Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Mexico Enchantment

So, it seems we are having a bit of a "bump in the road" on our trip, with traveling with our sweet toddler. Our night last night was better, but then CJ woke up this morning at 5:30am crying, and as soon as I picked him up he felt very hot!! His temperature was 101.4, so we gave him his next dose of medicine and tried to get him to settle down. But it was clear that our independent boy was up for the day, and despite not feeling well, he was in good spirits and full of energy. We went to the hotel breakfast and fed CJ some fruit and pancake and cinnamon roll. He also drank a little milk. By the time we came back from breakfast and got packed, we checked CJ's temp again and it had come down to around 100. Because we were already up, we decided to get an early start to our day!! Before we left, JT and I decided that we would try to take it easy on CJ today since it was obvious that he wasn't feeling 100% and we wanted to limit the amount of time we had him outdoors in the Southwestern heat!

Our first stop was Petroglyph National Monument since we were already in Albuquerque, and it was on our way out of town! We drove through some beautiful scenery on our way to and at the park, but decided not to do the hike.

Then we drove to El Malpais National Monument. It was neat to see the landscaping change before our eyes as we left the flat barren plains and entered El Malpais, where there were more trees.
Again, we just elected to do the scenic drive rather than try to do any of the hikes the park had to offer, but what we got to see was very pretty!!
Funny story: These were my "Route 66 sunglasses".
I thought they were super cool and bought them for $6 back at the Route 66 Museum the other day (all the days are starting to run together, thank goodness I am blogging otherwise I wouldn't be able to remember!). They also had some gold "Elvis Shades" that I tried to talk JT into getting, but he wasn't feeling them at their $10 price, ha ha!! I thought we could have made quite the pair. Anyhow, between El Malpais & our next stop, they got broken! :( I won't say by who, but I will give y'all one guess:
(But it is my own fault for letting him play with them!) Ha ha! At least I have these pictures to remember them by. RIP Route 66 Sunglasses.

As we drove over to El Morro National Monument we passed the Continental Divide.
El Morro was probably my favorite thing we had the chance to do here in New Mexico! I thought it was just SOO gorgeous and really neat to see all that history!!
We decided that we could try to do the Inscription Loop Trail hike here because it was paved (perfect for stroller!) and was only a half a mile. I am so glad we did!
The black "stripes" on the rock are from where the water falls after a heavy rain, or when the snow melts.
And it flows into this pool of water, which in the olden days was the only water available for travelers for miles around!
The coolest part of El Morro (aka Inscription Rock) were all the petroglyphs and inscriptions you could see on the rock.
The inscriptions date back to the 1600's when the Spanish traveled through this area.
This one was my favorite!! Amazing to see such a pretty "font" carved in stone from so long ago!!
Mr. CJ Teether and Me at the base of El Morro with the gorgeous New Mexico landscape behind us.
Another shot from the base.
As we left El Morro, we headed toward Gallup, where we are spending the night this evening. CJ was getting increasingly irritable. JT went to get us some food while I stayed back at the hotel with CJ trying my best to console him. Here he is trying to bite JT's sock off. Gross but I guess it felt good on his teeth?!As the evening wore on, he didn't really want to eat, and then he started refusing to drink too which worried us!! I called our pediatrician in Ann Arbor, and touched base with them about if all this fever & cranktasticness is teething or something else. Tough to say since he's been exposed to who knows what germs all over half the country, but we know what to keep an eye out for and are watching him to make sure we don't need to go to any ER/clinics. Please pray it is just teeth, and that he'll be feeling better soon!!

He struggled to go down again tonight, but the fact that we are in a single room (vs. a suite) could also be a contributing factor. Overall, it was a good day, and we really enjoyed New Mexico's "Enchantment" (since they claim to be the "Land of Enchantment") at their National Monuments!! More National Parks are penciled in on the schedule for tomorrow in Arizona, but top priority is making sure that CJ is okay!!

Cadillac Ranch to Albuquerque

Last night we had the roughest night to date on the road trip (NOTE, I am knocking on some serious wood that tonight will be better!!) But poor little CJ woke up around 1:30 screaming in pain, and he would NOT go back down in the pack 'n play after an hour and several attempts by both of he ended up coming to sleep in the bed with us. And by sleep with us, I really mean sleep on us, kick us and prevent us from sleeping. I honestly thought at one point that the hotel front desk was going to call to see if everything was okay because "we" were just that noisy!! He was definitely whinier than usual today, but we really tried hard to stay on top of the Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Please pray for those teeth to break through!! These canines are worse than the 1st molars and we hate seeing our baby boy in pain!!! :(

After we got up and going late this morning (in our efforts to recover from little to no sleep last night), we went to Chick-fil-a for brunch. After living without CFA or Sonic nearby for the past 6 years, we always enjoy getting to hit them up when we can! if getting to go to CFA wasn't enough, Sonic was right there in the same food court (at the mall) so I was able to get my favorite drink (Cherry Limeade) with my Chick-fil-a Sandwich!!

