Sunday, July 19, 2009

Notes From New Mexico - A Vacation Journal

Although I've been daydreaming about it for weeks, my long-awaited drive to New Mexico officially began yesterday morning when I awoke late, tossed my suitcase into the back of my faithful and lovely Scion, Suzette, and tore off to Lake Travis to fetch my first-leg trip companion, Willow. Our journey began with the traditional purchase of a McDonald's Egg-a-muffin. I cannot begin a trip without this breakfast. It's not that it is particularly tasty, and certainly not healthy or enriching, I just like saying Egg-a-muffin (from the movie Trading Spaces with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd,) and it's one of my travel rituals, along with peanut M&M's. I'll bet you have travel rituals too.

Willow and I yammered for the first two hours of the drive, barely registering our passage through Lampasas, Goldwaithe, and Brownwood, but definitely noticing how much greener it was the further west we went - hello global warming!

Somewhere around Zephyr, TX, I turned my iPod on to our first audio book selection, "Hit Hard" by Aerosmith Drummer, Joey Kramer. If you have any interest in Aerosmith, rock and roll, drug abuse or mental health, this is a pretty good book. Joey spills his guts and his brains about Aerosmith's and his sex, drugs and rock and roll, and how his disfuctionality - surprise, surprise - relates to his not particularly untypical relationship with his dad. The writing is good and the story is interesting, although by the time we approached Clovis, New Mexico, and been through tons of coke, vats of vodka and about six rehabs, I felt like I needed rehab myself. It was exhausting. How anyone can do that many drugs and live to tell about it is a medical miracle! The story of how everyone in Aerosmith went up, up and then plunged into drug-propelled anonymity, then woke up and realized they couldn't afford their Ferrari's, and got straight (allegedly), is interesting, and certainly made Muleshoe, TX, seem a little less depressing.

We rolled into Santa Fe, the town that my 8-10 year-old kids in 1981 called "A bunch of old mud houses," we were hungry and tired and ready to "dry out." Willow, being the earth child that she is, had brought along yummies from Whole Foods, meaning no ritualistic drive-through burger in transit, meaning I was hungry for something hot and artery-clogging.

Although we had dinner reservations at Geronimo's, the though of having to dress up and be nice was just too much, so I called my Santa Fe Guru to get a more laid-back recommendation. He said, "Maria's," so off we went for blue-corn tortilla enchiladas with an egg on top. Although it is practically against my religion (whatever that is) to have Mexican food, or New Mexican food in this case, without Margaritas, Willow had recently given up booze, so I declined the Marg and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was to not have a hangover at 7:00 pm. Wow, I should do that more often.

This trip to, or actually through Santa Fe, marks the first time I haven't stayed in some luxurious hotel or B&B downtown or at the Ten Thousand Waves spa, and it sucks. Not that the Marriott by IH 25 isn't nice, but it isn't Santa Fe. I could be in Muleshoe - hello economic downturn. Actually since we're in SF for less than 24 hours I figured what the heck - save $200.

The good news is that we are driving up to Ten Thousand Waves for a massage before we take off to Pagosa Springs, Colorado (to visit a friend), so that will be a really nice piece of our trip through SF. Particularly looking forward to seeing the kaleidoscope cliffs of the Ghost Ranch again.

Since we got our New Mexico chili fix last night we'll just drive through McDonald's for a Fruit-n-Yogurt Parfait for breaky.

Adios until manana,



  1. Hi Sue!
    Debbie Lantz here. This is the first time I have strolled further into your blog. I love the U-tube videos. I'm guessing you took most of the pictures. As I look at them it confirms the range of your artistic talent. I hope you and Willow have a great time. Thanks for sharing your vacation. I can feel the cool New Mexico air on my skin right now....a welcome relief to this damn Texas heat!

  2. Hey SueAnn,
    My body is going to work tomorrow but my mind will be wandering with you through New Mexico. Have fun and drive safe. Will be looking forward to your next post. Linda Sue