Monday, 6 October 2008

01/10/2008 - 17/10/2008 Texas - Arizona

01/10/2008 - Brisbane to Dallas - Well after nearly 3 months of being back home in Australia it was hard to believe that it was time to head back to Stubbie. It was really great to catch-up with a lot of our family and friends (however, we must apologise to our friends and family that we didn't get a chance to see, time just went way too fast).
Dave was a happy man when he found out that he was travelling in row 1. I was fairly happy as well, they had given Mum and I a Bulk Head row (which meant we had extra leg room). Well after we entered the plane and I gave The Big Fella a kiss goodbye at the front door; he proceeded to go up the front and Mum and I went down to the back of the plane, I was starting to wonder why we had only upgraded Dave (don't think that will happen again). One of the flight attendants made the long long trek down to Mum and I to say that they were going to upgrade me (unfortunately they weren't able to upgrade both of us). So I went up to the front with the Big Fella - had my lunch, ordered breakfast, watched a movie and then went back and let Mum have a turn (geez I'm a good daughter). Near the end of the flight once all the meals etc. had been served they let us all sit up the front for landing. So after we successfully negotiated Customs and Immigration (properly this time) we head on over to the Qantas Club for our flight to Dallas (here I learnt another lesson about travelling in the States). We are sitting in the Qantas Club and I'm keeping an eye on the Departures Board waiting for the status to change to Boarding. Well apparently they don't always change the status to Boarding at either the Gate or on the Departure Board. Yep, we watched our flight slowly pull away from the bridge. We did manage to catch the next flight - it was only one hour later.

So we got ourselves and our luggage out to Stubbie - we were feeling a bit anxious to see if she would start - but we should never have doubted her - first attempt she started roaring like a race car engine. We then headed off to buy a few essential groceries and then onto a really lovely RV Park in Dallas. The RV park was on a lake. At this lake they actually have like a huge carport shelter over the boats that are being stored in the berths.

02/10/2008 -04/10/2008 - Well after we all woke up Dave and I around noon and Mum around 3:00pm (she kept hiding under the blankets whenever Dave and I tried to get her up) there wasn't really a lot left of the day, so we just cleaned a few things up. That night we were all awake around 12:30am and didn't get back to sleep until after 3:00am - good old Jet Lag. On our way to Amarillo we stopped at a small town named Vernon - well this town was more like a ghost town. We arrived at Amarillo for Mum to do some retail therapy (she was starting to get the DT's 4 days without any shopping).

We went to a Texas Steakhouse for dinner, this is where Mum said that she like she was really in Texas. All the staff were wearing the Big Texas hats with the appropriate cowboy shirts etc. The dining room was decorated with all sorts of stuffed game animals. The Gift Shop actually had a live rattle snake - I wasn't going too close even though it was in a glass cage. At this restaurant if you can eat a 72oz steak and the four sides they give you - then it's free if not it costs you $50.
We then headed off to try and see a University Football Game - something that Dave and I have been looking forward to seeing. Well we needed to park Stubbie about a kilometre away from the Stadium - on our way to walking to the Stadium a very nice man stopped and gave us all a lift to just outside the gate (I still can't get over how helpful and polite the Americans have been). After settling it for about 10 minutes it starts raining and the wind gusts are really strong - at least half the crowd is packing up and leaving and as we didn't have any wet weather gear we left too (but not before we were looking like drowned rats). But after seeing the small amount of the game that we did (and the cheerleaders do a few flips) - we know we will definitely be going back to another game. All through the night the wind was howling and the rain didn't let up - so we woke up in the morning and decided to stay put for another night. As Mum and I were walking to the Office we passed a gentlemen who advised us that there was a small chance of a Tornado in the afternoon - oh great. Well the first thing Mum does is start looking for the Storm Shelter. Lucky for us that Tornado never made it to where we were staying.

05/10/2008 – 06/10/2006 – Roswell / Ruidiso. After we left Amarillo, Texas we headed to Roswell, New Mexico for our alien out of body experience. We arrive in Roswell right at lunch time, so we headed to the Red Lobster for a rather large meal. Even I couldn’t finish it all, but it was sure nice to get some fresh Lobster and Shrimp. When we drove into the centre of Roswell the first thing that we noticed was that all the lamp posts had an alien face painted on the globes, Mcdonald's was a space ship and the place was full of aliens. So we paid our money (1 adult, 2 x seniors, I’m loving this in many places their Seniors are 55 and over, so now Dave qualifies for some senior rates) and went into the Museum. It was really quite interesting reading about the events that have happened in Roswell. After Roswell we headed to Ruidiso.
Ruidiso is a small town at the bottom of a mountain range, from what we saw it is more like a skiing village set up mainly for the winter season. When we checked in we were told not to feed the deer as they were in their mating season, there were deer everywhere, just felt like being back at the Canyon House – I wasn’t game to try and hand feed these ones. During the nightwe got our first taste of winter with a sprinkling of snow on the hills.

07/10/2008 – 11/10 2008 – Albuquerque. Off to the balloon festival at Albuquerque. This is the most photographed event in the world and you could see why when we first arrived. We had booked a premium site to make sure we could reserve a place for Stubbie before we left for Australia. It was a good thing we did as there were 5,000 plus other RVs already settled in when we arrived. All the RVs were in three different areas and the RVs were parked Rally Style which is another way of saying we will park you all as close as possible. We got to know our neighbors very well as we could hold hands whist we were in our own beds. The good news was you had to be up at 5am any way so we all use to have afternoon nanny naps before happy hour and more balloon festivities. The balloon festival was truly sensational. We walked in an out of the balloons as they set up for flight. We were like little kids with big smiles and open mouths as we marveled at the sites. They allowed the public to be right amongst all the action. There were a number of take off and landing areas for the balloons with one of the fields right in front of Stubbie. The main field was about 500 meters away and it was the size of 5 football fields put together and it was wall to wall balloons. Make sure you go into the photo section of the blog to see all the different balloon photos.

11/10/2008 – The bad weather was beginning to settle in (there was snow on the mountains behind us), the balloon ascension had been cancelled so we decided to head into Old Town Albuquerque. We thought we have been getting good at packing everything up properly until when we were driving out one of the RV guides asked if we were going to watch TV – yep we had left the aerial up (again) but luckily no harm done.
Dave is excited we are going to the Atomic Bomb Musuem ……., Mum and I go in have a quick look around, watch part of one of the movies and decided we were having way too much fun – so we left the movie and decided to go and do the free walking tour offered by the Albuquerque Art and History Museum. This walk just happens to go past the jewelry stores where they sell all the Turquoise.

So after the tour Mum and I decided that it would be the right thing to do and go and help their economy. Instead of going back to the Balloon Park we decided to head on up to Santa Fe (the weather wasn’t getting any better, there were storms all around us). On our way to Santa Fe we stopped in this really beautiful little town called Madrid, which has some lovely little boutiques, jewelery shops and coffee shops. Well, Mum and I ended up buying some really lovely shirts from this little antique style boutique, whilst Dave is waiting in the coffee shop – oh well back to Stubbie and onto Santa Fe.

12/10/2008 – 13/10/2008 – Santa Fe. Okay it’s time for some serious retail therapy off to the Outlet Stores. Dave has decided that he needs to spend some quality time with himself and fix up a few things on Stubbie. So Mum and I grab a taxi (the driver give’s us a general history / geography lesson on Santa Fe, which is more than what we get back home) and off we go, well after a few hours and few bargains we decide to head back to the Big Fella (we thought he might have been missing us – but he lets us know that he was happy having some quiet time). Whilst in New Mexico we thought we better go to a Mexican restaurant for the night – once again Mum made mention that she once again felt that she was in New Mexico (for those of you who know my Mum this wont come as any surprise).
We have booked ourselves on a Horse Trail Ride in the Wild West Country. We arrive at the Ranch and are introduced to our horses – Mum has Dollar, Dave has RC and I’ve got Cowboy. Mum is a bit apprehensive and keeps threatening to chicken out – but as she is a trooper she gets on and off we go. The trail is rather quiet rocky and for the first hour we tend to stay on the Ranch and go over / around one of the mountains. Mum (and her body) has decided that one hour is enough and calls it quit. Dave and I soldier on for another hour. We go outside the Ranch and along the road to a old Western Movie set where the likes of John Wayne and Kevin Costner have shot some films. The Lead says that you normally get a horse with a personality that represents the rider. Mum’s horse Dollar wanted to stop and have little snacks all the time – just like Mum. My horse Cowboy didn’t want to stop as often, but when he did stop he wanted to eat a lot, and he also wouldn’t let Dave’s horse RC pass him no matter how hard Dave tried – so competitive (okay a bit like his rider). Dave’s horse RC was dithering at the back, taking it all in and pulling up the rear, and then once he found out that Cowboy wouldn’t let him pass, he kept trying to pass us – a bit like Dave always trying. It really was a great way to start the day. It had been awhile since either Dave or I had been on a horse but luckily for us some of what we had been taught came back to us – well we thought so anyway.

13/10/2008 – 14/10/2008 – Taos. On our way to Taos we have a quick stop at Chimayo to visit the El Santuario de Chimayo. This is a church that was built between 1813 – 1816 and is believed to have healing powers the US equivalent of Lourdes. So off we go say a few prayers and then back to Stubbie to Taos. The bad weather seems to be following us. The next morning we all woke up and got out of bed, very gingerly, as we were a bit wary to see if our bodies were going to talk to us – after our horse ride – but luckily for us all bits were in working order).

So we go to see the Taos Pueblo which is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the USA. When we arrive the rain is really starting to come down, so mum decides to stay in comfort and keep Stubbie company. Dave and I have decided that we have come this far, so we are going in. Well whilst we are waiting to purchase our tickets a few snow flakes start falling, so Dave and I have decided it is going to be a quick visit. We’ve had to make a few stops at Walmart etc to buy some extra blankets for Mum and a heated blanket for Dave and I. When we first arrived in Dallas, we were hot in our shorts, now we are cold in our tracksuits and gloves.

15/10/2008 – On our way to the Grand Canyon we stayed the night at the SKY City Casino at Acoma, which was a great little park at the back of the casino. For Mum and me it was just like being back at Wynnum with the Leagues club at the back door. So off we went to make our fame and fortune. Unfortunately it was a cold, cold night in the desert and when we got up in the morning we had no water. Our outside water pipe was frozen. When Dave went out side to see what could be done he noticed our sewerage pipe was also frozen. Nothing is worst than a frozen poo pipe. After flushing the pipes with hot water and making sure we got as much sun on all the pipes we managed to clear out pipes. What a relief…. Now it is off to the Grand Canyon.

16/10/2008 – Grand Canyon. We checked into the RV Park, which is the National Park right at the top of the Grand Canyon, within a 1km walk to the rim, or a two minute bus ride. I had read that if you are visiting the Grand Canyon it is best to see the Sunrise and the Sunset. So the alarm goes off at 5:30 and Dave and I are up getting ready. Well Mum has got up made a cup of tea and gone back to bed, she said she will see the Sunset. So off Dave and I go and we arrive with about 5 mins to spare. So we are standing there along with a hundred other people, the silence is just amazing, waiting for the Sun to Rise. Well the moment finally comes when you can start to see the tip of the Sun, it sure was worthwhile getting up to spectacular site. (Okay I probably owe Dave an apology; yes it is more than just another hole in the ground).

It’s great to have Mum travelling with us and sharing some of our experiences. Dave is a bit worried as we are certainly stopping more to do some retail therapy, Mum really can’t go to long without some shopping and of course I go with her and normally end up buying something, so Stubbie is getting more and more packed. I think Mum will be buying another suit case to get some of her gear home – so for those of you who thought you would be getting some presents think again, she has no room left to bring anything back, after she takes a few of my little bargains back with her.
PS..Help ...get me out of here ...these women are driving me crazy!!...!!

1 comment:

Jules said...

Fancy giving us the finger Gaysy!!!! Wait till we get over there! I have your book and credit card which I might add I will use - do you mind if the Love God and I upgrade our flights with the card???????????? See you next Saturday -do you think I'm excited?