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.
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!
Days have gone by. They have turned into weeks. WEEKS have gone by. Then we get a phone call! Hooray! Joy! Something is happening!
Wait? What? No. Nothing is happening.
We told the Big Box Store that we would be leaving for California, and if we needed to do ANYTHING before we left, they should let us know. Being told there was nothing we could do, we drove four hours away.
By the way, you don’t know what fun is until you, your spouse (neither of which could be described as “svelte“), and three cats (one of which is also not at all svelte), cram into a Smart Car. With the rest of what you own. For four hours. Through the desert. In July.
Probably shouldn’t help AwesomeK drive.
ALL the cats on Saucy G
Matilda Pants is NOT amused.
Lana stole the bed. Matilda plots her demise.
After the ride of a lifetime (or the ride that felt like a lifetime? Either way…) we ended up Altadena! We settled into our very nice Air BnB, and waited. After about a week and a half, we finally got a phone call! YAY! Something was happening! Wait…no…no..instead we were told that we needed to come back to Vegas. Apparently they hadn’t had a chance to look at the RV yet, because of all the debris. Oh? Is this not something that could have been taken care of BEFORE we drove away? Yes, it could have, by the way, but we were told everything was cool. It wasn’t.
So, we hopped back in the car (sans Mews), and drove the four hours back to Vegas.
Do you want to know another way to have ALL the fun? Clean out the carcass of your dead dreams, throwing away ruined and broken goals, all the while in 115 degree heat. OH, and the carcass of your dreams is at least 120 degrees or more? By the way, the holding tanks have probably melted, because they sure smell like they have. That is a very distinct, and unique, smell. Rotten fridge, boiled waste, melted plastic, and despair all mixed together under the Nevada sun.
After about two hours, uncountable trash bags, blood, sweat, tears, and only a little bit of gagging, we finally got all the trash and ruined things out. We moved the rest of the things to the bunk area, and out of the way of anyone who needed to get in and get to work.
During all this we found a few more things were missing. There was the weird stuff – like the coffee press, the rack of knives was literally torn off the wall, and the jar of cooking utensils. Then there was the devastating. That term gets used a lot when describing all this, but there it is (and Saucy G doesn’t feel like using a thesaurus right now). We mentioned previously that the thieves had desecrated the urns we were transporting, and that they had tossed the urns around. Turns out they also STOLE one of the urns. STOLE. AN. URN. Who does that? After finding the first SIX urns, they get to the SEVENTH URN and thought, “you know what? They can’t ALL have ashes in them, lets just take this one.” Maybe they thought they needed an urn. MAYBE they were just trying to hurt us as much as possible.
WHO STEALS AN URN?!
We packed up what was we could into the SmartCar, and got ready to drive the four hours back. Stopping into the office of the Big Box to let them know we were done, we were then informed that they would not be able evaluate the RV for three weeks. THREE. WEEKS. Just to ASSESS IT! All the while, it is sitting in the Vegas sun, tires exposed, wires exposed, holes in the hull…then when they DO finally assess it, then the insurance company will decide if it going to be totaled or if they are going to fix it, and what they are going to fix. Which might not be everything. THEN it will take AT LEAST another couple of weeks JUST TO GET A WINDOW! Not any of the other parts, or fix any of the other things.
Want more good news? Well! Worry not! There’s more!
Remember the Casino where we were parked? Where we were assured by security that the RV would be ok? Parked under a camera, under a light, where it was stolen in broad daylight? Under the “watchful” eye of security? Who then LITERALLY LAUGHED IN OUR FACES? Oh yeah, so, we got a letter from them this morning stating that they found themselves not liable. Surprise surprise. They thought they didn’t do anything wrong, and we are outta luck. No, there was no number to call or any way to appeal. Thanks a lot, Casino. Again, a real kick in the gut. Not even a comped meal, or a “hey, sorry your entire house was stolen under our watch, and your dreams crushed, here is a coupon for a buffet.” Nothing. Just a one page letter telling us to go away.
Now we are back to hurry up and wait, while wallowing.
This is the exact opposite of awesome. UNAwesome. The Anti-Awesome.
Thankfully the Mews are happy and healthy and safe. We are safe. So, here we are, and here will wait until something else happens with the RV and we can move a step forward. Maybe. Hopefully.
Anyone want to go sit on the beach with some (possibly adult) beverages? We need a beach day.
Rating: You sit down at a table, then get moved to another table. The table you were just on, and got moved from, just one a Jackpot, and everyone at the that table gets $400. You get no dollars.
When you lose everything, it’s hard to know where to start. When your life goal and new “career” was to be an adventurer, and someone steals and destroys your house, it is very hard to know what to do next.
We are so blessed, and so lucky to have such an incredible support network. Friends, family, and a vast new network of people who believe in your dream, and are pulling for you. Our friend, and official AwesomeSauce Geek, Jason Hart, set up a Go Fund Me to help us rebuild after The Thief ruined everything. (Yeah, still hoping you read this blog, although now I believe you don’t know how to read. Or understand big words. Jerkface.) Anyhoo, we were overwhelmed with generosity, love, and support. Between Paypal and GoFundMe, we were suddenly no longer desperate to survive!
This, however, brings us to our current worry. Well, mine, let’s be fair (Saucy G here, Professional Worrier). What if we go on adventures, and we offend people who have supported us? Our savings did get depleted while we were in Vegas. Vegas is expensive, and sucks you in. One week in Vegas is a LOOOOONG time, two weeks is an eternity. We didn’t have a real fridge, or way to cook food in Vegas, so we ended up eating out a lot. That right there drains one’s account very quickly. Let alone trying to replace things (pillows, soaps, dishes for cat food, etc). That all adds up quickly. Thankfully the funds donated helped us get back to feeling ok, and not “oh God what do we do.” It got us back to feeling like we could do what we do best, adventure.
This was, and is, a huge dilemma for us. What if people who donated to our cause despise how we use the funds? Loathe us for going back out and doing what we planned to do with our lives, adventure? Do we post about adventures? Do we “check in” on social media and talk about things we are doing? What do people expect of us; adventure, or hiding out in a room? Granted, I have basically a PhD in Hiding Inside, but I was hoping to broaden my repertoire, and add outside to the list of places that we/I go. Is adventure a justifiable expense?
Here is what we have decided.
It is in our blood. It is in our nature. It IS what we are!
We will also be VERY frugal. For a number of reasons. We STILL don’t have any word on the RV, other than “it will be looked at soon.” Looked at. Not worked on. Looked at. It could be well over a month before we can even get in it again, IF they don’t total it. There are hints that it might just be totaled. So we are saving many pennies in case that happens (most of the Funds, actually, if not all). We are also not really replacing anything. At all. Not only because we have no place to put anything, but because we don’t know where we are going next in our lives. So we are saving to see where the road takes us, and what we need to supply for that adventure.
With all of the saving, and not replacing, we now have a reserve of monies for adventures. So we are going to do just that! ADVENTURE! We are going to check in at places, we are going to see the things, we are going to try the noms, we are going to do what we do best. Well, what we think we do pretty well, anyway.
We hope against hope that we are not offending any of our supporters, but we also believe that some of the support was to get us outside again. No one wants to read a blog about not ever leaving the house (well, they might. I hope they do, actually, because there are going to be MisAdventureous Agoraphobe posts, and it would be a bummer if no one read them).
We would like to thank you. Yes you. The outpouring of support, compassion, generosity, and the sharing of your own stories has helped us more than you know.
It’s not a lie. This has been devastating. Terrifying. Speaking for myself (Saucy G), I have had thoughts of giving up.
We won’t give up, though. We will never surrender!
First, we have to see about repairs. Insurance will cover some, but not all. We are going to have the Big Box Place look at it, and repair it if possible. This has us a little wary, but the work will be “guaranteed” by insurance.
Other than that, though, we are pretty much on our own. Insurance will only cover the minimum of what was lost, only $3000. That SOUNDS like a lot of money, but the impressive new pots and pans set cost $2500. Granted, we wanted to live a minimalistic lifestyle, but this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. Obviously we won’t be getting the impressive big kid pots and pans, but there is so much to replace! All the things! Literally!
We are also looking into where to stay in Vegas for the next week or so. It’s harder than one might think to find a room, that allows pets, over the 4th of July, in America’s Playground. *sigh* They are either WAY expensive, WAY sketchy, or WAY Don’t Allow Pets. Who knew.
We can tell you that we slept like babies last night, though.
Waking up every two hours crying.
When we awoke this morning, it was a brand new day! The sun was shining, the Mews were smiling (well, not really, they are starting to get antsy), and we started on “Operation RV Recovery” or “Operation BAD GUYS SUCK, We are AWESOME.” Not knowing where to start, we thought we would check out social media to see what the rest of the world was up to.
Turns out you were all trying to get us back on our feet!
Jason Hart has been a friend to Awesome K for over *cough lots cough* years. He is like a brother-from-another-mother. Well, Mr. Hart has set up a GOFUNDME page. This is so Awesome, and Wonderful, and Thoughtful. It is so, well, Awesome!
The name on the account is Saucy G’s real name. Apparently AwesomeSauce Duo isn’t a legal name. Silly.
Today we are feeling a little better. A little stronger. A lot more loved. Thank you, again, for lifting our spirits when we needed it the most. It can be a scary world out there, but it is also filled with wonderful people. Thank you for reminding us of that.
More to come soon. Maybe even an adventure post or two, since that is what we do after all!
Today has been a crazy whirlwind day! This is on top of a crazy whirlwind week!
A couple of days ago we found out that the Worlds Greatest RV had been stolen from where we parked it behind Bally’s. We weren’t even supposed to have parked behind Bally’s, but due to A/C issues, and melting Mews’, we had to get a hotel room. So there we were. Us and the Mews’ in the hotel room, and the World’s Greatest RV in the East Parking Lot, under a light and a camera, with security driving periodically through the lot.
We reported our loss to Bally’s security. Metro PD. Most importantly we reported to you. The wonderful world of social networking! Thank you! Your sharing of our story, your keeping your eyes peeled and ears to the ground (not literally, it is 1000 degrees outside). A wonderful person out there FOUND our BABY! Metro was alerted, and officers responded. Without you, it might not have been found. Certainly not as quickly. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!
It was found in what looks like a residential neighborhood close to the Sam’s Town Casino. I don’t think Metro asked around to any of the houses, but who knows. Maybe they did. IF they did, no one mentioned it to us. Anyhoo…Before we could get to it, the World’s Greatest RV was towed. At first we were upset, but it turns out that it is a LOT safer in the tow yard than it is anywhere else. The lot has barbed wire, electric fences, and 24/7 security. It LOOKS like RV jail, but it should be safe there.
So, we rallied ourselves together, and headed down to the tow yard to assess the damage. We were honored to have Michael Burton of Action News Las Vegas on scene with us, covering our story! Michael and his crew mate (who was amazingly nice, but we don’t remember his name) did a very good story on our blight for the evening news. It didn’t really have the happy ending they, or we, were hoping for.
