Growing up, “family vacation” really only meant one thing: the long road trip from Oklahoma City to the Bay Area in Cali. If you’ve never made that drive, I have to admit that I only recommend it if you have a tight cohort with whom to travel. And periodically stop to leave your team barfs along the way (“mementos” as my father called them). Santa Fe was a favorite milestone of that long haul. While I was smitten with the Earthships near Taos and standing over the Rio Grande gorge, I cannot say that I was thrilled about this stop, especially after gorging myself on the luscious scenery throughout Utah and Colorado. My juvenile memories of New Mexico had become amalgamated into one blanket vision of barren dessert.
But, I was driven on by family duty. The following baby cousin had taken up residence in Santa Fe and I simply had to see him.
Just kidding. He’s old now. Well, older. He looks like this!
Santa Fe was the most surprising destination of the trip thus far. The city was beautiful and Ivan is thrivin’ there. It was cool to be shown around by a chosen local who knew where all the charm was hidden. We walked about the square, tried on Western hats, petted the various animal pelts, ate some gelato (whiskey cream, obvi), and saw a totally satisfying cousin kind of movie. All the while, the sky was foreboding and gorgeous as the breeze was warm. Santa Fe, I’m sorry I doubted you.
After a night of insufficient sleep and a morning of inadequate nutrition, we put our infantile brains together and got psyched about the prospect of caravanning back to Oklahoma City. Ivan knew this drive well after many trips to and from college and home. So, I spent most of Wednesday following his car-butt to the east.
The first hour of the drive (south) was lovely and clear whereas the remaining 7 hours proved… beyond tedious. Bleak. Post-apocalyptic. I exaggerate but a girl can get bored, you know.
However. It was worth it. Every minute. Who wouldn’t brave the brutal slog across I-40 so long as it meant coming home to this grampa?
I’m going to settle into Oklahoma for a spell, friends. The beer is cold and dad’s garden is just ramping up. I have a lot to soak up and bring with me for the long trip.