Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vacation: Day 6

Day 6 was mostly a travel day. We left Red River and traveled south through New Mexico to Carlsbad.

We saw this sign as we were leaving Red River. Please tell me it's not the funniest sign ever and I will call you a liar.

They take their cattle seriously. Among the expected mountain goat, deer, and elk crossing signs we saw as we were driving through the mountains, I think there were even more cattle crossing signs. Not to mention the warning sign of the possibility of them tumbling off the side of a cliff onto your car. But what was funny is we never once saw any cows. What's even funnier is that someone took the time to put UFO stickers on every single cow sign we passed. I was curious so I googled it and Wikipedia gave me some creepy reading material for our road trip. I had never heard of cattle mutilation, but it was both disturbing and fascinating to read about. So if you're bored like I was, click on over there and read up. Creepy!

We decided to stop in Santa Fe and check out the city and grab some lunch. It seemed very urban and the people we came across weren't super friendly. In fact, Harper and I almost got run over while we were crossing at a crosswalk. Good times. Not sure if Santa Fe is a snobby town or we are just used to friendly Texans, but we weren't super impressed with our experience. The city itself is beautiful, though.
Camel Rock

 We walked around the museum district and stopped in to see the Loretto Chapel that Trip Advisor suggested.

There is definitely something beautiful about traditional churches. I grew up Presbyterian but now we go to an interdenominational church where things are more contemporary. I love our church and how it is very bible-focused. Between church, BSF and home our kids have a lot of exposure to the Bible and know a lot about Jesus. But what they haven't had a lot of exposure to is the traditional artwork that you would typically see in old churches and cathedrals. This chapel had several art displays illustrating Jesus' life and death on the cross and Harrison was intrigued and asked me to read each one to him. We got to the ones where it showed him carrying his own cross, falling down, and then being nailed and beaten and ultimately murdered on the cross and he turned around and hugged my neck as tight as he could. I think it's one thing to hear about Jesus dying on the cross but to actually see it portrayed like that is a lot harder. I wasn't sure if it was too graphic for him but I think it helped him process what all of that means and how much Jesus really loves us to go through all of that for us. I asked him if he was okay and he nodded and said, "the good news is that he didn't stay dead and now he's alive in Heaven with God." Such a special moment. And yes, very good news indeed!

There were a lot of little shops and we did some window shopping. Harper was fascinated by all the jewelry on display. We went into one store and I was able to find out some information on a bracelet and ring I inherited from my grandma. I learned that they are vintage Zuni and they were handcrafted by native americans back in most likely the 50s. I was so happy to learn these details and only wish I could have heard them from my grandma when she was still living. I have no idea when or where she got them and would love to know the personal story behind them.

A little peek into our afternoon. I had one kid bossing me around telling me to catch a bubble in my mouth (what their teachers tell them when they want them to be quiet) and another kid telling me that I destroyed his whole family. Haha!

After a long day in the car we finally got to Roswell. So of course we had to stop and check out a little alien culture.

We went into a weird gift shop that had this back room you could pay $3 to go in. The kids were not feeling so warm toward the aliens but Rick and I had fun being silly.

This was as close as Harper was willing to get...and notice her brother isn't pictured. haha!

This took some coaxing, but I love it:

If we had done our thorough research we would have stayed the night in Roswell. But we had planned to tour the caverns near Carlsbad the next morning so we drove on for a couple more hours. I didn't book any of our hotel rooms (other than our condo) ahead of time because I wanted us to be flexible in case there were any traveling hiccups. Priceline is my friend and I can usually negotiate really good deals using their bidding system. Well, we were in for a surprise when we made it to Carlsbad. It was kind of a dumpy little town but thanks to a current oil boom going on, hotel prices were ridiculous. We're talking a Holiday Inn Express for $300. Are you kidding me?!?!? Even the gross truck stop motels were expensive. I'm kind of a hotel snob (I can't help's the germaphobe in me) but I had to suck up my pride because we definitely weren't shelling out that kind of money to sleep in a room for 8 hours. We found an off-brand motel and I promptly declared a no-taking-your-shoes-off rule. They "upgraded" us to the suite. Which I guess means we were lucky enough to score a 20-year old recliner and a full size refrigerator:

We were all kind of grumpy by this point. The kids were wired and sick of being in the car and we just picked up fast food to bring back to our motel room since we were tired and it was late. We had to carry up the majority of our luggage since we didn't want anybody to break into the car and our fancy motel didn't have an elevator. So that was fun. Then Harrison knocked over my nachos onto the floor before I even got a bite. Then Harper somehow got a bunch of sticker burrs in her feet from the carpet in our room?? (See -- my no-taking-shoes-off rule was a good one even if nobody but me followed it) And trust me when I say that this place solidified my reason for always traveling with my own pillow, that's for sure. Rick always teases me about it but I was the one laughing this night. lol. I fell asleep to Harrison counting all of the pretend bedbugs all over me while I prayed that they were truly pretend. ;)

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