Friday, June 11, 2010


Not much to say about it...we got up early and had a long drive in to Houston from Wichita Falls. We found Cadbury in a snit, but he got over it. Our house sitter had left the place as clean as he found it, which was an unanticipated blessing, and we're basically exhausted.

I'll soon post some photos that didn't fit with previous vacation posts or that I simply didn't have time for, given how dicey my internet connection often was.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day Thirteen

I got up early and went for a run in town, then Dan and I packed up and went for breakfast at a little place up the street. I had huevos rancheros and Dan had scrambled eggs and chorizo. I think it was the first heavy breakfast we've had on this trip.

Then, since it seemed we had time to spare, we drove an hour to Santa Rosa to check out their car museum.

Then we took some pictures of the ghost town of Cuervo.

After that, the day was pretty much road trip east toward home.

We had lunch at the Midpoint Cafe, which is the exact mid point along historic Route 66.

And at a rest stop in the Panhandle, Audrey enjoyed the landscaping...

...and played on the playground.

Until I realized that not only were no pets allowed on the playground, but there were also snakes!

Needless to say, I bundled Audrey back into the car and made her behave for the rest of our trip.

We had planned to stay the night in Fort Worth or Dallas, but were so worn out by the time we hit Wichita Falls that we found a Holiday Inn and called it a night. To keep her out of trouble, I told Audrey to watch TV.

We'll be home tomorrow. I talked to the housesitter tonight, and he says Cadbury misses me.

Day Twelve

When I got up and found Dan was no more sick than I was, I couldn't decide whether to be relieved or furious. I went for a morning run and grabbed a cup of coffee on the way back to our room. I noticed Dan showed no interest in going back to where we had been the night before, even though he knew that there was a ghost town in that area that I had wanted to see again for several years. So I decided to be angry with Dan for all this panicky illness bit, and we drove in near total silence all the way to Tucumcari.

We got there at around 1:30, only to find that the owners of the Blue Swallow were temporarily out. To pass the time, we went to the local museum, which Audrey thoroughly enjoyed...

When she wasn't scaring us and herself half to death...

By the time we could get checked in at the motel, Dan and I were on speaking terms again, so while Audrey cleaned up...

...and made a few phone calls on the old-fashioned rotary phone...

Dan and I went around town taking some pictures of the deserted areas.

I love ruins for some reason. Dan humors me.

Then, since it was a hot day and we were tired after the previous night's drama, we took a nap. Later, we went for dinner at a place up the road, then came back and hung out on the swing underneath the neon sign.

Audrey sat beside me on the swing the entire time, enjoying the pleasant evening on Route 66.

Later in our room, though, she seemed worried, especially when her new friend tried to interest her in some bunny grahams.

More important, though, I think she knows our travels together will soon be over.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day Eleven

I woke up early and although I was tempted to just keep sleeping, I wasn't going to have a chance for another Pagosa Springs run anytime soon, so I roused myself out of bed and went for a run along the river and in town. Then Dan and I packed and checked out.

We went to the grocery store, since that's always a necessity by about this point on a vacation, and then we stopped by Dan's new favorite breakfast spot so we could get strong coffee and talk to the ex-roadie again. Then we were out, headed east.

Going east from Pagosa Springs was new for us, and the mountain scenery and frequent towns made for a pleasant trip. It took most of the day to reach Trinidad, where we stopped for a bite to eat at the rest stop outside of town. We had been heating our leftover penne from the night before in foil on the dashboard so we could have a good meal, and Audrey...well, she was content to nibble the grass in front of an interesting rock on the premises. Look closely...

We later came across a sign that said "No Pets on Grass" and we had to give Audrey a little talking to. We could've been fined!

From Trinidad is a short distance to Raton, where we got a cabin at a place south of town where I once stayed for an outdoorswoman event.

Audrey thought it was a fine place to stay.

Within half an hour we saw antelope and mule deer, and as the sun went down, jackrabbits came out and a storm started to move in.

That was when disaster struck, or at least a major frustration. Dan hadn't been hungry at dinner and laid down afterward. Within an hour he was complaining of feeling ill, like he might be getting a kidney stone. He wanted to go back to Raton and stay the night there.

It was a choice that made no sense to me. We were already unpacked and settled in. It was late, and there was no place in Raton to get a prescription called in before morning, if the pain got worse. Why uproot ourselves and spend three times the money on lodging just to be four miles closer to a doctor or a drugstore in the morning?

But Dan was antsy and nothing would do but that we go into town, so that's what we did. We're now set up in the Holiday Inn, which I'll admit is quite nice - a big improvement over when we stayed here a few years ago.

Still, I miss my cabin. I spent years wanting to return. I was going to run the dirt roads at sunrise and watch the deer and rabbits, and instead I'll have to get on a treadmill and watch the news.

If Dan isn't better in the morning, we'll have to head home so he can see a doctor in network. What we would pay for out of network would eat up our down payment on the house. So hopefully whatever is wrong will be better soon.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Day Ten

I got up early and went for a run around town, then got Dan and we went for coffee at a cute little coffee cart near the hotel. It took a little while, but once we were ready to get out and about, we went to a strange little place up the road where the coffee was strong, the waffles were made-to-order, and the owner was a former roadie. My ex-roadie husband had plenty to talk about with that guy!

We stopped at a ranger station on the way back to our room, fueling my optimism that Dan would want to do a little hiking, but instead he lay down for a nap, since he hadn't slept well the night before. Left to our own devices, Audrey and I went out for a bit of fun.

