Travel Journal, Day 1: From Texas To New Mexico

June 16, 2018

Man, I was in a crappy mood when we packed the car and left for Utah on Saturday morning. I slept only four hours the night prior. And I didn’t feel good. But this was not stopping us from going on vacation. I took a two-hour nap in the car, while Kevin was driving towards Amarillo. Several miles after Wichita Falls, I woke up and felt refreshed. I’ve noticed, Sara was taking a nap as well. It’s not usual for her. But she must have been pooped as well. At the Quanah County Safety Rest Area, we took a break to have lunch. Walking along the pond was a nice break from sitting in the car, before we were moving on.

In Amarillo, Kevin said something about the Cadillac Ranch. I did a little research, and found out that the ranch is west of Amarillo. Usually, we drive through Amarillo at night. So, we’ve never seen it from the Interstate. This time, we decided to make a stop. After Kevin refilled the van tank, we parked on the side of the service road. It took a short walk and we were standing in front of ten half sunken in Cadillacs. I handed Katelynn and Sara each a spray can, which were just laying around on the ground. The girls left their marks at the cars. Sara was not happy, she had spray paint on her fingers. I said: “Girl, it’s a vacation trophy along the way. I’ve got spray paint on my fingers, too.” Katelynn showed her fingers and agreed: “See, we all got trophies from our first sight along the road.” Sara lightened up and smiled: “Yeah, I guess I’ve got a trophy.”

Getting to the Texas/New Mexico border, we got into some rain. The temperatures dropped from 89ºF (31ºC) to 65ºF (18ºC) while the thunderstorm came through. It was very refreshing, after the heat and humidity in Dallas.

At the Pajarito Rest Area in New Mexico, we ate dinner. We always bring food on the road to save some $$. The girls enjoy a good old “Road Sandwich made by Momma with L-O-V-E”, some fruits and apple juice. Snacks are important, too. That keeps our girls happy and Kevin’s wallet gets a break. The sun was out, and the kids could walk around  for a little bit. Our goal was to make it to Farmington in New Mexico that night.

When we approached Albuquerque, it looked like we are driving into another storm. And sure enough, as soon as we got over that hill it looked as we are driving towards a raging volcano. Driving through the city, the sky unleashed it’s “beast”. Getting down the hill, the wind was so gusty, it shook the whole van, while we dried to make it to the get to the other side of town. Once we were on the west side of Albuquerque, the sun came out and we saw a beautiful double rainbow. We were surprised, how vivid the colors came out and how long it lasted. It looked stunning.

On Highway 550, we were on our last stretch for the day. There was another, much lighter rain storm, before we arrived in Farmington. I could not wait getting out of the car and rest for the night. It was a long day. But we’ve reached our goal. And we weren’t to far from the Four Corners Monument, which we would see the following day.

… to be continued …

Our First Indy Car Race At Texas Motor Speedway

Last night, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I went to the Indy Car Racing at the Texas Motor Speedway. Sara’s school won the Speeding To Read contest for the second year in the row. And her class read the most books in her school. Therefore, she and her classmates won tickets to the DXC Technology 600 – Indy Car Racing Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

When we arrived, we watched the No Limits Offroad Rumble. After the National Anthem, three F-16 flew over the Racetrack, before the IndyCar Racing started at about 7:45 pm.

Kevin, the girls and I didn’t stay until the end of the race. The girls were tired, and we wanted to get out, before we get stuck in traffic. This way, it was a smooth way ride back home.

P!NK: Beautiful Trauma World Tour ~ Dallas, Texas

Kevin and I saw P!NK’s show of her “Beautiful Trauma World Tour” in the American Airline Center in Dallas, last night. She had an amazing second show with many songs of her new album “Beautiful Trauma” and her older albums as well. (Her first Dallas show was the night before). Still a little bit party-hungover, I post some photos I’ve captured with my cell phone.

Our 16 Year Anniversary

Sixteen years ago, on April 18th, 2002, Kevin and I said “I do” to one another back in my hometown in Germany. Another year is accomplished. Many more anniversaries to us. 😉

Happy 16th Anniversary! ❤

NASCAR: Speeding To Read & Texas Motor Speedway ’18

Sara’s Elememtary school is the winner in the Speeding To Read competition for the second year in the row. Last year, the students got a visit from NASCAR driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. On Thurday, Aric Almirola came to their school. Aric got quite a few questions asked about NASCAR, the car he’s driving, and personal questions from several students. He was very patient explaining the answers to the kids.

