The drive to Amarillo yielded LOTS of open country, dead animals along the road, clear skies, and a fantastic stop in Adrian, Texas at the Midway Cafe, a place that boasts being the mid-point between Los Angeles and Chicago on Route 66. An old timey diner and Route 66 paraphernalia greeted us, along with super sweet owners, and I loaded up on postcards, water bottles, a new "Cars" toy for Maggie, and a slice of chocolate peanut butter pie (one word: awesomeness). Maggie enjoyed the ride as we sang songs, looked for horses and cows and windmills, opened several travel gifts (many thanks to my mom and friend Nicole for their thoughtfulness...these kept us sane), and listened to Raffi and Colbie Calliat. I was about to pull my hair out at one more play-through of "bumpin' up and down in my little red wagon," when we saw the lights of Amarillo. After deciding not to stop in at the "Big Texan" restaurant, famous for it's competition of eating a 72 oz. steak dinner in 1 hour (click here for a list of winners...note the 118 pound female at one point...holy cow), we rolled into our hotel, a nice place with a suite, perfect for us. Maggie and Curren basically slept in the same room, which turned out just fine (in fact, they slept in the same room every night; before this trip I never would have thought that would have gone over well). We woke up the next morning, not too refreshed, but knowing we had to push through.
Memorial Day. After breakfast at the hotel, we loaded up and found a gas station. As we were filling up, we began to notice a plethora of unusual looking vehicles and soon discovered they were storm chasers...I think I counted over 18 of them. It was crazy...was there a tornado coming we didn't know about? We hoofed it out of there and soon, Amarillo was behind us. We were headed to Albuquerque. Again, more open country, dead animals (including 2 deer), and mesas. New Mexico is so beautiful! I started to notice Maggie getting more agitated today and continued to play with her, listen to music, make up voices for her dolls, just to pass the time. Throughout the drive several friends called which was a nice break. After we arrived and checked in at our hotel (an Embassy Suites...the suite thing works well if you have kiddos), we left for Sophia's Place, a restaurant featured on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Our friends, Clayton and Molly, have wanted to eat there for ages, and we beat them to it. It's basically a 5-star Mexican place in a little hole-in-the wall place. We pulled up, only to read a sign that said they were closed and to head over to the bowling alley across the street for dinner at their sister restaurant. We shrugged our shoulders and headed over, only to find it was also closed due to the holiday. Back at the hotel, we ordered room service (the spinach salad was a welcomed respite from fast food), put the kids to bed, and ordered a movie (which I ended up falling asleep to). We got a call about 30 minutes into the movie, a manager wanted Aron to come to the door. He asked if we had a crying baby and Aron said, no, Curren was sleeping. The man said someone had called about a crying/screaming baby. He was very nice, just wanted to check on us (translate: make sure we weren't child abusers). Curren had cried for a short window (maybe 10 minutes?) on his way to sleep that night, but nothing like I know he is capable of (we call his really bad cry "the velociraptor cry" because that is exactly what he sounds like). Conclusion: there is no way a parent called about our crying baby because any parent would know that kids cry, it's just how they are. Sheesh.
After putting Maggie's car seat in the truck so she could ride with Aron, we headed back to Sohpie's Place for breakfast and LOVED EVERY BITE...french toast and breakfast burritos. AMAZING, AMAZING. Worth the wait and the time to travel back to the restaurant. On the road by 11:30am, we embarked for Flagstaff, Arizona. More open road, dead animals, crying children, fast food, phone calls, and just enjoying the beautiful mountains and mesas. I also found a book on tape in my car, and that really helped make things go quicker. We had hoped to stop at the Petrified Forest, but didn't have time. We plan to do a Route 66 trip one of these days, and just travel the open road and see the sites on old Route 66. We rolled in to Flagstaff around 8:30pm that night and crashed, once again, at Embassy Suites. Flagstaff is gorgeous and at one point and thought, "I'm in Estes Park, CO!" It's stunning, just stunning.
We had debated going all the way to OC (the longest stretch yet...about 465 miles; we had traveled roughly 320 miles each day up to this point), but decided to do it. On the road earlier after a yummy breakfast in house, we headed out on the open road once again. Pockets of rain dashed against our windshields and we soaked in the sights of beautiful mountains and evergreens that lead into dessert. We stopped in Kingman, Arizona and had lunch at In-N-Out...what a thrill!! After a long day of driving (there really isn't that much new information to add here), we pulled into OC at 10pm. Another book and a half on tape (including my Texas book club's next pick, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) helped to pass the time. Curren was a champ overall, crying when he was sick and tired of his carseat (who can blame him?). Maggie was too, and survied the long drive as well.
We unloaded our truck last night (Thursday) with the help from some friends and now, on this beautiful Friday morning, face the task of unpacking. I'm tired and sad and feeling lonely, but know that God has good things for us here.