June 24th, 2011
We were forced to purchase a new phone this week and for all that know us, this was a big deal. Our phone finally died….sort of…the microphone died and so even though our end was crystal clear….for everyone else it was like listening to us at the end of a very, very long tunnel. I felt like I was interviewing for the part of the Verizon cell phone guy that used to go around saying “Can You Hear Me Now?” Except the problem was that they couldn’t hear me now. Regretfully they stopped making our phone. Could be because no one wants a phone I guess that just takes and makes calls. We were forced to come out of the dark ages by a few years with a newer model. Not an Android or IPhone or any of those any other cool contraptions but it does have a camera and video function and we can even access the internet…with limited capabilities – if we are in just the right spot. What more can I ask for from a Net10 prepaid phone?
We had every intention of pulling out of the driveway by 10 am. Yeah, like that is going to happen! We got up early this time but as usual had 1,000 last minute items to take care of (like making sure the new phone was functional) before we could actually be on our way.
We hit the hot asphalt running and the engine roared as we hit 75 mph as we began the long and hot haul along highway 287. It was just as well we were driving an air conditioned vehicle as it was already a sultry (stole that one from “Throw Momma From a Train“) 100 degrees (38 C) and that was before noon.
Although we did not stop this time in Amarillo, Andrew reminded me that he and Catherine had stopped there overnight when they went away together.
Our first night was spent in Santa Rosa, New Mexico (not to be confused with the country south of us though the appearance is very similar). We booked a hotel room at the Super 8. At the end of day one would take us 540 miles from home. This worked out to be about 8 1/2 hrs drive if done straight through. However it took us almost 11 hours …. a very long 11 hours…. with lots of doggie pit stops…to reach our final destination. Driving was evenly split between Andrew and myself – about 10% for me and 90% for Andrew. We made the most of it though, taking time to find humor in the drive and ourselves.
We stopped somewhere along Hwy 287 to grab a bite to eat. It was so hot we decided it was best to just eat in the truck. I had packed a feast for us which made Andrew all the more antagonistic as I refused to let him pull over every time we passed a Dairy Queen. With the air conditioner at full blast and sandwiches on the dash I continued to setting the table. 30 seconds on the dash and the sandwiches were lightly toasted. And we are not kidding. It was that hot and dry that if we left the sandwiches on the dash any longer we would have burned tuna melts.
Andrew did do most of the driving, as is the custom, but I did sneak in a couple hours of the tour along the way so that he could get a little shut eye for a few minutes.
As the sun set we were rewarded with a magnificent view towards the horizon as it nestled in for the final few moments.
As with all of our adventures, this one was not without a twist. Recall last year our drive from Dallas to Amarillo, arriving around 2 am, only to find our room with unmade beds and dirty footprints abound? Yeapers! It happened again. And this time they even left the room door propped open. We must be a magnet for the hotel ghosts! Management was quick to apologize and moved us to another, better room.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but even though we do our research we never really know what we are going to get when we book online at discount hotels. We have plenty of colorful stories we could post just on hotel rooms we have stayed in. A few years back I had to book a room for a conference that was being hosted in a town not equipped for the hordes of teachers that would be attending. On top of that they really rubbed together their hands as they asked for $100-200 per room in hotels that I don’t even think the roaches would visit. Needless to say, we got stuck in one of these places. Luckily, Andrew was with me on that trip because this place really took the cake. In the parking lot there was a car, or what was left of it. All the windows were smashed out and I think it actually had been set on fire at some point. It was now disguising itself successfully as a dumpster as it had several trash bags and mattresses in and all around. That should have given us warning of what was to come. Our room had a huge hole in the floor just outside the bathroom (and this was an upstairs room at that) that was the size of the Grand Canyon which we discovered when we lost our ankles stepping into it. Luckily it was covered with carpet so that it was hidden from view as was the cord for the phone ran under carpet and into the next room. The couch in the room looked like it was pulled out of a dumpster outside for this special occasion. It was good for viewing visitors when they knocked on the door as she could tell who was there by their feet, as seen by the gap under the door. Don’t even get me started on the state of the bed and linings. The shower wall was actually falling in on itself. It was so bad we actually contemplated driving the 4 hour journey back home and then driving back again the next morning. After much deliberation we opted to stay and took turns listening that night to make sure someone didn’t come through the door drunk or even worse tweaked on drugs. And the hilarious part of all this was the next morning when we checked out the owner of this fine establishment actually asked us if we enjoyed our stay and he was honestly serious???!!!!
This hotel I am happy to stay was a true pleasure. I don’t know if it was the fact that we were delirious from all the driving but the beds in this room were divine! The room had 2 queen beds and the room and bathroom were immaculate. We have to say it was one of the cleanest and well stocked rooms we have ever stayed in….and it only cost us $59 for the night…..They even accepted pets! What more could we ask for?