Seeing the RV was terrifying, wonderful, and nerve-wracking. Going inside was sickening. Violating. We felt/feel defiled. Our home was destroyed. You hear about places getting “tossed,” but until you see it for yourself, you don’t really get the devastation. Every drawer was pulled out and emptied. Every cabinet thrown open. Literally thrown, some of the hinges were pulled off. What little furniture there was, was literally thrown around. A stranger, a “Bad Guy” literally touched, and destroyed everything we own. Most of the stuff was taken. Again, you hear anything not nailed down and don’t think about it, until you realize that most of the stuff wasn’t nailed down. If the couch wasn’t literally bolted to the floor, it probably would have been taken, too. Which would haven been fine, it’s not a comfortable couch.
A lot of the stuff we expected to be gone. The 400 DVD’s and Blu-Rays. The 100 or so video games. The PS2, PS3, and PS4, and original Nintendo were, of course, taken. The flat screen TV’s (the 32″, and the backup little 12″). Our printer/scanner/all in one fancy thingy was taken. Obviously, it was a fancy thingy. Jokes on them! That thing is nasty to connect to! HA! Take THAT BAD GUYS! *ahem* Anyway. They took our fancy new pots and pans that we had used only once. It was our first ever “big kid” set of pots and pans. They took dishes. They took shoes. Clothes. Our ottoman from Amazon. ALL of my fly-fishing stuff (four fly rods, some Abel fly reels ((one that was engraved with Saucy G’s name, and info from when she was on the Junior USA Fly Fishing Team)), flies – some that G’s Old Man had tied. They tossed books. They turned over the medicine cabinet. Everything was defiled.
Even the “tile” backsplash was ripped off!
Ripped cords out of the wall.
What’s this? Not worth anything? Let’s throw it on the floor and walk on it then
Our tiny bedroom trashed
Even cat beds were stolen. CAT BEDS!
The most heartbreaking, gut wrenching, disgusting part is that they torn open and ransacked our parents.
There were seven urns in the RV. Why? Why so many ashes? That seems morbid. Well. G’s great grandparents passed, and their ashes went to G’s grandparents. Then they passed before the ashes could be spread. The ashes went to G’s mother.
She was diagnosed with cancer, and passed before she could spread them. The ashes of five people were then passed to Saucy G to spread them.
She has her great grandparents, grandparents, her mother, and her cat, Secret Agent Sam. Awesome K has his father’s ashes.
One of our stops was to spread them in Catalina, CA, and Reno, NV. Looks like some of them are stuck in Vegas. Maybe some ashes got on the Bad Guys, and it freaked them out. Maybe now they will be haunted by a VERY angry Marine. Who knows? Mostly it hurts because we know they were looking for valuables, and the urns are boxes, but the urns are also clearly marked with their names, and their death dates. Now they are all over the RV.
The Bad Guys stole our home. They tossed it. They took everything we own (even some souvenirs, like crushed pennies from each of our stops), and what they didn’t take, they destroyed. The police treated this as a stolen vehicle, not as a robbed home. It’s true, it is a vehicle, but it was our lives. Our goals. Our dreams. Our family. Everything.
So here we are. We are staying at Bally’s until Saturday, then we don’t know where we are going. Next week is the 4th of July, which is a huge holiday. We won’t be able to be in the RV, so we have to find a place to stay in Vegas. We would take the RV, but the window was smashed, the ignition trashed, and who knows what else was damaged. We aren’t sure it is even driveable, and if it IS drivable it isn’t safe until we get things repaired. Even AFTER it is fixed, it still feels…wrong. Someone was in our home. Someone touched all our things. They sized us up and took what they wanted. They destroyed what they didn’t want and they destroyed our sense of safety; our sense of trust. People talk about feeling fear when they enter their home after it was robbed, and we feel fear. What if it happens again? What happened while they had it? There is so much uncertainty. There is so much missing. For goodness sakes they took socks. SOCKS!
So that is where we are at. Insurance probably can’t cover the thousands and thousands of dollars (roughly 40k) worth of missing things. No one can replace the urns and the missing bits of our parents.
We will figure out what to do next, and keep you updated. Thank you for sticking with us, and for helping us getting our home back. Hopefully the Bad Guy gets caught, but we doubt it. This guy seemed to be a pro, or ballsy. He took our home at 10:45am. Either way.
So here we are. In shock. Tired. Confused. But we are safe. The Mews are safe (they even took the cat beds. CAT BEDS! WHO DOES THAT?!). For now we will wash the clothes we have, put some food in our bellies, and be thankful that no one was hurt.
This is a High Card. They say they worst hand is poker is 7, 2, two different suits. This is that hand. If there could be a worse hand, this would be it.
Thank you again to everyone who shared our story! You got our RV BACK! You got our story out there. Without you, we wouldn’t have even gotten our home back. Thank you. We are humbled and honored to be a part of such a wonderful community of people. Thank you for the love and support. We love you, too.
Our very first Official Full Timing Stop was the Cripple Creek KOA in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
I don’t think there is a way to convey just how much we loved it! We ended up added a day to our stay, because the park was so nice. Now granted, we had literally nothing to compare it too, but still. It was lovely. The views from the “Worlds Highest KOA” are incredible to say the least. Coming from Denver/Lakewood we had some pretty great views, but nothing really compares to being at 10,000 feet. The lack of “light pollution” was incredible! It was the first time anyone on the team had seen stars in ages! The evenings were cool, almost chilly, which was a delight for the middle of June, and the temperature during the day was very pleasant.
In addition to having not seen stars in ages, it had also been ages since Saucy G was up a mountain, so to speak. She grew up at 7,000 feet, but had been in the city for too long. Luckily no one got sick, but it definitely winded us whenever we did anything active.
*Adventure Tip: When heading to higher elevations, remember to drink LOTS of water! It is very easy to get dehydrated when the air is thin, and dehydration can lead to nausea, dizziness, and worse. Please remember to also take it easy on yourself when out and about! Your body is being starved for oxygen, so don’t feel bad about taking breaks to catch your breath. If you DO get sick (such as headache, exhaustion, sick to your stomach, etc.) be sure to keep warm, try some Tylenol for a headache, hydrate, rest, relax, and you should be ok. If you still feel gross (like a bad hangover) see a doctor, get some oxygen, or go to a lower altitude. Altitude Sickness sucks. Dying from it sucks worse, so keep an eye on yourself and your adventure mates.
Being our first ever stop, we had really no idea what we were doing. Sure, we had read all the forums, and watched all the videos, but having never done any of it ourselves, we were a little (a lot) nervous. Luckily, we happened to meet Tom from KOA! He was AMAZING! Not only did he answer a barrage of questions, he also took the time to come to our site and show us a few things. He also introduced us to a couple of other full timers (who, conveniently, were parked behind us, and next to us), just in case we had more questions. In hindsight, they MIGHT have placed us there on purpose, closer to other full-timers, so we wouldn’t be adrift in a sea of unknowing. If that was the case, we have Tom to thank for that, too. Everyone was SO NICE! Our neighbors across the way checked in on us, without making it look like they were checking in on us, a couple of times throughout each day. It was really comforting to know we weren’t alone, and it was nice to meet other full timers so quickly! Little did we know that you sneaky RVers are EVERYWHERE! Which is awesome.
What else was there than the amazing KOA you ask? Did we do anything other than revel in our awesomeness of being on the road? Why yes, yes we did.
Cripple Creek was the site of a great “salting” hoax (adding gold to soil to make it look rich), and was primarily used as a pasture after that. Then BAM! Actual wonderful gold was found, and the town became a mining town, as so many were once upon a time. It was a rough and tumble mountain town, with taverns, a brothel, and gold in them thar hills. So much gold, in fact, that the mountains near Cripple Creek are still being mined for gold today! Cripple Creek was the location of the famous “independence load,” one of the largest gold strikes in history!
Saucy G wanted to try panning for gold, but since we didn’t know the laws, and if it was restricted or not, we decided against panning. Instead we hunted down riches in a way we are familiar with, POKER!
In addition to being a town filled with history, mining tours, and a super sweet train ride, Cripple Creek is also one of two gambling towns in Colorado. On the main street through the city, you can find casinos on either side, boasting slots, table games, and our favorite – poker. If you are looking for a poker game, we highly recommend the Midnight Rose. There is a current high hand promotion, a bad beat, and they offer tournaments on a regular basis. Once in a while they will have a promotion where if you play a certain amount of hours (three? It might be three. You should check for yourself just in case) you get comped a room for the night That’s a sweet deal, if you ask us.
Awesome K and Saucy G both sat at the tables, and got some action. We found that it was like stepping into a house game, everyone knew everyone, and everyone played basically the same hands. If you can figure out what the hands are, you are in good shape to make a decent amount of money. What hands are they? That is something you get to find out for yourself! No need to give away ALL the secrets here! The slots are a lot of fun, too. There are pretty much all the games you could want (Saucy G is partial to Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Wonka (surprise surprise, she’s a nerd)), and the table games are all available. Awesome K loves nothing more than finding an empty craps table, and he was lucky enough to find one. A couple monies ahead later, and we were feeling pretty good about our trip.
On our last night in Cripple Creek, we headed down to the “Down Under” buffet, which Saucy G thought was clever because it is literally down under one of the casinos (the Midnight Rose). It was a nice spread, lots of fresh and good looking choices. In addition to the normal buffet fare, there were crab legs, a prime rib station, and a fresh pasta station! The pasta station was a wee busy, which is to be expected if you ask us. Pasta = delicious. (Pasta also = carbs = fat = sad face. Little known fact, though, when you eat pasta at a casino, the carbs don’t count. THEY. DON’T. COUNT), so Saucy G wandered off When she came back, the poor lady running the station was still overwhelmed, but was nice enough to talk Saucy G through the pasta process. Becoming overwhelmed herself, G asked the Pasta Lady to “make her favorite.” Happy that pasta was in the meal forecast, G went back to the table to nom some prime rib. After a while (who knows how long, one does not count time when waiting for fresh foodstuffs in a casino), the pasta was delivered. A tip was given (of course, because anyone who makes your food and/or delivers your food deserves a tip. They make pennies, so you should give them dollars), the Pasta Lady was thanked profusely for the food, and the pasta was admired. For a brief moment. Then it was devoured. DEVOURED. It was SO GOOD! Fresh spinach, delicious bacon, green peas, onions, white sauce, what isn’t there to love?
Little did we know, poor Pasta Lady had had a heck of an evening. People were rude to her, some were down right mean. She was working as fast as she could with her two little skillets, but deliciousness takes time. Something some people forgot, apparently. Kindness was non-existent in her evening. Which is unfortunate.
Saucy Rant: Though you are the center of your universe, you are not the center of everyone else’s. Sometimes things take time and patience. I know you are hungry. You had a bad beat at the poker table. The slots took all your money. Your sweetheart nagged you, and work sucks. Or perhaps it is the opposite. Perhaps the world is the mollusk of your choice, and you are very important! Very busy, much to do. NOTHING excuses nasty behavior to others. Perhaps the food is too salty, then you kindly, and preferably without making a scene, mention that the food might be a bit salty. I bet the person cooking it would make you something more to your liking. Perhaps your food took a while to get to you. What you might not have noticed is that there were four or five people who ordered ahead of you, and even though the station looks empty of customers now, there is actually a backlog of orders. You do not need to berate the person cooking the food. The world can be a hard place to handle. Please don’t make it harder by taking your frustrations out on another life. A little patience, and kindness, can go a LONG way. “Be Excellent to Each Other.” /end rant
We made it a point to let our server know just how much we enjoyed our dinner, especially the pasta, in hopes that maybe he would relay it to her, and boost her evening a bit. Awesome K has many years of experience in the food industry, and he understands just how rough it can get, so we wanted to let her know she was appreciated. Luckily our server happened to be the manager! He let the Pasta Lady know how we felt, and he relayed to us that it “made her night.” Which, in turn, made ours.
