We could not take as leisurely a trip home as we did on the way up because we had to move into our house as soon as we got back. (In case you haven’t been following along, we moved to Dallas from Alaska back in October; we already had a house we’d bought in 2014 but it had renters in it so we lived in an apartment till their lease was up June 30). Don’t ask me what I was thinking to schedule a vacation right before we had to move.
Deciding to bite the bullet and make the first day a long one, we pushed on to Colorado where we met up with Bonnie and David and kids for the night. The kids were excited to have adjoining rooms at the hotel, which we could walk back and forth through. How much fun is that?!
After dinner and wandering around, it was too late to swim in the hotel pool so we let the kids have a morning dip after breakfast. Then off to Amarillo to spend the night with Bonnie and Dave.
On the way, we decided to stop at the Capulin Volcano National Monument in N.M. When my girls were growing up, we stopped at the volcano a couple of times when we were traveling to Colorado. Susan was small and was very worried that the volcano would erupt while we were in it. I can remember her sitting in the back of the car, almost in tears, telling us that her hands were very sweaty. 🙂 I told Aidan and Ally this story about their mom and Ally said, “My hands are kinda sweaty, too!” She was also somewhat concerned about the volcano and what might happen while we were there. We tried to explain that it erupted long, long ago and there was virtually no chance of it happening again. Then when we got to the visitor center, we were warned to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes and mountain lions!
We walked down into the vent of the volcano and then up to the rim to look around. It’s pretty spectacular to look at the countryside from that vantage point.
On the way back, we went into the visitor center and the ranger mentioned that Ally could do some activities in a booklet to get her Jr. Ranger designation again. Oh, my! She was excited! As I mentioned before, the Park Service takes this very seriously and it’s not just a give-away. So we spent an extra half hour in the center, watching a short film and completing the required four pages in the booklet (no easy task). Finally we approached the desk with the booklet and a different ranger was there than the one who’d told Ally that she had to do four pages. This guy asked her name, what she liked best about the park, paged through her booklet and said he was sorry but she was a page short. OMG. Luckily there was a section where the kid can interview a ranger so he turned to that one and told her he’d help her out. So she asked him the questions on the page and he wrote down his answers. Then she had to make up two more questions to ask him. After much thought, she asked if he liked being a ranger. He said yes. For her second question, she asked, “Is it fun being a ranger?” He and I both laughed and he said that was too much like the first question, try again. I whispered in her ear, “Ask him how long he’s been a ranger.” She did and he said it was his third week. 🙂 He’s also a police officer and is working on his second degree in wildlife management, doing an internship at the park. Then she raised her hand, took her pledge, and was awarded another badge and a patch. It was really cute to see how thrilled she was!
Finally arriving in Amarillo after 7 PM, we enjoyed some pizza with Bonnie’s family and all the kids had a blast in the back yard playing on the fort and the zipline recently installed.
Up early the next morning and on to Clyde to drop the kids off at home. Their mama was really happy to see them! I will say again what great travelers they were and how much we enjoyed them. Such a fun trip we had, and hopefully many happy memories were made for the kids.
Our travels were not quite over since we had to drive three more hours to get back to Dallas. It was a long day! Later that night our friends Karen and Kaci arrived to stay over with us before they flew out for Ireland and France the next day. We had a good time chatting and catching up on news before we all hit the hay, then got up early again to take them to the airport to catch their flight.
After getting home from the airport, we began our next task of getting ready to move into our house. Moving: more fun than a stick in the eye?