Monday, December 29, 2008

More adventures on the road

I had a thought tonight as I was stuffing myself with fajitas: I love this country. Driving across the western half of the United States in the wintertime, you get to experience a bunch of different climates, a bunch of different terrain, a bunch of different food, a bunch of different radio stations... I love small towns in the middle of nowhere. I love big cities with chain restaurants. I love plains. I love deserts. I love mountains. I love oceans. I love thunderstorms (more about that later). I love snow. I love warm days. I love pop music. I love country. I love rock 'n roll. I love NPR. I love Christmas music. I love Italian and Chinese and Mexican foods that would be unrecognizable in the countries where those cuisines originated. Basically, I love the variety that only the U.S. offers.

Okay, other stuff: We got to experience a real live, honest-to-goodness Kansas thunderstorm! Yeah, I know; this is so NOT that time of year. But I mentioned how the 26th had a record high and the 27th had snow? Well, in between (about 1:30 a.m.), I awoke to hail! There was thunder and lightning, and an actual tornado watch!

You have quite a bit of time to think on a trip like this. Especially across western Texas and eastern New Mexico. I've come up with my next life. After I retire early, I will pay COBRA for two years, go back and get my Master's in poli sci and then go into community college teaching.

So far, we've eaten at Sonic (only once), Long John Silver's, Dairy Queen, multiple McDonalds, and Chili's (tonight's fajitas sadly weren't in one of Las Cruces' historic Mexican restaurants). We've also eaten at several good (and one that seemed good initially but resulted in some intestinal discomfort later) local restaurants. And of course Mom loaded us down with food, both while we were there and for the return trip. We did, however, managed to get rid of the rest of the Chex Mix before we left Mom & Dad's (partially as a result of my aunt dumping a big bowl of it onto the kitchen floor).

Today's highlight was the White Sands National Monument. Lacking the variety of the Petrified Forest, but worth seeing nonetheless. Unfortunately, it came near the end of the day's travels, so the experience was tainted by the desire to just be done with the car for the day.

We took another nap after we got to our room. We haven't had any trouble getting up and on the road early, but we both get tired after lunch and fight about whose turn it is to drive. Tomorrow should be a shorter trip, and then we have one whole day without driving, followed by another relatively short trip.

Not sure if I'll blog again the next couple days. Our timeshare has high-speed Internet, but they charge for it. So, if this turns out to be my last post for 2008, Happy New Year!


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