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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Run4Fun

Let me start with saying I HATE running.  I do not like to run for exercise.  I am a very let's do this ish and get it done with kind of person and long-distance running just does not fit in to that category for me.  With that being said, I have come to appreciate the art of running (or in my case jogging/walking) when I have a desirable location to do it.  OR in the case of a fun 5k where there are more obstacles then actual running.  Eventually I would like to work my way up to doing the 12k tough mudder (who wants to do it with me?).

If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I would participate in a mud run, or any 5k race, I would have side stink-eyed and laughed at you.  Why would I want to willingly get dirty and smell like living bacon? Who does that sort of thing?  Well, apparently I do!!!  I love mud runs, obstacle courses, night runs (where I get to where my light up tutu!!), and any other "run" that lets me be silly and crazy.  BUT, these things can cost way too much money for my liking, especially now that I'm on that struggling grad student income!!

HOWEVER, that's why I love Groupon and Living Social so much (endorsements much?).  These sites almost always have a local run available for half off or even sometimes 3/4 the price.  Yes you do have to pay for these "runs" but if you are going to pay you might as well pay less than everyone else right?  Amirite?  Here's a list of all the runs I have done thanks to my fun run gurus Groupon and Living Social and what I paid versus what a professional athlete might pay:

                                           What I Paid                       Athletes Pay
Mud Factor                              $35                                     $75       
Run or Dye                               $19                                     $45
Rugged Maniac Mud Run      $26                                     $53
Color in Motion                       $25                                     $50 
Glow Run                                 $19                                     $28
ROC race                                 $61                                     $105    
TOTAL                                   $185                                    $366

SO not every run is as fun as the other but my faves are ones that include plenty of obstacles (and light on the actual running part).  Mud runs are infamous for this.  SO many obstacles and very little actual running.  AND you can get as dirty as you want.  No one will tell you not to play in the dirt!!  Isn't that a childhood fantasy come true?!  If you don't believe me that they are fun check out the pics below.  Also please note there would be a video of one of the mud runs but someone (cough cough Gabrielle cough cough) had the GoPro on upside down the entire race!!
  



Obstacle courses such as the ROC race are also life altering degrees of fun.  You get to jump around in bounce houses, swing from ropes Tarzan style and tightrope walk over water-filled blow-up pools.  What about that doesn't sound awesome?! AND I only hurt myself in one obstacle (damn old age!).  I do have to be honest thought because I didn't actually purchase this deal.  My really extremely great friend Gabrielle got this for me as moving away present because she is an awesomely amazing person like that (luv ya chica).  BUT because she has learned from me she purchased the race on groupon!!

 video  video




Other 5k fun runs worth doing are color runs and night runs.  With the color runs you get to have dried paint thrown all over you as you "run" along a course.  The night runs are usually LED lit up courses where everyone dresses up in their best 80s/rave wear.  Anytime I get to wear my light up tutu is a Win-Win for me.  BUT the downside to these runs is there aren't any obstacles so you have to actually run or pretend you are injured (wink wink) and walk most of it.



 




There are all kinds of races all the time available on Groupon and Living Social.  Check them out and you will find the funnest things to do.  Especially with the holidays coming up there will be zombie runs and ugly Christmas sweater runs galore.  So don't give me any excuses about not trying it out!!  My next goal in life is to partake in a slime run!!  Who's with me?!  We can live out our nickelodeon fantasies together!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

SHOWmetheMONEY!!!


I don't mean that in the literal sense (unless you want to give me some money which I'm all for!!).  I mean that in the figurative going to a show and saving money while doing so kind of sense.
Personally, I absolutely love going to shows.  Comedy shows, concerts, plays, magic shows, variety shows, drag shows, etc.  Any time someone is putting themselves on stage to be ridiculed for my comical benefit should definitely be seen!! 
I have seen all kinds of shows thanks to the wondrous inventions Groupon and Living Social.  Everything from comedy shows, Broadway plays, Backstreet Boys (don’t judge me!!), dinner shows and much more are all life changing events I have experienced in recent years.  Seriously, I would not have a life at all if it weren’t these magical online deal-guru sites!!  Here’s a list of some of the shows I have seen and what I paid versus what a show snob would pay:



