Friday, December 6, 2013

Back to the Southwest Once More

Okay, I've been meaning to share a few more photos and stories about our trip back to the Southwest, but time keeps getting away from me.

Anyway, I had planned on having one full day to ourselves (just me, Liv, and Andrew) - Sunday - before having to tend to family obligations (the visitation at the funeral home was Monday November 11th, Veterans' Day, and my grandmother's funeral was on Tuesday November 12th, my birthday).

On our first full day back in the Southwest, that Sunday the 10th, we had headed to Alamogordo, NM, where Andrew and I had last been stationed while we were in the Air Force. (Check out the posts on our arrival in El Paso here, and our trip to White Sands.)

After we'd spend a considerable amount of time enjoying the beauty of White Sands National Monument, we'd decided to spend a bit of time in Alamogordo, itself.

Since we'd gotten to White Sands mid-morning and stayed for a few hours, we were ready to have lunch somewhere in Alamogordo. Andrew and I had been thinking of this little Mexican restaurant we'd enjoyed when we'd lived there. It's this place called Margo's Mexican Food on 1st Street, just off of White Sands Boulevard. I was really looking forward to an order of the chicken flautas, knowing that none in Iowa would hit the spot as well as the ones I could eat in Alamogordo or El Paso. Maybe it's just the location that makes them taste better? I dunno.

But Livie had other plans. Shs said that since we'd eaten Mexican food the night before, she wanted something different for lunch. So we went to Sonic. Yes, the fast food drive-in. She had never been at a drive-in where the car-hop - on roller skates - skates out with your order.

Sure, she had been with me to that very Sonic once in 2006 when she was a baby and Andrew and I were still in the Air Force. Andrew had been deployed at the time. Livie must've been around 5 months old. It was a Friday afternoon, and I'd had a long day at work. I was exhausted. On my way from my office to the on-base child care center to pick up Livie, I knew that I just wouldn't feel like making myself anything for dinner that night, once we got home. My choices (if I didn't cook myself something to eat) were cold cereal, or going through the drive-thru on my way home.

So the Sonic drive-thru it was, late that afternoon in '06. Livie was in her car seat that afternoon as I went through the drive thru. Technically, yes, she'd been to that exact Sonic before, but she hadn't pulled into a drive-in spot, ordered from the menu board, and had the car-hop roller skate out with our food.

And that's what we did that day after our White Sands visit. She thought it was so cool!

Anyway, after we'd eaten our lunch, we had a couple more quick stops to make before heading back to El Paso to have dinner with family.

First, we had to drive past our old house.

This is the view as we were driving down our old street. Yes, we got to see those mountains every single day. I loved that those mountains filled the view of my kitchen window. And the living room windows, and the master bedroom windows. If we went out to the back yard, those mountains were our whole view. (They're the Sacramento Mountains, by the way.)

 Here's our old house. From the front, it looks the same. Though, there is a new satellite dish (ours was on the back of the house). And a new tree in the front yard, which you can see on the very left of the picture. Oh, and those black sun shades on those windows on the left side of the pic.

After driving down our old street, we had one more stop before heading back to El Paso. 

See, there are a bunch of pistachio farms in the area. And one very, very large pistachio. Since Liv, Andrew, and I enjoy eating pistachios, we had to go.

Here she is with the giant pistachio!

This is at McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch. When we first got there, she acted as though she were irritated. She said, "But I thought it was going to be a real giant pistachio . . . one that I could eat!"

They did, however, have lots of pistachios and pistachio treats in the gift shop, ones that we could buy and she could actually eat. We ended up with a small bag of roasted, salted pistachios, and some pistachio brittle. (They also had some spicy pistachio brittle made with chiles, which I'd sampled. It was really tasty, but since I'd be the only one eating it, I decided not to buy any - I don't need to eat a whole bag of pistachio brittle all by myself - even if I spread out the eating over a few days, LOL.)

We then went down the road a little ways to another pistachio farm/gift shop called Heart of the Desert. Guess what they have in the picnic area at this place

Yep, it's a painted pony. This statue is called "Apple Oosa" for obvious reasons: it's an Appaloosa horse, but it has apples on it, too! Cute, huh?

I was glad for a whole day to ourselves as a family, where we had the chance to do something memorable before having to deal with the sad issue of my grandmother's funeral. 

Stay tuned . . . in a few days, I'll post about how we toasted my grandmother's memory the evening after her funeral.

1 comment:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Beautiful pictures! I'm glad you all got to do something fun.

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