Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Morning Fire

While enjoying our first cup of coffee, we began hearing some commotion outside…a rig was on fire. The police were there in a minute, but the fire department was a long wait for them to get there. The smoke changed from white, then gray, then black, then the flames when the fire department finally came on the scene. Neighbors moved their rigs and vehicles away from the flaming one, while others turned their hoses onto the area. The owners, we soon found out were not in their rig, instead, she had taken her husband to the hospital earlier.

When something like this happens, first, thankful there was nobody in it, then the gratefulness that it was not us rushes through my body, then the inquisitiveness of wondering if somehow this could have been avoided and what is it that we can do to prevent this from happening to our rig. All of these thoughts and more rush through our thoughts and we again are grateful for all we do have.

Then other thoughts begin to trickle in, being true to yourself…something we continue to work on. We still have it in our heads that we have to please everyone else and do what would make us look good in others opinions which changes who we are. So this is still an issue with us but something we are becoming much more comfortable in doing more everyday.

This morning was one of those times, my first response about things like the events this morning is to grab my cameras and begin snapping shots and videoing. Instead, I felt as if it was the wrong thing to do, I did get some video in but my forte is still shots and I allowed my thinking to stink up my thoughts. Anyway, I did get some photos but the point I was making was that before I could take them, I had to go a few rounds with my always fighting inner dialogue. There are times, I wish I could get out of my own head and just live my life the way I truly want to and stop worrying over what others think.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Can We Do When We Are Ripped-Off?

Spread the word!

Never take a taxi from Laughlin, Nevada to Bullhead City, Arizona, instead call an Arizona cab to take you across the border. We are staying at a resort in Bullhead City and took a cab, which is less than a mile to the Laughlin side, the charge was $3.30 plus a $2 tip, totaled $5.30. Later that day, we hailed a cab from the exact location but it was a Nevada taxi and the total was $8.90. While we were waiting…yes, waiting at a light the meter ran over $1.20 additionally. We were appalled and tried to explain this to the driver, but he became belligerent instead. Needless to say, no tip for this taxi driver.

Why is it that he felt it was okay to double charge us? He felt justified and how is that so? How is it that he then became angry at us when he was leaving? He continued to sit there as we began to walk to our site, we were approached by a guest and asked about our cab ride and we began to advise them not to use this particular cab company and he felt it was okay to come and try to stop what we were saying. He became very rude, saying some very nasty things. Of course as much as I feel I have grown, there are times when I haven’t grown at all. As he became more and more irate, screaming out of his taxi some really outrageous words, I lost it and flipped him off. Something I have not done in so many years and can’t justify that reaction but will let it go and move forward.

Then…I received an email today regarding the biggest rip-off that happened a few months ago to us. Someone who was working for that same company has come into some real problems with them. The couple that owned the website business had undergone some major issues. They lost their home and had not been paying the employees that were hired around the time we began work with them. These employees also learned that even though they had been taking out taxes on their paychecks they did receive, they did not pay IRS. Also, they apparently stole a RV, the story is that they were offered to drive a RV to a location and was to arrive on March 4th, but has not been heard from since.

For sure they are in deeper trouble then we could have ever imagined and we are very grateful for only losing out on 20 hours of pay but it just irks me that they can and do continue to screw with people and get away with it. I really tried to warn people, I wrote so many letters and plastered them on the internet anywhere I could but some folks just think that it won’t happen to them…but it does. I know that people can change and I always try to give a person the benefit of the doubt but really now, if they won’t even admit they have a problem, do you really think someone can change?

Again, let me reiterate this company, it is azcarsandtrucks.com, the owners are Jim Scarmozzino & Kim Harper-Scarmozzino. They are not to be trusted and do not say what they mean nor mean what they say. Please…please…please…be very careful when dealing with these people, they are very shady characters and it will cost you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

When Nothing Goes Right…Go Left!

This phrase caught my attention the other day, it is so inspiring, soulful and fits us so perfectly. Living this lifestyle has changed our lives forever, we are no longer the same people we were five years ago. We have grown so much and continue to learn and grow daily.