 

What I Paid

Show Snobs Pay

Latin Comedy Jam in Sacramento

$12

$25

Backstreet Boys in Sacramento

$20

$35

Rock of Ages on Broadway in New York

$60

$129

The Perfect Crime off Broadway in New York

$30

$68

Lipstick & Lashes Dinner & Drag Show in Santa Ana

$21

$45

Pirate Dinner Show in Buena Park

$33

$66

Dinner Detective Show for 2 people in Sacramento

$101

$160

TOTAL

$277

$528

 Yes folks you read that correctly.  I paid $277 for $528 worth of shows.  That’s $251 in savings!!  Am I good or am I good? (Trick questions, there’s only 1 right answer)  Now I know I have mentioned some of these events in other posts but they are relevant again so I’m repeating myself (you’ll live if you read it again!!). 
The Latin comedy jam didn’t have many big name comedians but the performers were pretty funny and it was a fun time for only $12. 

I wasn’t completely excited to see the Backstreet Boys (I was more of an N’Sync girl) but I was absolutely surprised how good the show was.  They put on a great performance for a band that’s been together for 20 years and they didn’t look half bad (check out Brian) for nearly 40 years old (40 = over the hill right?).  Not to mention a friend of a friend was very punctual and scored us closer seats than our purchased lawn seats!  Plus I was very proud of my friend Cherita for not crying (she cries at every concert)!! Love you Cherita!!! BACKSTREET’S BACK ALRIGHT!!

video



 

Now Rock of Ages is a show I was entirely ecstatic to see.  I’m an 80s soul at heart (I took a facebook quiz that told me this and you know those quizzes are completely VALID).  I saw the movie first and thought it was pretty good so I wanted to see the musical too.  A little piece of advice: SEE THE MUSICAL.  It’s absolutely hilarious and enjoyable.  Where else can you sing 80s music at the top of your lungs and not get sideways stink eyed? LOVE IT!!  Travelzoo and Living Social have deals on Broadway shows all the time so there really isn’t any excuse to pay full price (just saying)!

The Perfect Crime was an interesting and quirky show.  I don’t know if I would want to see it again but if you are into plays but not a fan of musicals then this would be a good show to see.  It’s played by a very small cast but is pretty engaging and keeps you guessing throughout the whole show.  Something different at the very least.

I’ve mentioned Lipsticks and Lashes before but I must repeat myself.  GO SEE IT!!!  If you aren’t shy and like to see scantily-clad womenly-dressed men twerking and lip-synching, then GO SEE IT!!  It’s hilarious, fun and they provide food.  What more do I need to say?
 
The Pirate Dinner Show is another one I have mentioned before. This is a great show for all ages.  It’s an engaging show that has it all: singing, dancing, acting and food! Again, what more do I need to say.  AND this show has been put back up on Living Social so you have NO EXCUSES!!

The Dinner Detective Show in Sacramento is almost always on Groupon so if you are interested in trying it out I definitely recommend it and I absolutely recommend paying less than full price (catching a theme?).  This is another really fun engaging show where food is involved so obviously I was doing it!!  You get to interact with everyone at the show and mixed in are actors pretending they have no idea what’s going on (i.e. "acting").  Throughout the show people “die” and you have to guess who the killer is. The person who guesses correctly gets free tickets to another show a few months out.  So if you’re a regular Sherlock Holmes you can win and get 2 shows for the price of half of one.  WIN-WIN right there!!

 SO have you booked a show yet?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

BucketYourList

FIRST of all, I am NOT an Adventure Junky!!  I only like to soar high through the sky, drive fast cars, jump from a ledge attached to a bungee cord, ride fast and high rides, roller coasters and plummet to the depths of the ocean.  None of that makes me an adventure junky.  An adventure junky is someone who will lock themselves in a cage and submerge themselves into shark infested waters and I will absolutely positively never EVER do that (seriously, would anyone actually do this?)!!!!

