Wednesday, 17 July 2013

road trip to see the west

Normally we would have watched the July 4th parade in our little city of 600 homes, but this year my daughter and her kids and I loaded the van for a trip to see great grandma and experience the great southwest and all it has to offer.

 We stopped at the Alamo in San Antonio to reflect on those who fought for what they believed in.
 Thankfully, we didn't have to travel by stage coach but instead had lovely comfort stops along the way including this one with mosaics.
 We showed the kids the end of the world ... or at least Exit "O"!
Stonehenge and Easter Island statues near Ingram, Texas.
 Sunset beside Picaho Peak in Arizona.  We also drove through a sand storm and a thunderstorm.  All part of the itinerary.
 Some unplanned stops turned out to be the best.  Painted Rock near Gila Bend was a great stop even in 114 degree heat.  Nearby was a huge solar farm with miles of arrays.  The juxtaposition of the archaeological history of the place and future of our energy consumption may have been lost on the kids.
We visited the Yuma Territorial Prison and took photos of the kids in the cell blocks.  
Someday these will be useful.

Me as Marilyn! More roadside attractions called to us on our journeys.
 The local cuisine was not to be missed.  This chili relleno was to die for.  We avoided eating in chain restaurants for the most part and were pleased with our selections.  My tummy ached for real Sonora Mexican food and I was never disappointed.
Plenty of museums were on the agenda, this one in an historical building in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

There are roadside attractions on almost all US highways. The Space Mural Museum near Las Cruces is filled with interesting mostly donated stuff.  The mural painted on the water tank is very well done.
 Pecans from east Texas.  Dipped in caramel or cinnamon.  Is he talking about us???
 Some of the local products are worth the trip. I'm waiting for the perfect dessert to pair this with.
I highly recommend the date shakes in Dateland, Arizona.  Next time (I can't believe I'm thinking of another road trip with grandkids...) but seriously next time, we will head north and east.  A fun way to see your country is to stop and smell the roses, the dates, the pecans, the wine, the chili, the coffee - whatever you find along the way. We found we were happiest with four to five hours of driving to allow plenty of time for attractions we might find in the cities or along the way.  More on my blog here: