Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Greetings from Raton, New Mexico

Today is the first day on our journey back to Utah that I got tired of being in the car and was grateful to reach the hotel. Even then, I wasn’t desperate. Just not really into the driving thing anymore. I’m grateful it’s gone so well. Most of the time, I can honestly say I’ve been enjoying the drive. It didn’t help that today we reached New Mexico, and the landscape is undeniably less interesting. I’m reminded of Utah and how dry and barren much of it can look. Even when you see trees and other assorted shrubbery, you can tell that it is all dry and brittle compared to what you’d find elsewhere (say, in Tallahassee). This reminds me of another sacrifice of moving back to Utah.

When we stopped for lunch today in the small town of Memphis, Texas, it was raining lightly. But the air itself was crisp and dry. I haven’t felt that in years. It’s something I miss—dry, crisp air, especially when it rains. This reminds me of another benefit of moving back to Utah.

The hotel tonight feels fancy. It has an indoor heated pool, and the inside area of the hotel that surrounds the pool is wide and open, making it seem somehow luxurious. The kids think it’s awesome. We went swimming as soon as we’d settled into our room. We’re now back in the room awaiting a pizza delivery, watching the Disney Channel after failing to find anything family friendly that’s better. (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has since started, which is awesome so I’m happy.) We feel nice and cozy. The quirky thing about this hotel is that the rooms have both indoor and outdoor doors. That is, you can enter your hotel room directly from outside the hotel, and you can enter your hotel room from inside the hotel. There is a door on each side of your hotel room. That’s a first. (No ceiling fan in the room, though.)

We got pulled over in Texas. Our license plate is balanced in our rear window rather than affixed in the normal spot. The Florida DMV told us that’s okay. The Texas state trooper told us it’s against the law. He also told us our tag was two months expired. “But it says April 2015,” we politely replied. “That’s right,” he said. We repeated this a couple more times before he more or less rolled his own eyes at himself and said he was mentally distracted by worrying about us having pulled over onto a very soft shoulder that he was unsure we’d be able to get out of. He then said he’d try to block traffic to allow us back on the road. He didn’t give us a ticket or even a warning, officially speaking. No reminder to get our license plate affixed. It was just suddenly over. He was actually quite friendly.

We had planned to stop at Cadillac Ranch today. We accidentally passed it before we realized it was there. It didn’t look very impressive. When I saw it, my initial reaction was a kind of disappointed, “Oh. Eh. Meh.” Kids were asleep, and we decided not to backtrack in order to see it up close. It really just looked like crappy old rusty metal poking out of the ground with tons of people standing around. I guess that’s what it is, but … well, yeah. We’re not sad about skipping it.

Pizza’s here. Gotta run.

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