out for myself. Sure enough, he was right! The poker room was set apart from the casino floor, enclosed in a half walled room towards the back of the casino. In it there was Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and live action Keno to be played. A.K and I got sat at the same poker table (which I normally don’t like to do), right next to each other. It worked out fine this time, which was nice. Being in a new casino, in a new state, it was nice to have a familiar face so close. I have no idea if there was alcohol served or not, as this was an Indian Reservation casino, and there was no smoking in the poker room, which was nice. They did, however, serve a delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream. Not my normal table drink, but it really hit the spot that night!

After one hand of Hold’em, we knew we had found a new favorite spot. The action was fast and loose, and there were a few people ready to give us all their chips if we let them. A.K took a couple of them up on their offers, and I even allowed a few chips to come my way. I don’t remember any of my hands, of course. I need to get better about taking notes at the table, without looking like I am taking notes at the table of course. I do remember getting quad 8’s, though, which made for a decent pot win. One thing I know I need to work on is raising, betting, and that sort of thing. A.K also pointed out a couple of my “tells” that I need to focus on. Easy fixes, I think. A.K and I both boosted our bank rolls a little bit, which was nice.

We left Albuquerque, NM, on President’s Day morning to head back home to Lakewood, CO, with a few carefully planned stops along the way. Ok, well, one carefully planned stop, and few “hey this sounds awesome” stops. After grabbing a Starbucks to go, we were off! Our first stop: Taos, NM.

I have been in love with Taos since my first visit there when I was about 10. My grandfather let me ride along with him on a business trip once, and sort of plopped me in the middle of the Taos Plaza – told me to not get into any trouble – and left me there for a few hours. It was my first memory of real independence (well…allowed independence). I remember the shops, the atmosphere, and the feeling of my first adventure alone. It was amazing! I had been a couple of times since, and I couldn’t wait to show Taos off to A.K! After a couple of hours in the car, we were there! I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited to finally be back in one of my favorite towns.

We stopped at a local brewery, Eske’s Brew Pub and Eatery, just outside of the Taos Plaza. I ordered a Buffalo Bacon Blu-Cheese burger and a pint of their red, and A.K ordered a cup of their famous green chili, and a regular bacon cheeseburger (I don’t remember his beer choice). The beer was OK, the burgers were pretty good, but the green chili blew me away! If you go to Eske’s, you HAVE to try the green chili, it is by far some of the best I have ever tasted. Ever. Ours had turkey in it, which I also recommend. If I could have taken a jar of that, I would have!

After our brief lunch, we hit the Plaza. It was a lot like I remembered it, but, of course, a lot has changed in the 20+ years I have been there! It was a gorgeous day to explore, and A.K was willing to let me walk around a bit, so that’s exactly what I did. He was a good sport and went into a lot of the little shops with me, and let me ogle some really great hand painted tiles in one spot. I ended up with one that had a kitty on it (surprise surprise) from Taos Mercantile Company. They had a few other great tiles, but we didn’t know where we would put them, so we left them behind. I might have to pick some of them up, though, on our next trip through.

After a lovely walk through the Plaza, A.K and I decided to head back into Colorado. Our next stop? Alamosa!

I have only ever ridden through Alamosa, and don’t remember ever stopping there for anything other than a tank of gas. This time, A.K and I stopped at the San Luis Valley Brewing Company, and then a tank of gas. In the short time we were at the brewery, I started to really like Alamosa.  It has a very homey feel to it, with a lot of local support, which you don’t run into everywhere. The beer was also pretty amazing! I had an Oatmeal Stout, and tasted a coffee beer that was phenomenal. I was brave, and tried their Green Chili Lager, and was impressed. It’s not something I could drink a lot of, but it was an interesting taste – in a good way. We also tried the artichoke dip, which was, of course, delicious. This is where I saw the Beer Drinkers Guide to Colorado map for the first time, too. I know A.K and I will be picking up on in the very near future. I recommend you pick one up, too, if you happen to love beer and be near Colorado.

