Tag Archive | New Mexico

Longest Day

February 19, 2010 – Cross Country Trip – Day 2

We started out bright and early. By 7AM, we were on the road. For those that know me well, that  is a superhuman feat. Our ability to get up and go may have had something to do with the sketchy Motel 6 where we spent the night. We left Tempe, AZ and headed East.

Oh-so-classy decor

We stopped at the Horseshoe Cafe in Benson, AZ for breakfast. We got a little more than we bargained for…

At first, we were all smiles and kidding around. We thought the waitress was a little grumpy, but we didn’t think anything of it.

photo by Cicely

Then, we received servings of the most sour orange juice either of us have ever tasted. Keep in mind we were the ONLY customers in the restaurant at this time.

photo by Cicely

It wasn’t until a caucasian couple arrived that we realized that our waitress wasn’t grumpy… we just weren’t welcomed in their establishment because we weren’t caucasian. She was all smiles and bubbly with the caucasian couple. Whenever she returned to our table, she was sour and rude. We couldn’t complain or leave because quite frankly there wasn’t anywhere else to eat for miles.

Cicely discovers that "our kind" isn't welcomed.

The irony is that they had the best country-fried steak and biscuits and gravy Cicely has had in a long while.

My scramble was ok. I think the horrific service ruined my meal.

We quickly paid our bill and headed out. While on the road we stopped to take a few pictures of the Arizona landscape. The desert is more picturesque than most people realize. The sky was clear with amazing cloudscapes.

photo by Cicely

Cicely admires the unusual signage

We blew through New Mexico. {Read: I sped while Cicely snoozed} By lunch time, we were in El Paso, Texas. To play it safe, we had lunch at Red Lobster. We had some Hurricanes to take the edge off our unpleasant breakfast.

We also stopped to get cupcakes at Cupcakes and Cookies by T.

photo by Cicely

Cupcakes by T has cake and icing flavors of the day. You can mix and match your cake and icing. They ice all their cupcakes as you order. We sampled their Pink Lemonade, Red Velvet, and Slamming Chocolate. We were quickly reminded that cupcakes make everything better. Even our Hello Kitty driving mascots got in on the delicious fun.

Cicely enjoys her cupcake

After nearly putting ourselves into diabetic comas, we continued on. Cicely drove while I enjoyed the scenery. We noticed the houses seemed really rundown in El Paso. I jokingly commented that El Paso was a dump. Then, I looked at the GPS. I wasn’t looking at El Paso. I was staring at the shanties of Juarez, Mexico. We had no idea that I-10 took us that along the Mexican border.

We were so close to Mexico that my iPhone picked up a Mexican mobile carrier.

Driving through east Texas felt endless.

That is until we got to a section of I-20 where the speed limit was 85 mph. This, of course, meant Cicely drove a touch faster than that.

I was so jealous. She got to drive MY car at racing speeds for a prolonged period. I told her to let me have a turn. No dice. There was no place to stop… unless you count the five prisons we passed along the way.

Again our stomachs chose an inconvenient time and place to begin growling. We stopped in Odessa, Texas at a Sonic Drive-In.  It was a poor choice. Without getting into details, we got another taste of racism, only this time it was a touch scarier. Thankfully, we were safe and continued on for another 4 hours. We thought we could make it to Forth Worth.

Somewhere around 2AM, we decided that 16 hours on the road was enough. We found a La Quinta Inn in Eastland, Texas where the night manager felt sorry for us and gave us a room at a discounted rate. A hot shower and comfy bed never felt so good.

In a day, we were on the road for 16 hours and covered about 956 miles. Despite the long day and the crazy run-ins with the locals, we kept our cool, didn’t kill one another, and managed to enjoy ourselves.