|Friday, Aug. 16, 2002 || Lamarre Vacation Chronicles (days 1 & 2)|
Did you miss me?
It has actually been a very nice break. No computer "calling" me to check e-mail, site-surf, or post to forums. Not that I haven’t missed it. I just forced myself, even when one was accessible, to simply check e-mail and delete the plethora of junk mail that 18 days of traveling with only web-mail access once a week or so can produce.
I am not sure where to begin! In a nutshell, we had a great vacation. The stuff memories are made of. Quality time with family and friends and amazing sights to boot. Humorous nuggets I hope I am coherent enough to remember and share over the next week or so.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so that is how I will chronicle our trip.
Hop on board and enjoy with me!
On our way to our first over-night stop in OK, we dropped in on some friends in Springfield, MO, seeing their beautiful daughter, Kayla for the first time in over 5 months. We shared a pizza with them, and headed back out, grabbing some ice cream from Brahms for the road (I even treated myself to a double-dip of my favorite frozen yogurt!).
It grew dark as we crossed the MO/OK border. I drove for a bit while Rob napped. After he took over the wheel, I tried my best to stay awake, but found myself dozing on and off after we passed through Oklahoma City.
I was awakened to “OH MY GOD!” from my husband’s lips, only to open my eyes as he was slamming on the brakes in the midst of a whirling cloud of dust. The road and everything ahead of us disappeared in the swirling wind and dirt.
And just that fast, we could see again, the dust dissipating magically. “I don’t know what that was, but watch over there,” Rob whispered urgently, motioning to the right where lightening lit up the sky, trying not to startle our now-awake children. I could feel the gusts hitting the van now, jerking us around the road as Rob hurried to our hotel, thankfully only a few miles away.
As we parked and Rob ran in to check us in, the deluge began, the Oklahoma skies opening with full force of wind and pelting rain. We parked as close to our room as we could and dashed inside, leaving all luggage locked in the van and opting to sleep in our clothes as we viewed almost the entire state awash in bright greens, oranges, and reds on the local news’ radar.
"Watch for wind gusts between 60 and 80 miles an hour at the squall line..," the weather man droned.
You don’t say?!
Rob relayed to me later the utter absurdity of fearing for one’s life just moments before checking into a hotel, only to find a night auditor who could best be described as…
Well, let me say this. Rob dashed into the lobby, unsure what we had just driven through, what might be yet on the way, his family sequestered in a van as the very floodgates of heaven were opened, hoping to see the news on the TV screen, seeking assurance that a notorious OK twister was not even then barreling toward us, and wishing to catch his breath.
He was greeted by a greasy, mulleted, gold-toothed, tattooed, and pierced, late-night-talk-show-watching, thinking-he’s-still-eighteen-30-something of the male gender. He brandished a platinum ID bracelet emblazoned with the self-declaration, "Playboy".
"What happening with the weather?" Rob inquired.
The little ironies of life.
"Oh, I had to cancel your reservation to do the night audit. But I can still check you in and I’ll give you a discount." Gee, thanks, Jethro.
What a way to start a vacation!
We were back on the road by 11 AM, our longest driving day ahead of us – 12.5 hours worth to get to Williams, AZ. At least we would be falling back 2 hours from central time, as AZ doesn’t observe daylight savings time.
I had been told that this was not a very attractive part of the drive, but I was pleasantly surprised by all the beauty and intrigue found in the landscape and various stops along the way.
"The Cross" – Groom, Texas
The Cadillac Ranch – just west of Amarillo, Texas
I thought New Mexico was beautiful. I really love southwestern architecture and design, so the landscape really held my attention.
Before we hit Albuquerque, where we stopped for dinner at a Texas-style BBQ restaurant, we watched the sky change, gray clouds first hovering on the horizon, and then expanding from north to south to eventually envelope us and treat us to another deluge of rain so hard the baked-on insects were washed from the windshield.
We continued on through NM, taking a brief detour on route 666. I fell asleep sometime just over the AZ border. We arrived at the hotel in Williams at what felt like 1 AM, but local time was but 11 PM. I was tired but excited about seeing the Grand Canyon the next day!
I will end my “novel” with this. After our dinner break, we were treated to a spectacular sunset in the NM desert. A pallet of turquoise, orange, fuchsia, and scarlet to feast our eyes upon.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007