So, if you happen to head to the Midnight Rose, and you go to the Down Under Buffet, tell the Pasta Lady we said hello, and be sure to try her incredible dishes. Even though it might take a bit, it is well worth the wait. Say hi to Jon for us, too! He is a pretty darned good manager, and a heck of a server (he will recommend the cheesecake to you. DO NOT TURN IT DOWN! SOOOoooooooOOOOoooo Good! Remember, also, a little kindness can go a long way, especially for the people who prepare and serve your food.
All in all, it was a pretty epic way to start our RV adventures!
Cripple Creek KOA: QUADS – Tom and everyone there was absolutely wonderful. The site was level, the views were amazing, the price was right, and it is close to adventure while still giving you enough distance for a quiet, star filled night.
Midnight Rose Poker Room and Casino: Full House. Sally is probably one of the best dealers around. She is knowledgeable, keeps the game going, and is fun. There is usually some action, and decent tournaments. Table side food and drink service.
Down Under Buffet: Full House. The food was good. The buffet was fresh. The Pasta Lady is awesome – her creations are worth the wait. There can be a bit of a wait, but such is life. We went on a Friday night, so the prices were weekend prices. Service was excellent, and the cheesecake was marvelous.
Cripple Creek Adventure: Quads. We will definitely be back, next time we cruise through Colorado, and we HIGHLY recommend that you check it out. Whether you enjoy gambling, hiking (which there is a TON OF), history (there are a couple of cool little museums, a train ride tour, and an underground mining tour), a not-to-be-missed playhouse, or just getting away from it all, Cripple Creek is an excellent choice. Of course we love the KOA, but if you are not RVing, or want a break from your house on wheels, we also highly recommend the Midnight Rose hotel. We have stayed there in the past, and were pleasantly surprised – AND you might be able to get your room for free if you play enough poker! Be sure to check with the poker desk for details and current promotions.
*- We are not at all licensed medical people. DO NOT take what we say as official medical advice. We speak from experience, and a Google search of WebMD. If you feel ill, or have questions, please consult a licensed physician. We cannot be held liable for any medical, mental, financial, or otherwise unnoted…um…stuff. So. You’ve been warned. Seek a professional.
(None of the pictures in this post were the work of the AwesomeSauce Team)
Sitting in an (almost) empty house. The Worlds Greatest RV, Trailer, and Smart Car are on the street, (almost) ready to go.
It is such a strange feeling! Being so ready to hit the road we could burst, while at the same time being so terrified we could feel sick. Terror, Jubilation, Anxiety, Excitement! It’s such a mix of emotions!
Tomorrow is it. We hit the road. Two people, three cats, probably too much stuff, and a lot of hope. Hope that the adventure is as amazing as we have been dreaming it could be. Hope that the engine doesn’t fall out of the RV. Hope that the cats don’t explode. Hope that we can actually do this. Thankfully we have found some AMAZING people on forums, which have given us a lot of encouragement. That, and the planning planning planning, we should at least last a week or two. Probably longer. Hopefully a lot longer.
Matilda Pants and Archer Funnyfoot couldn’t be more ready. Matilda has been planning this adventure for years, and she can’t wait to get it started. Archer just wants to go where Awesome K goes. Lana, on the other hand, is nonplussed. I have a feeling Awesome K and I won’t be sleeping tonight. In a lot of ways, this is the night before Christmas. You know you should sleep, but you can’t because tomorrow is filled with wonder and delight, and you can’t wait to see it.
So. For now we will get ourselves ready for the morning, and try to get some sleep tonight.
This whole “let’s buy an RV and hit the road for the adventure of a lifetime” thing has been quite the undertaking. I mean, duh, right? It’s a total 180 from the life we’ve been living; a lifestyle change from top to bottom. But, man, nobody can prepare you for what you actually go through.
Buy an RV
Remodel RV to our liking
Hit the road
Seems pretty simple, right? Here’s how it actually went down:
Buy an RV. Oh, you mean this RV? Well, this one doesn’t actually have an engine that works, but it’s right in your price range. How about this one? It has 150,000 miles and the oil’s never been changed. This one? It’s seven feet shorter than what you want. That one? That’s a van. How about over there? It’s the right length, has the right mileage, but it’s double what you want to spend. And this one? It’s got a leaky roof, but the toilet works like a charm. Fine, what about that one? The dinette was replaced by a bunk bed made for a 4-year old, every nook and cranny is filled with moth balls that have been there for two months, the dome over the shower isn’t finished, and the back-up camera has been removed. Perfect, we’ll take it!
Remodel RV to our liking. Sure, not a problem we’ll just get you on the schedule and the work should be done in about two days. Oh, wait, sorry, I meant to say two plus two plus two days. There are your solar panels and there are your new batteries and they’re hooked up to the inverter and the watts and the amps and the volts should all work, okay, see you, bye. Was that English? The interior painting you want done? Well, because the other work took two plus two plus two days, the painting will have to be rescheduled, and now it’ll take four days instead of three. Okay, that’s fine, we’ll just do some light handy work in the meantime. I mean, no we won’t because we don’t know what we want to do until we start moving in and we can’t start moving in until the painting is done.
Fine, fine. Let’s investigate alternate modes of transportation so we don’t have to drive the rig into major metropolitan areas. Bikes! Won’t it be wonderful to be able to bike the trails in Yellowstone? We can put a basket on the front for groceries. What if we want to drive Going-To-The-Sun Road? It’s 50 miles and two lanes. How about a scooter? Do they have two person scooters? Not in your price range. Do they have trailers for scooters? They’re all too heavy. Besides, what if it’s raining and we have to go to the store? Alright, let’s look at cars. Too big, too heavy. SmartCar! You really don’t want to pull that behind with all four wheels on the ground. You really don’t want to tow that with only two wheels on the ground. Let’s get a trailer! Sure, you can get a trailer made for a SmartCar…if you live in Europe. Found one! Yes, we custom made this trailer for a SmartCar, but we didn’t put any d-rings on it for tire straps, but you should be able to just drill a hole and install them yourself. Oh, and we used a 7-pin plug on this and you’ll need a brake controller.
The painting is done and looks amazing! Sweet, lets start moving in. Well, now that you need to get the hitch on your rig re-wired, maybe you don’t move all the way in, because where will you sleep?
Cool, let’s start figuring out how things work. Look, RV forums on the interwebs! We’re saved! “Make sure you have some water in your black tank so sticky stuff doesn’t stay sticky.” Ok, how much water should we put in our black tank? “Make sure you have some water in your black tank so sticky stuff doesn’t stay sticky.” Thanks, we got that part, but how much water? A cup? A gallon? Should we just leave the hose permanently attached? “Make sure you have some water in your black-” Never mind! How about pets? Do any of you have pets and utilize pet tracking devices? “I can’t condone you letting your pets run about freely outside, especially since they’re cats.” We aren’t thinking of letting them run about freely outside. “Because if you let them out they could get eaten by predators.” We know, we’re thinking about tracking devices JUST IN CASE they happen to get outside. Do you have any suggestions? “Oh, I don’t have any pets.”
Uh-oh, our permit for parking on the street is about to expire. Let me just email and ask for an extension. No response. I’ll call and talk to the guy. Voicemail. Voicemail. Voicemail.
Hit the road. Results pending…..
And now here we are. We were supposed to leave today. We were moments away from starting this adventure. But moments have turned into more moments which have snowballed into more moments. These aren’t the moments we were looking for.
We want sunrises through the trees and sunsets over an ocean. We want roadside attractions and festivals and Christmas on a beach. We’re pretty sure we’ll get there. I mean, we’ve sold a condo and bought an RV, so what choice do we have? We knew going into this there would be frustrations, but we also thought we’d encounter them on the road, not while sitting in a living room staring at our rig that’s parked on the street.
Deep breath. Everything will be okay. And if something goes wrong, we’ll deal with it. Because that’s what we’ve so far and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
Everyone has something they wish they could be doing.
A dream, a passion, a something other than this.
If you are on social media at all, and I have to assume you are because, well, here you are, undoubtedly you have seen some of those inspirational pictures flying around.
Or something along those lines.
I have always felt there was more to life than what I was seeing. Once upon a time, a baby G-Sauce would break free from the confines and constraints of life, and would escape on epic adventures. Some called it “running away,” others called it “reckless,” and still others called the cops on the toddler waddling down the road towards unknown adventure. I just knew there was more to see, more to do, more to smell, more to touch, more of everything than the everyday. Well, baby G-Sauce didn’t think of it in so many terms, it was more of “I want to go out!”
In the past, I have had a few times to “go out” on adventures. Life changing adventures, scary adventures, and even one or two that were sort of meh – but at least they were adventures. A lot of the adventures I went on, I went on with my “Old Man,” my Grandfather Pete Parker (yes my Grandfather was Spider Man, but more on my super hero lineage in another post). He and I traveled everywhere, and most of the time it was in an old ’76 Dodge RV. He called it the “Parker Princess.” If we were ever wondering where he was, it was always “spending time with the Princess.” I also spent a lot of time with the “Princess,” even when we weren’t on the road. I would just sit in the tiny dining room (that could convert into a big bed), and daydream about adventure. Where I would go. What I would do. How I would just live in the RV with a couple of cats and see all the things.
Eventually we had to sell the RV, and that broke my heart. I was positive that the “Princess” would be in my life forever, and that she and I would hit the road someday. I vowed that I would own my own RV, and that we would hit the road together. I had already plotted where I wanted to go first, how I was going to survive on the road (you’re looking at it), and how long I was going to run away for (forever). It started to feel like it was only ever going to be a dream, I had no idea how I was going to accomplish it! I had bills to pay, and cats to feed, and no way of getting out.
Little did I know, there was a man out there that wanted exactly what I wanted (well, almost)! Awesome K had been dreaming the same dreams I had been dreaming! All he wanted to do was to get an RV, travel the country, and write about his adventures. He was going to see every baseball stadium (including minor league), he was going to see weird stuff, he was going to see all the things! Taste all the tastes! Smell all the smells! He was going to go on all the adventures! He had already been on some sweet adventures, but like me, had a need and a dream for more. Like me, though, he also didn’t know how to get out.
Awesome K, Alligator Wrangler
Such a softie
Years went by. Work happened, then didn’t happen, then happened again. People came and went. There was loss, a lot of loss. All the while we each dreamed of an RV and our eventual adventures.
Awesome K calls it Serendipity, I call it luck and a push from the universe, but whatever it was, we finally found each other! (cue the Aww Track) In addition to finding out that we were perfect for each other (Aww), we also found out that we had been dreaming the same dream! Wishing the same wish! Hoping the same….well, you get it.
Together, we set out to make it happen. We plotted, planned, saved all our pennies, assembled the most awesome team known to man, made some magic happen, had a little (a lot) of help from friends and family, and then…
WE BOUGHT AN RV!
