Interstellar Adventures

February 10, 2006

We’ll be drivin’ round El Paso all day long…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 7:22 am

Saturday started with more coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts. These guys are crazy about their donuts I tell you. The El Paso Times was a quick read. I guess not a lot goes on in El Paso. OK, maybe I’m joking a little bit. But not really. Nick worked at several radio stations in El Paso, and even hosted a morning show there. I’ve seen the tapes. As we were driving in on Friday, we were listening to the radio, and the show was, well, not so good. El Paso radio…where DJs go to die. It’s all gone downhill since Nick left. 😛

Let’s see…it was Mexican for breakfast again on Saturday. This time it was Franky’s. First, the lady that took our drink order greeted us in Spanish. My rusty high school/college Spanish got me well, nowhere. Coffee and water? Then, never before have I been served chips and salsa with my breakfast. I decided to get daring and ordered the juevos con chorizo. It was actually very good. But I’ve also never had refried beans served with my breakfast. I also found that it was very difficult to get a refill on my water…until I finally asked for it in Spanish. What am I? In France?

Nick and Pop at Franky’s. My breakfast and Nick’s breakfast.

After breakfast, we went on a drive around El Paso. The biggest thing in El Paso, besides Wal Mart, is Fort Bliss. The city is built around the Army base. Nick’s mom is buried in the military cemetery there. As the wife of a Navy man, she was able to be buried there. I’ve never been in a military cemetery before. It was definitely an experience. Seeing all the headstones with the various wars and service engraved on them. The precision with which the stone are laid out is also impressive.

Fort Bliss Military Cemetery.

Then we took the Scenic Drive up into the Franklin Mountains. Before the Transmountain Road was there, this was the first road that went up the mountain to cross to West El Paso.

Pictures of the mountains. Pictures from the Scenic Overlook

More Photos of El Paso

We took Pop back home. A couple of hours driving around really took it out of me the old man. We all took a nap. Then Nick and I went out and drove around some more. I got some cool new boots at the Tony Lama factory outlet. I wore them out to dinner Saturday night. Pop took us to the Great American Cattle Company. It was a decent steak. I never did get the cold glass for my beer.

Back at home, we traded boots for jammies and Pop and I played some poker and some cribbage. The old man had skillz! He gave me a good run for my buttons (come on! what’s more fun than playing poker with buttons!). Then Nick and I took a look at the vinyl records (remember those?) hidden away in the old-fashioned record player. Pop told us to go through them to see if we wanted any. We found a few good ones. Can you believe that Terry Bradshaw actually did a gospel album??? No friggen’ way! That was the find of the night.

Me & Pop at dinner. I never knew Terry Bradshaw sang! Evidently he’s done six albums!

Day 2 complete. Day 3…ya can’t wait can ya!

February 8, 2006

The road to El Paso is lined with dirt

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 6:08 am

Cooler: check. Suitcases: check. Coffee: check. Kids off to school: check. One final stop at Wal Mart and we were off. The rain and morning rush hour traffic slowed us down some. The rain didn’t clear for almost an hour. But when it stopped raining, Nick let go his death-grip off the door handle. He said “It’s not you I don’t trust…it’s those other dumbasses.”.

Nick and I yukkin’ it up in the car with our new His & Hers travel mugs.

I did most of the driving on the way there. I did get to take a bit of a break in the afternoon and have a look at the “scenery”. Cactus, hills, cotton fields, oil fields, dirt, mountains, and road. Between the Sudoku, music, conversation with my fabulous hubby and a bit of a nap, we managed to make the drive in just ten and a half hours.

The skies are finally clearing as Nick brings us in closer to El Paso.

More scenery along the way. Oil drills a.k.a. Grasshoppers. Cotton fields. Mountains. Boracho Station. More mountains.

We arrived at his dad’s house at about 5:30 El Paso (Mountain) Time. Nick’s dad is a dear old man. He’s 85 and just about as adorable as can be. He’s almost completely deaf, even with his hearing aid. Nick and his brother both “talk” to him by writing on dry-erase boards. But, I guess my voice waves are at the right wave length that he was able to understand a bit of what I said if I said it loud enough.

