Santa Monica Beach Days

The world is filled with beautiful poems, quotes, songs, and images of the ocean. Nothing anyone says, nothing anyone sings, will ever capture the wild and true beauty of the sea. The way the air fills your lungs, salty, cleansing. The way the sand feels in your toes, soft and rough, smooth and sinking. The water when it rolls over you, washing away life and replacing it with infinity. There is nothing so marvelous, so captivating, so healing as the ocean.cropped-20160712_141428.jpg

If you have never been to an ocean, please – if you go on no other adventures in this life – go to the ocean. Go to the beach. Sit in the sand. Let the tide roll over your toes. It will roll right into your very core, and you will be forever changed.

The Duo needed an ocean fix, so they headed to one of the most famous beaches in the world, Santa Monica!

Granted, this is VERY touristy, so if you are looking for something that is a lot more beach, and a lot less people, WORRY NOT! One of our stops was at Carlsbad Beach, and it was glorious. A long stretch of beach, not a lot of people, and very impressive waves. There is parking near the beach, and an easy path to walk down to get close to the water. This is an excellent beach for having a relax, going surfing, or going for a gorgeous beachfront walk.

During our stay in Southern California, or SoCal, we went to Santa Monica twice, and both times were AWESOME! The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most famous spots in the world, featuring roller coasters, live performers, incredible food, fun shops, an aquarium, fishing, swimming, surfing, the LAST STOP of Route 66… the list goes on and on! One of the shops, the Oatman Rock Shop, claims to be the oldest shop on the pier! Worth a look sea…er…see if you want to pick up some fun 60’s style stuffs. On both our trips, we ate lunch at the delectable Albright. It was soooo good the first time, we went back on our second trip. If you love clam chowder you NEED to try the bread bowl they have. A delicious delectable delight, you won’t be disappointed! The prices were reasonable, the beers were cold, and the atmosphere was awesome!

Walking along the pier is an experience in itself. You never know who, or what, you are going to see performing on the pier! While we were there we saw face painters, jugglers, temporary tattoos, a singing goth 60’s gigolo, and “Rock and Roll Jesus” singing Sublime songs, just to name a few. The acts change periodically throughout the day, and no two days are the same! 20160712_123917

Taking up a large section in the middle of the pier is Pacific Park, featuring roller coasters, a full boardwalk, and Awesome K’s favorite – funnel cake. Funnel cake as large as your head. Seriously. While we did enjoy the funnel cake, we did not get a chance to ride any of the rides, or play any of the games. However, if you are looking for a boardwalk adventure, this is the place! 20160712_161024.jpg

Just a short walk away from the Pier is one of the most well known beaches in the world, Muscle Beach! This is where anyone who was anyone went to work out. Today you can still find plenty of outdoor exercise areas, as well as volleyball pits, bicycle rentals, and some of the best people watching out there! There were a handful of people working on their fitness, which was neat to watch. We would have joined them, but we were still sticky from the funnel cake – which that statement alone should tell you how often we would work out on the beach. 20160712_134630

Do you love Geocaching? Of course you do! So does Saucy G (poor Awesome K can’t seem to get into it)! While cruising the beach, there were some super sweet caches to be had. One that bumped it’s way into her Top Five Favorite Caches was “Lord of the Rings.” Not only is this a fun play on words – as the exercise rings are close by, but this was the first one involving a secret code! If you are a geocacher, and are looking for a fun – albeit easy – cache, be sure to check out the caches around Santa Monica and Muscle Beach. “What is Geocaching” you ask?! Oh adventurer, you are in for a real treat now! Geocaching is an adventure all of its own! Our words won’t do it justice, but the basics are that there are real hidden “caches” all over the world, and one in space, that are hidden for you to find. They are EVERYWHERE, and range in difficulty from 1 to 5 based on the terrain, and the type of container it is. All the caches have a log book for you to sign, and some have hidden treasures in them! If you have a smartphone, you can download a free app that helps you on your hunt – turning it into a GPS as well as your traveling log book. If you have questions, feel free to ask us, or check out these fun videos on YouTube “Geocaching Basics” and “Etiquette“, but like we said – your best resource for your new favorite hobby will be the website. Best of all, it is completely free!

Other not to be missed attractions on/near the Pier is the Loof Hippodrome Carousel, and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. The Carousel is located inside, near the Soda Jerks, and is said to be one of the oldest around. We can’t back that statement up with facts, but it sounds cool. It IS on the National Registry of Historic Places, and is the #3 Historic Landmark in Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium can be found sort of under the pier, just follow the signs. It is NOT in the Soda Jerks hall, which one might be lead to believe. Just head down the stairs behind the Jerks, and you should see signs for the Aquarium. It is pretty neat inside, with lots of interactive areas letting you pet and love on Santa Monica sea life! Just be gentle, and listen to the guides as they help you meet some of the locals.  The main goal of the Aquarium is to Save the Bay, and help bring awareness to what trash, water wasting, and other nasties can do to our sea friends. While we were there we met some other fun Santa Monica locals, animals! A local wildlife rescue was visiting, and brought with them some of their friends to help bring awareness to who, and what, live around us! It is a neat little aquarium, and worth a visit, and help us all HEAL THE BAY!