Honestly, there was a lot more work than two sentences, but that’s beyond the point (and probably a different blog post altogether). The point is, it’s happening. It’s actually happening!
This is so exciting, and terrifying, and awesome, and weird, and and and…
There is so much to do! So much to share! SO MUCH AWESOME!
Too much awesome for one post, actually. So, stayed tuned! There is A LOT happening, and a lot more to come!
Awesome K and I were looking for something to watch. It was one of the rare nights we were home with nothing to do, and thought that loafing on the couch sounded like the best idea. So, we perused the usual places, Netflix, our DVR, and our extensive movie shelf. Nothing. Nada. Zilcho. What were we to do? Just then, A.K remembered a show he had seen, and loved. HBO’s Deadwood! I was skeptical, Westerns have never been a favorite of mine, but he was so enthusiastic, I couldn’t say no!
After a couple of episodes, I was hooked. Even though the show was not filmed on location, it was still filled with snippits of history. The death of Wild Bill Hickok! Calamity Jane! And, of course, Seth Bullock. Seth happens to be my favorite, by the way. Not just the character on the show, but the man himself. Mr. Bullock has such an interesting story! Last, but not least, the infamous Al Swearengen! Mr. Swearengen is particularly interesting, because there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot known about him, and we all know how much I love a mystery! So, after watching the show for a little bit, I started to research the real Deadwood, South Dakota.
One thing led to another, and we decided we needed to see this piece of the wild west for ourselves. It just so happens that they have some casinos there, so not only could we get a rich lesson in history, we could also play some poker! A perfect combination! We were also able to find a brewery the A.K had heard about, so we knew this was the next adventure for us. We left for Deadwood on a Saturday morning, with me behind the wheel. We stopped for our (my) obligatory road Starbucks, then we were off!
We made a couple of minor pit-stops on our way to our first real stop in Rapid City, S.D. We stopped to see if we could see the Oregon Trail – as all the signs said we could – but we were unsuccessful. We drove around a little bit trying to find some of it, but quickly gave up. While it would have been neat to see, it was not our main focus. We had a brewery to get to! Onward!
Our first stop on our Deadwood Adventure was in Rapid City, S.D. To some this may not seem like a very exciting destination, but we couldn’t wait to get there. A.K had heard of a brewery there that had some pretty amazing food and brews, and I couldn’t wait to see it because of the growlers they sell! I had been saving my pennies in order to buy one of these magnificent beer vessels, and I was not disappointed. The Firehouse Brewing Company in Rapid City was everything we hoped it would be, and more!
After filling up on food, beer, and hilarity, we hit the road. Rumor had it that it was going to snow, and snow a lot, so we had to hustle to Deadwood. An ominous sky hung over us while we scurried through Sturgis, and we made it to our hotel just as the first flakes began to fall. We arrived at Cadillac Jack’s Hotel and Casino just in time! Situated just outside of the main stretch, Cadillac Jack’s is a great place to stay. Comfortable, great gaming options, nice rooms, and you have two different hotels to choose from! Both are connected to the casino, so no matter what side of the house you stay on, you are still close to the games. We stayed in in the Cadillac Jack’s rooms, as opposed to the Marriott, and were very impressed. The room was very large, comfortable, and VERY affordable. If you are looking for a reasonable place to stay, I would check them out. If you are in it for the history, though, I might look at staying on Main Street. ((A handy tip when looking for a room, try Hotels.com. We have found incredible rates on a number of our adventures, but especially to Deadwood. If you have a specific hotel in mind, check their website, and especially their Facebook page. Often hotels will advertise special rates and deals on Facebook. If all else fails, call them and ask for a discount, especially if it during their “off season.”)) We settled into our room after a painless check in, then hit the casino! I have spent a fair amount of time in casinos, especially lately, and I have to say that I really enjoyed Cadillac Jack’s. Everything was spaced out nicely so that nothing felt cramped or scary, there was a good variety of games, and there were two separate areas dedicated to table games, one for poker only, and the other for Black Jack and what-not. The poker room seemed a little small, but I am used to the Ameristar that has a TON of tables, it seems, so seeing only a couple of tables seemed small to me. There was at least one table open for a cash game, though, and there was a rumor of some decent daily tournaments. We headed off to check out the slot machines and other table games, and to just relax after our drive.
The next morning we stepped outside to a mini Snow-pocalypse. The dreaded blizzard was in full force, and there was no going anywhere. While we were a little bummed, we made the best of it by checking out the previously mentioned poker tournament. A.K has played in tournaments before, and has even played at the World Series of Poker (a couple of times), I, however, had no tournament experience (other than video games). Needless to say I was a little nervous, and A.K was calm, cool, and ready to kick Deadwood booty! For my first ever live tournament, it was pretty stress free. The buy-in was only $13, with a $5 re-buy, so I didn’t need to worry that I was going to lose all our money in my first “big game.” Even with the blizzard, there ended up being a decent turn-out, with two full tables of players. Everyone playing seemed really nice (and obviously everyone knew one another, small town and all), and the game itself was pretty low key and fun. I didn’t do all that well, but I can say I was not the first knocked out, which is nice. A.K was a different story, however. He was ON FIRE! That little poker room didn’t know what hit it! Well, maybe not quite that dramatic…First he was doing well, then he made it to the final table, he made it “to the money”, then he ended up winning the tournament, winning $177! I was pretty impressed (although I know he is a phenomenal poker player), and I think everyone else was pretty impressed, too. Way to kick butt A.K!
Luck was definitely on our side that afternoon. After A.K won the tournament, we checked the weather outside and it had let up! There was even a little trolley running! We would get to see some of Deadwood after all! YAY! We bundled up and headed out.