BUT I do still have adventurous excursions and it’s all because I finally created my bucket list.  I got tired of saying someday I want to do that and someday I will do this; someday will never come if you don’t start planning for it today.  So I wrote everything I want to do down and started crossing the items off my list.

OKAY, so I know it seems strange for me to have a bucket list at this point in my life when I have a good 10-11 years left (40=death right?).  Most people tend to think they don’t need a bucket list until they start receiving their social security benefits but I believe you’re never too young to start experiencing life.  And as cliché and silly as the motto goes, 

We really only have so much time on earth and I believe we should try to make the most out of it while we still can.  Therefore, if you haven’t already, you should create that bucket list and start experiencing shark diving (if you're clinically insane) ASAP.  However, trying to accomplish everything on that bucket list can be very daunting (which is another reason to start young).  AND it can be super expensive!!

WHICH is why you have come to read my blog; so you can find out how to accomplish that exciting (i.e. terrifying) shark diving adventure on a budget.  I have said it before and I will say it again, GROUPON, LIVING SOCIAL, TRAVELZOO!!!!  These sites are at your literal fingertips every day so USE them (or I can find them for you)!!  I have found so many different adventures on these sites that it has provided me with even more mind-altering excursions to add to my bucket list. 

Here are some of the adventures I have so far accomplished thanks to these wonderful online creations.  Now you may notice some of these adventures have been mentioned in other posts but they are still relevant here so I’m repeating myself (deal with it).

What I Paid
Adventure Junkies Pay
Skydiving
$99
$200
White Water Rafting
$59
$119
Rock of Ages on Broadway
$60
$107.50
Dinner Detective Show
$101
$156.88
Snorkeling in San Diego
$30
$70
New York City & DC Trip
$1000
$2000
Food Tours
$82
170
TOTAL
$1431
$2823.38

YES that is almost 50% of savings on exciting life adventures.  Don’t be jealous, just start doing it yourself!!! (you can be a little jealous, I really won't mind).
 
 
Skydiving was absolutely thrilling and I can't wait to do it again from a higher altitude and a better view (the cow chow view of Lincoln, CA really didn't do it for me!). I don't have any pics of the actual skydiving experience but you can enjoy the pre-skydiving pics below!
 
White water rafting was also too much fun and I highly recommend doing it whenever California has rivers again!!  Side note: Do not wear flip flops, you will likely lose one or both of them when being thrown out of the raft by chasing rapids.  AND hopping on one leg because you didn't bring extra shoes and the ground is too hot is not fun!!  Another side note: Gripping your paddle for dear life will NOT keep you from being thrown from the raft.  Lessons learned the hard way for me!!!
 
 







Snorkeling is always a new adventure no matter how many times you have done it.  There are so many different sights to see lurking in the ocean.  But if you come across any sharks I was not the one who suggested this to you!!





If you have never been to a dinner detective show you should definitely do it soon.  It is a lot of laughs coupled with great food.  What could be better than that?

 
NOW, not all of the adventures I have done have been purchased through these sites.  I have had other mystical life changing experiences throughout the years that haven’t been a deal but are still worth experiencing and saving for.  I have been on a hiking, kayaking, zip lining experience in Hawaii, hiking and rock climbing in the Grand Canyon, para-sailing in Hawaii, snorkeling in Mexico, visited New York TWICE and more that my brain can't remember right now (my parents used to play catch with me when I was a baby so I've had brain damage for as along as I can't even remember)!!.  

HOWEVER, not everything on your bucket list has to be death defying.  I have plenty of items on my list that are actually responsible grown up activities (I am too a grown up!!!).  I have things such as buying a new car (finally did that), getting my Masters (about to start that), opening an IRA and receiving my social security benefits before they no longer exist!!  That’s the beauty of creating your own bucket list; it doesn't have to be like anyone else’s.  Do what YOU want to do and do it NOW!!!            

With that being said, I do of course have many more gravity defying adventures I want to do and you better know by now that I will be purchasing them through my godsend that is Groupon, Living Social or Travelzoo.  (I should really start getting commission from these sites right?)