Don't Mess With Texas

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So we awake in Clinton, Oklaholma. Not our favourite place to stay so far but I am not one to complain.  (Ha!)

Noah set the alarm for 6, got up and got everything organised whilst I procrastinated and quite possibly fell asleep standing up in the shower. 

We hit the road at 7am taking with us 4 dry fruit bagels from the breakfast buffet and leaving 2 beautiful, hot coffees on the reception counter.    We are unfazed by our ineptitude, we are getting used to it.

We go west, (life is peaceful there) for about an hour to take a look at the town of Erick.  So picturesque and Noah found a little gem of a sign fest so this felt like our first victory for the day.  Yesss!

The last town we see in Oklahoma is Texola  a deserted town.  It is strange to be in a whole town with no people at all in it – but all the houses and business are still there.  Somehow, it still managed to charm us and we felt very lucky to have found this little gem.  It also has one of the best signs of this holiday, so another victory for the team.  Yesss!

Our next stop is Maclean and we make it here a little after 9am.  Apparently this town is the HQ of the states Route 66 association so they are trying to preserve the town.  The town was charming.  It was very, very quite.  Some deserted shops / homes as well as more buoyant looking businesses.  Elwood was on the promise of a park, so I used my 'being a mum super power' to track down the most charming park ever.  There were very old swings (predating me!)  and also a super modern playground and Elwood loved them both.  We did not see another person, except for the local Sheriff who was clearly doing a drive by to see that the out-of-towners were not up to any mischief.  We spent ages just running about on Elwood’s fantastical bear hunt.  I loved every minute and only though about Starbucks twice.

Technically, our next stop was Groom but we only really took photos.  There is a leaning water tower which we took tourist photos next to (you will see, some better than others) and we took photos of behemoth cross.  Random?   Oh yes.  Fascinating?  Oh, yeah!

And then 40 minutes later, and way too many rounds of ‘Is this the way to Amarillo?’ , we arrive out our hotel, which seems fab.  The pool is being repaired so we head out to Ellwood Park.  I thought it would have a playground but it has a senior citizens exercise facility.  So, we make do with that and head to, you guessed it, WalMart.

Woody falls asleep in the car so I razz in and buy some bits, including sun shades for the car so our boy does not fry in the desert.  Admittedly, I take a little longer that I expected and then Noah falls asleep in the car.  The engine is running, and the air con is on, but both Woody and Noah are asleep in the sun which worried a passer by who came and woke Noah up to check he was ok.  He was confused, still in a sleepy haze, feeling a bit strange and thinking the woman looked a bit like someone he knew?  I return to a bewildered husband and a sleepy, gorgeous boy.

Back at the hotel, dinner and pool.   I sat in the spa and from what I could gather, Noah played fetch with Elwood in the water.

Back at the room, Elwood conked out and Noah may be under the weather or may just have eaten too many jalepenos (I will keep you posted).

Few other things to mention today – the lowdown on the budget.

So, as you know, our budget is $125 / day to include food, accommodation and sausages.

The bottom line folks.  We are over budget.  Bummer.  We are over budget by $150 US.  So, about 100.  Now I think about it, that’s not so bad given we are on day 19 of our adventure.

We started out strong, after the first 8 days we were $150 under budget and feeling like winners.  We made it through Chicago, Nashville (Round 1), and the first day in Atlanta under budget. 

And then we changed hotels to something more expensive (but still cheap) but if felt better (and we got accustomed to it).  And then we realised Elwood really enjoys eating out, and eats much better.  Cha-ching! Also, in first 8 days he ate so many sandwiches, I was worried he would forget how to use cutlery.  So, slightly nicer hotels and eating out, in combination with a taste for booze, a love affair with the snack, of course, a guitar shaped pool – we are over budget.

The Mothership arrives in 16 days and believe me, there is no saving when she is around.  She likes to celebrate everything and anything – which we are looking forward to.  So, we have get back on track before her arrival, so we have $10 / less per day until she comes.  Simple as that.

So my mission tonight, is to book cheaper accommodation for the next few weeks, and perhaps sign up Noah and me for some of those medical trials that they pay you to participate in.

Noah and I have had some cost cutting inspiration tonight in the form of the tv show, Extreme Couponing.  It is pretty extreme I have to say.  This woman bought $1136 worth of groceries for $32.  No kidding.  Admittedly she does spend 35 hours per week cutting out coupons.  Again, no kidding. These women have stockpiling rooms in their houses (50 x BBQ sauces, 300 x body wash, 100 x tooth brushes, 100’s of pop) and like to have at least 2 years of household goods, just in case!  Noah and I were transfixed.  (Elwood said he did not want to watch it because he had already seen it with Riley and Jayden. (?!) Noah even remarked ‘This is the greatest show ever."

Noah and I have only watched 2 other programs since we have been here.  (Actually only me.  Extreme cost cutting is the only thing Noah has watched.  He is quite discerning.)

The first programme I watched was in Tulsa, and it was not even actually a programme, it was a really long ad for a DVD called the Body Gospel.  Here is some more info:  "At last, you can combine the power of your faith with a strong desire to lose weight and get super fit with the Body Gospel workout program.”  You can see how I easily got hooked on this, huh?  Thank goodness I do not have a delivery address otherwise I would be in there like a shot.

 The only other program I have watched is today, and it is called the Little Couple.  Bill and Jen are dwarves and are looking for a couple to be a surrogate mother for them, and they are also buying some new furniture with a nautical influence, from what I could gather.  Every aspect of their life is being covered by the TLC network.   I am currently on my second episode.  This is not looking good.

And now, I have now just seen an ad for another show – 19 kids and counting (what!) and I am about to look up when that is on. (Oh dear, I am on that slippery reality tv slope).

So, lots of hotel bookings to be made tonight and savings to be made, so I better get on.

Sweet dreams fabulous friends and family.  We are thinking of you.
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Tracy on

Just had a blog binge and caught up with your last few postings - loving hearing what you are up to. Sounds fab, and Billy Connolly is currently on TV doing a journey along route 66, so I am seeing some of the places you are talking about. I really want to see the peabody ducks!

Miss you loads

Tracy and Dumville x

michael Leigh on

You three are much more entertaining than Billy Connelly believe me! You should have taken a film crew with you!

noah_and_bree on

Thanks Michael! Sadly, we did not get the budget for the film crew!

noah_and_bree on

Thanks Tracy. We miss you guys too! You would love the Peabody Hotel loads. Ducks were hilarious. You could sign Dumville up to be the Honorary Duckmaster. Ha! Love Bree xP.S Congrats on our project!

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