Thursday, July 18, 2013

Red River 2013

Every summer, my brother and his family spend a little time in New Mexico.
They come home and share their pictures and claim that they want to move there, and I am all like, "meh."
My idea of vacation is sitting in the sun, with sand in my crack and something fruity in my straw.

I hate to be cold...
and to be honest, the pictures aren't all *that* impressive.

Well take my word...
the pictures do no justice.

Red River, NM is amazing.

(And since this is the first summer that we have not flown to our destination, we were able to squeeze 2 stops into our summer plans, therefore I still get my beach.)


A few weeks ago, we were all sitting in mom's front yard, making fun of Weeder and how he had taken each of us aside at some point or another to let us know we were pulling out at 4:30.
Not 4:31...
Or a minute thereafter.

If you know my brother, this is no surprise.

While joking and laughing, the word "Thursday" was said.
Weeder said, "you mean Friday?"
We meant Thursday.

We had all taken off work (and rented the car) a day too early--
and because RR is such a popular place--
there was no way we were going to be able to get our cabin a day earlier.

So my parents offered up a plan:
We could leave Thursday and stay the night in Amarillo.
They bought us tickets to see 'Texas' in Palo Duro Canyon... and covered our stay for the night with David's travel points.

Weeder was able to get off of work, so it all worked out.
And better yet, we were able to split the drive in half.

'Texas' was neat...
but about an hour and a half too long for our kids.
The finale was amazing, and our kids loved the music and dancing before it started.
It is somewhere that I wouldn't mind re-visiting...
one day...
without my kids.

And the canyons were very pretty too.

We woke up Friday, ate breakfast at the Hampton Inn and hit the road.

I was honestly surprised at how well my kids did in the car.
not that an Ipad, DS, DVD player, and toys shouldn't do the trick...
But there were fewer tears and less fighting than I envisioned.

They were wild as stray cats when we got there, and their craziness doubled when they got to see their cousins...
We had dinner-- and a much needed drink-- And then went for ice-cream.

I tried to pin Lance and Weeder against each other since they were both mad at the world and taking it out on their wives and kids...
but it didn't work, so Randi and I escaped to the park and let the kids burn some fuel.

Saturday morning, the guys had booked themselves a white water rafting trip.
They were a little disappointed when they found out that we are not in prime rafting season--
but once they found out they got to go through a few technical parts, they were happy again.

We girls pampered ourselves as well.
We booked massages and facials in town.

Somehow, however, there was an error in booking and me and another lady showed up at the same time.
She was a little bent out of shape that she was going to have to come back and potentially miss her arts and crafts, so I volunteered to leave.

It is a little pitiful to admit, that my favorite part of the trip just might have been that walk to and from the massage--alone.

The view is just breath-taking and it smells like fresh rain.
Everything is old and well loved.
No food-chains... all mom-and-pop.
Nothing fast.
Everything simpler.
The temperature was in the 70s and the humidity was zero.
Everything is green and there's deer strolling around like they know you.
I took my time...
and I took a few pictures too.
It was probably only 10 minutes alone-- but it was incredible.

And my massage was pretty great too.

We woke up early every day there, so we got the most out of our days.

Our cabin was new, beautiful and nestled just on the edge of town, which I liked, because everything was still close enough to walk too-- and yet there was no traffic or noise around us.

My brother's cabin was more in town, older, but had a better view-- as it sat right on the river.

I don't know that you can go wrong anywhere you stay-- but we were both happy with our cabins.

Saturday afternoon we took the kids to tube down the mountain.
We also bought passes to do the adults tubes but rain came in and shut them down before we could ride them.
Maddox claimed that this was his favorite part of the trip.
Well that, and "*almost* getting to ride the go-carts."  --cue the womp, womp, womp, music.

While waiting for the rain to pass the kids started playing with a little chipmunk.
It was too funny watching that little thing try and outsmart the kiddos and then all of them wailing out in laughter once it finally came their way.

We ate a lot on our trip.
And you know the frugalist in me wants to tell you that RR can be done cheaper.
We had a full kitchen in our cabin and a nice grill outside... and had we planned ahead-- our expenses could have been cut in half.
But I hear the food is half the experience.
And what about the word vacation says cook 3 meals for everyone for 6 days?
Maybe next time.

A friend of Lance's from HS texted me and told me her favorite eating spots and we tried all of them out.
She did not lead us wrong, as they were all good--
and I have to admit I was secretly jealous that she takes girls trips there.
No kids?  No men?
I am in!

That evening we had Texas Red's for dinner.
And afterward, Lance and Maddox took a little alone time together and walked the shops so Maddox could spend his birthday cash.
My heart couldn't have been fuller when he came home and showed me his treasures, and he had bought Beckham a little sock monkey with his own money, "because he just knew he would love it!"
And he did.
Aside from Mickey Mouse, "ah ah" (as in "ooh,ooh- ah,ah") are Beckham's favorite things right now.

(And we cracked up that Maddox called the canoe in his Cowboys and Indians set a "gondola"!)

Sunday we ate breakfast at Old Tymer's Cafe, where we ran into a group of people from the church where Maddox went to preschool...
They are starting a satellite church just out of town and were telling us all about it.
Afterward, we headed to the ski lifts.

I must admit, that though this was probably my favorite part of the trip in hind-sight--
it was by far the scariest in the moment.

