Saturday we went for an adventure. We loaded up the trucks and hit the road. The first time Carver took me off-roading I was white-knuckles the whole way. This time I did better. Taking photos distracted me from any drastic changes in incline and super-sized rocks. We started the day with a trip through the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts. Egg white flatbreads and coffee. And maybe a couple munchkins. When in Rome.. the day finished up at this cute restaurant with a pond and ducks and swans.
Anyway, here are my favorite photos of the trip. I hope these photos give you some warmth – especially my East coast readers.
That’s right, we have instituted date night. Currently on Thursday’s. Our first date date night of our new lives happened to be in Albuquerque, NM. After the two precious dinners and the less than satisfying road meals we had been eating we decided we would hunt down authentic Mexican food. Once we got to the hotel we put the iPad to use and searched out a restaurant within walking distance.
In Carver’s words the meal was, “Glorious,” or maybe that was just the beers he was referring to…
The restaurant was very unassuming from the front, as most good restaurants usually are. The service was great and the food was perfect.
We started out with a beer (Pacifico and Negro Modelo) and some chips with lime juice. For the entree I had fish tacos while Carver had mixed fajitas. We shared the meals of course and they were the perfect way to kick off date night. I also LOVED the rice, not your standard red rice. If I had to guess, I would say: white rice cooked in chicken stock and then a mirepoix mixed in before serving. I will certainly be trying it out at home.
Dessert was flan- free because we mentioned their website. And the flan was equally delicious. There had to be a little old lady involved. Our waiter Javier denied it, but I don’t think he was telling the truth.
Our bones and muscles are waving the white flag. We are ready to be done with this portion. It’s the normal, hurry up sensation… Not enjoying the journey because you are so focused on the end result. We may not have been as leisurely as others would have liked, but that’s not our style. While we didn’t stop and buy trinkets to remember the visit, we will always have the memories (positive and negative) of things we saw and problems we navigated through.
The food on the trip, with the exception of last night’s dinner, has been nothing to write home about. Sandwiches for lunch, yogurt and cereal or a doughnut for breakfast. Dinner on night one, if you remember, was Applebee’s and night two we had Italian delivered (1/2 order of spaghetti with marinara, 1 slice garlic bread). In Oklahoma all of the restaurants had full nutrition information on their websites which helped.
If you ever want to waste money, I suggest driving through Oklahoma. How many tolls does one state (and one freeway) need?! Really. I didn’t get anything special in return. Just a windy drive and overpriced gas. Thanks, but no thanks. I did break into a laugh-so-hard-you-cry fit from the tolls. Two of the tolls we passed through were coin only and not operated by any DOT workers. Oh yes, and they were $2.30 per toll. Digging through a upholder full of coins was not something I envisioned happening on this trip. Especially not the gunk that coated the nickels and dimes towards the bottom. Well Carver got so frustrated that he started throwing the coins at the receptacle and I couldn’t help laughing. I’m certain that I was releasing tension that had built up over the past few months. Who knew a toll could get you so frustrated that you are forced to just release it all.
Currently we are driving through To’hajiilee, NM. Any ideas on how to pronounce that?! Yah, me either… The real excitement in our little world right now is coffee-related. Carver is a bit of a coffee snob while I am more of a tea drinker. Well he sent me to grab coffees this morning while he fueled up the truck. He made one, maybe two, mistakes. One: he decided to purchase coffee from a Circle K. Two: he didnt try it until the town name above (T…..e) and nearly spit it out all over the windshield. I can vouch that the coffee was bad enough to warrant such a reaction. He will be relying on an energy drink until our next stop.
Just movin along.
Yes, we are on the move again. Winston and I aren’t quite sure why Carver made us get up so early without properly caffeinating but I’m sure it will be clear in a few hours. If you’ve watched the news you have seen the terrible storms along the heartland and down tornado alley. We are altering our route and our hotel plans to avoid getting stuck in those storms. The early start, so I’m told, will help us get further before the storms get dangerous and will get us closer to our end goal.
Lunch yesterday was film-worthy. How could making sandwiches at 65mph not be?! Basically we had no utensils and Carver was morally opposed to eating them without condiments. So I squeezed the mustard and horseradish on the bread and hoped it would work itself out. We did manage to have a fairly balanced meal without incident.
We stopped in some godforsaken place for gas and snacks and I made a very silly mistake. I bought juice at a gas station. Never again. I drank half of a serving (quarter of the bottle) before I read the ingredients. Amateur mistake. Ingredient #2: HFCS. Needless to say I did not finish the juice. Take home lesson?? Be vigilant. Always go for water.
Carver felt it necessary to the experience (and to pay homage) to eat a slim Jim. That ingredient list is so disturbing. As is the product itself. I had a bite, and now no one will be able to give me crazy eyes for never having eaten a slim Jim.
Dinner was even more disturbing. First time at an Applebee’s or similar chain since reading ‘The End of Overeating’. The service and ambiance aside we made it work. We opted for the ‘2 for $20’ deal. We had the boneless buffalo wings (only ate 3 each), the Chinese chicken salad (ate about 2/3) and the fiesta chicken (ate all the chicken and 1/2 the rice). While the nutritional quality of the meal wasn’t great, sharing and not finishing anything helped keep the meal realistic. Normally I would have chosen one of the Weight Watchers-endorsed items, but they were very high point values and not entirely appealing. Matter of personal preference.
Breakfast this morning will be Greek yogurt (peach for me, pomegranate for Carver), coffee and 1/2 cake doughnut.
I’m being told my navigation skills are needed so that’s all for now.
Well, we have packed up our tiny one bedroom apartment into a trailer and bed of Carver’s truck. We have turned in our keys and done the last load of laundry. We said our goodbyes. So now we have to go. We have committed- no turning back now. In case you wondered, the drive from Boston to Phoenix is about 36 hours. So we are in for quite an adventure. I haven’t been in a car for that long in my adult life. And it’s the first really big trip for Carver and I.
Even short road trips can derail a diet, so I wanted to be sure we handled this trip the right way. So we have lots of foodstuffs loaded in the truck. We decided that we would stay somewhere we could get a free breakfast, make lunches on the road and eat out for dinner. In our cooler: Greek yogurts, diet soda, bottled water, two types of deli meat, mayo, mustard, reduced-fat sliced cheese, lettuce, low calorie bread, carrots, raspberries, celery jearts and chocolates. The dry goods: baked chips, pre-portioned trail mix, plain doughnuts (our treat), crackers, bananas, and apples. We also opted for a hotel with a gym which allows me to keep sane (36 hours as a passenger could be quite boring) and active.
So off we go… To get ourselves free.