Sunday, June 7, 2009

Road Trip - Day #1

Total Mileage: 610 miles
Total Hours: 11.5
"This is taking a long time." 11 times
"This is taking a long, long time." 4 times
Dead snakes seen: 4
Live deer seen: 1
Number of stops: 5
"I have to go potty." ZERO. Well, once if you count James. Seriously, this was the most amazing part of the day.

Today we began our adventure. We planned on leaving the house around 4:00 this morning, but really didn't get out until about 4:45. Well actually we drove a few miles and I remembered I forgot the bag with shampoos and soaps and such... so really it was closer to 5:00.

I must say overall the kiddos did pretty well in the car today. Our first stop was Austin, TX. Getting close to Austin, we realized we forgot the DVDs. So far that's the only thing I think we have forgotten, but it was one of the most important items. I mean that's hours and hours of entertainment for the kiddos.

Abby was demanding a snack as we were getting into town. I told her she could have one after we stopped in Austin. Of course, she thought that we were talking about her brother (Austin). We explained over and over that there is a city called Austin, TX where she replied, "Where is Abby, TX?" She was not thrilled with the answer to that.

Of course we had to stop by The University (it's only fair since we are going through Lubbock at the end of our trip) where James was seriously trying to convince the boy that he will be going to college there in 12 years. Hmm. He pointed out several spots to him where Austin said, "How DO YOU remember?" Like he's 74 years old... I swear I had 4 kiddos when James was on campus -- he really enjoyed getting back there... Hopefully he won't get any ideas about applying for another degree. His toga party days are long over.

The Texas state capitol is in the background.

Here are the kiddos in front of the famous tower. I wonder how many photos have been taken there?

"Too much partying?" or "Man, that English test is going to be brutal." Actually, I think Austin was just spitting out his gum.

The scenery through the hill country was very nice. We stopped in Fredericksburg's Wal-Mart to get some DVDs. Luckily every town over 5K population has a Wal-Mart now. $94 later we were out of there with new movies and let me tell you it was worth every penny. Complete silence through the rest of the trip (for the most part). Before the trip I packed a goody bag for each kid, complete with games, puzzles, books, etc. Emily loved to make pictures out of the clouds. Can you make out the shark in the below picture??

When we got to I-10, the speed limit was 80. Yes, EIGHTY! Holy pedal-to-the-metal, Batman! I had no idea it went up that high. It was great - we flew by the hills (which Emily claimed were mountains). Very soon, we ended up on a desolate road to nowhere. Fields of nothing... for hundreds of miles. We went through a little town called Pecos, which according to its signs had the world's first rodeo, but apparently nothing has happened there since. More than half of the businesses were abandoned. This is what we saw the majority of the trip.

I packed tons of snacks for the kids and James mentioned that cheese in a can stuff (total junk, but oh so good) and I ended up buying some. He told me, "Thanks for recognizing a good idea." Gee thanks dear, is that a compliment? :) Well it doesn't take much to taste like gourmet after 12 hours in the car.

We found our hotel relatively early, around 4:30. I must say I think I picked the right motel in Carlsbad, NM. There are some scary ones around here. We took the kiddos to the indoor pool and then discovered a Chilis. Score! We'll take our chances on local flavor somewhere else. For today, a familiar friend hit the spot.

Right before bedtime. All and all it was a great day.