Your ego is not your amigo

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

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, October 7, 2011

Well, as I am sitting here getting started on the blog I cannot think where we started this morning! Unbelievable.  It is almost impossible to get our heads around the enormity of this adventure,  even as we are living it.

Earlier today I needed to log in to the blog to find out where we were at on what days, and Noah and I regularly discuss what the date might be.  The one that always gets us is what day of the week it is.  We have developed a pretty good system of working it out.  We think about the last time we could not buy alcohol in a supermarket and bam, that was a Sunday.  We then try and recall how many sleeps since then.  It is pretty fool proof, I think you would agree.

We are 1/3 of the way through our 9 week holiday, and it is fair to say – we are pretty relaxed.

Maybe too relaxed (is that possible?). Tonight I am reacquainting myself with our 'to do' list and working out a master plan.  I have started my mind map and I am thinking about colour coding.  Noah looks terrified.

So, getting back to today, we awake in the coolest motel in the world.  Big tick.  I think I have the flu.  Bit of a cross.  Elwood wakes in a joyous mood and the sunrise from our room is spectacular.  Elwood announces that the sun is shining for him today and I have to agree.

Noah grabs us two mugs of coffee from reception and it is delicious (French Vanilla Non Dairy Creamer is significantly more delicious than it sounds!).  Noah and I both remark how strange it is to be drinking from a mug.  No joke.  All the motels we stay in are budget, as are the places we eat.  So we are used to drinking from polystyrene.  Coffee from something other than polystyrene was delicious.  We are simple people and simple things make us happy.

We make our way to Santa Rosa, about an hour away, and stop at a historic diner, Joseph’s, for coffee.  For breakfast, we eat a collection of weird leftovers we have in the car.  This is probably about as glamorous as it sounds. 

Noah takes photos and we consider looking for a local landmark called the Blue Hole, but lose interest (because we would rather look at signs).

Our next stop is a place called Tinkertown.  Nothing I say about it could do it justice.  If you have the chance takes a look at their website.  Hazel and Michael – we think you will love it.  The building is made of glass bottles and it house the most jaw dropping display of hand carved figures.  There are also amusements and a boat (made in Maldon, Essex) which has sailed around the world.  There are also so many posters, number plates, Americana  collectibles and I really loved the inspiring words.  Everywhere you looked there was something amazing.    All about living with passion, living out your dreams, and making things happen. It was quite moving.   Children could  leave a message in a bottle.  One of the lines Tinkertown is known for is:  ‘We did all this while you were watching TV’.

Our next stop, may not have been the cleverest move, we drove up a 10, 678 feet mountain as the views are reputed to be spectacular.  We think we will get to the top, take some photos, have a wander – sounds pretty nice, hey?  Although we prepare for the day ahead, we broadly know where we want to go, we are not ones to get caught up in the details like looking up weather.  We prefer to take it as we find it, and that works for us, mostly....

So today we are all wearing shorts and flip flops.  Our thinking was, yesterday was hot and we’re in New Mexico, so it is going to a scorcher, for sure.  As we are driving up the mountain we see people, at a lower altitude than we are heading  to (we are heading for the top!) wearing head to toe North Face.  Those super serious jackets that tell the world you would rather be out in a forest than watching Extreme Couponing.  I was starting to wonder if my boob tube was the right choice of top (this is not a joke - this is what I thought would be a good thing to wear almost 11,000 feet up a mountain.) We start going through fog, and then realise it is cloud – getting increasingly dense.  We get up to the top, we cannot see a thing (which in a way works in our favour as people cannot see our ridiculous mountaineering attire).  It is freezing.  The metal bits on my Birkenstocks (the flip-flop of choice for serious mountaineering) feel like they have ice forming on them - which is quite possible as the cars coming down the mountain have ice on them.  Elwood, sounding rather exasperated says, ‘what are we doing?’ and I confess to him that I  really don’t know what we are doing.  We go back down the mountain cold, hungry and having not seen the view.  Winners - we are not.

But team spirits are quickly lifted when I crack open the animal crackers.  Pretty dry, but it seems to do the trick.  So we make our way to Albuquerque and we are heading to the Rattlesnake Museum.  We arrive at the Old Town, Albuquerque, and we cannot wipe the smiles of our face.  It is amazing, beautiful terracotta coloured buildings, a picturesque  town square, and a Mariachi band playing in the square.  It is fantastic and so different from anywhere else we have been on this adventure.

We take Elwood to the Rattlesnake Museum and he really loves it.  He looks at all the snakes, there is a Steve Irwin Exhibit so we are all really excited to see that, and Elwood was enthralled by watching a documentary on Crocodiles.  He so enjoyed it, we were so pleased that we went.  After the museum we headed back to square and Elwood ran around and we soaked up the Mariachi band and the carnival atmosphere.

By this point, we are hungry so we head to a Route 66 diner.  Now we have been to a few (ha!) of these along the way, but this one is so striking.  It looks brilliant inside and out and we love looking around and are speechless as we watch them make the most insane desserts. 

We take a drive along Route 66 through a nice suburb called Nob Hill (Is 35 too old to find this funny?) and it is amazing.  The area appears to have been preserved lovingly and they have such pride in their Route-66-ness.   There were also some other great / random signs like:  "I’m a good sign", “Simple Civility” and the best one, “Your ego is not your amigo’.  We love it here and think they are quirky in Albuquerque.  Clearly, they are also wise.

We had a microwave extravaganza for dinner in the reception of the Super 8.  We have done this for budget reasons, but it is not enough.  We are $15 over budget today and were $6 over budget yesterday.  Bummer. 

Elwood was fun at dinner.  He took some toys , this is okay, but he also took a massive bag, some pyjamas and a night nappy.  Random, but he seemed happy.   Elwood also calls over some passersby to our table to ask them if they know where he could buy a hippo  (!?).  We all look confused, except Elwood, he looks quite serious.  To add to the impression we are making, Noah has a massive bag of dirty laundry on the chair next to him.

At times, we are more National Lampoon than we would ideally like to be.

Good night friends.  Much love.
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Al Fal on

Guys, can you stay on the road forever? Reading this blog is a small moment of happiness in my day. I feel like I'm basking in the sunshine and smiles of Route 66 with you. Though not so keen on joining you in the car of stench. - hows that going by the way, have you found the sausage?
Hope that Flu is holding off, easy on the mind-mapping now.

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