We had a wonderful vacation…funny how that always sounds weird for us since in all reality, we are always on vacation now living this lifestyle. A four night stay at the Venetian in Las Vegas included a suite with all the amenities. The suite was huge, bigger than some of the apartments we have lived in and definitely much bigger than our RV. We were able to do a few things that living in a RV fulltime limits, we took full advantage of this and enjoyed it immensely.  The service was exceptional, everyone went out of their way to make sure we were well taken care of, as it was the last time we visited.

One of the things we weren’t comfortable with was being on the 23rd floor during an intense wind and thunderstorm. It was very unnerving and even though it was on our last evening there where we had planned to stay in and rest, we chose after hearing the wind howling through the window and vents to go down to the casino and play a little.

This ended up being the best call ever, we hit a jackpot that returned all of the money we spent for the entire stay, including dinners, gambling and all recreation.

We also need to remember to pay attention to the time of the year. Living this lifestyle we have a tendancy to forget about holidays or weekends or Spring Break as it turned out to be. Young college kids everywhere, partying to all hours of the night…loudly. A good night’s sleep was not easy to achieve, we missed our home, as humble as it is, it is still our home and it feels right.

We walked down Las Vegas Blvd to the Riviera, Circus Circus, and Slots-A-Fun...what a difference just a few blocks makes.  This area was junky, dumpy and we were grateful we did not head that way at night, it would have been even worse.  The service from every person we came in contact with down in that area was such a big difference then the other areas.

The only thing the Bellagio offered was the spectacular Fountains.  Otherwise, our experience was terrible. Jerry never had a card before so we signed up and he was going to receive a $10 slot play, but when we went to turn in our temporary card, they claimed he already had a card which he did not, it was showing up because the lady that signed us up had already put in our information. After a few minutes of trying to explain to this gentlemen who was trying very hard not to give us the $10, who acted as if it was coming out of his pocket, we decided it was not worth the effort so we just left.

Caesars Palace was another stop for us, we absolutely loved the moving walkway...anything to save us a few steps was great and very inviting.  As all the others they had the latest slot machines, tables, keno and sports betting, the only difference seems to be the decor and service.  Everyone we came in contact with was nice but nothing outstanding.
Our first night we ate dinner at Harrah's, since it was the closest to the Venetian and offered the most for the dollar.  It got even better when we were standing in line and another guest gave us a coupon for a 2 for 1 buffet which saved us over $25.  The slots were a bit loose, so we were able to play for a few hours without going over our budget.
The Mirage offered a spectacular Volcano show that was scheduled every hour on the top of the hour which we could hear from our suite at Venetian, but it was even better when we watched it from the sidewalk.
The Palazzo is the sister to the Venetian, the gaming floor had the latest slots and a few different ones too but it was much smaller.  Even though the service was good, it was not as fabulous as it is at the Venetian but the ambiance was incredible.  
They have a restaurant at the top of the tower, we didn't go up but instead we had lunch at the buffet in the Paris Casino.  The ambiance was exquisite, every detail was as if we were in Paris, France.  Large gaming floor with all the latest slots and tables.
Planet Hollywood was the only one on the strip that was offering free slot money and a spin on the wheel without having to get hundreds of points on your new players card. 
Treasure Island had some fun slot machines and the show was wild but the crowds were terrible right after the show.
The Wynn was even more than we had anticipated, from the magnificent structure to all the shops and even the gaming floor had so much class.  We had a blast here and the service was fantastic! 
Mosaic has always been one form of art that has entriqued me and these pieces at the Wynn were absolutely magnificent.  Everywhere you look, there is another piece, on the floors, ceilings, and walls.  These photos do not do any of it any justice at all, the work was priceless! 
One very noticeable change in Las Vegas is the perks, not so many to the everyday people like us.  Most player cards only give freebies after gaining lots of points, which means lots of money, something we do not spend.  Also, meals in Vegas are no longer affordable, the prices have skyrocketed!  They really need to go back to the days where they give 2 for 1's a little more frequently.
Check out all of the photos on our Picasa Album website.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Did You Forward Your Clocks?

