Day THIRTY TWO & THIRTY THREE

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From Huevos Rancheros to BBQ, the flavor train has pulled up in Fort Worth.

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It’s been quite a while since I had some Texas BBQ so I had to try a whole bunch of different options. From pork ribs to brisket and pork sausage. I was in meat heaven. Kara was rockin a baked potato, with some mac & cheese and corn on the cob. Not a bad start to our time in Fort Worth. The night before we got some excellent take-out Vietnamese on the recommendation of our Texan Connection Vuvi!

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Let me back up a minute. We actually started our day in Vuvi’s Anatomy lab at UNT Fort Worth where she walked us through her studies and how the lab students learn anatomy using real body donors. It was fascinating to work with cadavers and see up close what all of the body structures actually look like, especially from someone like Vuvi who made the experience very easy and informative.

After sampling some of the fine BBQ we took a stroll through Billy Bob’s  2016-8-30 - Road Trip - Fort Worth - 0137

With a name like Billy Bob’s you know it’s gotta be good. It’s a combination bar, billiard parlor, music venue, arcade, line dancing hall, rodeo stadium and gift shop.

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All of this fun took place at the Fort Worth Stockyards.

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Kara and I went a little souvenir crazy.

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These weren’t our purchases but they’re the type of things found in the shops around the Stockyards.

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We spent the afternoon doing goofy things like trying on boots, cowboy hats, and taking pictures of cows. All in all we were being very touristy.

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This fella was in the Rodeo Hall of Fame

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The main event was the cattle drive that happens every day at 11:30 and 4:00 pm.

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As my niece Avery would say, it was very Texasie.

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I point out every blonde cow to Kara, you know there was a blonde longhorn. Look at that beautiful bovine!

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The brand on all the cows and horses is the symbol for the Fort Worth Stockyards.

We wrapped up the evening with some delicious Indian Food with Vuvi and her boyfriend Jonathan. All in all it was a lovely – and very, very hot day in Texas.

Today we drove all the way to New Orleans. Tomorrow we will hit the streets of the big easy!

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Day THIRTY & THIRTY ONE

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Our day in Albuquerque started the right way. With huevos rancheros and green chiles from the Frontier Restaurant downtown.

2016-8-28 - Road Trip - Albuquerque - 0088This place is an institution in Albuquerque. The restaurant extends down the entire block to the left and it was completely mobbed when we got there.

After breakfast Kara’s cousin Joe & his girlfriend Petra took us on a whirlwind tour of Albuquerque including tons of history, architecture and even some Breaking Bad locations.

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Our first stop after breakfast was the UNM campus. The school is beautiful and each facility has this modern look while retaining the adobe style that’s so prevalent in the area.

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Great view of the Sandias from the plaza.

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Turtles chilling out by the koi pond.

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I had to get a cool cactus pic in here since I missed them in Arizona.

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Once the library opened we headed inside to check it out.

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The detail that goes into every beam, trim and metalwork is staggering. Even the exit signs are adorned with ornamentation.

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This is another really cool building on campus that has this honeycomb of stained glass all along the side of the building.

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Tell me that doesn’t look like aneyeball in the glass!

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Albuquerque used to be a major stop for the railroads and this facility was used to break down all the engines and cars, strip em and clean em and fix em. Now its not a major stop for trains, instead it’s a destination for shopping.

2016-8-28 - Road Trip - Albuquerque - 01152016-8-28 - Road Trip - Albuquerque - 0118It’s like a giant farmer’s market filled with vendors of all types. On our afternoon cruise we drove by this gem.

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Joe also drove us by many Breaking Bad locations likeJesse’s house, apartment, the downtown hotel and a number of restaurants they filmed. I didn’t stop to take any shots of those, it was cool just to see them around town.

In the afternoon we headed to see a pueblo Feast Day. We went to the Isleta Pueblo to watch the ceremonies and dances. These are annual holidays that are open to the public but no photos or phones are allowed. It was a really cool event to experience.

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In the afternoon we headed to Old Town where some lowriders were on display.

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We checked out some shops and galleries before heading to a nearby rooftop bar for afternoon cocktails.

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Late afternoon light from the rooftop.

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After that we headed back to the house for a home cooked meal. Petra made a delicious tofu & broth dish complete with cooked squash & an enormous salad.

Joe and Petra could not have been better hosts or tour guides for our time in Albuquerque. Thank you so much for taking an entire day off and showing us all there is to see in a single day. You guys are the best.

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After Albuquerque we headed off for Fort Worth. This was really the first time I didn’t take any pictures. Plenty from Fort Worth though.

Day TWENTY EIGHT & TWENTY NINE

Here’s a quick photo from my phone on Mission Beach in San Diego. The waves were stellar and I forgot to add this to my San Diego post the other day.

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And now on to Arizona!

 

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The drive from San Diego to Arizona was a beautiful one. I’ve never driven through so many different environments in such a short time. First we got to see across the border and into Mexico. Now we’ve seen into both of our neighboring continents on this trip! (Niagara Falls was when we got a sneak peek into Canada)

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Beyond the wall is Mexico. Yup, we already have a wall Mr Trump. Also, we went through two security checkpoints to determine our citizenship. We are citizens so we got to move along. On to the crazy landscape changes.

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Seemingly endless canyons of rocks.

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Followed by what looks like the Sahara.

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And then green lush fields complete with a rainbow. You would think this was Ireland. I’m kicking myself today because I drove most of the afternoon through gorgeous red sandstone canyons complete with giant cacti. Kara was snoozing beside me and rather than waking her up to take pictures I figured we would see more before the end of the day… we did not.

 

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We got up at 3:30 in the morning to go see the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. Here it is!

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It was cloudy and raining the entire morning on the way to the canyons but I was still holding out hope that we might get lucky. Instead, the canyons were completely filled with clouds and fog at dawn. So I didn’t get the dramatic sunrise photos of my dreams but the weather did start to clear up as the morning wore on.

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Pretty cool even with the clouds and fog.

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That canyon goes down a long way. I’m sure you already knew that.

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On the way out of the park there was this massive stag elk snacking on a nearby tree.

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On the way out of the park we found the National Park sign that Tom & Joni posed in front of so many years ago. We did our best to recreate the pose. Unfortunately I don’t have an image of the original to share, that will be a project for another day.

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Our next stop for the day was going to be Monument Valley but we weren’t going to have enough time. So we skipped over that stop and moved on to Four Corners. This didn’t really need to be a stop on our journey in retrospect but what can you do?

The rest of our journey to Albuquerque was fairly uneventful, it took longer than we anticipated. The views were pretty but it was still pretty cloudy and rainy. Once we got near Albuquerque we passed the Sandias which were stunning. I did get photos of those but I just haven’t edited them yet.

We met up with Kara’s cousin Joe Senechal and his girlfriend Petra in their home in Albuquerque and we had a fabulous dinner in town. After dinner we took off to the desert to take some night photos of away from the light pollution of the cities.

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Yup, that’s the milky way in the middle of the photo shooting up from the city lights in the distance.

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I don’t have all of my editing tools loaded onto Kara’s laptop so there’s a little bit more noise than I’d like but I couldn’t keep myself from sharing these shots.

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Last but not least is this awesome sand snake sculpture in the middle of the road.

Today was a great day in Albuquerque. I’ve got lots more photos to work through on the road tomorrow for my next post!

Day TWENTY SIX & TWENTY SEVEN

So I lied the other day when I said I didn’t take any pictures on our day from Morro Bay to San Diego, I took some shots in the morning.

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Morro Rock & a kid trying to fish his water bottle out of the sea without having to dive in after it.

I am going to keep the San Diego outline very brief. We did way too much to cover in one blog post. We had a blast, Cheri & Bill are amazing hosts. We enjoyed lovely breakfasts, visiting the Midway museum, Coronado Island and then had a fantastic dinner with the Barker family.

Day Two we went to Torrey Pines Gliderport to check out the view. Quick cruise around La Jolla and then some quality time at USD for Kara to rediscover her college self. Then we were off to Mission Beach to body-surf along the huge waves and finally dinner with our friends Rafa & Silvia.

It was a wonderful visit to one of our favorite places and we still didn’t do everything we wanted to. I guess we’ll have to make a return trip!

Tomorrow we are getting up at 4:00am to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon so I’m just putting up photos now. Maybe I’ll write some more later.

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