Once we were on the road again, we decided to take the “Cosmic Highway” coming back, but by the time we got onto, it was pretty dark and overcast. We missed the UFO Watchtower, unfortunately, and we didn’t see any aliens. I did see a couple of sign posts warning that aliens might steal my cows, though, so that was cool. Not to worry, though, we will DEFINITELY be headed back down there sometime soon.

So, other than that, and stopping in Poncha Springs, Colorado, at the only gas station/bar I have ever seen (and missing Elevation Beer Company), our ride home was pretty uneventful. Which can be a good thing. A.K, however, did discover his new favorite satellite radio station – Backspin Old Skool Rap. That was a real treat, although not as entertaining as watching A.K sing along.

We arrived home safely, much to the rest of the AwesomeSauce Duo team’s great pleasure. They were not invited on this trip, and made it a point to tell us all about being left behind. Almost all the kibble was eaten out of one of the two bowls left behind, they could have starved. STARVED! (I might want to mention that the “trip coordinator” leans toward the dramatic at times).

Now to plan our next adventure! Where will the AwesomeSauce Duo end up next? Find out in a future installment of Are You Ready? to see where we end up, and what happens along the way!

This post brought to you by G-Sauce. G-Sauce is a member of the AwesomeSauce Duo, and author in the Are You Ready? blog series. She works closely with the AwesomeSauce Duo P.R Manager – and Mews – Sir Archer Funnyfoot, with the Trip Coordinator – and Mews – Miss Matilda Pants, and with the Head of Logistics – and Mews – Secret Agent Sam. She loves a good cup of coffee, enjoys reading, and has a soft spot for all things nerdy.

Blogging Bad

There I was, minding my own business, when BAM! KAPOW! BOOM! I was on a road trip!

Ok, you’re right, it happened almost nothing like that, but it was close! I am used to planning, and planning, and planning some more before I go to the store, let alone New Mexico! So to find myself in the car on my way there, after less than a week of talking about it, blew my mind. Granted, I have been planning a road trip down south for at least four years (see?), but Albuquerque was never a hot spot destination for me. Until I watched AMC’s Breaking Bad.

My boyfriend, Awesome K (or A.K for short) got me into the show about a year ago. I didn’t have cable, and had really only heard about the show in passing. Yeah, it sounded OK, but how could anyone get so into a show about a guy who cooks and sells meth? After watching the first couple of episodes on Netflix, I was hooked. One might even say I was addicted. The complexities of Walt! The dynamic between him and Jesse! Well, you’ve seen the show, I don’t have to explain it to you, right?

During one episode, the ill-fated duo went to a bar to discuss…work related business. A.K and I decided that we needed to go to that bar, and have a drink. Literally our lives would be empty if it didn’t happen. We discovered that it was Paul’s Monterey Inn, and started “planning” our trip. We discussed where we would go, what we would eat (which, you will learn, is often a motivator for our adventures), and other fun places to see. After that afternoon, though, it was never really brought up again, at least not in a serious “this has to happen, so let’s make it happen” sort of way. Or so I thought!

Two weeks ago I was told that A.K and I were headed to Albuquerque for Valentine’s Day weekend, so I had better prepare. That gave me a week to plan! After a few bumps, a little freaking out, and almost canning the whole idea two nights before out departure, we were off! We left Saturday morning, heading south on I-25, toward our Breaking Bad tour! Our First Stop? Bud’s Cafe and Bar in Sedalia, CO. After almost a full 30 minutes in the car, it was nice to get out and stretch our legs. I did mention that a lot of our trips revolve around food, right? It is a necessity, anytime we are anywhere near the area, to go to Bud’s, so of course we stopped there on our way out of town.