One of our beach days was dedicated to hanging out on the beach and swimming. No sight seeing, no stress, just beach. It was exactly what we needed! We packed up some waters, a couple little snacks, our towels, and we were off! There may be no better way to unwind than by sitting by the waves. It was a little crowded, even for a Tuesday, but we did go in July, so there’s that. It was still really easy to find a spot, even getting there at noon! We were right near the water, no one in front of us, and we had plenty of room to relax. There seem to be “two beaches” at Santa Monica, one to the left of the pier, and one to the right. It seemed like to the right of the pier was WAY busier than the left side, so we opted to relax on the left.

Our relax day was so wonderful! Everyone, at least once in their lives (but hopefully A LOT more then just once) gets a relaxing beach day. Awesome K brought along his own castle building kit, but opted to give it to a little girl instead. He sat, read, and relaxed in his chair while Saucy G spent pretty much the entire day in the water. One of her most favorite things is to swim, although she is no Simone Manuel! Saucy G did her best to stay afloat, and even rode a small wave or two! One of her next goals is to become a certified diver, like her Old Man before her (the Incredible Old Man was one of the first ever certified diving instructors in Los Angeles!), or at least be able to go diving. The Old Man was, in fact, a Super Hero, so diving like him might be impossible – but that is a totally different EPIC story!

If you are in Southern California, be ready to spend at least one day, if not two, at Santa Monica Pier and the surrounding beaches. There is a reason they are some of the most famous beaches in the world! Enjoy your walk on the Pier, get some great food, stick your toes in the ocean, and breathe in that wonderful ocean air. Take a minute to look, really LOOK at the ocean. Hear the waves. Feel the salt in the air. You’ll be glad you did! 20160712_203508

Adventure Pro Tips:

1. Never go outside without sunscreen! This is especially true at the beach. Whether or not you get in the water (although if you are not at least wading in the water you are a silly person), reapply the sunscreen throughout the day. Nothing ruins a great day at the beach like finding out you look like one of the lobsters!

2. BRING PLENTY OF WATER! It is easy to get dehydrated while playing, and swimming in the salt can suck a lot of moisture out. Be sure to keep your insides as wet as your outsides get.

3. Forgot your umbrella? While we were there, we saw a few people walking the beaches selling umbrellas, sand castle kits, and body boards. The prices seemed reasonable, so we bought an umbrella for the day. Whether you buy one there, or bring one with, a beach umbrella is a must! That little bit of extra shade keeps you cool, and keeps you from burning. Please still follow tip number 1, though.

4. While we didn’t see any nefarious business, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Make sure to keep you purse/wallet/monies someplace safe. Our chairs came with hidden pockets for wallets, which was handy. We recommend either leaving valuables at home, or only bringing enough with you for beach day. No need to be swimming with stacks of cash, fish don’t accept that, or credit cards. Just keep it safely secured, and you should be fine. This article has some great ideas for keeping your valuables safe while you build your tribute to Game of Thrones out of sand!

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This is not our picture, nor our sand art. BUT IT IS AMAZING!

 

5. Going to Santa Monica Pier and can’t find parking? Pier parking full, and the only other advertised parking is for $40? Don’t get sand in your socks, we found the spot for you! This site helps you find the parking, and lets you know the costs up front…but if you are like Saucy G that info means nothing to you without a picture, so here ya go!2016-09-07.png

If you take Ocean Ave south east-ish (middle bottom on the right of the picture), past The Lobster, you can turn right onto a road that takes you to the huge parking lot. The parking is cheap, and it is right on the beach! Don’t get scammed! You can also turn right on Seaside Terrace, turn right on Appian way, and that will get you there. The two times we went we parked here, saving us time, money, and a lot of hassle.

6. While walking the Pier it may be tempting to hunt for Poke` whatevers, or to stare at your phone in some other fashion. You are at the BEACH! There are wild and crazy things happening around you! Please look up and look around, it’s worth it! Yes, there are Pokes to be caught, and eggs to be hatched, but try not to walk into or over other people in the process.

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7. Bring two pairs of shoes. Flip flops and sneakers. That way you don’t get sand in your sneakers, and you don’t get burns from your flip flops. Or just wear sandals, but make sure they are comfortable. Walking in warm sands can be difficult, and hot! The $15 flip flops sold on the pier are worth it in a pinch, but not very comfortable.

8. The beach on the south side of the pier, or left of the pier, is the less crowded for a beach day. You are not as close to the parking lot, but it is a VERY easy walk under the pier, and there is a lot more room!

9. Did we mention sunscreen?

10. Funnel. Cake. One serving is enough for at least two people, so save your pennies and just get the one. Did we mention bringing water? Anything and everything on the pier will be priced for tourists, so plan ahead and bring your own bottle of water.

AwesomeSauce Rating: Full House. There was a distinct lack of kittens, and we are pretty sure that Santa Monica beaches are not animal friendly, so no swimming puppies either. The prices can be a bit high, and it can be a wee crowded, but what does one expect of a main tourist spot in the middle of summer? Honestly, this place is amazing, and everyone should check it out at least once, maybe twice. Muscle Beach is a sand dollar throws away, and if you play your cards right, your trip could be free! Nothing beats the ocean, and walking on the sand in the surf. THIS needs to be done by everyone as much as possible.

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Want to see more pictures of our beach days? Looking for the most current AwesomeSauce happenings? Check out our Facebook Page!

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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

 

Catching up!

Oh hello there!

We have been BUSY BUSY BUSY! There is so much to tell you about! So, if all of a sudden you are inundated with AwesomeSauce Blogs, it’s because we finally had a chance to sit down, catch our breath, and do some writing.

