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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vacation...the road home

As promised this was supposed to be the final installment of the Vacation series I've been running for several days now. This has been a blast, I might add and I would LOVE to help write some "Foder's Blogging Guide to Vacation!" Wouldn't that be fun! I also look forward to other travels from each of you out here in this blogdom...

Due to technical difficulties...there will be 2 more posts. I couldn't get my photos to 'upload' last night and as the bewitching hour approached, even in my blog-bliss state, I decided sleep must be priority because today (actually Wednesday regardless of what this "draft" copy shows), my friends, is end of month, which means report-arama, in my job. The good news is once I will complete the reports by noon, I can't start any NEW posting til tomorrow so I will have all afternoon to try to figure out those pictures...and hopefully post them...that is, IF I remember to bring the disk in after lunch.

On with the story...

We left off with the "tearful goodbyes"...okay so maybe not tearful but at least heartfelt wishes that the family will make the trip east for Paul's graduation in December. With promises made and goodbyes said...we headed back to the hotel to pack, shower, sleep and drive.

We were in bed by 2:00 a.m. as was becoming our vacation curfew (I'm so glad I'm not an insomniac!). We actually set the alarm for 6:00 so we would be up and ready to leave by 6:45 a.m. Being goal driven...I wanted to be ON THE HIGHWAY by 7:00 a.m. to beat some late starters. I woke up at 5:57 a.m. Somehow my internal clock is usually really good about beating the alarm sounding.

I arose and started getting ready, my husband woke up and you'd have thought I let him sleep the day away by his tone of accusation: "Where you just going to let me sleep all day?" he accused... it was 6:08 a.m. Goofy husband! What I was THINKING, but remained unsaid was: "Why yes, husband, I'm going to quietly load all this stuff, including the ice chest and about 14 sacks and 4 bags, by MYSELF and then check out of the Hotel and leave you here to start life anew from Hotel Blue!"

We got all the remaining bags, etc., lugged down to the front desk and out to the waiting car...I checked us out, turned in the cardkeys and we were on our way by like 6:26 a.m. I remembered we had to stop one last time at the Big "W" to pick up some frozen green chile'. The crops don't come in til August/September and during that time you can get fresh roasted Green chile' EVERYWHERE and the smell permeates the streets like Chestnuts in NYC in the wintertime. Unfortunately, this year we were scheduled in too early so frozen Chile will have to suffice. We bought 6 containers of green and 1 of red, along with several bags of dried red chile and the dried whole red chiles.

I packed the frozen chile-sycles in the ice chest while the hubs got himself some Mickey D's inside. It is my humble opinion that Mickey D's has the world's worst breakfast and to attempt to eat it and then travel for 9 hours...not so much!

Now let's reflect in pictures some of the remaining trip...are you ready...okay here we go!

Green Chile Bagel anyone???

This is a shot just prior to my removing MOST of the mound of cream cheese (you don't want to kill the chile taste with too much cream cheese).

**So clearly I got this 1 picture to upload last night, but when I attempted to upload 3 others...they were no where to be seen.

Story continues...

We got on I-40 eastbound and headed out. Traffic was wonderfully light going around the psuedo-mountain wall and that's always a blessing, because as small as that Mountain is...I still have tendencies towards car-sickness going around multiple curves and up and down hills. One of my personal weaknesses (hate it)!

**Note on psuedo-mountains: These "Sandia Mountains" (Sandia means "watermelon" for the red color the mountains appear at sunset) are a bit of an understatement to me...BECAUSE (don't get your hairs in a dither)...I lived in Colorado for 11 years and the ROCKIES are mountains by my baby Sandias...not so much!**

We drove on and didn't stop til "Clines Corners", just 40 miles outside Albuquerque, because of course, once your settled into the driving 'zone', the wife will decide she really DOES need to pee just one more time...and it's a giftshop! Don't ever be tempted to EAT at Clines Corners. The parents did it once (it has some magical lulling pull apparently), and they said it was VERY salty food...which of course means BUY MORE DRINKS! at CLINES CORNERS.

We were in and out of there in oh...about 20 minutes! Nothing of note to photograph though, except people...and I hate being too obvious getting a close-up without some sort of press-pass. We drove on and on and on and on and on...we stopped next at the ARNOT you remember why? Let me refresh for those of you just joining us on this journey...The Cadillac ranch is situated between the ARNOT exit and some other exit a mile or so down the road.

We pulled up to the "parking area", which is nothing more than a larger shoulder, got out and those cadillacs are not just right off the highway as they appear from the road. Those puppies are like a quarter mile back off the road. I don't know if there is some sort of ordinance in Texas on how far back 'planted cadillacs' must be placed, but trust one is ever going to HIT one of these babies even flying OFF the highway at 70 mph.

We walked and walked and walked through dirt and dust (thank God for a windless day) and we walked some least with it being all DIRT...the tick patrol can put it's guard down for a bit. We walked and they started to appear almost lifesize...we walked some more and lo and behold we were there among another 20 or so guests.

You can climb on the cars. You can get in the sides of the cars. But the absolute CLENCHER for me can PAINT the cars. There were empty spray paint cans EVERYWHERE. I should have photographed that, cause it might have made a cool statement, but instead we did the "tourist" thing and Paul climbed up a car (me...not so much) and I took his pic...then he found a can with some paint left over (and it was green!...not MY green, but A green. Had to be a God thing). First he painted a heart with P + K 06' inside it. I got pics. Then I painted "kpjara" of course...and got pics of that. There was an entire family playing "hide n' go seek" out there too, that was HILARIOUS!

We said goodbye to the Cadillac Ranch and vowed next time to bring multiple cans of paint so I could just spend some serious art time out there! We drove on and through Amarillo (just minutes down the road) and we made it through the 'constructions zones' without as much delay. We drove on and on and on and passed the giant cross and reminisced on our recent visit only days before. We drove on and on and on...I-40 really should do some revamping through these miles of dirt and very limited signage or any visual diversion.

We drove on and on and on and we finally reached the Oklahoma Border. Of course, we missed the beautiful sign...but we did capture one at the first rest stop which the Hubs decided we MUST stop at to capture an Oklahoma sign and frankly it's what I would have scrapbooked anyway...You'll see! We got the pics and drove on and on and on and stopped in Clinton to stretch and refresh (as much as you can on the road). No pics here, just exhaustion setting in from the vacation-elation decent.

I dozed a bit on the last leg of the trip, while the wonderful hubby drove on and on. **Note: I have never been able to 'sleep' in a car until recently with the husband driving. My family used to take night trips to grandma's (12 hours away) and no matter what my age, I was the one that stayed awake the entire time...worrying about wrecks, etc. Now, in trust of my husband (I assume) or sheer exhaustion, I can sleep comfortably with him behind the wheel. I still don't sleep with any other driver though! Hey, "chance favors a prepared mind."

We arrived back in the city and at our front door by 5:40ish and the hubby even unloaded the car while I went to visit the dogs. The "girls" were SO happy we were home. They always are. I swear dogs should be the U.S. greeting team. I've never met a dog NOT happy to see it's owner...unless it's just done something BAD and even sometimes then they forget about it and dash out to meet and greet.

The drive home was nowhere near as fun and exciting as the ride there, it never is. But we made it home safely and soundly (mostly) and now we will buckle down for a 6 month stint of his schoolwork and my...whatever it is I do...until December when we will once again be free to travel and "see the world"!

Thank you for joining us on this part of the journey. The temperature in Oklahoma City today is a pleasant 69 degrees, with a light breeze cooling the city. Estimate high temperature today of 96 degrees with 83% humidity. We hope you enjoyed the trip and will travel again with us on a future destination.

Have a wonderful Wednesday and please stay tuned for picture perfect p.m.


Heather Smith said...

Sounds like you had a great ending to your trip! So fun! You and your husband sound like to stop and enjoy the crazy stuff. That's my favorite part of vacations!! Have a good one!!

great2beme said...

too cute!

Morning Glory said...

I think somewhere back in the archives of our lives we've actually stopped at Clines Corners.

tam said...

I LOVE "vacation-elation decent"! Talk about a word smith!

That will be ringing and singing for me through the day!

The cadillac adventure sounds like a lot of fun! We would be the family playing hide and go seek or "get me" more fondly known as "nya, nya, nya, nya, nya" (but you have to do it like Monkey with your hands up by your ears but not touching them and swinging your body side to side!)

Oh yeah, this is your site, not mine! Sorry!

So glad your trip home was a breeze. Can't. Wait. For. More. Pics. (I found a great help last night if you desire the suggestion!)

kpjara said...

Heather: yes it was awesome and your right about the hubs!

Morning GLory, somehow I cannot imagine you in Clines Corners??? that baffles my mind!

Tam: I do that nya nya nya nya nya nyaaaa lots myself...I will now add the body swinging...I already did the ear thing!

I hope to post pics this afternoon! so because I already did a draft it's going to be back a ways...but you'll find it...I know you will!

yes give me help! I'm waiting for you to finish your "classes" and just give me a rate to "fix" my entire site! no pressure or anything BTW!

Joy M. said...

My hubby lived in Oregon and he says the same things about my Smoky Mtns.


I tell him I can't even imagine anything bigger. He'll just have to take me there someday.

I got a kick out of your flight attendant farewell. How creative!

GiBee said...

Yay! Fun vacation! Can't wait to see the pics!

Shalee said...

Wonderful vacation postings. I think I'm on Day 4 from a month ago. I'll finish mine... someday.

Thanks for sharing all the pics and telling us about it. It makes me want to go to NM... with a big hoe to beat off the snakes!

kpjara said...

Shalee you made me burst out my desk! I can just see you with a hoe walking around town...I can TOTALLY see that!