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The Family Tour 2022

Still recovering from my fall from my truck bed, read the last post, another vacation loomed up. This one could not be cancelled as the last one was. We had airline tickets purchased, family waiting for us, and their vacation time had been taken. There would be none of the sort. Just before we were to leave……..I caught a cold!! I just had to tough it out and hoped I wouldn’t be contagious when we got there. By the time we got there, I just had a nagging cough and all was fine!

Phase One – The first part of the trip was to visit my remaining family in my home town of Alamogordo, NM! I was born and raised there until the early seventies when we left and never returned to live there again. I still miss it as it is my roots, but not sure I’d ever live there again or if I wanted to, convince my lovely wife to take up stakes there! My Aunt Sharon and Uncle Butch still live there in the same location since I was a child. My cousin Lorie lives just across the way from them. Some apples never fall far from the tree! It was nice visiting with them, telling stories of the past, and driving around looking at the old homes and schools we all attended. Much of the town hasn’t changed too much after all these years, but it has grown a bit! As I relived my childhood reminiscing, I admit to being a bit homesick, but the reality of living there again does not fall into the realm of reality. We just have to revisit more often for as long as the reasons remain there!

Phase Two – The next leg of the trip took us to the Dallas suburb of Lantana, Texas to visit Debbie’s sister and husband, Donna and Chris. While Debbie had visited them before, I had never been there. They showed us a great time, taking us around visiting very cool places. We headed down to Grapevine for a day and walked around. The weather was warm and beautiful. We went to Grapevine Main and had some drinks and then dinner at the 1845 Bar! Every place we went to had the aroma of burning wood for their BBQ meats! It was a carnivore’s heaven. We also spent a day in Fort Worth cruising around the Stockyard District shopping, drinking, eating, and riding bulls(real and fake) on the street and in Billy Bob’s 81 Club!! See the pictures in our album here! Another day we went down to Dallas to Deep Elum. That was quite an experience walking around down there. It is a very historic area of Dallas and has a very colorful vibe to it. It seems to get a little sketchy after dark, but it was a fun time visiting all the cool places they took us to and we had a fun time. It ended with a collision of families. Our next visit was to be in Oklahoma visiting my brother and his wife. He texted me that their oldest son and his newish wife (Matthew and Katie) lived down there and if we had a chance, we should hook up. I did and low and behold, they lived down the road and on the other side of the freeway from Donna and Chris just minutes away. We all met up at Marty B’s for dinner and drinks and closed that place and headed to another bar and closed that place too!! It was a great time!!

Phase Three – Our next stop was in Oklahoma City to raid my brother Scott and wife Dana’s place. Oklahoma area was another place neither of us had spent any time in. They have a beautiful home and both worked while trying to also entertain us. We really appreciated the time they spent showing us around and having a good time. Dana took us to a couple of museums while Scott attended work functions. One was the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. It was a very interesting place and I wish we had more time there. We were kind of rushed and missed quite a bit. I could spend hours in museums. She also took us to the First Americans Museum, which was an Indian museum and was a very interesting and somewhat sad place to learn of how there land was taken(stolen) from them! We all went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum. If any of you On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck filled with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The resulting explosion killed 168 people and destroyed the entire north face of the building. We spent hours there and it was a very sobering experience. If you are ever in the OKC area, don’t miss it! They also took us down to the Bricktown River Walk and we had dinner down there at Charleston’s. We made a trip to Tulsa to have dinner with their other son and wife Josh and Bailey. It was our first time meeting her as it was meeting Katie! Both of these girls are fun, gorgeous, and a wonderful addition to the family! It was finally time to leave for the final leg of the journey!

Final Phase – The end of our journey had us spending some solo time at the Inn Of The Mountain Gods in Ruidoso, NM. This was my favorite place to visit when I was young. It is nestled up in the mountains, off the desert floor and heat of the summer. As a matter of fact, we hit some snow on the way there. It had all melted by the next day. We only had a full day there and walked the town window shopping, bought some southwest art to hang at home, spent some time in the Hatch Chili Store, and enjoyed the mountain air. We had dinner and drinks in the resort restaurant, Wendell’s and it was very good. Our flight back was in El Paso and we made one more stop at the family to spend a couple of hours before we flew back. It was nice to get back in touch with family away from here and was also nice to get back home. A few days later we had a visit with this little “bean” sporting our New Mexico shirts we brought back. Again, to see all the pictures CLICK HERE! It was a wonderful trip!!!

