Sunday, July 05, 2015

VidaVeganCon ~ The Red Hot Vegans Scavenger Hunt!

One of the highlights of the VidaVeganCon experience for me was definitely the ridiculously fun and quirky Scavenger Hunt, put together by Marie & Daniel of the Red Hot Vegans. I signed up for the scavenger hunt as soon as I heard about it. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew that I wanted to experience as much of the VidaVeganCon fun as possible - so I was IN LIKE FLYNN.

It turned out to be soooo much fun and such a great part of my (already totally great) VidaVeganCon experience. If you're ever looking for a fun ice breaker activity for friends or a party (or a vegan conference), this was really a great idea. You can see their whole plan (and all the funny challenges) on their blog here.

just a few of the  fun challenges from Day 1:
Make Jazz hands with two people who've never been to a VidaVeganCon -- and then do the can-can with three people who've been to all three VVCs. Interact with some of Austin's amazing public art. Get pictures of tattoos that only a vegan would ever have...

As soon as our plane touched down at the Austin airport, I turned on my phone, checked my email and found the first official email from the Red Hot Vegans -- with 15 amazing challenges for the very first day! Each challenge was a fun and zany thing that you had to take a picture of and then upload the pictures to Flickr. Bonus points were awarded for uploading pics the same day that the challenge was issued! 

We got straight to work and took our first picture before we even left the airport. Game on! 

Two fisted taco time; Yoga-bombing someone at the Miyoko cheese tasting; airborne with Jojo & Nick!; and enjoying a fine TopoPipo sparkly water (a special thing in Austin - and deservedly so!)

my mom is serious about getting the right picture! 

By the end of Day Two of the scavenger hunt, my mom and I were completely obsessed. I must say - my mom was particularly great. She was ever vigilant for the opportunity to snap more pics! The challenges were delightfully odd and silly and fun. Before this trip, I didn't know Daniel and Marie ~ but I could tell from this zany scavenger hunt that they were the kind of people I really needed to be friends with! 

The challenges were great because they really incorporated the events of each day, or fun things about being in Texas, or silly things about being surrounded by vegans - it was so much fun. 

Swimming through a sea of my swag bag; posing with the state capital as my top hat (we actually talked the gal at the hotel reception to let us into a presidential suite so that I could get this picture, mwahahaha!); Having Sayward - a fellow VVC speaker - sign my arm like the celebrity she is; eating a kolache into the shape of Texas; Making hook 'em horns with a stranger who is also wearing the Univ of Texas orange color; and also (I loved this one) asking a stranger to write down on a piece of paper what they think Nutritional Yeast tastes like - and then take a picture with that person and their description. My gal wrote "bland" - ha ha ha. I set her straight. 

a scavenging vegan alliance is born! 

By the end of day two, another thing happened -- my awesome pal Jojo (the traveling wonder of Vegan in Brighton) and I realized that we were in competition with each other for the top spot! Uh oh! That night, I was laying in bed, worrying about this, and I thought - maybe we should team up. The next morning, as soon as I saw Jojo, I proposed this friendly alliance and she said that she had the same idea! Great vegan minds think alike! ha ha. So, we decided to come together and form a friendly alliance -- to take the first and second prizes and then split them 50-50 between the two of us. It was so much more fun this way! 

In the end, Jojo came in first place, and I came in second. She beat me by a whole 12 points! The prizes were awarded at the VVC after party, held at a super fun bar called Cheer Up Charlie.

Jojo, Marie & Daniel, and Me.
heart explosions of friendship!!!!

Here's the thing: The top two prizes were equally outrageously wonderful. First place was $200 at Rabbit Food Grocery (a totally great vegan grocery & gift store in Austin), and second place was $100 at Lagusta's Luscious (a super upscale all-vegan chocolate shop in upstate NY). Neither Jojo nor I had ever had a chance to try Lagusta's chocolates before, so that was really fun! I really want to give a major shout out to these fantastic vegan companies for supporting such a fun vegan experience.

 My gorgeous loot from Rabbit Food Grocery:
Bright pink socks with a Bunny saying "I love you" / darling little heart stud earrings / 2 packets of Phoney Baloney tofu scramble seasoning packets / 5 delicious flavors of NuGoDark Bars (these were very yummy!) / Yellowbird Habanero sauce - this biz does not mess around / WayFare PigOut Bacony bits - i love these so much that I ate them all straight out of the packet / a beautiful and super cozy giant scarf with stylized oranges on it / Snazzy sky blue & cork fancy-lady purse from Pixie Mood - this bag is so gorgeous, it has sparkles all over the cork that you can't see in this picture. Plus, inside it's bright purple and has super useful pockets. My first-ever fancy purse. 

On my last day in Austin, Jojo and her husband Nick and I made a date of it, and we went on a super-fun shopping spree together at Rabbit Food Grocery. This was SO FUN. We ran into friends from the conference who were still in town, and had a high ol' time carefully inspecting every single item in the whole store. Jojo has a new YouTube channel up and she put up a fun video about our shopping spree. Check it out!

 look how fancy and beautiful they are when they arrive. 
You will feel very special when you open your package. 

look how fancy they are when you open the boxes.
You will feel very special again, once you open your package.

Once I got home, the fun continued, as Jojo and I emailed and discussed the purchases we were planning to make from Lagusta's. It also turns out that Jojo and I have our birthdays one day apart from each other (!!), so we were happy to be ordering fancy chocolates in time for our big days. I had a hard time picking -- but I am a true and devoted lover of all things caramel-y, so in the end I ordered Cardamom Caramels, The Peanut Caramel Bar, The Turtle Bar, and the Maple Pecan Caramels. All totally, totally wonderful.

Huge thanks again to the Red Hot Vegans for organizing such a fun and silly and playful scavenger hunt, to Jojo for being the best-ever scavenger hunt alliance pal, and to the companies who sported up such amazing and enticing prizes to make all that silliness worthwhile! This was a really special part of my VVC 2015 experience!

ps. VVC Zine Winners! 
With the help of the Random Number Generator, we have 3 Official Winners for my giveaway for the official VidaVeganCon zine...
Congratulations to:
Courtney, Bianca, and Ann
I hope you enjoy your crafty zines! 


  1. This made my day! So many good memories. You and Jojo are the best, and your mom is a rock star.

    I also just had a chance to read the zine. It's so cool! I can't wait to make Brit's galaxy cupcakes.

  2. What a fun post! I'm glad that you and Jojo made an alliance and both came out as big winners! Much deserved.

  3. I just finally watched the video of you and Jojo, which was masgical. I want to hang out with everyone again! I am so bummed I didn't pick up some of those bacon bits in Austin, because I couldn't find them in Seattle to bring home with me and I love, love, love them!

  4. Yay!! I loved watching from afar as you and Jojo snapped pics in the con center. Haha! I saw Jojo swimming in her swag and thought, "Has Jojo lost her mind?"! And then I realized it must be for the scavenger hunt. I intended to play along, but I couldn't keep up! So many challenges! Congrats on the win!!

  5. Aw that sounds so fun! I am living the VVC vicariously through a few of you bloggers who got the chance to go! Some day I will make it to Austin and see for myself. I Love Lagusta's Luscious, and have been lucky enough to try all of the kinds you got since they are always at the vegan shop-up in BK. My favorite is the Turtle Bar. Congrats on winning the scavenger hunt!


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