"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." -Richard Dawkins

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cross Country, Part 2.

Last night on the dark drive to Raton from Albuquerque I wrote a fairly long post about everything so far, but I didn’t save it and then my computer lost power and I lost it, so here I am, on the morning drive from Raton to Denver, trying to type it again.

When we left Mesa, it honestly could not have been soon enough. I was so livid over everything that had transpired with the landlord, his criticism and judgment, and I just wanted to be gone. I wasn’t even able to mourn leaving my home, or say goodbye. We left as soon as humanly possible, which was still three hours too late. Our late lunch at the Duck and Decanter was also fairly rushed, and my beautiful duck, cranberry, cream cheese and watercress sandwich was not able to be savored- I could barely taste anything anyway.

It was too late to do anything in Sedona by the time we got that far north, and we accidentally missed the exit anyway, so we just kept driving, winding up in Flagstaff before nine. We settled into the little cabin quickly and ate a quick and cheap dinner of little chicken tacos and root beer before finally having to force Ro into bed so we could get some sleep.

The folks in the cabin across from us were incredibly nice- an older couple from Utah who just loved Ro and talked to her and played with her while we were getting the car packed up. She carried on quite the conversation with them, and they gave her a banana and were generally wonderful. I always feel the guilt associated with taking advantage when that sort of thing happens, but I need to learn not to. I want to nurture a world where people do help each other because they can and because they want to- where they trust one another and can lean on one another.

Even though it was 38 degrees outside, I bundled Ro up in her socks and boots and coat and scarf and hat and two layers of shirts and she went out to the playground with Zack while I tidied up the cabin and got ready. She had so much fun and didn’t even think twice about the cold. She’s such a little explorer. Bravely marching forward. That morning we crammed down Odwalla bars and canned Starbucks coffees full of energy vitamins and I drove the entire six hours from Flagstaff to Albuquerque while Zack napped.

I had researched the best and most authentic New Mexican cuisine in the city long before leaving and one name kept coming up: Sadie’s. It was very easy to find and the portion sizes they gave us were ridiculous. I had the most perfect and beautiful chile relleno I’d ever seen- or tasted- and because I knew I wasn’t driving the evening I paired the endless, fresh salsa with a great margarita and there was delicious squares of sopaipilla with lots of sweet honey to finish. It was amazing and I was forced to put my comfy pants on before getting back into the car.
The drive to Raton was quiet- Ro took a very brief nap and watched the Babar movie over and over, we got to our hotel around nine and all three of us managed to be asleep by midnight- Zack only after gleefully trying out the steam bath in our room.

We woke up at 9, Zack missed his continental breakfast and was very sad, but we needed the sleep more, I’d wager. Another breakfast of Odwalla bars and Starbucks it is. It’s now quarter after eleven and we’re right in the midst of the storm sweeping across Colorado. It’s 28 degrees outside and the whole countryside is blanketed in snow. It’s surreal- I haven’t been a part of this in years. Zack’s driving this whole way, as he learned to operate a car in Indiana among Midwest winters and I have no idea what’s what in a snowstorm.

I hate to say it, but the portable DVD player is possibly the best decision I made when considering everything about this trip. I very carefully planned everything out, worked on timing, made reservations, everything came together. But choosing to trade my big DVD player for the little portable one was the unforeseen mark of brilliance, here. Ro is happy, quiet, and fully immersed in her own little world back there. This morning she was asking to get BACK in the car. We thought we were going to have to fight her tooth and nail to get her back into her carseat, and here she is, excited to just be able to get back in here and turn Babar (or Gabba, or Sesame Street) back on.

Also, the Gabba figurines and the Foofa talking and singing doll were another stroke of genius. They, along with good old Toastie and Natches, have become Ro’s best friends for this journey, and as long as everything is right where it belongs, she’s as happy as you could ask her to be- and, being strapped to her seat, means she can’t get into any trouble. I’m a happy Mama.

No comments:

Post a Comment