We decided to take the super cool trolley to upper Main Street, and walk back down. Deadwood is not a very big town, and when the weather is nice it would be easy to walk pretty much the whole place. If you wanted to, you could ride the trolley in a large loop around the town, and pick and choose where to get off at. There are multiple stops on the route, and the trolley runs into the wee hours of the night, so if you change your mind about all the walking, you can hop on the trolley to get you where you wanted to go. On our trip, we almost didn’t make it up the street, the roads were slick and the snow was pretty deep in some places. Luckily our trolley was pretty tough, and we made it to our stop.
We started meandering down Main Street, looking in at all the cool little shops and what-nots. There is so much history crammed into such a small town, I was afraid we would miss something! Luckily there are placards all over the place letting you know who was here, how something happened, and where you were standing. It was nice to see all the information was readily available. Despite some places were closed due to weather, or it being the wrong day of the week (turns out Monday’s are pretty dead, so bare that in mind. It’s always good to find out in advance what days most places are closed, if Monday’s are their off days, or Wednesdays. Be sure to plan ahead!), we were still able to see a lot of the things we had hoped for. One of our first stops was to check out the Historic Bullock Hotel. Built by Seth Bullock, it was originally a warehouse and (I think) hardware store. After a fire burnt down the warehouse, Seth built his hotel on the same site. While we were checking out the gorgeous hotel, we learned that Bullock was the father of two daughters and a son (nothing like the show said of his family), longtime friends with Teddy Roosevelt, and was appointed the first forest supervisor by Roosevelt, in addition to being Sheriff, and entrepreneur. We learned that Seth may even haunt his hotel, and that one of his favorite spots is the grand fireplace on the first level. It was said to be a favorite of his in life, and apparently still loves it after his death.
After checking out some more of the buildings around town, we headed toward the infamous Gem Saloon! The Gem Steakhouse and Saloon is now part of the Mineral Palace Hotel and Gaming, with the Gem as a restaurant on the second floor. On the site of the original Gem, built and run by the notorious Al Swearengen, the Gem Steakhouse and Saloon is a great place to stop and get a bite to eat. The prices are reasonable, with the menu following the Deadwood (show) theme. You can order the (Dan) Dority Black and Bleu Steak, Mr. Woo’s Pork Ribs, or Merrick’s Ribeye. They also offer Calamity Jane’s chicken and Joanie Stubbs Grilled Swordfish. I had the black and bleu, and A.K tried the garlic ribeye. Both were delicious, and well worth the stop.
One of the places we were really hoping to see, and didn’t get to because of the weather, was Mount Moriah Cemetery, the final resting place for Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Seth Bullock, and a few other famous Deadwood residents. The snow was too nasty, unfortunately. If you are planning on going, make sure you wear good walking shoes, and plan for at least half an hour of looking around. We heard it is a bit of a hike to see Seth Bullock’s grave, so keep that in mind when planning your visit to the cemetery. Wild Bill and Calamity Jane are pretty easy to check out, we heard.
We walked back to our hotel and reveled in the little bit of history we were able to take in on that snowy Monday afternoon. While we didn’t get to see and do everything we had planned on, it was still a lot of fun to traipse through a snowy Deadwood.
The next morning, before heading back to AwesomeSauce Headquarters, we decided to try and check out the Adams Museum. It was closed the day before, which was a bummer, and we wanted to try to see it before we left. We were in luck as they were open and ready for visitors, so on our way out of town we made one last Deadwood stop. When you go to Deadwood, this is a must see location! While it looks small from the outside, the three level museum is packed to the gills with Deadwood history and items, as well as some rare and unusual items from all over! There was a whole section dedicated to Wild Bill and Calamity Jane, which was really neat to see. It contained Hickok’s last letter to his wife (that they read on the HBO show), memorabilia from his show days, clothes, and so much more! We learned a lot more about Calamity Jane’s past, the woman who claimed to be her daughter (which turned out to be untrue), and were able to get a better idea of who the wild woman was. There was also a neat section in the museum dedicated to the Jewish founders, and the Chinese population of Deadwood. One of my favorite sections was the oddities section, with the not-to-be-missed two headed calf!
On the upper floor you can learn about the town’s history. Fires! Gambling! Brothels! Read the headlines from original newspapers, and learn all there is to know of Deadwood’s beginnings, and almost ends. There is also an area with some of the most intricate and beautifully wooden furniture! In the basement you find out more about the first schools, and how it was to be a learning child in a lawless town.
After a wonderful morning spent in a great little museum, we had to head home. Driving out we noticed a lot of land for sale, and “joked” about when we win the World Series of Poker, maybe we would buy some land and build a house in the Black Hills. It is a gorgeous area, and it would be easy to move in and relax. Maybe pan for gold in the streams while enjoying quiet nights with the stars, trees, and wildlife for company. Sounds pretty nice, when you think about it.
All in all it was a very fun adventure! I highly recommend going to Deadwood, via Rapid City. We are going to go back sometime when the weather is nice, and hopefully see more of what Deadwood has to offer. We might even try to make it to the town of Wall, and check out the Wall Drug store we saw so many signs for!
Thank you for joining us on our adventure! Is there someplace we missed that you think we should go? Want more information about one of our stops? Got a spot we should go on our next adventure? Tell us about it!
This post brought to you by G-Sauce. G-Sauce is a member of the AwesomeSauce Duo, and author in the Are You Ready? blog series. She works closely with the AwesomeSauce Duo P.R Manager – and Mews – Sir Archer Funnyfoot, with the Trip Coordinator – and Mews – Miss Matilda Pants, and with the Head of Logistics – and Mews – Secret Agent Sam. She loves a good cup of coffee, enjoys reading, and has a soft spot for all things nerdy.