Monday, December 6, 2010

Back on the Road: Days 1-3

After Thanksgiving, it was time to hit the road. We were sad to leave Texas again, but we needed to get back north before the weather got too bad.

The first day, we only drove to San Marcos. We stopped in San Antonio to have a late lunch with an old friend and her new hubby, then we stopped by the Columbia outlet to take advantage of the black Friday sale and get some more winter clothes at really low prices (seriously, sales plus 20% off the whole order. I got a snow suit and hat for Sedona; ski bib, fleece jacket and hat for Sierra; and two long sleeve layering shirts for me all for $90). We checked into our free room at Country Inn and Suites (still love them...and thank you gold points card for the room) fairly late that night and fed the girls mac and cheese before putting them to bed. It was actually really cold that night and Josh and I didn't want to get out again, so we decided to order pizza for us. The best option was Domino's, which we've never ordered from before. Did you know they let you track your pizza when you order online? It tells you who is making your pizza and when it is put in the oven, and when it's out for delivery and who's delivering it. We were skeptical it was real at first, until the pizza showed up and Josh asked the guy if his name was Gerry (as the order tracker had said). While a little creeped out that Josh knew his name, he confirmed it was indeed Gerry. I can't decide if this pizza tracking thing is cool or weird, but I'm leaning more towards cool because it seemed like a shorter wait when I knew exactly where my pizza was at all times.

Day 2 on the road was long and boring. We drove from San Marcos to Whites City, NM. The highlight was stopping at the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg. Josh's brother and sister-in-law had visited it several years ago and bought me their cookbook (which allowed me to make many a yummy kolache on my own!), and I wanted to check it out for myself. We had delicious muffins for a snack and took some scones with us for later. Then it was time to hit the big open (and empty) spaces of west Texas. Now, the last time I was in Whites City was about 15 years ago and it was during the summer. What we found was quite different than what was there last time. There was one hotel (which had horrible reviews on Expedia, but I thought it was quite worth the $70 it was clean, the room was huge, and it's a lot closer to Carlsbad Caverns than anything else), and nothing else was open. I was glad I had picked up a loaf of bread at the last gas station and that we had a jar of peanut butter and some jelly packets with us. Otherwise, we would've had to drive an extra half hour (each way) to get dinner. When we checked in, we asked if they did breakfast and the lady confirmed that they had juice and snack cakes. Okay, snack cakes---danishes and stuff, right? No.....our children actually ate Little Debbie Christmas Tree snack cakes for breakfast that next morning. Oh well.

Day 3 after the kids were all sugared up from their cake, we left the hotel early and went to visit Carlsbad Caverns. Interesting travel note...if you get to Carlsbad Caverns at 9am on a Sunday in November, you pretty much get the whole cave to yourself. It's kind of cool and also very quiet and eery. Makes you think a lot about those Chilean miners that spent so long underground. Since we were short on time, had the kids, and I was still supposed to be taking it easy, we opted to take the elevator down and just walk the Big Room Route rather than going in through the natural entrance. Our National Parks Annual Pass got us in for free and we had expected a bit of a wait because they are renovating the regular elevators and only the smaller ones are being used right now, but we got an elevator to ourselves right away and zoomed down into the cave. Sierra was a little timid at first, but she warmed up pretty quick. Sedona kept saying, "I think Secora baby is scared". Since Secora was blissfully snuggled up asleep in the wrap, I couldn't resist saying, " Sedona scared?", but she insisted, "No, I not scared. I think Secora baby scared." I think we spent about 2 hours in the cave. When we left, there were definitely more people there, but it was far from crowded. I'd like to go back in the summer so the kids can see the bats fly out of the cave in the evening (that was one of my favorite parts when I went as a kid), but it was nice to spend some time in the cave without anyone but the rangers around.
At the entrance to the park

The girls in the visitor's centerAt one point, the path curved around this arch, so I thought it'd be cool to take a picture through it. Very hard to take decent pictures in the dark though!My favorite feature, the lion's tail

After some sandwiches and yogurt, we hit the road again, bound for Albuquerque (which I now know how to spell!). We didn't have anymore activities planned for the day, but we did drive through Roswell. We didn't stop, but I grabbed some interesting pictures on our way through town.
Alien light post
Aliens are welcome at the Roswell Arby's
And also at the KFC, apparently (and when you put this picture on facebook, it asks you to tag the colonel!)

When we got to Albuquerque, it was darn chilly! We checked into our hotel (another Country Inn and Suites...we paid $30 for this one, thank you again gold points!) and then headed out to The Frontier for dinner. When I had mentioned our route on facebook, one of the other moms from the girl's school in Texas told me I had to check it out. I've been craving eggs, so I got a breakfast burrito and Josh ordered a Mexican plate. We figured this was about our last chance to get good, spicy Mexican food (it's non-existent in Montana). The food lived up to the expectations and for dessert we had to try out the sweet rolls, which of course are famous for a reason!

Next up, Days 4-6!

1 comment:

Brandy said...

So did you tag him? On Facebook? that's pretty funny...

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