Coming soon:

Come check out Santa Monica with the Duo, as they get to hang out at the End of the Road!

Thanks to a super friend of the Duo, we were able to go to COMIC CON!!! Follow us as we navigate our way through Nerd Mecca!

Of course there are card rooms to tell you about. Turns out SoCal (as the cool kids call it) is home to a couple of the best card rooms in the world! Did the Duo win all the Dollars? Find out!

We spent a day hiking through Hollywood! Horrors! Heroes! Hand prints! Hooray!

SoCal – Freeways, Highways and Byways, OH MY!

Keep your eyes out for invaluable Travel Tips! Such as, “Three Cats in a  Smart Car – A what not to do story.”

There will also be a couple of blogs about how we got to Vegas in the first place. What was Santa Fe like? How was Flagstaff? Is seeing a Giant Hole in the Ground worth it?

Finally, come with us to NoCal (Northern California, again, as the cool kids call it), as we check out a couple of breweries, and start adventuring in the City of Trees (and AMAZING HOUSES)!

All this and more coming soon from your favorite Adventure Duo!

 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Here at AwesomeSauce, we have some pretty incredible family and friends. You should know, you are in that group!

There is Mama AwesomeSauce (AwesomeK’s Mom). Santos is the Head of the AwesomeSauce Fan Club. Sir Christopher is our official Mews Knight, and Protector of the Realm. Mr Hart is Head of Nerd-istics.

We may not have ever mentioned, however, the incredible Pants’. Mr. Fancy Pants (AwesomeK’s brother), is a world-class photographer, and is currently working as a Digital Strategist for Four Kitchens, which is one of the coolest sounding jobs ever. Ms. Smarty Pants (the Worlds Greatest Sister in Law) is literally a Rocket Scientist. Which isn’t intimidating at all. Her mind-blowing resume includes working at MIT, Ball Aerospace, and she is currently doing amazing space stuff with Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Yup. Our Sister in Law works at JPL. Again, not at all intimidating.

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NASA even has their own hand sanitizer! 

Our adventures landed us in sunny and fabulous Altadena, California, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from JPL!

What is JPL, you ask? One person there described it as the “Disneyland for Nerds.” Which is pretty accurate, actually. If you are unfamiliar with JPL, we recommend you watch the movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon (you could probably read the book, but as we have not actually read the book yet, we cannot say one way or another if JPL is featured. They probably are…). Poor Mr. Damon gets stuck on Mars, and the top scientists in the world have to figure out how to get him home again. Where does NASA go to find these top scientists? JPL! Who works there in real life? Ms. Smarty Pants! So…Ipso-Facto-Presto-Changeo, that makes Ms. Smarty Pants one of the world’s top scientists! Which she is. Which is slightly intimidating. If you want a REAL history of JPL, you can check that out HERE. Needless to say, some of the top scientists in the world are at JPL.

The Worlds Greatest Sister in Law, Ms. Pants, blew our minds recently by taking us on a personal guided tour of JPL!!! It truly is the Disneyland for Nerds. It was…hard to put into words just how truly Awesome it was. The campus itself is HUGE. JPL might as well be its own town. There are streets running through the campus, each named cool names (no we won’t tell you what), multiple cafes and cafeterias, two gift shops, at least one museum, their own fire and police departments, and SO MANY SCIENCE PLACES! All they need is on-campus housing, which they might have, but we weren’t privy to that information. We got a tour of the museum, and watched a quick movie about how JPL came up with, and executed, the Mars landing for Curiosity. We saw a cube of Aerogel – the worlds lightest solid – that was used to collect meteor dust on the Stardust Mission. The best part of the museum was that we got to see some of the projects that Smarty worked on! Actual space missions, like Kepler and Maven. Her official super amazing space missions are: GOES-R (and the computer they used was named Zuul. THAT is how awesome she is!), Deep Impact, Spitzer Space Telescope, WorldView 3, MAVEN, TSIS, NPOESS, Kepler, OTB, and LADEE

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AeroGel – Gas? Solid? Yes

On our tour, we saw replicas of Curiosity, the Mars Rovers, and SMAP – the Soil Moisture Massive Passive that unfolds in space, and calculates the Earths moisture levels! We got a good look at what the wheels of Rover looked like, because they use 3D printed versions of them as sign post holders, which is pretty rad. SMAP-animated.gif

The Worlds Greatest Sister in Law then took us over to the COMMAND CENTER! We got to see the door to Launch Command, and look through a window. Which was AMAZING! Then we went up some sneaky stairs and got to see where the Deepspace Network was! There were a ton of screens and huge monitors on the wall (yes, like in TV), all monitoring different satellites and missions. You could see data coming in and data going out and sort of what was happening! That area is manned 24 hours a day, always collecting and sending data, monitoring missions, and doing a whole lot more stuff we aren’t allowed to talk about here. IT WAS AWESOME!!

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We didn’t take this picture, but here you get the gist

The next stop was to sneak a peek into one of the Clean Rooms. Everyone that goes into a Clean Room has to wear what was affectionately refered to as a Bunny Suit, which consisted of a mask, hat, coat, and booties in this case. They can be full suits with full masks sometimes, like a clean hazmat suit. The clean room we went to was not the “cleanest” of the clean rooms, which was evident from the Bunny Suits, and this room was allowed to have 10,000 particles (of whatever there are particles of…here is a technical site that explains stuff) per cubic foot of air. For some perspective, there are usually 1,250,000 particles in a cubic square of air. Some cleaner clean rooms can only have 1000, or 100 particles per cubic foot! The temperature and moisture are also closely monitored, always kept cool, and there must be a certain amount of humidity so that static electricity doesn’t build up and fry the electronics. The air is circulated through filters in the ceiling, pushed through the room, and collected at through more filters in the floor. In her past, Smarty has worked in a clean room – and was a little nostalgic remembering her time there, until she remembered how uncomfortable the full hazmat type bunny suits are.