Traveling has given us many more reasons to change our clocks, forward...backward, depending on which direction we are going but for today we change our clocks because we are in a state that observes it.  Not all places in the U.S. observe daylight time. In particular, Hawaii and Arizona do not use it. Indiana adopted its use beginning in 2006.

Spring forward...the second Sunday in March.  Fall back...the first Sunday in November.

So if you are in a place where they observe it, now is the time to move your clock forward or be late for all those important appointments.

Life is Good!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Playtime in Pahrump

The first week after Las Vegas Motor Speedway, we needed to clean up the rig, enjoy some rest and just a bit of touristy stuff visiting the winery but all of that changed once we moved on down the road to the next resort, located just feet away from the casino action. It’s playtime!

There are several casinos in the Pahrump area and here is our take on them.

Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Gambling Hall was one of our favorites. Friendly staff, offer a 2 for 1 buffet on Sunday through Thursday with your players card, price is then around $5 each. We only partook in this once because it really was not very tasty with just a few items on the menu and the restaurant is so small, luckily we got there a few minutes before opening at 4pm or we would have had a long wait. They offered wide-open, well-ventilated areas of many of the latest slot machines, tables and bingo and the machines were loose, we were able to play awhile on just a little bit of cash. They also gave us $13 in free play for joining the players club; this amount would vary on the pick.

Terrible’s Town Casino offered so many freebies but was very small and smoky. They offered slots, tables, and bingo and their machines were loose. The interior design of western clutter made it very confusing to see where things were located. When we requested the whereabouts of the restrooms, we were pointed in the direction of the connected convenience store where the restrooms there were not kept very clean. We later found others that were near the restaurant inside the casino and they were kept much nicer.

The very long wait for the Friday night Seafood Buffet was terrible, the restaurant is so small and if it was not for a very observant server who snuck us in, after waiting an hour and a half, we would have waited for over 2 hours. While we were just finishing up, we heard our name being called and the system they use allows others to go ahead of you while you stand around and wait, not a good system at all, should be first come, first serve.

Terrible’s Lakeside Casino & RV Park is located just a few miles down the road from its sister casino. This place is also small, not so smoky and did have many giveaways as well but the slots were tight.  The RV Park connected looked very inviting, clean, open wide spaces that surround the small lake. We did not stay overnight since we had already made other accommodations.

We enjoyed a 2 for 1 Slab of Ribs meal at the restaurant located inside the casino. The ribs were tender and the barbecue sauce was quite tasty, there was enough ribs on the plate to where we took home enough for dinner.

Saddle West Casino was our least favorite for so many reasons. No giveaways and the machines are the tightest we have played were the top factors. They do have a wide variety of slots, a few tables and bingo but it was quiet, which to us meant no winners making any noise. We did eat at the lunch buffet for under $20 and it was good, nothing really to write about, the service was terrible. Our server was friendly enough but many of the servers stood around and talked to one another when they should have been clearing off tables and/or sweeping the floors.

They also had a RV Park adjacent to the casino, we did not stay their either but looked well kept.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time Alone Does Not Heal the Pain…

You have to work at it as well. This time of the year has always been a bit painful for us with birthdays and anniversaries of the deaths of so many loved ones. Instead of grieving we choose to celebrate, celebrate the life that once was and the good times and there were many of them.

Even though we had a rough time the other day when we received a recent photo of our grandson and neither of us recognized him. I cried so hard and the pain rushed through me full force but we refuse to be pulled back into the chaos and dysfunction.

He was sad and whoever sent it wrote that he misses us, talks about us all the time only when his mommy is not around and how mad he is at his mommy for keeping us away. This person suggested that she is partying with her friends all the time and drinking way too much. They also suggested that he is not being taken care of and even suggested some abuse and being left alone all the time.

Not sure how reliable this resource is because deep in our hearts, we know she is a good mother. We just continue to pray that she has not chosen to take the wrong path and follow in the ancestory history of drinking themselves to death. We believe she has a good head on her shoulders and will be able to fight those demons. That is one of the reasons it has made it easier for us to let go of our grandson, we know that no matter what, she has always been a good mother. Sure she has made some mistakes but for the most part, she learns from them and she moves forward.
We only wish the best for her and we always have the two of them in our hearts.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where Did We Wake Up?

