Day 2 and 3 – Driving through Texas & New Mexico

I really enjoyed getting to spend time with my cousin Becky & her family – we hung around her house for breakfast & a bit after on Sunday. We even got to see Ben do his first flip onto his belly!

Once we got on the road, our only plan for the day was to stop in Amarillo to check out Cadillac Ranch. On the way out of Oklahoma, we stopped at the Cherokee Trading Post – partially because I had promised to help a friend’s son with a school project & needed a postcard from Oklahoma & partially because I have a fondness for tacky things.

And, oh, the tackiness. There were taxidermied rattlensakes, snake head keychains, and SO MUCH SNAKE STUFF. There was also a mounted “jackalope” head & a plethora of wolf-related merchandise. I did get my postcard while we were there and kind of enjoyed walking around & seeing the tacky.

Cadillac Ranch was interesting, but not exactly what I expected – there were also a lot more people there at 5pm on a Sunday than I thought there would be. The cars, ranging from model years 1949 to 1963, are covered in so much paint at this point that it’s just got a crackle texture. Some of the cars even have things carved INTO the paint instead of people adding paint to them.

I spent my evening/the night at the Blue Swallow Motel. It’s a small mom & pop run place right on Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The hotel has been here since 1939, & as such, these aren’t your luxury hotel rooms. But there’s free wi-fi, the rooms are clean and comfortable, & I have no complaints. It’s very retro, in a good way. The owner is friendly & offered to help with photos the minute the neon lights were turned on at night. It was a fun little slice of life on route 66 for the evening.

Monday found us going bright & early after a flood in the RV in the middle of the night – D-squared apparently had a good time cleaning it up while I was snoozing soundly in my comfy hotel bed. We knew it was going to be a long day with stops planned in Santa Fe & Albuquerque.

The only real plan in Santa Fe was to see the San Miguel Mission – the oldest church in the United States. I also happened along the oldest house in the US, which was conveniently located on the walk to the mission from our parking spot. Which was conveniently located near a chocolate shop I happened to spot when I was trying to get back to where we needed to be in the first place. Said chocolate shop was named Kakawa Chocolate House and had a lovely clean bathroom as well. The owner was lovely & took time to explain all her treats. I got a small sample of her caramels – a Rose Caramel sweetened with agave nectar, the Chili Caramel, and the Sea Salt Caramel. As of this moment, I’ve only tried the Rose one, which had a distinctly rose flavor. Because she used agave instead of sugar, the sweetness was different, too. Almost lighter, I guess. I loved that the caramel was still soft & gooey. It was nice, but I think I’m good on tasting rose flavored items. (Life List Item #3, Candy/Chocolate #5).

After lunch in Santa Fe, we hit the road to Albuquerque, with the intention of seeing San Felipe de Neri church & The Candy Lady. Mission: Accomplished. The coconut bon bons are almost as good as I remember and well worth the stop in Old Town. I also stopped in one of MANY shops there and found some earrings for $5 a pair that I quite liked.

I would love to spend more time both places at some point – maybe take a day or two in each one instead of an hour or so driving through – but during this trip we were on a bit of a schedule. The night stop was at USA RV Park in Albuquerque, where I managed a quick game of wizard’s chess while waiting for dinner.

I stayed in a small cabin, where I made a new friend as I sat outside during the evening. This guy belongs to the owners & is a very friendly cat. He jumped right on my lap and made himself comfortable.

Bass Resort Cabin this was not. But the (public) bathrooms are clean enough and free of bugs. The bed was not so comfy & I nearly froze, but that was partially my fault for not having enough blankets with me.