We didn’t get to see the official workspace of Smarty, but she DID point out her building! It was large, brown, and had no windows. There, she is currently working on the Mars2020 Mission! Each piece of a satellite, or Rover, or mission, usually has its own team. There are teams for Every. Single. Piece. The drill and drill bits that drill into the ground, that collect samples to analyze. The camera on the drill. The arm that the drill is on. The wheels, the windows, the everything. It is truly awesome!

On our walk we noticed a group of young men huddled in a corner, under a tree. Smarty chuckled and said that was one of many Pokemon Go gyms. Apparently there are a few gyms, and spots, on the JPL campus! The greatest minds in the world, huddled together on a break, training their Pokemon was a fun sight to see. Turns out rocket scientists are just like everyone else! Well, almost.

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Space Poke’

Speaking of work, after our AMAZING tour, the Worlds Greatest Sister in Law had to grab a very quick noms, then was off to a super secret mission meeting. We squeezed her (but not until her eyes popped out, she needs those for science), thanked her profusely, then we parted ways. We did a little shopping in the super cool JPL/NASA gift shop, then headed on our way.

If YOU want to get onto a tour of JPL (granted, not a personal guided tour from Smarty), just click this LINK to find out more! Be sure to plan WELL in advance, as tours are usually booked at least six months out.

We want to give a HUGE thank you to Ms. Smarty Pants, the Worlds Greatest Sister In Law, for the personal tour of the Disneyland for Nerds! Getting to be at JPL was the tour of a lifetime, and we couldn’t be more impressed! Thank you!!!!

AwesomeSauce Rating: ARE YOU KIDDING?! This is the Spades Royal Flush. This is the best of the best.

 

The Anti-Awesome (a rant blog)

Days have gone by. They have turned into weeks. WEEKS have gone by. Then we get a phone call! Hooray! Joy! Something is happening!

Wait? What? No. Nothing is happening.

We told the Big Box Store that we would be leaving for California, and if we needed to do ANYTHING before we left, they should let us know. Being told there was nothing we could do, we drove four hours away.

By the way, you don’t know what fun is until you, your spouse (neither of which could be described as “svelte“), and three cats (one of which is also not at all svelte), cram into a Smart Car. With the rest of what you own. For four hours. Through the desert. In July.

After the ride of a lifetime (or the ride that felt like a lifetime? Either way…) we ended up Altadena! We settled into our very nice Air BnB, and waited. After about a week and a half, we finally got a phone call! YAY! Something was happening! Wait…no…no..instead we were told that we needed to come back to Vegas. Apparently they hadn’t had a chance to look at the RV yet, because of all the debris. Oh? Is this not something that could have been taken care of BEFORE we drove away? Yes, it could have, by the way, but we were told everything was cool. It wasn’t.

So, we hopped back in the car (sans Mews), and drove the four hours back to Vegas.

Do you want to know another way to have ALL the fun? Clean out the carcass of your dead dreams, throwing away ruined and broken goals, all the while in 115 degree heat. OH, and the carcass of your dreams is at least 120 degrees or more? By the way, the holding tanks have probably melted, because they sure smell like they have. That is a very distinct, and unique, smell. Rotten fridge, boiled waste, melted plastic, and despair all mixed together under the Nevada sun.

After about two hours, uncountable trash bags, blood, sweat, tears, and only a little bit of gagging, we finally got all the trash and ruined things out. We moved the rest of the things to the bunk area, and out of the way of anyone who needed to get in and get to work.

During all this we found a few more things were missing. There was the weird stuff – like the coffee press, the rack of knives was literally torn off the wall, and the jar of cooking utensils. Then there was the devastating. That term gets used a lot when describing all this, but there it is (and Saucy G doesn’t feel like using a thesaurus right now). We mentioned previously that the thieves had desecrated the urns we were transporting, and that they had tossed the urns around. Turns out they also STOLE one of the urns. STOLE. AN. URN. Who does that? After finding the first SIX urns, they get to the SEVENTH URN and thought, “you know what? They can’t ALL have ashes in them, lets just take this one.” Maybe they thought they needed an urn. MAYBE they were just trying to hurt us as much as possible.

WHO STEALS AN URN?!

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We packed up what was we could into the SmartCar, and got ready to drive the four hours back. Stopping into the office of the Big Box to let them know we were done, we were then informed that they would not be able evaluate the RV for three weeks. THREE. WEEKS. Just to ASSESS IT! All the while, it is sitting in the Vegas sun, tires exposed, wires exposed, holes in the hull…then when they DO finally assess it, then the insurance company will decide if it going to be totaled or if they are going to fix it, and what they are going to fix. Which might not be everything. THEN it will take AT LEAST another couple of weeks JUST TO GET A WINDOW! Not any of the other parts, or fix any of the other things.

Want more good news? Well! Worry not! There’s more!

Remember the Casino where we were parked? Where we were assured by security that the RV would be ok? Parked under a camera, under a light, where it was stolen in broad daylight? Under the “watchful” eye of security? Who then LITERALLY LAUGHED IN OUR FACES? Oh yeah, so, we got a letter from them this morning stating that they found themselves not liable. Surprise surprise. They thought they didn’t do anything wrong, and we are outta luck. No, there was no number to call or any way to appeal. Thanks a lot, Casino. Again, a real kick in the gut. Not even a comped meal, or a “hey, sorry your entire house was stolen under our watch, and your dreams crushed, here is a coupon for a buffet.” Nothing. Just a one page letter telling us to go away.

Now we are back to hurry up and wait, while wallowing.

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This is the exact opposite of awesome. UNAwesome. The Anti-Awesome.

Thankfully the Mews are happy and healthy and safe. We are safe. So, here we are, and here will wait until something else happens with the RV and we can move a step forward. Maybe. Hopefully.

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BoBana having a relax

Anyone want to go sit on the beach with some (possibly adult) beverages? We need a beach day.

Rating: You sit down at a table, then get moved to another table. The table you were just on, and got moved from, just one a Jackpot, and everyone at the that table gets $400. You get no dollars.

Lost in Las Vegas

Adventures hardly ever go according to plan. That is easily an understatement when it comes to ours, but lets not get into that here.

Due to circumstances (STILL looking at you, Thief. May you step in cat barf every morning…) beyond our control, we found new ways to adventure in Vegas! We found ourselves in a Casino Hotel on the Strip, which is fancy, AND expensive.

Adventure Pro Tip: If you are thinking of going to Vegas, and will have access to a car (which is a good idea and a bad idea), then it is best to stay OFF the strip. There are a plethora of other options, and some even have a shuttle service to the Strip.

When we go to Vegas, we usually stay in a Caesar’s Entertainment Property. We have had decent luck with comps, and they are familiar territory. What are comps, you ask? WELL! What a wonderful and weird world you are about to embark on! First off, whenever you go to a casino, make sure you get a Players Card. You can get one at any Customer Service Desk, or they can tell you where to go to get one. You will need a photo ID, so they know you are you. They will ask for a mailing address – you are welcome to decline – or you can give them one. We always give them a mailing address, because they will send fancy coupons in the mail! As far as we know they don’t sell your address to anyone, but don’t quote us. These fancy mail coupons will offer COMPS! Comp is a lingo way of saying complimentary, or comepleaseplayhere. Sorta. The fancy mail coupons usually have comps for free buffet, some free “slot play” where they give you fake money on slot machines that you can turn into real money, or table play, which works the same. Fake money to possibly earn real money. The best comps are when they offer you a free stay! These are becoming more and more scarce, but they do still happen.Total_Rewards_2.35162852_std

To earn these magic comp points, you use your players card at EVERY SINGLE THING in the casinos. Buying an overpriced coffee? Make sure to ask for points and give them your card. Eating dinner? Grab those points! Of course, the easiest way is to use your card whenever you play. You can put the card in all the slot machines, and leave it in during your play. You can also earn points (maybe?) playing table games and poker. Be sure to hand them your shiny new card so you get credit for your play. The card itself can also be used to redeem points at buffets, gift shops, and sometimes on your hotel stay.

WHEW! SO, after your not-so-brief comp tutorial, now you are ready to find a place to stay! As we mentioned, we usually stay at a Caesar’s Property, because of the magic comps, and what nottery. However, this year we had a CAR! Traffic can be mildly terrifying on the Strip, but the rest of Vegas is pretty easy to navigate, and opens up a whole new realm of places to go, places to stay, and ways to adventure. After we left the Strip, we went to our very first Air BnB, just a ways off the Strip. It was amazing! Well, it was different, and cheaper, and amazing in that we had never stayed at an Air BnB before.

Air BnB is a fancy new way to stay places. You can rent almost anything from a person, from a couch to crash on all the way to a penthouse suite. If a person has a space available for you to stay, they advertise on Air BnB. We found some interesting listings, to say the least. Luckily we found a place that allowed our Mews, was less expensive than a Casino Hotel, was a private space (not crashing on a couch or a spare bedroom), and was inside a gated community. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good for a week. (A coupon for you! A coupon for me! Hooray! www.airbnb.com/c/genevieves161)

With the freedom of our little tiny car, and the Air BnB all set up, we set out to adventure a wee bit! We were still a bit shaken, not stirred, about our recent defilination (Saucy G decrees that this is now a word. Defilination – When something has been defiled recently, in the past tense, to an extreme. You’re welcome), so we kept to places we were somewhat familiar with, or that seemed safe. We also stuck pretty close together, and not just because our car is the size of a Matchbox.

 

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Brand New From the Dealership

One of the things we were able to do was to check out Casinos NOT on the Strip! The Orleans is probably the closest to the Strip, and the nicest that we found. If you like slot machines, this place has A TON. There is also a decent sized poker room, LOTS of table games, and a who slew of other things to do! They have a bowling alley, movie theater, kids areas, and lots of different food options. We heard from a reliable source that their laundry service is also very reasonable. They DO NOT, however, allow pets. So, keep that in mind when traveling with your own pet crew. With the re-introduction of UBER to Las Vegas, you can also grab a quick ride from there to the Strip, if you were feeling so inclined. This really is a nice one-stop-shop if you are planning on a stay. Clean, nice, we give it a solid Flush (rating based on the fact that we did not actually stay there, and cannot speak for the rooms. Also, the whole No Mews for Yous policy is a bummer). (Here is an Uber Coupon for you, and one for me! Hooray!! https://www.uber.com/invite/genevieves489ue)