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A Family Affair

In early October we took our last vacation of 2013. It was a combination of family get togethers on both sides. The first part of it involved Debbie’s side of the family and the wedding of her niece Jennifer. It took place in Texas near Dallas, so we flew into the Dallas-Ft Worth airport. I had driven through the area years ago mainly speeding by on the interstate, but had never spent any time in Dallas. This time was no different as the wedding was held in a town called Whitewright which was north. What did strike us was the size of the airport. It was huge and we got lost just trying to leave, driving in circles for a while before we finally managed to escape the madness. Then as we drove toward the location of the ranch, the sprawl that is the DFW metro area was just crazy. The place is way too big for me and Texans drive insanely! The wedding and reception were held at a beautiful place called the Bethel Ranch. Most of the wedding party, family, and many guests stayed right there as the place was huge. Debbie’s sister, Donna(mother of the bride) and her husband Chris did a lot to make all of who stayed comfortable. Austin’s, the groom, Mom and sisters did a lot of cooking and feeding of the guests. There was quite a bit of organized chaos, but the event went off without a hitch and even the weather held off until the outdoor ceremony was over. Much fun!!!

After the wedding fun, we departed the Dallas area and flew to the glorious city of El Paso. We got our rental and drove up to my hometown of Alamogordo, NM! The closer I got, memories of childhood and growing up came streaming in. It seems like such a long time ago that I roamed these streets and many loved ones who were part of my young life are now long departed. It is bittersweet returning here sometimes. What helped was our somewhat mini reunion of my brothers Scott and his wife Dana and Garth, sister Monica, and seeing my aunt Sharon and Uncle Butch and cousin Lorie. Due to my half assed organizational skills, we had forgotten to let my other cousin, JoAnn know we were coming and she wasn’t able to be around. Next time I will do better! Boy did we have fun! Along with running around town looking at old homes we haunted and schools we went to, we did road trips around the State together! We took a drive up to Santa Fe where Debbie had always wanted to go and I hadn’t been in years. We had a great time going to the plaza and eating tamales and visiting the shops and old churches. On the way back we stopped in a very small town called Duran and parked in front of this building! It was dark by then and very spooky and no matter how we tried, we could not get a decent photo of it at night! We also stopped on the highway near Carrizozo where, when were young,  we saw a woman in a wedding dress come walking out of an arroyo and tried waving us down. We later heard the story of her ghost!!!! We weren’t sure of the exact location though, and didn’t see her again!

Other journeys took us to the ghost town of White Oaks, the old Fort Stanton, Lincoln, and Ruidoso. Deb and I love Ruidoso and here we go again thinking we might like to live here when we retire. It is a very cool town and we saw some very nice homes nestled up in the hills. There is the yearly worry of fires when the season hits and the last one saw some pretty intense fires come very close to the town. We have thought about New Mexico before, but we have thoughts about going to many different places to live once we have removed the shackles of employment. We may just get an RV and just drive and hang out in all these places. We took a drive to Las Cruces and went to the old town of Mesilla. The town has a lot of history and home of one hell of a Mexican restaurant called La Posta where we had an awesome lunch! Our final trip was up the hill with my Aunt to Cloudcroft. It is an old lumber town which is just up from my hometown. It was a cool place to go in the heat of the New Mexico summers. We visited the Lodge at Cloudcroft and looked around at the old hotel. We went into the tower and the Governor’s Suite. The place is supposed to be haunted by many different ghosts and one in particular, a girl called Rebecca! My Aunt had a strange experience coming down the stairs from the tower. One of her earrings was knocked out of her ear! She just took it in stride and put it back in. Then it got knocked out a second time. I was walking behind her at that point watching it and saw it just fly out of her ear. Was it Rebecca???? It was a great time and for once, time did not fly by! It was great seeing all of both families and sharing some great memories!! Check out our the New Mexico pictures here!

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