When you go, be forewarned, there are NO french fries, no real menus – which is fine because all you want to order is a double with cheese. Trust me, it’s worth it. OH! Be sure to bring cash, as they don’t accept cards. The burgers were well worth the stop, as usual, and this time the crowd was especially awesome! It was jam packed for lunch, which is always a good sign. We shared our table with a neat couple on their way to a brew-fest (I think A.K was a little jealous), and we were lucky enough to be a part of a birthday party for a woman turning 102! She came in, took a table in the back, ordered a beer and a burger, and had one of the best looking cakes I have ever seen! The whole bar sang to her (she stood for the song), and cheered! It was the perfect way to start a trip.

After that we didn’t really stop much, just for gas once. I am proud to say I drove the whole way! I have never driven farther south than Larkspur, and no farther north than Fort Collins, so driving all the way to ABQ was a big deal for me. I have been a passenger before, but never the driver. We arrived in the early evening to our hotel, the Nativo Lodge, located on the North side of town just off I-25. The room rate was excellent, and it seemed like it was in a decent location, plus it had a Starbucks right next door, so that helped. After we checked in, we headed off to our first official Breaking Bad location!

After some unfortunate events, Jesse Pinkman goes to rehab at the end of season 2, and is there for the first part of season 3. Later on, in season 5, the White family goes into hiding in a swanky hotel. Where are these places, you ask? Both of these are the same location, the Isleta Resort and Casino. Formerly the Hard Rock Casino, located on the southern most point of our trip, offered a neat first glimpse into the life of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. We didn’t really get to see where Jesse spent his time recovering, and since we didn’t stay here, we didn’t get a sense of what that was like for the White family. However, I can safely say that I am glad we didn’t stay there. The casino was a little cramped feeling, and the smoke was almost intolerable! I have been to smoking casinos, but this one was a little rough. Maybe the fans weren’t working that night, or something, but it was a little overpowering. The casino floor was jam packed with slot machines, but most of them seemed a little old and outdated. Not that I have a ton of experience in casino’s, but I didn’t like the feel of this one at all. We took a quick glimpse of the poker room, which was a good size, but we didn’t end up staying. I know we ate there, but it wasn’t memorable – especially since I have no idea now what I ate. After a few goes on the slots, we headed back to our hotel to plan the next day’s adventures!

A.K found all the addresses we needed, and created a rough grid map for us to follow. He is pretty impressive like that. I contributed by snoring and mumbling about Game of Thrones. The next morning, Sunday, we were up at the crack of 10am, and we were off! Our first stop – and probably one of the most important of any Breaking Bad trip, was to the Candy Lady! This little shop was the main source for the “blue meth” during the making of the show, and she still provides ABQ – and the rest of the world – with little baggies of the “drug.” A.K and I each got one, and after a couple “selfies” we hit the road again.

Our next stop was the house where Jesse lived for much of the show. (When you go on your tour, please be respectful of others – this house, as well as the White residence, and Hank and Marie’s, are privately owned homes.) Driving up to Jesse’s house, you get a chance to see some of the most beautiful homes in ABQ! This is a gorgeous neighborhood! The house itself looks just like it did in the show, and is such a great house in person! I would live there, even if there had been (SPOILERS) a man melted in the bathtub, another one killed in the basement, and was the site of a meth lab for a brief time. We know the driveway is big enough for an RV to fit, too! After a couple more selfies, and a little more daydreaming about spending time in that great house, we headed out to Tuco’s headquarters.

Java Joes was used for Tuco’s place during filming. In the show it looks like it’s in a bad part of town, but in reality it is a hop skip and a jump from Jesse’s house, and is a happening spot! Local artists adorn the walls, and local music fills the air, while amazing coffee and food is prepared. We just missed that mornings live music, and we were just barely able to get a table in the busy coffee shop – it was pretty busy for being a drug lord hideout. A.K and I each ordered a Creme Brulee coffee and green chili breakfast burrito. Now, I have had a lot of coffee from a places all over the globe, and the coffee I had at Java Joe’s was one of the best I have ever tasted. Ever. If you love coffee, or even mildly enjoy coffee, you NEED to get a cup here. It blew me away! Even A.K loved it, and he isn’t a coffee drinker. The breakfast burrito was also marvelous, if not a little spicy (although I am a spicy wuss, so it was probably mild). I highly recommend it, as well.

