Sunday, July 10, 2011

Road Trip Overview

Apologies because I charted this out on Paint in the most pathetic way possible, but I think the purpose is achieved!

We started in Buffalo Grove, IL where Stan's folks live and drove south through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Arkansas (again), Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona!

Night Stopovers:
Memphis, TN
Oklahoma City, OK
Albuquerque, NM

Total of 8 states in 4 days! Woohoo!

Inside Our Home...

Here's a few random shots right when we moved into our place. It's furnished (thank goodness) so this is more or less how it came to us. We'll be taking more photos once we make it our own! Thanks for following along on our epic journey!

Our New Home!

Our good friends Amber, DJ, and Baby Logan were kind enough to let us stay with them for a few days till we found our own place. We didn't snap too many pictures during that time due to general exhaustion and being busy like crazy. However, we had to bust out the camera when we finally found our own home! Here it is, what a beaut! Stucco of course, and no grassy lawn, all rocks and desert plants!

Entering Arizona

Finally! Arriving in our target state! The border was pretty with red rock formations and some tourist traps with lots of teepees and the like, but then it got to be pretty dull for quite a while till we neared Flagstaff.

Around Flagstaff

This area of Arizona is super pretty. I had never been here before so I enjoyed snapping photos of the landscape! It's a higher elevation than the valley so cooler and with more trees and of course hills and mountains! Notice there are zero (count em, zero!) clouds in the sky!

El Morro

This huge rock cliff in western New Mexico is famous for the petroglyphs on it. The ancient people of New Mexico carved pictures of animals and people onto it, and then over the years some Spanish explorers carved their names into it, and so on and so forth to present day. It's an awesome depiction of the settlers over American history in this area. We didn't have time to hike out to it but we snapped some photos from roadside and read the plaque.

Detour: New Mexico National Forest

We decided to take a "scenic byway" depicted on the map we got at the New Mexico information center. It took us through a national forest (El Mapais), and past some volcanic formations, an ice cave, and El Morro (a big rocky cliff with petroglyphs). Due to time constraints we didn't properly visit everything but did enjoy the scenery!

Leaving Albuquerque

New Mexico got really, really pretty after leaving Albuquerque and heading towards the Arizona border. Here are just a few shots of the rock formations, sky, and whatever I could snap. There were plenty of trains out here and they looked surreal on the backdrop of colorful rock formations. Stan was impressed with 75MPH speed limit!

Covered Wagon Gift Shop

This was one big gift shop in Albuquerque that caught our eye. The wooden carved Indian guarding the door and the huge wagon wheel were neat, and once we went inside we saw tons of interesting things! Didn't buy anything but enjoyed a look around before getting back on the road.

San Felipe De Neri Church

This is a beautiful church over 200 years old situated in historic Albuquerque. We enjoyed looking around at the architecture and of course the cactus landscaping!

Breakfast at Little Anita's

We searched around for a bit and found this place open for breakfast. I read that chilies are the local specialty so we ordered up breakfast skillets smothered in red and green chili sauce! Pretty tasty food, and it gave us the energy to continue on the last leg of our journey!

Old Town Albuquerque

We woke up bright and early (too early for most of the merchants and restaurants it seemed) and checked out the historic area of Albuquerque. The buildings were all awesome to look at in the pueblo style of architecture and we had fun browsing around before the heat of the day kicked in.

Rudy's Barbecue

Apparently we kindled an interest in barbecue restaurants on this trip... so when we realized our Motel 6 was right next door to this place called Rudy's BBQ which was super busy on a weeknight, we had to give it a shot. It turned out to be seriously epic! It's set up like a meat market where they just wrap you up whatever barbecue meat you fancy, and you can pick up side dishes from their fridge to compliment your hunk of meat. The tables are picnic style with red and white table cloths and huge bottles of their tasty barbecue sauce to douse your food with. I also had some tasty homemade banana pudding to finish it off with... mmm!