Another place we checked out was Arizona Charlies. This is a local favorite, so we had to see what there was to see. If you are a smoker, this is the place for you! Also, if you prefer low lighting, this will also be high on your list. The slot machines were ok, and the people were VERY nice. The poker area was…well…it left a lot to be desired. Poker, however, is not their main focus. If you want Bingo, then look no further! Charlies has the biggest, brightest, and wildest Bingo Hall Saucy G has seen in a while. It is very clean, well lit, seems to be smoke free, and there is a game every odd hour, so you never have to wait long to get into the action. The Bingo Hall is located on the second floor, next to the 24 Hour Buffet. If Bingo is your Bag, then Charlies is for you. The dining there also surprisingly spectacular! At Ron’s Steakhouse they have (or had, hopefully it is still there when you go), an incredible three course steak dinner deal for $27.99. You get an appetizer, then you get a starter of salad or soup of the day, then you can choose from a few different steak options. Sides can be added for an extra fee, that might be $2? THIS is a hidden steak gem, and is not to be missed. Reservations not necessary, however they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, opening for dinner at 4pm to 9pm the rest of the week. Ron’s Steakhouse gets a Flush with a Straight Flush Draw. Arizona Charlies (without rating Bingo, and Ron’s is a separate rating) gets a high Pair. The smoking, poker area, slots, and lighting left a lot to be desired. Like we said, though, the people are SUPER NICE, so they get the higher rating.

Finally, we decided to go to a place that was literally calling our name…the ADVENTUREDOME! The Adventure Dome is located inside Circus Circus,  which is a whole different world of entertainment. If you have kids, and don’t mind crazy crowds, Circus Circus might be worth a look. Above the main slots area is a whole area dedicated to kids. It is JAM PACKED with carnival games, arcades, a McDonalds, and everything a kid could want. It is very camping (camping = Where do you sleep, when you go camping? In Tents. Intense. Camping is the AwesomeSauce way of saying something is intense. Again, you’re welcome), and very loud. The arcade was pretty sweet, with a lot of different games. Most games were $1 to play, so keep that in mind. We didn’t play any carnival games, so we don’t know their prices. The most notable thing at Circus Circus, however, is the live circus acts that go on above the gaming area. They have high flying acrobats, jugglers, a hula hoop lady, and they all perform above your head as you play. Shows are generally every half hour, but worry not. They will announce when they next show will begin, so you won’t miss a thing. Now, lets get to the meat and taties part of this adventure, The. Adventure. Dome.

This place is AMAZING! Granted, it is not the largest theme park in the world, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in awesome. We highly recommend you get the All Day Pass. The All Day Pass covers most of the rides there, and if you plan on riding rides, it is the best deal. It pays for itself after three rides, basically. It does not cover mini golf, but we got a coupon for a substantial discount when we got our passes. It also does not cover the Sponge Bob experience, which we were ok with. Probably the best part about the Adventure Dome was that there were virtually no lines. At all. We went on a weekday, so that probably had something to do with it, but it even with school being out the lines were almost non existent.

The rides. Oh the rides. Turns out AwesomeK is a bit of a rollercoaster junkie, which is awesome. If you want to see a grown man light up like it’s Christmas and you just gave him a puppy, take AwesomeK to rollercoasters. The first ride we dared was the Canyon Blaster (spoiler video HERE). It is a wee whip-lashy for Saucy G tastes, but it was AWESOME! It took two late 30s somethings, and turned them into giggling, screaming kids again. That right there is worth the price of admission! The second coaster, which is conveniently located at the exit of the Canyon Blaster, was the EL LOCO! There are no words, really. It was, well, Loco. This is probably one of the best coasters Saucy G has been on! Not at all whip-lashy, and it has all the things you could want in a ride. Upsidedowns, corkscrews, screams, all the things. It was AMAZING!!! THREE EXCLAMATION POINTS! LOUD NOISES! *ahem* Anyway, El Loco is not to be missed. If you go, and only pay for one coaster, make it this one. Adventure Dome also has the “take you straight up in the air, then drop you like a silly” ride, which is always a favorite. The going up was scarier than the coming down, and the up is VERY high in the dome, which is pretty sweet. They have other standards, such as the swingy boat thingy, the ride that takes you up then flips you upside down a few times, the one that is all the spinny, on a spinny, which has more spinny (too much spinny for Saucy G), and a few others. There is also a great kid area, with less camping rides for smaller folks.

They have a couple of theater style adventure rides, which (we think) are also covered in the All Day Pass. One of which was the “Pacific Rim” attraction. Rarely will we ever give a very negative review. To each is own, and everyone likes different things. We don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, so unless something is so awful and should be avoided at all costs, we do our best not to be negative. The Pacific Rim attraction is one of those rare exceptions. Please, please do not do this. Learn from our adventure. The “ride” is the only real wait we encountered at the Dome, which had us a little excited. Saucy G really enjoyed the film, so this was going to be, hopefully, a highlight of the day. No. NO! First you wait in line, and watch a clip from the movie. Cool. Gets you excited. Right on. When it is your turn, you get filed into a small dark room. OOOH! EXCITING! THEN! WITHOUT WARNING! Nothing. Nothing happens. One small TV, which is awkwardly placed so that only two people can really see it, plays the same clip of the movie you just watched while waiting in line. After the clip is over, you wait in awkward silence, in this closed off black room, for what feels like an eternity. Finally, when you are almost done contemplating all of life’s mistakes that got you to this point, you are ushered into another small room with seats. You buckle yourself in and wait. Finally a projector that is in much need of repair begins to play a scene from the movie. You are supposed to feel like you are in the giant machine, fighting a beast from the depths of the ocean – possibly another dimension – but instead you are assaulted on all angles. You view is not that of the cockpit, but rather you are just watching the movie. The platform you strapped yourself to starts to move and jerk in what, we can only assume, is supposed to be in time with the good guy’s machine. Instead it just jerks you around sort of willy nilly. The hectic jerking could make anyone nauseous, which is the only thrill of the ride. Will I barf everywhere? Will I get a migraine? Who knows!