My first experience with “real” Mexican food was at an old favorite of Nick’s family. La Casita is a place where Nick grew up eating. He and his family know the owners, and they were happy to see him after so long. I perused the menu, expecting dishes and descriptions with which I was not familiar. But there they were. Tamale. Chile Relleno. Enchilada. I gave one of the combination plates a try. Even the chips that hit the table looked the same. I do admit the salsa was a bit more caliente than the salsas presented around here. It was definitely freshly made, not served out of a jar. Mira…it’s the almost same sh*t. There were a few slight differences in El Paso Mexican Food and Plano Mexican Food. But the taste wasn’t overwhelmingly different. I didn’t sit up and say “Oh my gosh! This is what I’ve been missing my whole life!”. Now, I guess since Nick grew up on the “real” stuff, he’s more sensitive to the differences. Perhaps his palate is more refined than mine (when it comes to Mexican food). I mean, it was good and all, but I didn’t see the big deal.

After dinner, back at Pop’s house, we chatted, had coffee and a Dunkin’ Donut for dessert. Nick and his dad are both fans of Dunkin’ Donuts. We haven’t had those in our area in quite awhile. So it was just a nice, relaxing evening at home after our long drive.

To be continued…

February 7, 2006

Back from El Paso

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 7:45 am

Nick and I are back, safe and sound. The road was long and windy, but we had a great time. I’ll give full details of the trip in a couple of installments. Travel time from Plano to El Paso: 10.5 hours, including rain and AM traffic. Travel time from El Paso to Plano: 10 hours. 😀

Until I download all the details from my brain, I leave you with my favorite picture from the trip. The mid-day moon over the Franklin Mountains.

February 2, 2006

Road Trip!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 12:34 pm

Nick and I are packing up and taking a weekend road-trip to his hometown, El Paso. His dad is 85 and doesn’t travel more than a couple of miles from his home, which means I’ve never met him, and Nick hasn’t seen him since last April.

El Paso is a looong way from Plano. I’ve never been there before. Google Maps says almost 13 hours, but based on 650 miles at an average 70 miles per hour, that’s just 9.25 hours of drive time. We’re bringing food and stuff with us so we don’t have to stop to eat, so we’ll only stop for bio-breaks and to refill the gas tank.

Nick’s in charge of music too. I mean, the Celebrity Name Game can only take us so far before we run out of celebrities. How does one play the Celebrity Name Game? Well, it’s a game that I made up. Whoever starts the game (doesn’t matter how you pick who starts) names a celebrity. Say Tom Cruise. Then the other person has to come up with a celebrity who’s first name starts with the first letter of the previous celebrity’s last name. Say Chrisitian Bale. Then the other person would say maybe Barbara Streisand. Then Susan Sarandon. And so forth. No celebrity name can be repeated. You win by stumping the other person. If they couldn’t come up with another celebrity within a reasonable time frame they lose the game. So, coming up with names with weird letters like Q and Y and Z and stuff is key. I’ve got to study up…

I’ll also be taking plenty of Sudoku puzzles with me. And probably a couple of knitting projects as well. I have a hat that I’m working on for Elle that I haven’t had the patience to finish.

While in El Paso, I anticipate eating lots of Mexican food. Not Tex-Mex mind you. Nick actually hates Tex-Mex. It’s not real Mexican food according to him. So, by Monday, I’ll be Mexican-fooded out. Hopefully we won’t have to make exponentially more bio-breaks on the way home as a result.

I doubt I’ll be able to check in or visit any of you over the weekend. We’re driving back on Monday, so *gasp* I’ll be at least four whole days without blogging! I’ve never done that before. 😦 I’ll miss you all. Don’t have too much fun without me. Play nice. Maybe go visit someone on my Blogroll you’ve never been to visit before. If you do, let me know.

February 1, 2006

Blahs

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 11:24 am

I hate the blahs. I think that’s why I was imagining yesterday where I would travel to if I could. I’m feeling the blahs again. I’ve suffered from the blahs most of my life. They’re a total pain in the ass. There I was, feeling good and looking good, and then the blahs came creeping back in. For no particular reason. No one brought them to me. Nothing happened that opened that door for them to visit again. They just invaded without warning. Like termites. Or mosquitos. I know what I need to do to put the blahs at bay. But they’re just so powerful sometimes that it’s hard to start the extermination process. Bastards. I think I’m at the point though where I can start fighting back. I tried to ignore them at first, thinking that maybe they were just temporary. But no, the little shits had to take root.

I’m going for a run tonight. Step 1 in the Blah-Banishment process.

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