again with the no internet. grr. why doesn't earthlink have local access numbers in every town in the country? isn't that their job? whatever. here's the update.
drove to carlsbad, NM. boring drive, of course. we did go to roswell, and we went to the museum, and it was super cheesy but we had fun anyway. no, we did NOT take our pictures with the glittery flying saucer model or with the movie prop alien. tell me, why is it that we always assume that life from other planets is small, with big heads, no hair, and no clothes? this makes no sense. it's as bad as racism--isn't this the way we thought about africans, south americans, indigenous australians, etc, for many many years? anyway....it was fun to visit there, and we got to carlsbad caverns in time for the bat flight!
it was so so so cool....almost half a million bats flew out of the cave at sunset! too bad there were loud people nearby, but as i always say (whatever) "those who endure to the end shall be rewarded." we waited it out and once they left, the bats would fly SUPER close. some of them, i could even hear their wings beating they were so close! it was absolutely awesome.
so anyway, we spent the night in carlsbad and went to the caverns in the morning.
SO awesome. beautiful, and thankfully different from mammoth cave, because i've been there before! we took the Kings Palace tour, which was ranger guided. i love blackout tours, where the ranger turns the lights off for a few minutes and you can see how dark caves really are. anyway, then we did the self-guided "Big Room" tour, which was very good too. the room is absolutely huge. there are lots of formations too...but there's not as much color as mammoth cave. that's probably good, because mom apparently remembers something about the color of mammoth cave being caused by algae that grew because of the lighting system, so it wasn't actually part of the natural cave ecosystem. since, after all, calcite is colorless. anyway...the caverns rocked. heheh!
there is a lunchroom (and restrooms, yay!) down there, 75 stories underground. the options of food didn't look so good (the veggie burger would have to be microwaved. i don't think so.) so we just ate a super pretzel and went upstairs to the restaurant where I could have a veggie burger from the grill. :-) it was fun.
then we drove on...mom took a "shortcut" that meant we didn't have to go back north to carlsbad, then south on US285. we cut down on whatever highway we were already on, then on an 'other road' (according to the handy-dandy atlas) over to 285. uh huh. there's a reason it's called an 'other road'. anyway...we got there. we were planning to stop in fort stockton but decided to keep driving because it was only 5-ish. we got to Sonora, TX, and decided to go ahead and stop. thanks to the Discount Traveler Guide we got $20 off a Days Inn room, and the front desk woman gave us a good tip on dinner. we ate some great mexican! with the chips and salsa they brought this mint-green stuff that was kind of weird looking. mom said it tasted good but it was so bizarre looking that i couldn't bring myself to do it. anyway, we finally asked the waitress what it was. it turned out to be avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and garlic. it really was good--but it was mint green! why would i eat that without knowing what it was first? anyway....yum. and the chips....have you ever seen "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" you know they have a game called "props." well, the chips were REALLY big half-circle shapes. like at least 4-5 inches in diameter. so we played a little game of props while waiting for dinner....elephant ears, toucan noses, cheesy grins....yeah. hilarious!
we managed to find the mariner game on tv because they were playing the braves...so it was on TBS. we watched it all and yay the m's won!! :-) and, of course, mom and i were cracking each other up the whole time. we laughed so hard that i didn't breathe for at least a minute. heheh! i'm always amusing, after all. :-)
we drove to amy's house. we stopped in San Antonio and saw the Alamo, did the riverwalk, ate, played around...then drove the rest of the way.
The Alamo was VERY cool, although now i'm quite sure that i know enough texas history to last me a lifetime. it was warm out, and sunny...we did the museums, bought a keychain and a magnet (keychain for me, magnet for mom, obviously), and moved on. however, we were in San Antonio for almost 4 hours. :-) we found a metered parking spot, which was apparently a good find!
we also saw this "saloon and museum" on our way back from the river walk. it was EXTREMELY bizarre--unfortunately we didn't have time to visit the museum part. there were lots of animal heads on the wall, and inside it appeared to be a large number of stuffed animals. real ones, stuffed. eew.
so we drove on to the Woodlands. (north of Houston) thankfully the rand mcnally directions were in fact to amy's house! we got here, we mingled, we slept. really it was mingling until late into the night, of course. good times! amy's fam is fun, and so far all is well!
so amy, rachel (amy's college friend) and i are sleeping in a queen bed. amy's in the middle. not long after we go to bed, amy wiggles out via the bottom of the bed and plops onto the floor...i had to laugh silently because she thought i was asleep. heheheheh!!! i was dying! it was so funny. she decided to sleep on the floor...even though she was preaching in the morning. i offered to sleep there, she declined. until the morning. heheh!
amy preached an awesome sermon ever!! it rocked. good times. amy and rachel and i have been chatting away all afternoon...and now i have to do my laundry. ttfn!