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NO. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Turn back now!

After being tossed around like a rag doll, while a broken projector plays a scene from the movie, and the speakers crackle with the familiar sound of brokeness, the ride stops. You are then ushered out, and back into the world. You didn’t even save humanity from the beast! At all cost, please please please avoid the Pacific Rim attraction.

Other than the complete assault on the senses from Pacific WhyGodDidIRideThat, the Adventure Dome gets a SOLID Full House. SOLID. Almost Quads. Absolutely worth it. Great family fun, and not TOO pricey. They might even have a Groupon available, or other such coupon, so keep a keen eye out.

There you have it. Our Post RV Apocalypse Adventures in Las Vegas! Overall it was a lot of fun, and we didn’t die! We will, of course, be back to Vegas. Next time probably without the Mews, and hopefully with less loss up front. Hope you enjoyed! If we missed something, if you have adventure tips for fellow travelers, or want to let us know what you think – please comment!

Stay tuned for more posts from your favorite Duo!

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?

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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?

 

 

MORE UPDATES! Less tragedy!

We would like to thank you. Yes you. The outpouring of support, compassion, generosity, and the sharing of your own stories has helped us more than you know.

It’s not a lie. This has been devastating. Terrifying. Speaking for myself (Saucy G), I have had thoughts of giving up.

We won’t give up, though. We will never surrender! galaxy-quest-never-give-up-never-surrender

First, we have to see about repairs. Insurance will cover some, but not all. We are going to have the Big Box Place look at it, and repair it if possible. This has us a little wary, but the work will be “guaranteed” by insurance.

Other than that, though, we are pretty much on our own. Insurance will only cover the minimum of what was lost, only $3000. That SOUNDS like a lot of money, but the impressive new pots and pans set cost $2500. Granted, we wanted to live a minimalistic lifestyle, but this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. Obviously we won’t be getting the impressive big kid pots and pans, but there is so much to replace! All the things! Literally!

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Farewell Royal Prestige. We hardly knew ye. 😦

We are also looking into where to stay in Vegas for the next week or so. It’s harder than one might think to find a room, that allows pets, over the 4th of July, in America’s Playground. *sigh* They are either WAY expensive, WAY sketchy, or WAY Don’t Allow Pets. Who knew.

no way

We can tell you that we slept like babies last night, though.

Waking up every two hours crying.

 

When we awoke this morning, it was a brand new day! The sun was shining, the Mews were smiling (well, not really, they are starting to get antsy), and we started on “Operation RV Recovery” or “Operation BAD GUYS SUCK, We are AWESOME.” Not knowing where to start, we thought we would check out social media to see what the rest of the world was up to.

Turns out you were all trying to get us back on our feet!

Jason Hart has been a friend to Awesome K for over *cough lots cough* years. He is like a brother-from-another-mother. Well, Mr. Hart has set up a GOFUNDME page. This is so Awesome, and Wonderful, and Thoughtful. It is so, well, Awesome!

https://www.gofundme.com/AwesomesauceDuo

We also saw that a lot of people on here wanted to donate to our cause, and were looking for a paypal! We set one up, in case you were still feeling like helping. That can be found at:

https://paypal.me/awesomesauceduo

The name on the account is Saucy G’s real name. Apparently AwesomeSauce Duo isn’t a legal name. Silly.

Today we are feeling a little better. A little stronger. A lot more loved. Thank you, again, for lifting our spirits when we needed it the most. It can be a scary world out there, but it is also filled with wonderful people. Thank you for reminding us of that.

More to come soon. Maybe even an adventure post or two, since that is what we do after all!

 

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UPDATE! Found and Lost, and What Now?

Today has been a crazy whirlwind day! This is on top of a crazy whirlwind week!

A couple of days ago we found out that the Worlds Greatest RV had been stolen from where we parked it behind Bally’s. We weren’t even supposed to have parked behind Bally’s, but due to A/C issues, and melting Mews’, we had to get a hotel room. So there we were. Us and the Mews’ in the hotel room, and the World’s Greatest RV in the East Parking Lot, under a light and a camera, with security driving periodically through the lot.

We reported our loss to Bally’s security. Metro PD. Most importantly we reported to you. The wonderful world of social networking! Thank you! Your sharing of our story, your keeping your eyes peeled and ears to the ground (not literally, it is 1000 degrees outside). A wonderful person out there FOUND our BABY! Metro was alerted, and officers responded. Without you, it might not have been found. Certainly not as quickly. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!

It was found in what looks like a residential neighborhood close to the Sam’s Town Casino. I don’t think Metro asked around to any of the houses, but who knows. Maybe they did. IF they did, no one mentioned it to us. Anyhoo…Before we could get to it, the World’s Greatest RV was towed. At first we were upset, but it turns out that it is a LOT safer in the tow yard than it is anywhere else. The lot has barbed wire, electric fences, and 24/7 security. It LOOKS like RV jail, but it should be safe there.

So, we rallied ourselves together, and headed down to the tow yard to assess the damage. We were honored to have Michael Burton of Action News Las Vegas on scene with us, covering our story! Michael and his crew mate (who was amazingly nice, but we don’t remember his name) did a very good story on our blight for the evening news. It didn’t really have the happy ending they, or we, were hoping for.

Seeing the RV was terrifying, wonderful, and nerve-wracking. Going inside was sickening. Violating. We felt/feel defiled. Our home was destroyed. You hear about places getting “tossed,” but until you see it for yourself, you don’t really get the devastation. Every drawer was pulled out and emptied. Every cabinet thrown open. Literally thrown, some of the hinges were pulled off. What little furniture there was, was literally thrown around. A stranger, a “Bad Guy” literally touched, and destroyed everything we own. Most of the stuff was taken. Again, you hear anything not nailed down and don’t think about it, until you realize that most of the stuff wasn’t nailed down. If the couch wasn’t literally bolted to the floor, it probably would have been taken, too. Which would haven been fine, it’s not a comfortable couch.

A lot of the stuff we expected to be gone. The 400 DVD’s and Blu-Rays. The 100 or so video games. The PS2, PS3, and PS4, and original Nintendo were, of course, taken. The flat screen TV’s (the 32″, and the backup little 12″). Our printer/scanner/all in one fancy thingy was taken. Obviously, it was a fancy thingy. Jokes on them! That thing is nasty to connect to! HA! Take THAT BAD GUYS! *ahem* Anyway. They took our fancy new pots and pans that we had used only once. It was our first ever “big kid” set of pots and pans. They took dishes. They took shoes. Clothes. Our ottoman from Amazon. ALL of my fly-fishing stuff (four fly rods, some Abel fly reels ((one that was engraved with Saucy G’s name, and info from when she was on the Junior USA Fly Fishing Team)), flies – some that G’s Old Man had tied. They tossed books. They turned over the medicine cabinet. Everything was defiled.

The most heartbreaking, gut wrenching, disgusting part is that they torn open and ransacked our parents.

There were seven urns in the RV. Why? Why so many ashes? That seems morbid. Well. G’s great grandparents passed, and their ashes went to G’s grandparents. Then they passed before the ashes could be spread. The ashes went to G’s mother.
She was diagnosed with cancer, and passed before she could spread them. The ashes of five people were then passed to Saucy G to spread them.
She has her great grandparents, grandparents, her mother, and her cat, Secret Agent Sam. Awesome K has his father’s ashes.

One of our stops was to spread them in Catalina, CA, and Reno, NV. Looks like some of them are stuck in Vegas. Maybe some ashes got on the Bad Guys, and it freaked them out. Maybe now they will be haunted by a VERY angry Marine. Who knows? Mostly it hurts because we know they were looking for valuables, and the urns are boxes, but the urns are also clearly marked with their names, and their death dates. Now they are all over the RV. 

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After we found all the urns and tried to clean them up as best we could. 

The Bad Guys stole our home. They tossed it. They took everything we own (even some souvenirs, like crushed pennies from each of our stops), and what they didn’t take, they destroyed. The police treated this as a stolen vehicle, not as a robbed home. It’s true, it is a vehicle, but it was our lives. Our goals. Our dreams. Our family. Everything.

So here we are. We are staying at Bally’s until Saturday, then we don’t know where we are going. Next week is the 4th of July, which is a huge holiday. We won’t be able to be in the RV, so we have to find a place to stay in Vegas. We would take the RV, but the window was smashed, the ignition trashed, and who knows what else was damaged. We aren’t sure it is even driveable, and if it IS drivable it isn’t safe until we get things repaired. Even AFTER it is fixed, it still feels…wrong. Someone was in our home. Someone touched all our things. They sized us up and took what they wanted. They destroyed what they didn’t want and they destroyed our sense of safety; our sense of trust. People talk about feeling fear when they enter their home after it was robbed, and we feel fear. What if it happens again? What happened while they had it? There is so much uncertainty. There is so much missing. For goodness sakes they took socks. SOCKS!

sock thief

So that is where we are at. Insurance probably can’t cover the thousands and thousands of dollars (roughly 40k) worth of missing things. No one can replace the urns and the missing bits of our parents.

We will figure out what to do next, and keep you updated. Thank you for sticking with us, and for helping us getting our home back. Hopefully the Bad Guy gets caught, but we doubt it. This guy seemed to be a pro, or ballsy. He took our home at 10:45am. Either way.

So here we are. In shock. Tired. Confused. But we are safe. The Mews are safe (they even took the cat beds. CAT BEDS! WHO DOES THAT?!). For now we will wash the clothes we have, put some food in our bellies, and be thankful that no one was hurt.

Here is the story that 13 Action News ran on us:

“Couple heartbroken after RV stolen in Las Vegas”

AwesomeSauce Rating: 

This is a High Card. They say they worst hand is poker is 7, 2, two different suits. This is that hand. If there could be a worse hand, this would be it.

Thank you again to everyone who shared our story! You got our RV BACK! You got our story out there. Without you, we wouldn’t have even gotten our home back. Thank you. We are humbled and honored to be a part of such a wonderful community of people. Thank you for the love and support. We love you, too.