...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A quick drive to Texas

This past weekend Josh and I took a drive.

We do that sometimes.  

But we don't usually drive 1200 miles each way.

So we thought we'd give that a try (aka, Josh's baby brother lives in Roanoke, Texas with his cute wife and family and they had a new baby and we wanted to meet her and since it was summer we could schlep off without disrupting life too much and leave the kids behind with grandma -- thanks a billion, Grandma -- and so we did!).

Quick selfie for starters and we're off!

You know you like each other when you can spend nine hours a day together in the car for multiple days and still get along.  Actually, I don't mind being trapped in a steel box with this guy for extended periods of time.

Stopped halfway in Albuquerque...I'll be honest, we didn't love it.  We had some NOT AWESOME experiences there and the hotel we chose (sorry, Howard Johnson Rio Rancho, but you really did stink it up) earned a very poor review from us, which takes some effort.

However, we did get to stop by the Albuquerque LDS temple and that was fabulous -- what a gorgeous place (although I think we made the security guard nervous when we wandered onto the grounds at 9:30 pm).

We went back to the hotel where I worked a bit and Josh colored (honestly, and let me tell you, he does a BeAuTiFuL job!).

Then it was back on the road the next morning.  We drove through the town of Moriarty and had to send pictures to our Sherlock obsessed oldest daughter.

And in Memphis (still in Texas, not Tennessee...I know I'm bad a geography, but for real, it was Memphis) we found this friend hangin' out with his horse inside the Sonic attached to the gas station with the one non-gender specific bathroom (BOOM, politically correct!).  Also the bathroom was filthy, but the clerk spoke with a delicious Southern accent so I was lulled into acceptance of the place.

But then there was the sky.

I could have taken 8,436 pictures of clouds.  The sky was on point that day.  Great job, Mother Nature!

Finally, we got to the Marriot where we stayed in Roanoke and it was GREAT (except for the part where a couple of dogs started barking on our floor at 11:30 one night and the front desk eventually had to call animal control to come deal with the issue because there were no humans in the rooms -- we apparently have great luck with hotels).  We got to watch fireworks out our BIG bay window one of the nights because the track across the street did a premature 4th of July display.  I give this place a thumbs up and 3/4.  

And best of all, we got to spend a couple of days with Josh's brother, Chris, and his family.  It was 
sooooooooooo much fun to play with our niece and nephew and hold our adorable new baby niece.  Three kids, and all awesome.  

We also got to have a personal tour of Chris and Tricia's lovely new house (guided by our four year old niece so we saw all the fancy stuff like closets and stairways).  These kids are the cutest things, no wonder we love them.

We weren't all the way ready for the humid heat of Texas (well, Josh was more ready than I was having lived in Chicago for two years).  It was hot.  Same temps we left in Utah, but Utah was gentle and inviting compared to this.  

I learned to breathe my water and quit fighting my hair (happy ponytailing for me) and then all was well.

We ate real Texas BBQ (which was fabulous), and ate real Texas candy (which was just like any other candy) and then we went to Buc-ee's.  

It's a gas station.  
But it is also an institution.

That place was something else.  
Seriously, I can't explain it to you if you haven't seen it for yourself.  

And, oddly, we learned that Josh has had a Buc-ees keychain on his keyring for YEARS.  It was a Christmas gift from Logan when Logan was in pre-school (the teachers must have bought keychains in bulk while in the Lone Star State, but we never knew there was a story behind this baby).  So without knowing it, our relationship with Buc-ee's goes waaaay back!

Then more dance parties with kiddos, food from a GREAT Italian place, and a beautiful baby blessing rounded out the adventure.  (I had to steal Tricia's picture from Facebook because the pictures we took are on Josh's phone and he isn't here and I keep forgetting to download them when he is around...that's how I roll).
Honestly, is there a cuter little family out there?
We miss seeing our DeMoux relatives as often as we would like, but it was wonderful to see them on their home turf.  All too soon, it was time to head back to Utah.

But there was plenty to see on the way back too.

One more hotel room (at the same rotten hotel in Albuquerque because I'm a pre-planner which backfired but good for me this time around)

Don't be fooled by its mild mannered look, this place is a super villain!
There was no hot water this night.  For real.  At all.  
There was also no real cold water.  

There was only water breathed on softly by a dragon so it was vaguely warm. (This is the part where I tell you the sad tale of a call to the front desk clerk who relayed the message that people were working on the plumbing earlier in the day, but no one is available to look into the issue now because they have all left and are unavailable and sorry, but you'll just have to deal with it.  Grrrr.  So we opted not to shower in the luke warm flow and took our stinky selves into their otherwise tidy lobby to smell up the place during breakfast the next morning because even the next day there was still no hot water.  We showed 'em! -- in reality we were just too tired and achy to shower in un-heated H2O.   It was a long drive home.) 

Josh's hair doing its thing in the absence of a shower.
 And these guys laughed at us when we hauled our stinky selves down to breakfast.  Jerks.

And then we got home and our kids came running to the car because they missed us (it was actually very sweet).  And we took a shower.

All in all, it was a great drive.
We'll have to do it again sometime.

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