We have arrived at our first destination....almost. Being my initial entry, first I need to thank a lot of people for putting themselves out to help us on this journey. Frank..he took the cat! Jeff E Thanks for part of your garage and the encouragement. Hultz's may your health be not a second thought in 2009 and enjoy the camper, Joanie we hope the leather furniture provides aromatic pleasures all year, thanks for your basement. Dr El-Khatib, Jill, Amanda and Laura for the great working environment and support, Uncle Tom and Aunt Stacy for the storage, the truck, the dinner, the pretzel salad, Anne Thomas for making me feel more like a rock star than an uncle. Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Jason for babysitting services and strong mover muscles. Grandma Nana for all the treats on the road, Grandma and PaPa for all the support, the wiener roast the many nights of counsel regarding our plans. Thank you to all the people helping us out on this year of travel.
We will post more photos when we can find the right cables and we have access to better connections.
We came across the state of New Mexico into Arizona today. Our days in Santa Fe and Albuquerque were filled with our guide to the area Andrea. She managed to tolerate all five of us in her 800sq ft apartment. She was very cheerful when we said good bye today.
She kindly showed us to the zoo, the petroglyph national monument and a delightful tour of the Santa Fe Opera house where the kids were able to hone their vocal talents on the stage overlooking the nearby mountains. A few costumes were trialed and we saw the inner workings of the opera itself. The Santa Fe Opera manages five different operas on five nights of the week during its most busy times in the season!
Shane seemed to have suffered a brief lapse of all control over his behavior and pressed his parents and host to their very edges of tolerance. The adults attempted a pint of Bud Light each after the kids had been put to bed but could hardly stay awake to finish them. Savannah is truly showing her maturity. She mostly ignored Shane's trials on her patience and seemed to quietly enjoy most of the activities. Sophie was enjoyable all day unless her secret bliss was interrupted by Shane's malicious orneriness. It was challenging on Tuesday but a good night's sleep put Shane right on Wednesday.
So it was we were able to start off Wednesday with a great head on the kids' behavior. We rolled out of Santa Fe and headed across I40. We made a few potty and gas stops along the way.
Our first stop we gassed up and purchased some oven bread and tamales from the local vendors. Traci and I were impressed with the red chili flavor and meat (pork I think?) The hearty tamales were wrapped in the corn husks they had been prepared in. They were only manageable in the car with the plastic Ziploc bags they had been handed out in. I was able to squeeze the tamale out of the plastic bag from the bottom like one of those sour cream packets you get with the tear off top. Then we passed around the oven bread. The kids were impressed. They asked every two minutes for another piece of bread.
A bathroom run nearly ended with Traci taking on an older piece of half man or man and a half. He was large in body and small in social skills. The man pulled in close to our car on the passenger's side. Traci had been getting Sophia out of the car and hadn't noticed the guy pull in. When Traci failed to immediately remove herself from the man's way he briskly opened the door and kicked Traci on his way out of the car. The man was checking out when Traci entered the station and she managed to express her frustration to him through an accurate description of his behavior in the form of a mild expletive. The man didn't make eye contact and only drove off. I found out about the whole exchange a few miles down the road.
The continental divide was a pit stop. Savannah had needed a break and we happened to pull off where the continental divide happens on I 40.
The last stop for dinner was a find from the book Road Trip USA. In a town from the old route 66 days called Holbrook there are a few locations proved to be inspirational to the movie Cars. This makes the location an immediate relevance for travellers under the age of 10. Savannah even perked up when we found some of the sites there. We dined at Joe and Aggie's Cafe on Hopi St. Traci and I ate some green chili laden enchiladas and the kids had tortillas and hamburgers. Then we found the attraction for the kids. The Wigwam Motel where a insanely clever man had constructed the large concrete wigwams for motel rooms. The Cars reference was instantly recognizable and a true crackle of excitement was in the air of the ever enclosing minivan. Savannah jumped out for a picture and we snapped a few. The next stop was Williams AZ. Next we ride the train to the Grand Canyon.