When we got back, Dan was ready to go horseback riding.

Audrey was content to stay at the hotel, so Dan and I went for a little ride through the mountains.

By the end of our ride, it was starting to be pretty warm out, so Dan and I used the time to do our laundry and wash up. Then Dan went for a massage and we went out for Italian food afterwards, since our favorite restaurant in Pagosa Springs has gone out of business.

Tomorrow we're heading east, making our way over the next few days back to Houston. It's awfully pretty here and I wish I could bring a mountain or two back home with me.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Days Eight and Nine

We spent Saturday in Santa Fe, not doing much of anything, really. We went for a morning run along the river, then knocked around town the rest of the morning.

We had lunch on the Plaza, then Dan took a nap while I found things to do on my own. I took in an art show and a festival of some sort before going back to the hotel and waking him up. I was ready for a nap at this point, but he wanted to scout out a place to have dinner, so that's what we did. Then we both took naps (altitude was getting to us by this point) and then went out for a ghost tour and a nice supper of tapas and paella at a Spanish place we had found earlier in the day. We didn't hang around the Plaza like we had the first night, since we wanted to be on the road early.

Sunday morning, we got up early and I went for a run by myself, since Dan wanted to sleep in. Then we packed, got breakfast at the little creperie downstairs, and headed north.

The trip was uneventful and we got to Pagosa Springs by early afternoon. After we unpacked, we went for a little hike up the nearby hill, where Audrey played some frisbee golf...

...and enjoyed a pine cone.

Then while Dan watched the kayakers on the river, I went for a walk through town. I had hoped to find a replacement for my sport watch, which I baked on the dashboard earlier in the trip. I went to two sports places though, and found no sport watches. I did, however, find a thrift store, where I got a couple cute tops, a pair of skinny jeans, and an old book.

When I got back to our room, I had just enough time to shower off and change to go to my massage appointment. My masseuse was amazing and worked out a lot of the kinks from so much time spent in a car.

By then it was after six, so I got fixed up for dinner and we went out to eat. Then we went for a walk on the river and enjoyed the sunset - a nice way to end a pleasant, if low-key, weekend.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Day Seven

I got up a little later than the day before and went for a run among the groves by the mesas. Then I went home and started getting ready to leave. Dad provided us with a light breakfast of fruit and yogurt, and then we paid a quick visit to the nearby cemetery to water the plants on the graves of my grandparents and two of my uncles.

After that, Dan and I packed the truck and headed to Santa Fe. Our room at La Fonda wouldn't be ready until 3:00, so we had lunch and browsed the natives' wares on the plaza. Once we could check in, Dan relaxed in our room while I took Audrey to see the sights. She was especially eager to visit the church of St Francis, patron saint of birds and other animals...

At his statue, she met a friend...

...and got to say hi to St Francis himself.

Then I took Audrey to the Loretto chapel to see the miraculous staircase. She was duly impressed.

Finally, I told her it was time to return to the hotel - Dan would be worrying about us, wondering where we were. Audrey liked our room, and after I got her to quit bouncing on the bed...

...she settled down and contented herself with looking out the window at the Loretto chapel, where she had been just a little while before.

While Audrey was admiring the view, I went to the spa and got a massage. Then I fixed myself up for dinner, and Dan and I had supper in La Fonda's restaurant. After dinner, we went for a stroll around the plaza and surrounding streets. There was quite a nightlife at some of the little bars and restaurants, and on the plaza itself, a lot of young people were hanging out talking, flirting, testing scooters, and admiring the low-riders and motorcycles cruising the square.

I found it fascinating to see such a mix of people all in the same place, casually getting along - teenage runaways and deadbeats, foreign tourists, and rich people in nice clothes on their way to or from one of downtown Santa Fe's many pricey restaurants.

Finally, though, Dan lost interest in the scene and wanted to go up to our hotel room. We've got a morning run planned, so perhaps I'll turn in, too.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day Six

The day started with a morning run near the mesas. In previous years, I always did this run alone, so it was a real treat to have Dan along with me. He found it as refreshing and magical as I did, and we returned to the house ready for the day to begin.

Over coffee, we consulted our ghost town book and a map and made a plan to visit some of the ruins along the Turquoise Trail. We all know about best-laid plans, though. Although the road to the first town took us through some lovely scenery...

...when we got to the final turn-off, we found the road closed and a sign posted, warning against trespassing. So we went to the next town, where we saw a restored church...

...and a few ruins.

The final town turned out to be inaccessible, although visible from a narrow, winding dirt road. There wasn't much to see, but it was a disappointment, nonetheless, that we couldn't get close.

By now it was early afternoon and Dan hadn't eaten all day, so we went to Albuquerque and had quesadillas. Then we browsed some of the shops and Dan bought me some cute little silver bunny earrings that are a good match for my bunny bracelet.

We went back to my Dad's place, where we found Audrey waiting by the gate...

While Dan took a nap while I asked Audrey to share her adventures of the day. As it turned out, she had a much more interesting day than I had.

She waited for the paper delivery, so she could catch up on the news of the day...

She spent some time in my father's garden...

She paid a visit to my Uncle Bill...

And she spent some time gazing pensively at the water that runs through my father's property, irrigating the fields in the area.

Dinner was homemade enchiladas for me and Dan, and a salad of spinach and craisins for Audrey. We were all very happy with the nice dinner.

We had been invited to my Uncle Mike's house for the evening, but Dan was a little under the weather after dinner, and I was tired, so we stayed in and relaxed. Tomorrow we're going up to Santa Fe.