Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Cadillac Ranch, TX.
Hello Again,

Well, now that I have recovered from my interesting trek to the East Coast from New Mexico I can share my adventure.  There were negatives and positives and after stepping back I realize that my experience will add lots of wisdom (do you believe me) to this soul of mine.  

Not sure if you are familiar with the HILARIOUS run of movies that were about the crazy bad things that happened to one particular family during different vacations and holidays.  They were all labeled under National Lampoon and featured Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo among others. The Griswolds had their share of bad luck.  You can guess by now that I had some similar experiences during our way to and from the East Coast by my tweets during, but I thought that I would share more specifics.  In this quest, I aim to show you that things can always be worse then what you are going through.

Red Velvet Culprit!
 We always start our trips off early so that we can stop by a coffee shop and pick up much needed drinks and pastries.  This time we opted to wait until we picked up our rental car which happened to be about 40 minutes away from the house.  The car was prepaid by the in-laws and all set, or so we thought.  After dragging the kiddos down with a packed car (because when you are driving across country you need lots of things of course), we arrived to pick-up our reserved minivan.  Hubster walks out to tell us that out of the TEN rental car companies housed in that particular location ours was the ONLY one that required that when you live in New Mexico you had to show a round trip airline ticket.  There must have been something heavy that went down to make them institute that policy.  We were notified of this fact by a wonderful, soft spoken, and courteous (please realize that I am being sarcastic and unfortunately she was far from this) counter person.  So what to do now?  Car fully loaded and kids hungry!   Not to mention that this woman has not had her morning coffee and is not fully awake!  We try to reach in-law to reschedule another but to no avail!  His phone is turned off during the morning...this NEVER happensHuddle time begins.  Decide to get coffee and food before we ALL lose it and head back home to pick up our larger car.  Wait...I didn't mention that we drove down our thrashed car with the intention of leaving it behind for the week.  After this is done, we head out on our first leg which is about 14 hours, leaving 2 1/2 hours behind schedule.  Not so bad?

Boy did I feel welcome...
O & N bliss!
Music makes the world hum.
Get to our hotel around 2:30 or 3:00 after many stops (Cadillac Ranch being a highlight) and the front desk person DID NOT want to let us in.  The doors have to be opened by her and she was giving us the "DON'T ROB ME" stare and reluctantly allowed us in.  Speaking with Josh (the Hubster) about this we realize that maybe she had a negative experience in the past and was nervous.  That being said, what robber comes to the door with two children with one doing the pee-pee dance. Just sayin'.....

Yes Honey...we see it!
The second leg of four started off great (minus the three hours of sleep).  We went through Memphis and Nashville.  But before that we stopped by the Clinton Library and were blown away by the building itself.  It is a looker with lots of glass and metal.  Surrounded by beautiful trees and much older buildings it reigns with Goliath stature and personally left me in awe!    Next visiting the famous Beale Street taking in the architecture and GIBSON (a.k.a. Mama's Paradise!) store was beyond dreamy.  The weather was overcast but with living in New Mexico moisture is welcome.   Nashville was where we found beautiful churches,  slap somebody BBQ, and the most amazing RED VELVET ice cream.  This ice cream was so good that when you take the first bite your eyes enlarge and you moan in delight.  If you are ever in Nashville, I highly recommend that you stop in!
Water surrounds it...

View to the right.
Now, I said that it started off great.  But, we soon realized that we were destined to not arrive at our sleeping accommodations until three in the morning.  Why do I say this?  Well, upon arriving in the neighborhood of Josh's brother because of streets being added on and construction, we drove around for at least an hour looking for his place.  Needless to say, our niece and nephew that were hoping to see us were fast asleep as we crept into our beds as quiet as mice.

One of our lovely family walks.
In the middle was a wonderful visit with family.  There was lots of good food, long walks, and adult discussions.  Watching all of the cousins together was heartwarming and solidified our decision to move a little closer.  I can truly say that being with family was the highlight of the trip.  There are times when you really appreciate the fact that there are some people you sometimes don't see eye to eye with but when you bring the youngsters into the mix make the concentrated effort to have a harmonious existence.

Outside of Doumar's
Next day we visited Doumar's in Virginia and got to experience an establishment that still deals out the basics.  They serve a yummy burger and fries.  They tout the claim that the owner has the very first ice cream cone maker.  People travel far and wide to take in this deliciousness.  You can order inside or they have drive up spots.  I managed to go across that street and find a few items that were true treasures at amazing prices.  I am going to love haunting these places once we are there!

The view on our walk in Virginia Beach
This was followed by a romantic overnight stay at the beach with the Hubster.  Every year in Virginia Beach they light up the boardwalk with themed lights and stands.  It really was a site to take in!

Ok, now we are entering our dream sequence.  After many stops to eat and stretch I INSIST that I help Josh with the driving.  It just so happens that my son has got to go to the bathroom rather badly.  My hubby, stating again the fact that they are indeed boys and can easily urinate outside, pulls off onto an exit.  This is the perfect time for us to switch driving, right?  I hop out, walk around and start to climb into the car.  Without being fully in, I ask myself, "What is that smell?"  I look down to find a heaping load of #2 not only on my boot but on my bag strap.  Yes, the strap is long and for some unbenounced reason decided to skim the bottom of said boot!  I should mention that this #2 was not from a pet.  Go ahead, chuckle.....or gag...whatever your body longs to do.  Spent the next 30 to 40 minutes cleaning up while watching the Hubster dry heave at the very thought of what I just stepped in.  Yes, yes he did!  Got off at the very next stop, which happened to be a very nice rest area (WHAT!!!!) and officially got every last remnant off though the memory still lingers.

After this we spent the next 3 1/2 hours driving about twelve miles.  Not knowing what had happened was the worst of it so we thought.  Unfortunately someone lost their life and someone else lost a family member.  While in the standstill traffic it was a fest of complaining but once we found out what happened it made our driving experience pale.  

When taking in all the negatives that happened in the end we are so blessed to have each other to love, cherish, and sometimes drive a little crazy.  We have to be thankful to (insert whatever higher power you subscribe to here) that we get to have another day.  If we hadn't had the trouble we had earlier in the day we might have been on the road in the very spot where this tragedy happened.  But, for some reason, we are all still here with the capacity to follow our dreams, love who we love, and make life easier and more harmonious for those around us.  It is a challenge sometimes, but I know that it is one that both YOU and I are up to!

til next time,



  1. An anthropologist's dream! Keeping it real with a wonderful story of a wonderful adventure and lovely photos - the memories (and smells) will last forever!

  2. Oh Kat! Those boots are divine! You are the picture of style even on a road trip! :)