After that we headed south, toward Los Pollos Hermanos! The Twisters that was used for the Kingpin’s restaurant front still has a lot of the Los Pollos Hermanos decorations, and various autographed posters on the walls. The best part is the Los Pollos Hermanos logo painted on one wall. We ordered a large soda, and waited in THE booth for our meeting with the Kingpin himself. He didn’t seem to be available, however, so after a few photos we decided to head out. As a fun little side there, next to the Twisters is a little house with a big yard, which is home to a llama and an ostrich. Just not something you see everyday!

Moving on, we headed back up north for the second half of our tour. We started this leg at Hank and Marie’s house, in the north eastern corner of ABQ. This is another gorgeous neighborhood, sprinkled with what look like million dollar homes. We found our way to the cul-de-sac, but had a hard time finding the house. The address we were provided was for a house that looked nothing like Hank and Marie’s. We peeked down into the cul-de-sac, but I didn’t want to be too intrusive, so we didn’t investigate further. It was a lovely area, with a nice looking trail head close by, for those of you looking for a fun hike!

We headed back down the little hill to check out the White residence. This was pretty awesome, I have to say. Even though it is just a house, in a normal looking neighborhood, I feel like I spent a lot of time there. I feel like I know the house, from crawl-space to bedrooms, like I helped cooked in the kitchen, and I shared in trials and triumphs with the White family at the dinner table. This is an obvious must see stop on any Breaking Bad tour! The outside of the house looks just like it does in the show, except there is no pizza on the roof. We parked a little down the street so we could take a few pictures without being too intrusive. There were a couple of other folks there taking photos, too. The current owner opened up the garage door to get a look at her current set of gawkers. She was a good sport and waved back to me as we set off to the next stop. Just a friendly reminder – when you do your tour, be respectful. These are people’s homes.

After leaving the White’s neighborhood, we stopped a little down the street at a less iconic, but important spot. Pelican’s East is the spot where, in season 2, Walt runs into a man at the bar who is having troubles with his daughter. The man turns out to be Donald Margolis, Jane’s father. A.K and I stopped in for a quick drink, and a brief rest from our whirlwind tour. We sat at the bar, roughly where Walt sat during his conversation. The food smelled amazing, but we were still kind of full from breakfast, and we didn’t want to stop in the middle of our tour! Next time, though, I think I will have to try eating here. The bar itself was unique, but I won’t say any more than that, other than you should make this one of your stops.

Luckily, the location of Saul’s office is in the same parking lot as Pelican’s East! However, the facade is totally different, which was to be expected (if not a little bit of a bummer). I was hoping it might be the same, or similar, especially since AMC is planning a spin off show surrounding the salty lawyer, but there is no trace of the law offices. In its place was a nightclub called “The Vault.” We did not stop in, as they were closed at the time, and we still have lots to see and do!

As you can imagine, our little car was starting to look and feel a wee filthy. We had empty drinks, a sunflower seed spittoon, and some other odds and ends inside, and a thick layer of travel on the outside. It was time for a wash! The Octopus Car Wash was perfect, especially because it was the site of the A1 wash! It was pretty jam packed when we arrived – which wasn’t surprising. It was a really gorgeous day in Albuquerque, and the Octopus’ prices are very reasonable, so it was no surprise that the line was long. The staff there is very fast, however, so we didn’t wait long. Once we were inside waiting for our car to be cleaned, we were amazed at how much it still resembles the show! There was a rack of greeting cards on one wall, and a variety of air fresheners on the opposite wall. Everything looked basically the same! There were a few autographed posters hanging on the wall, which was neat, and they were selling some Breaking Bad stickers and key chains. Of course they were sold out of the Heisenberg stickers we really wanted, so we opted for a couple of key chains instead. One car wash regular commented on how they were “still making a buck” off the show, scoffed at my key chain, and left to go retrieve his car. Guess not everyone was a fan…

