Sunday, January 25, 2009

Christmas 2008 - Happy New Year 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Chica & Stinky FINALLY got to enjoy their Christmas toys. Santa had brought presents weeks earlier, and both were aware and eager to enjoy, but always the traditionalist, I held them for the big day. Their dear doggie friend Jack had sent a rope and ball tug toy for Stinky, which he loves to carry around, and a little chick toy for Chica, which Stinky enjoyed carrying around hidden in his mouth, until Chica felt the need to remove the wings. Santa brought a couple of other stuffed toys, which sadly had to go to the Dog Toy Hospital within just a few short days. Chica has a rather destructive streak. Fortunately, I'm a skilled toy surgeon.

John and I enjoyed Christmas dinner with our friends Hope & Steve who had recently returned from a long European vacation. It was wonderful to hear their stories and see the beautiful pictures. Their gifts of herbs from Provence and Dumon chocolates were exquisite and still being savored.

This year, like last, we chose to go on a family road trip for New Years. We both struggled with the idea at first, looking through all of our maps and tour books trying to decide what to go and see. Finally we simply decided to go and "see what we would see." John and I packed an overnight bag, dog food, snacks and a camera, loaded up Stinky and Chica (mildly sedated as we learned last year that she pants uncontrollably in the car) and took off towards Silver City. Our trip took us south on route 25 to Elephant Butte. We pulled into the Fort McRae state park and nearly got the car stuck in the deep gravel of one turn out. Thank Goodness John always has an eye on the road and realized how deep it was before I got us stuck. We stopped again further in the park to enjoy the lake views, then continued on to Truth or Consequences, where we turned off onto a long and wonderfully winding scenic road. We would both love to drive the route from "T or C" to Silver City again on motorcycles. The views, the turns, everything was simply a riders dream! We stopped several times just for the view and quick dog walks. We enjoyed a lunch of apples and peanut butter. There are a couple of camping areas I hope to remember when we plan our summer vacation.

We got a room in Silver City for the night. Stinky and Chica weren't too sure about the hotel. Apparently there was a state wrestling meet in town, and the teams staying in the building offered too much excitement. Eventually they settled down and figured out there was a whole bed just for them. John and I chose to get take out for dinner so that we could stay with the dogs as much as possible. We drove up to the local Wendy's and after standing in line watching pure incompetence for 20 minutes, we walked out and went on to a fast food Chinese restaurant. The food was delicious and the servings large. In the end the Chinese was a far better value, and the service remarkably faster.

After our "Super Starter" breakfast we loaded back into the car and began the trip back north. We picked up the return route of last years roadtrip by Magollon and back by the VLA. I enjoyed seeing the antenna again. It's such an awesome site. This time we played with the display at the visitor center that demonstrates the parabolic effects of the antenna. It was amazing to be able to stand in the antenna cones so far apart from each other and clearly hear each other whisper.

I hope to road trip again next year. We don't really need any specific place to go. It's not about where we go, it's really just the time together and the view along the way.