Once upon a PharmD graduation Zach was slated to work for Kmart in Hobbs, New Mexico. Not wanting to be alone in the wilderness, we convinced our favorite pharmacy school buddies, the Cowarts, to take the Kmart in Roswell so that we could be neighbors. A few weeks after we all accepted the jobs the Kmart in Hobbs closed down and the one in Elko opened up, but the Cowarts were still committed to Roswell. We promised to visit them (out of pity) and this was the month our promissory note came due.
I've decided that it is only the truest of friendship (or craziness) that prompts you to drive 16 hours to a remote corner of the Southwestern desert, but by golly we did it. We split up the drive with a stay in Farmington, NM and there Eli and Porter discovered their great love of hotels, and I discovered my great love of chubby babies in speedos.
When we finally arrived at the Cowarts the next day we were greeted by a slew of children that were more than happy to play with Eli and tolerate Porter. They had Iron Man paraphernalia galore, so Eli was pretty much in heaven.
We adults were in heaven after all the kids were asleep, when there was nothing to impede hours and hours of board game mania and seeing who could scare who more with Sami the creepy doll. That's right. We party hard.
Since we had driven all that way, we HAD to visit the Roswell International UFO museum. It was pretty ridiculous, slightly tacky, and lots of fun.
While we were in the alien spirit, the Roswell McDonalds did not disappoint:
Aside from eating green chile in every possible form, the only other thing on our New Mexico checklist was the Carlsbad Caverns.
I am so glad that we made the drive, because the caverns were the highlight of our trip. It's difficult to communicate the scale of these caves, or the surreal scenery. It's like a strange dream that wanders into nightmare territory when you realize you have the only crying children in the entire place.
We made the 1.25 mile hike down down down while carrying both kids (Eli's legs mysteriously stopped working after only a few hundred yards) and then explored around the bottom. By this point Eli declared he couldn't walk because he was hungry and had to go potty, but even after a trip to the restaurant at the bottom of the cave and the restrooms he STILL couldn't walk. Since the elevators were out of commission Zach manfullly carried him all the way back up again. What a stud.
From Roswell we swung over through Arizona to visit my grandparents in Pima. It was so fun to introduce them to Porter, and Porter was so thrilled with them that he decided to start crawling for reals right there in their living room.
From Pima we went on to Phoenix, where we met with Zach's Aunt Ana and Uncle Kim. These wonderful people are the sole reason I was able to do an internship in Washington DC the summer after we got married as they let us live in their basement rent-free. Needless to say, we adore them.
By this point we had driven 1800 miles and spent over 28 hours in the car. The Cowarts had given us a parting gift of a stomach bug and we were all TOTALLY EXHAUSTED.
Finally, finally, FINALLY, after yet another long day in the car (by now I had questioned the sanity of this trip several times) we made it to an oasis: St. George. My (other) wonderful grandparents let us sleep as much as possible over the next few days and everyone loved it.
But good memories!