Then we headed over to Cadillac Ranch. This is the most random, interesting thing ever. Why someone would just want to bury a bunch of cars is beyond me, but they are iconic, and we had to see them!! It was cool to see the cars, and the different "artwork" that people had created on them.
As we continued our trek westward, we left Amarillo, Texas...and entered New Mexico. It was neat to see how the landscape transformed from flat plains with black dots of cattle, to hills and rocks. We also changed time zones today for the second time on this trip. We are now two hours earlier than most of our family and friends.
We had to skip our afternoon planned activity of "Tinkertown" in the sake of time, and trying to do what is best for our teething toddler in this extreme heat! Tonight we are staying in Albuquerque, NM. We fed CJ dinner at the hotel, and he fell asleep really early!
We're headed to bed now too, just in case we have a repeat of last night! We have more fun planned for tomorrow including a couple of National Parks. Night y'all!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Amarillo by Evening

This morning we woke up to a bad storm. The wind was howling, and the rain was coming down really hard! So JT and I decided to go back to bed since CJ was still sleeping!! When we got up for the day, the bad weather had completely cleared! We left Oklahoma City and started driving west on Route 66.
We drove past Lucille's, which was a famous Route 66 service station on our way to Clinton, OK where we stopped to visit the Route 66 Museum.
CJ LOVED all the old cars and trucks!!
He couldn't understand why we wouldn't let him play on these cars, so he kept running around yelling "vroom vroom". Ha ha!!!
The museum had lots of great memorabilia from the Mother Road's "Hay Day".
CJ gave this snake a kiss, let's just hope he won't be as friendly should he ever encounter a real one!!!
They had an old fashioned diner that we played pretend at!
And as part of the 1960's era display, they had a VW bus and black lights. CJ thought it was neat seeing his shirt glow!
Another old car:
We asked the workers at the museum if they had any lunch recommendations. What they suggested was AMAZING!!! Jigg's Smokehouse was delish, and JT and I both agreed that this was the best meal we've had on this trip!!! We had the "Pig Sickle" which was 2 smoked boneless pork ribs, cheese, mustard, mayo and BBQ sauce with chow chow on top. SO SO SO good!!!
I thought it was so cute, and "hole in the wall"-esque that their high chair was just one you'd have in your house, not a normal restaurant kind.
As we drove into Texas, CJ had JUST fallen asleep, and we knew that stopping for our usual picture by the state sign would surely wake him up (NOT worth it!) so I took a picture as we drove by.
As we entered Texas, one of the first towns we came to was Groom. They are famous for their leaning water tower that leans like the Tower of Pisa, as well as a gigantic 150 foot tall steel cross. Since both were easily viewable from the road, we kept on driving!
I thought this was a great billboard, so I had to take a picture of it!! (It says "Jesus Christ is Lord not a swear word".)
For dinner tonight we ate at The Big Texan Steak Ranch. It had a great "Texas" feel to it, which was fun!
CJ enjoyed the fresh fruit (and cuddling with his Mama!)
And they also brought him a free cowboy hat with his meal, which he thought was fun!
This was my meal. No, I didn't go for the 72-oz steak that they are famous for (if you are able to eat it all plus the sides they bring with it in an hour you get it for free!).
I opted for the 9oz filet with blue cheese and mushrooms on top, and mashed potatoes and gravy!! One thing I MUST say I've been loving down "south" here in Oklahoma and Texas is the yummy southern food, and sweet tea!! :)
A good time was had by all three of us!!
Look at our little CJ in a BIG chair!!
The Big Texan was a Big hit in our family!! CJ was tired out after the long day, and climbed up into this chair at the hotel to relax. Poor boy, his teeth are still really hurting him. He was WAILING when we tried to put him down tonight. So we crushed up some ice and let him gnaw on the chips while we waited for his Tylenol to kick in. :(
Tomorrow we are going to Cadillac Ranch here in Amarillo, and then headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico.