The past few days have been a shmorgishborg of dazzling desert driving and fantastic family fiestas.
Saturday evening and Sunday morning were spent with my brother James and his wonderful family. We discussed politics and matching father/daughter tattoos over tacos and beer, while trying to prevent Stella from biting the balls off of Alistair-the-dog.
***Photo cred to Tati for this perfect representation of the dog dynamics.***
It was so wonderful to see these guys and catch up. My neice, Stephanie, and I got to stay up late into this night talking and I must say that that girl is one of the wisest and most grounded people I know. She’s only 20 but knows more about life than people decades older than her! She teaches me something every time I see her and I looooove her.
Here’s me and James and Steph on the morning I had to say goodbye. Stella was ready to go (she was so over Alistair the dog) but I was dragging my feet. It was hard to leave these guys!
The rest of Sunday was spent driving driving driving — 6.5 hours to Tucson to hang out with my very fabulous friend Vinh;Paul. This is the only picture I took on my way to Tucson. It about sums up my experience of the Arizona desert in that I was just trying get the heck out!
Vinh;Paul and I ate amazing $6 burritos and beat the heat (105 degrees… and apparently that’s cooler than it’s been) by drinking cold beer with his neighbor on the front porch. Then I got the best treat and Vinh;Paul read me excerpts from the book he is working on! It is the bomb.com and I can’t wait to read the whole thing.
***Vinh;Paul and Stella — almost too much beauty for one picture***
On Monday we hit the road for another 6.5 hour stretch to Albuquerque! Things to note about New Mexico:
- The desert is surprisingly different from the desert in Arizona. It’s less rocky and more green with lots of far off mesa’s and mountains — I didn’t realize there was so much variation in deserts!
- People are very very nice. I was greeted in every gas station I went in to and the cashier at the tiny gas station in Truth or Consequences (more on that later) told me that I should get the large soda since they’re all the same price anyway and that the best ice was at the Chevron station across the street and down the road which she knows because she looooooves ice.
- The state is very nice! All of the signs warning people to slow down or reminding us that littering is against the law were followed up with “have a nice day!” or some other such nicety. The picture below was taken at a rest area I stopped at where they were playing classical music in the bathroom and a little box out front asked you to indicate whether or not you had enjoyed your experience at that particular rest station by pushing the yes or no button. Really?? So cute. And also this was the view from the rest area:
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before beautiful friendly rest area, there was Truth or Consequences…
There is a town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences (T or C for short) which I assumed was biblical somehow (?) but, no. You can find the story of how T or C got it’s name here. So silly! Stella and I stopped in there for a little bit (because how can you pass a town with that name by and also we needed gas and a pee break) and the first thing I did was accidentally slam my finger in the car door… I was like “did I lie???” But after that initial snafu, T or C showed us a pretty good time. I bought a giant fountain diet coke (thanks for the advice, nice cashier lady) and Stella got to swim in the Rio Grande in this idyllic spot:
***Please note: No Oat Laughing***
T or C is a spa town with some good sounding hot springs and plenty of camping, so I have a feeling we may be back there some day. Maybe around Fiesta time?
From T or C it was only 2 short hours to Albuquerque. And we could not WAIT to get here. Aunt Beth was having a Fourth of July party and my cousin Sarah was sending me hilarious pics of her and Aunt Janet getting the backyard pool ready for me:
***Please share ideas for photo captions for this one… it’s too good!***
Stella and I are so happy to have a few days off the road and to be here with the family. Stay tuned for more ridiculous pool pics and Mason faces!