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The End of a Road Trip

Alas, the end of one trip so we can pack for another.

overcast 60 °F

We’d originally planned to go from Hovenweep on to Arches, Capital Reef, Monument Valley and then home. We had wanted to visit more parks in Utah then got the idea for these from an article I saw.


We have been to several of the parks listed in the article and, although, we’d love to go back, knew that we’d have little time now.

Dale and I sat down during a rest stop break and mapped out what we could actually do considering the time we can spend on our way home. Oops, there went Arches and Capital Reef, chopped. That left Monument for a day, which is west of Hovenweep.

On the way to Hovenweep I checked the weather. A front was moving in and would bring freezing temps. When we got to Hovenweep, I checked the weather again, this time it said that high winds would accompany the storm. I started checking various cities along our route home and 40+mph wind gusts were forecasted.

In addition to the high winds forecasted, we were also out of fresh water in the RV. Even though the campground was open Hovenweep had no dump or fresh water for RV’s. And, by the way, because it was off season, the campground was free.

We decided that due to the high winds we’d take a safer route home and skip the rest of the parks. As we drove down the hill into Albuquerque that evening, we remembered why we loved that city. But also laughed as we will be flying there in only a few days.

Time to get home, unpack this rig and pack up for our trip next week.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:07 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel national_parks rv hovenweep Comments (0)

Hovenweep For A Day

Hovenweep National Monument

sunny 65 °F

Hovenweep is part of the Canyon of the Ancients, located at the end of the canyon. The canyon is very narrow at the bottom and not much elevation gain between the bottom and the top. Nevertheless, the Ancient Ones built structures around the edges and in the bottom.

We really like Hovenweep because it is an easy 8-mile walk down around and back up to the campgrounds. While you can’t enter the structures it is easy to get up and close as the barriers are not set back very far. And like Mesa Verde, the ruins are from the similar people, but here there are not the tourists. We only saw 6 other people during our entire walk.
While we are not religious, it is a place that is very spiritual to us. To be so close to those who came before us, and to experience seeing structures built on sheer rock walls or small outcroppings is a source of amazement.

We were at Hovenweep as part of a grandkids trip about 10 years ago. We’d taken the 4 older kids to Mesa Verde for part of the 100-year anniversary and then heard of Hovenweep. We fell in love with Hovenweep so it was easy to combine this with our road trip.

This time, being alone, we packed up a picnic, very simple sandwich makings, veges and hummus, and white wine. Dale found us a nice flat rock to spread out the lunch and then we found a place in front of the “Twin Towers” to enjoy lunch and the canyon. Having simple food and a simple wine was fitting to the area.
The sky was blue, not a cloud, and the air crisp and cool. We couldn’t ask for a better day.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:27 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature walking travel national_parks rv outdoors hovenweep Comments (0)

Another State, Another Restaurant

It's about friends and food

sunny 75 °F

If someone doesn’t know us, they’d probably wonder how we have so many favorite restaurants and do we do anything besides eat. We were laughing about this over breakfast and realized that we are only in the southern part of the US. We have many more favorites in other states.

And so from New Orleans we drove straight to Houston, TX, to meet a dear friend and co-worker, Jim and of course eat. This time we went to his favorite place, a little French Bistro.

The restaurant isn’t fancy but really nice. We felt mostly fine in our jeans but there were also people in formal wear. Maybe we just felt fine because we didn’t pay attention. But the food was very French and such a treat, as we’ve been eating lots of local, hole in the wall foods. Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat the sauces but I enjoyed my pork chop, and Dale his Canard A la Orange. Jim had wild boar. With mussels for an appetizer and a nice pinot, we were happy campers.

But, the best part was visiting with our friend, we haven’t had much time to visit since we were all in Boston. We’d really gotten to know each other when we worked the Richmond Fire about 3 years ago. We did some nice dinners and wine tasting together in the Sacramento area, so it was great to just sit down and catch up.

After dinner, we drove to the next rest stop intending to make it to San Antonio and Mi Tierra’s for breakfast. Mi Tierra’s has been a favorite for many years.

We knew that my grandfather had worked in the area in the early 1930’s. We have a photo of my grandfather standing by the produce truck he drove with my father and uncles as children. My grandfather worked with the bananas. We believed that the basement of Mi Tierra’s had been the banana distribution center and had learned, on one trip, that there was a basement that had been used for produce.

This trip, I mentioned to the waitress that my grandfather had likely worked in the basement, she went and got her manager. The manager verified that the banana distribution took place in the basement. She said that the owner is the 3rd generation which would mean that my grandfather would have worked for his grandfather. Small world.

The owner requested that we send a photo of my grandfather with the truck and they will put it on the wall. There is also a chance that at some point we might get to tour the basement.
Chilaquiles recipe has changed, they use to put strips of chilies in but now leave them out because the chilies are too hot. We will go for other dishes next time and of course the pan dolce.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:42 Archived in USA Tagged food road_trip travel friends rv houston san_antonio Comments (0)

On to NOLA

New Orleans, another favorite.

overcast 73 °F

I’ve worked in New Orleans on several occasions, living here for 4-6 weeks each time. I’ve also stopped here on my way home from various storms. Each time this change but yet it is the same. And so it is with this visit.
I’ve lived in the KOA by the river and that is where we have camped. When I was here last our middle boy and is family joined me. This was after Hurricane Gustav hit. FEMA workers filled the campground and we got to know each other, visiting a little on the warm evenings while we’d all sit outside and work.

Dale would fly in on his week off and we had restaurants near the RV that we really liked. Our mouths were all set on the food awaiting us, until, that is, we realized that the restaurants were closed. Like closed for good.

Dale remembered another restaurant with oyster shells paving the parking lot. I remembered where the restaurant was but with Google, we were able to identify it as The Harbor.

The Harbor was unchanged except that I’d changed. Since Celiac there was nothing except a piece of grilled fish available. The fish was great but looks like that restaurant is off of our radar now. But there are lots of other places to try. We will find new favorite haunts.

Posted by Miss Chris 06:13 Archived in USA Tagged food road_trip travel new_orleans rv Comments (0)

Playing Tourist on Miami Beach

And getting taken

sunny 80 °F

Time for a road trip, and while we are at it, drive home.

I finally got released from my work in Florida. The storm didn’t last as long as many but was a good run.

1st stop was Miami. I have an adjuster friend who lives in Ft Lauderdale and we thought we’d visit with her before heading out.
When we arrived my friend was busy with work so we dumped the RV and went down to the Art Deco District in Miami Beach.

I have fond memories of Miami Beach from when I worked Hurricane Andrew. Things have changed a little since then. There are lots of sidewalk restaurants, many with the menus that look the same. Every restaurant has people in the front trying to rope the tourists in.

We wanted Cuban food and found a place that had a Cuban sandwich and a Cuban plate on the menu. I’d remembered great little Cuban places but couldn’t find any so we settled for this place.

We decided what we wanted for food and thought a drink would be good. I saw that people had these huge glasses of drinks in front of them. On the menu was various sizes including a fishbowl for $35.00 each.

We ordered our drinks but stupidly did not specify the size. Sure enough,IMG_20161108_201210135.jpg we were served the fishbowl size. We decided to keep the drinks because it made for some fun, but knew we’d been taken! The trials of a tourist.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:04 Archived in USA Tagged food road_trip travel rv outdoors miami_beach Comments (0)

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