Our time was up in one resort, so we moved down the road just a few miles!  Our evening skies were a bit strange but what was to come was even stranger!

Thank goodness our plans today were only to hang out in our rig and possibly take a walk.  This is what we woke up to...

Now an hour later...it seems to really be sticking good...not so much on the ground as it is on the rooftops of all the rigs, including ours.  This is something we tend to avoid and most reports indicate for Pahrump, Nevada, where we are currently located, the chance for snow is nil and the chance for it sticking is much more rare.  Well, Weather Guru, what you got to say now?

After the snow stopped...

Should be gone in just a few hours...now just listening to the sounds of heavy snow hitting the roof from the overhead trees and sliding off our rig!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Charleston Peak RV Resort & Winery

3810 Winery Road, #2
Pahrump, NV 89048

This was another Western Horizon Resorts which we were able to use with our Coast to Coast membership for $10 per night. 

A variety of activities, including free daily wine tasting at the attached Pahrump Valley Winery & Symphony‘s Restaurant.

Asphalt roads with flat, wide, long gravel sites with a slab patio, no picnic table. Very nice folks, both guests and workers, all willing to assist with any need.

They also have a RV/Car Wash located right on the property, there is a charge so bring your quarters. They do not have cable, even though many of the advertisements claim they do.

Restrooms, showers and laundry facilities were clean and worked well.

We absolutely love some of their quirky ways they explain their rules and from the looks of things, they enforce them.  If we are ever in the area in the future, this would be our choice to stay again.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Legitimate Work At Home Jobs…Oxymoron?

Are they all scams? Are any of them actually legit? Can you really make some money by working at home?

So far, we have not found one that we could say that we have made any sort of money doing. Since we are always looking for ways to make some extra cash so that we can continue traveling, we have tried so many of these types of work, and each one has been a bust.

Affiliates, now we have heard some success on this but for us it has been a total bust. The amount of money we have made from this avenue in the past five years would not pay for a tank of gas.

Secret Shopping and Surveys has got us hooked up with no legit money at all, the few we contacted or contacted us turned out to be a total scam and almost cost us our identity once again.

Then there was that one job that was suppose to be the most legit of them all but instead turned out to be the biggest scam of all. Working for an online company doing web development, and still to this day have not been paid for the 20 hours of performed work. Taking these folks to court ended up at a standstill since there were deadlines to meet and they knew our snail mail was usually a few months behind us. We do know that what goes around comes around and they will get what they give out eventually, if not already.

Writing and photography jobs have been the most beneficial but still leaves us with needing to find other work to keep us traveling.

Can anyone honestly tell us that there is a company out there where we can work from our rig and make money, without paying them first? Enough money to where we would not have to work at the races, but instead do them as fans? Enough money to where we would not have to take on any job that is so physically demanding that we ache for weeks afterward.

To find work that we love and to be able to continue traveling is always at the top of our list. We read about the many folks that are doing just that but for us it is still an elusive dream but one we refuse to give up on. If you have found a way and are willing to share it with us, please drop us a comment.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pahrump Valley Winery

3810 Winery Road Pahrump, NV 89048

They offer free wine tasting and a short tour narrated by Gretchen, she is part owner with her husband.

Now for the wine tasting, we tried a few different types, we both enjoy a sweeter wine, not dry but we did try both.

None really popped out at us but a few were tasty. We tasted the Pinot Noir, Syrah, Symphony, Desert Blush, Burgundy & Crème Sherry. We liked the Desert Blush, very light but just not sweet enough. We really liked the Crème Sherry but not as a drinking wine, more for a syrup for cheesecake, ice cream or possibly oatmeal. Our favorite and the one we purchased was the Burgundy, we actually purchased the Burgundy Punch Kit, which consists of Burgundy Wine, Sweet-n-Sour mix, Grenadine, and lime juice, a package we plan to enjoy during our Las Vegas vacation.