We only had a couple of “had to hit” stops left, so we made our way to the iconic park next. This little park is set in another very pretty neighborhood, surrounded by trees. I can see why Mike would bring his granddaughter to La Palomita Park! There were no kids there when we stopped by, nor were there any thugs, or feds. It was pretty quiet! We took our pictures, sat and enjoyed the warm weather on a certain bench, then decided to meander off. I did notice a great house with ivy covered trees and the greatest mailbox ever, so if you are in the area – see if you can find it, too. Trust me, you will not it when you see it (no, it’s not Breaking Bad related, but it is still pretty rad).

This was it. The moment was finally here! What prompted our adventure in the first place! We were finally headed towards Paul’s Monterey Inn! I couldn’t decide if I was going to get a snack there, what I was going to drink, or what! We drove down to 1000 Juan Tabo Blvd NE, anxiously anticipating the dark bar with little candle’s on each table. WE ARRIVED! But what’s this? The parking lot is empty? Like, deserted? Oh no, this was not a good sign. We drove around the building looking for signs of life, or hours, and were disappointed to find neither. How could this be?! I am really hoping that it was just closed between lunch and dinner service, or maybe they were closed on Sunday’s, or MAYBE they were closed for President’s Day, and not that they are closed due to other circumstances. (After some quick investigating, it looks like they are just closed on Sunday’s, so we will have to go back on a different day).  After a sad selfie, we begrudgingly drove to our final destination on our tour…

Last, but not least, we headed to the Marble Brewery! What’s that? Don’t remember it from the show? It wasn’t featured in the show, but actor Bryan Cranston loved it here, so of course we had to check it out, too. There was a rumor that they had two Breaking Bad themed beers on tap, “Walter’s White Lie” IPA and “Heisenberg’s Dark” IPA. However, these were a limited edition, and were long gone by the time we got there. We were, however, in time for some live music, which was fun. The place was, understandably, jam packed. It was a gorgeous day, there was a live band, and a food truck parked right outside. It seems that ALL of ABQ, and their dogs, came out to Marble Brewery. If you happen to be in town, I recommend the Wildflower Wheat, and the house nachos! Since we believed this was the final stop on our tour, we busted out our little baggies of blue goodness. We had to try at least one of them, to see what all the hype was about! Sure enough, the blue meth was…delicious! Not sure I would kill anyone over it, but it was a fun little treat.

When we were leaving the brewery, we decided that we had to get just one last fix of Breaking Bad. We couldn’t let it be truly over! So, we hit up one last place on our way back to our hotel. Gus’ Laundry and Super Lab looks just like it did in the show, from the outside at least (and prior to it’s…ah…closure in the show). I could see how this could be an easy disguise for a super lab, no one would think to look in there! It would be really neat if there was a secret underground area, only accessed through a giant washing machine, but we weren’t able to go in and investigate for ourselves.

So that was it. Our whirlwind tour of Breaking Bad locations was over. There was more we could see, and we might go back down to check out some other spots, like Jane’s apartment, and Paul’s Monterey Inn is still a hot spot for us to see. Just in case you want to go on a tour like ours, here is a little map I made, just for you! All it all it was an amazing adventure into Albuquerque! I have feeling we will be back down south sooner rather than later…

Thank you for joining us on our tour! Is there someplace we missed that you think we should go? Want more information about one of our stops? Got a spot we should go on our next adventure? Tell us about it! Let us know! We look forward to hearing from you!

This post brought to you by G-Sauce. G-Sauce is a member of the AwesomeSauce Duo, and author in the Are You Ready? blog series. She works closely with the AwesomeSauce Duo P.R Manager – and Mews – Sir Archer Funnyfoot, with the Trip Coordinator – and Mews – Miss Matilda Pants, and with the Head of Logistics – and Mews – Secret Agent Sam. She loves a good cup of coffee, enjoys reading, and has a soft spot for all things nerdy.