Second-grader Mirayah Wortman won this year’s Lionel Racing’s “Design a Die-Cast” challenge. She chose the colors red, orange and yellow, which represent fire fighters. Aric admired the design and said, that his father was a fire fighter for over 30 years. “But NASCAR drivers don’t like fire!” he joked. Last year’s model car, which was designed by Xavier Gooden, will be in Walmart stores and Target stores by July.

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NASCAR Cup O’Reilly 500 At Texas Motor Speedway

Oh boy! That was an interesting race, yesterday afternoon. The race started out with 37 cars, and ended with 20 left when Kyle Busch went though the finish line. With other words: The race was far from being boring. Alex Bowman hit the wall right in front of us in the third or fourth lap. He kept going, but left a lot of smoke behind. Most NASCAR drivers drove through the pit area; but some went straight over the grass, because they couldn’t see anything. All they could hope for was not hitting anything. The smoke was just too thick.

The race went so smooth, I almost dozed off while texting on my phone, when Martin Truex Jr., (#78) blew his tire. That BOOM woke my a$$ up, quickly. I said to Kevin and Sara: “Ooh, finally we get some action here!” And it didn’t take long until Kyle Larson (#42) plowed into the wall right at Turn 2. Minutes later, Denny Hamlin (#11) lost control over his vehicle and caused a pile up in Turn 4. Unfortunately Jimmie Johnson (#48) and Aric Almirola (#10) got involved in that wreck and were out of the race. 😢

After more tires and engines blew up, and some car fires (not major, but stinky … I still can smell the burned rubber a day later. LOL), only 20 cars were left in the race. Kyle Busch (#18) went though the finish line, and Kevin Harvick (#4) was on his heals. Bubba (#43) was the rookie and finished 8th. Sara wore her Bubba t-shirt for “Good Luck”. And it worked. 😉 What a crazy and fun race it was at the Texas Motor Speedway, yesterday.

A Visit At The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

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Since we are not big with traditional Easter celebrations, Kevin and I decided to go with the girls to the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. The park is located south of the Dinosaur Valley State Park outside Glen Rose; and 55 miles SW from Fort Worth. That’s about an hour and a half drive from our house.

When we arrived at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, the girls and I stepped out of the car to see some American Bisons, while Kevin paid for the access tickets and a bag of feed. The park has guided tours, safari tours, family tours, etc. We chose to drive with our own car through the park. This way we are on our own time and speed to see the animals. Kevin explained the park rules to us, before we entered the park: “Girls, only the giraffes can be hand fed. No other animal should be touched and petted. When you feed the other animals, throw some feed on the ground away from the car. They will find it. And you can watch them, eating it.” Sara was not sure, if she really wants to hand feed a giraffe. These animals are sooo big for her. But we will see how she does, when a giraffe approaches her.

Katelynn and Sara were fascinated seeing calm ostriches, addax, antelopes, deer, and other animals. The zebras seemed to be very happy as well. At about mid-point of the 7.2 mile drive are the Nature Store and the Overlook Café located in the wildlife park. We had lunch at the café, before we went to see the giraffes.

Once the giraffes came to our car, Sara held her hand out and waited for one of the long-necked animals to take the feed from her. She loved how gentle the big giraffe took the food out of her hands. Katelynn fed the giraffe, too. She wanted to experience how it feels, when a giraffe takes food out of her hands. The little giraffe came over to take a nibble out of Sara’s hand and left some saliva as a “Thank you” on her hand. Sara didn’t mind. She fed two giraffes without being scared. Later, she would wash it off with some water and soap in the bathroom. “That was AWESOME!” she cheered. “But now, my hand is wet from the little giraffe.”

We went on to see more animals, before we left the park. It was a beautiful way to spend Easter Sunday. Katelynn and Sara both mentioned several times that they had fun, on our way home. But first we had some ice cream to round up this nice trip.

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