Let me flash you back to my sophomore year.
Varsity cheerleading--
blackout peprally.

We had all made our way to the top of the gym to tape black paper over the skylights.
Somewhere in the travel up, I froze.
Never in my life had I been scared of heights but that day I became petrified.

Maybe it was my friend Mandy standing on one foot, an inch from the edge and taunting me--
but I was crying and frozen and promising everything in my body that I was unable to make it down.

Mom at the bottom; first laughing and then pissed-- and threatening to call the fire department to get me down...
and my friends laughing-- because they weren't sure if I was seriously that scared?
Changed forever.

I got to repeat.
15 years later.

Same emotions, flashed back like a tsunami.

There's no seat belts or bars that lock you into place on this gig.
No safety harness...
or even locks keeping that measly cord on top of the pulley.
The thing doesn't even stop for you to get on...
You just line yourself up and sit backwards and hope that squirmy little thing in your lap makes so sudden moves.

I can't remember a time that I was so uncomfortable.
And I realized why I could never be an ER nurse, because my "flight" always trumps my "fight".

My arms were shaky and weak, and Beckham only enjoyed about 15 minutes of his 30 minute incline, so he was restless and trying to squirm during half of our journey up.

I probably cussed him...
I am not going to lie.

But it is a lot like being held at gun-point.
Take my word.

At each incline, I asked the same question:  "If we fell right now, would we die?"

We got off at the top of the mountain and walked around.
We met an elderly man who ran the place that was originally from Nocona, TX.

We hiked around a little bit and Lance carved his symbol into a tree.

The view at the top of the mountain was incredible.
Add all of the smells and colors and fresh air, and views from the bottom; multiplied and inhaled.

I could have stayed up there a few more hours--
but should have left up there 15 minutes earlier than we did.

About half way down our decline, it started to rain.
Huge, ice-cold rain drops.

And because the pad was wet, they would stop it every few minutes to let people off.

I will say that the ride down was much more enjoyable and less stressful, even despite the rain...
And I wish we had rode the thing again so I could get a re-go at the stroll up.

It may have all been a bit much for B, though, as he had a breakdown of epic proportions following the ride.
If I were able to understand his screams and rage; I'm sure he cussed me too.
But all I could make out between the screaming mess of tears was, "you mean momma-- YOU MEAN!"

Finally with the packed-in-case-of-emergency binky (that we haven't had in 2 months) and a little booby-touching (that he ditched the day we discarded the paci) he folded.
Thank God!

We had Capos for dinner and then came back to our cabin for a hysterical game of Mexican Train.

Monday morning we pulled out of our cabin and headed west through Taos to Santa Fe.

It was a neat town with lots of shopping, and we had famous dining at The Shed.
Mom and I promised each other that we would make it back there one day...
without kids.
...and padded pockets.

It was raining and the kids were trying to tame down from their 2 hours in the car--
but the Loretto Chapel was still breath-taking.

We packed up and headed south, and checked in at the Hampton Inn in Santa Rosa, NM.
This particular part of Route 66 was just like the movie Cars.

The guys tried to get us dinner at DQ but were so grossed out that they left and we had McDonalds instead.

The hotel was sub-par in my parents standards (and certainly by the name of Hampton), as there was mold in the bathroom and a stain on my bed...
un-vacuumed carpet and the ceiling was caving in.
We are pretty sure the house keeper mopped our room with her hair as there was long black hair everywhere-- and the pool was so cloudy that we couldn't see our feet while standing in it.

I had to remind them of some of the schmancy places we stayed growing up and of 2 separate vacations in particular where we bailed to the car because the place was so gross!
So in the big picture this place was still decent....
therefor I wasn't too disappointed.

It was a suite so we had plenty of room for another game of train.

And it was free--
since it was gross.

Win.  Win.

We spent Tuesday on the road.
Driving in and out of rain.
Napping, reading, and struggling for internet connections on our phones.

Again, the boys were troopers.
With only a few arguments and tears.

I was so glad to be home and we all slept past 10:00 the next morning... trying to catch up, I assume.
We brought a little of the cool weather and rain back with us, as Texas has experienced record July lows while we were there.

I am ready to get back to routine and get this house back in order... and laundry put away.

I am really ready to un-confuse this underwear-wearing boy who spent a week in diapers and subsequently wet his pants 3 times yesterday.
...and for him to finish cutting these 3, 2-year molars that are rocking our socks, these last few weeks.

New Mexico was good to us...

and in the words of my brother,
"I'm ready to move north!"


  1. Love the pictures... family vacations are what I live for....

  2. I think you already knew how much I would love this post.
    I'm split between loving the beach and loving the mountains just about the same now.
    There is something about the cool, fresh air. I feel alive.
    That one picture looking down from the lift is gorgeous, but my hands were sweaty just reading about your experience. I would have come unglued.
    The family pictures here with ALL of you in them will be a treasure for years to come. I'm so glad you took this trip. I absolutely loved reading all about it.
    And yes, Santa Fe would make a fun girls' trip for you and your mom!

  3. I love family vacations. A few years ago we went on vacations with my parents and my sisters vacation ever!
    I love all your pictures. You are great at having your camera with you at the right moments.
    Orange Julius oh man I have not had one in years. Now I need one!