NEW New HQ

Life is often its own adventure, with ups, downs, and a lot of things you don’t expect.

Life for the Duo has been a roller-coaster adventure over these past few months, but we think we are headed to a slightly more awesome ride – with less whiplash and more “aw man this is rad!”

We just saw the Anniversary of our Launch Day, of the day we found out our home was stolen, and of the day it was found – ransacked and in shambles. These past few weeks have been emotional and sad, remembering all of our great promise, and feeling our devastation all over again. Losing everything is not as much fun as it sounds, and it is really hard to describe to people. It would be easier to tell them that our home burned to the ground, at least then they might understand the total and complete destruction that losing the RV was for us. Most of the time we get a lot of, “Oh bummer, sorry your RV got stolen. At least you could just go home,” or, “Oh, did you have anything important in it?” The other thing we hear a lot is, “Well, at least it was covered by insurance, right? Just get it repaired and head back out!” If only any of these statements were true, and it were that easy! We would have hit the road ages ago! Sadly, however, it is a little (a lot) more complicated than that.

Insurance barely covered repairs, and even then they didn’t cover all the repairs. That, coupled with the fact that repairs took SIX MONTHS, took a big chunk (all) of our emergency money, travel money, living money, and some of everyone we knows money. Not to mention that the place were the RV was being repaired LOST our TRAILER. Just….POOF, up in a puff of smoke. There was also the pesky fact that someone STOLE OUR HOME AND ALL OF OUR THINGS. That is something even we have a hard time grappling with, still. We go to watch a movie, or read a book that was in the RV, or look for a cooking utensil, or a shirt we remembered having…and have to remind ourselves that if it was in the RV (and it was), that is it gone. A year later and it still kicks us in the teeth. Clothes? Gone? Bedding? Nope. Pots and Pans? Outta here. Starting from total scratch is scary, and very expensive.

We had to buy all new furniture, bed, bedding, clothes, stuff for cats, suits for Awesome K to job hunt in, TV, an entire kitchen of stuff, ALL. THE. THINGS. Sometimes, when people look at us blankly, I want to tell them to look around their house, then imagine that ALL of it is gone, and they have to start over. Not only did we do just that, we did it in a completely alien location! We were both from Denver, and we landed in Sacramento, thanks to some AMAZING friends of ours who let us stay with them until we could get on our feet a little bit.

We did just that. Awesome K got a job in Sacramento dealing poker, and Saucy G started working on her biggest project – a fictional novel! While we waited for the RV to get repaired, we explored Northern California as much as we could, with the (tiny) budget we had. We went to the Winchester Mystery House, which, by the way, is the greatest house ever! We took one of our Mews, Matilda Pants, to the beach where The Birds was filmed (luckily we didn’t see anything too scary). We even added a member to our Mews Staff! Saucy G spent her birthday in San Francisco, which is one of the greatest cities in the world (just make sure you go hungry)!

However, we quickly learned that Sacramento was not the town for us, and we started looking for better opportunities. Sacramento was also where we said our final goodbyes to the RV.

Unfortunately, due to lack of finances, the inability to get finances for travel, and the Universe giving a CLEAR message that this was not the path for us, we were forced to sell the RV. We sold her to a wonderful charity that gave the RV to a single Mom in need of a safe place to call home for her and her child. We sold the RV for 1/3 of what it was worth, which was a huge bummer, but it went to a great cause and a wonderful woman. If you see the RV (last time we saw her, she still had our crest on the back) give her a wave for us, but please do not disturb her new charges.

Even though she went to a good home, it was like losing her, and our dreams of traveling, all over again. It was the final goodbye to the life we had planned on for so long. There were a lot of tears, and some swear words, but we knew it was for the best.

After saying our goodbyes, we moved from Sacramento…which brings us to our NEW New AwesomeSauce HQ! The duo has landed in GORGEOUS Oceanside, California! Our first moments driving into our new city brought us flowers, a view of the ocean, and a renewed sense of adventure!

Oceanside Pier
Oceanside Pier

Awesome K has a job with one of the local casinos (in Funner, California. Yes, Funner is a real place!), doing what he does best. Saucy G is still working on her first novel, and the Mews have settled in nicely. There are a lot more breezes, trees and flowers in Oceanside, and 100% fewer fleas, which is a big plus for them. The weather here is always amazing, and we are just mere moments (about 20 of them) from the beach! We can literally go to the beach whenever we want! Saucy G grew up in a “landlocked” state, and had only been to the beach a handful of times, and only on rare special occasions, so being this close is mind-boggling!

We have even saved some pennies and gone on a few (small) adventures, and hope to go on more soon. Cost of living is pretty high in Oceanside, apparently EVERYONE wants to live in perfect weather near the ocean, so our adventures are a wee limited – for now. That doesn’t stop us from trying, though.

Our most recent adventure took us back to Las Vegas! Now, you may be asking, “Why on EARTH would you go there? After all that happened?” Because we love Las Vegas. We were married in Las Vegas, and we weren’t going to let one mean nasty person ruin the city that we love. So we went to “take it back” for ourselves. We went to the Flamingo and saw our brick (You can see our brick, too! We are the AwesomeSauce Duo, with our wedding date of 10/31/15 on it), we checked out the World Series of Poker (although we didn’t play in any events this year), and we relaxed by the pool. We might have avoided Bally’s, but other than that we had a wonderful time in the city we love. vegas at night

After Vegas we haven’t really been up to much. We go to the beach, we check out the sights, and we plot and plan our next adventures.

Through a lot of luck, and careful planning, we were able to get tickets to the San Diego ComicCon this year! You can check us out on Thursday and Sunday of the Con. We are also going back to Midsummer Scream for the whole weekend, which will be amazing. They say the Elvira, Mistress of the Dark will be there this year!! Saucy G is a HUGE fan, and is super excited for the chance to see her in person. Also, if we are lucky, and can get our hands on some tickets, we are hoping to go to this years CatCon in Pasadena!

So, that brings you up to speed on where we are at. It has been a helluva year, but we are still Awesome! No RV? NO PROBLEM! We may not have an RV, but that doesn’t mean our adventures have stopped!

Thank you for sticking with us through this crazy year. Now it’s time to put the past behind us, and focus on an awesome future! We will be back soon with new adventures, new posts, and all things awesome! elvira

(Want more frequents updates on the AwesomeSauce Duo and the Mews Team? Check out our Facebook Page!)

 

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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!

got-sand
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!