Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl

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The Oregon Trail, Day 2

We left out of Amarillo at 7am sharp. Well, actually 8, but it quickly turned to 7 at the state line so let’s just go with that. We settled into “the zone” quick and the biggest disappointment of the day for me was seeing this just as I drive past, not stopping. I should have stopped.

Take note, that is NOT my photo… As I did not screech the behemoth truck to a stop and U-y over the East bound lane to get a better look.

I just kept going. And she fell asleep.

Photo cred comes from this pretty good write up here.

Just as soon as she fell asleep, I spotted a pretty little herd of antelope (pronghorn) near the road. This made me happy and I knew that I would get to see much more wildlife all day long.

I was so wrong.

I saw nothing. Not even cows again till the late evening. Nothing wants to live in New Mexico. Nothing.

The first gas stop was in Temecula, which is apparently THE town for Route 66 memorabilia. I snapped a few pics while we cruised to the Flying J truck stop. I have them on Instagram here and here.

Then, it was boring. For a long time. Albuquerque was ok… But nothing notable. Mom was snoozing again so I didn’t want to stop anyway. I just plugged along, staring at stuff like this for a loooong time.


And then, the Petrified Forest National Park came along. For time’s sake, I’ll just post the pictures without descriptions. I thought everything was so interesting, though. I highly recommend it!

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We rolled into Flagstaff right at dusk a d it was an exhausting day. 14 hours in the road with all the stops and side trips. Yikes!

Looking forward to the Grand Canyon!



The Oregon Trail, Day 1


There was a clear bluebird sky today as we set out on our journey. A five-day trip across 7 states and 2500 miles. The bright yellow moving truck was packed to the gills and heavy, but I am quickly becoming a (self-proclaimed) pro at navigating it.

I’m pretty tired, but I wanted to share a few pictures before I called it a day. This country is such a diverse place. It was the big expanse of Texas today.


I had to take a closer look at the massive wind turbines working so diligently with the hot west Texas wind. They look like something a spaceship came and placed on Earth. Right in the middle of a cattle pasture. I think I could have sat there for hours and stared at them.



It would be fair to say that the wind machines were the most interesting part of the trip. Well. Save for one little sighting of something quite peculiar. One of those things that will always make a road trip superior to a quick flight on a plane. Something that catches your eye and makes you slam the brakes on a very heavy, loaded down Penske moving truck so you can make a quick u-turn to see again.

Something like this.


Closer look? Yes. That’s two bikini’d mannequin chicks living the good life. Checking out the oncoming traffic on Hwy 287N.  Carry on, America. Carry on.



Run Away with Me

If there is one thing that I have learned in my very short life ;), it is to seize opportunities as they come to you. You never know when you are going to get them, and if you don’t take them, you never know if they will ever come back again. So when a good friend and coworker said, “Hey, you want these Braves tickets? Looks like we won’t be able to go and I know y’all like to watch them”, I did what any good red, white, and blue blooded American would do…. said “YES!!!!”.

With the help of awesome family members as babysitters (thanks, y’all), The Man and I packed our bags and got out of Dodge.

I was all set to document the trip all fancy like, but very quickly realized we brought all of this –

and NO memory cards. Not one. Ugh. Two iphones it is, then.

We decided to do something a little different this time took a new route. We usually haul butt down I-20 through Shreveport and then down Hwy 59. This truly is the best and quickest route to H-town, but, it gets pretty boring and routine after a while. We headed south on Hwy 167 instead, through the heartland of Louisiana. A million pine trees, mobile homes, huge cattle ranches and watermelon stands later, we found ourselves 2 hours into a 7 hour trip, and in Nachidish Natchidoches Natchitoches. Opting out of nasty fast food road trip meals, we stopped for a quick lunch at The Landing in downtown on the river.

We decided to get the Sampler Appetizer and house salads.

The Sampler included Shrimp Remoulade, Fried Alligator, Mini Meat Pies, Fried Green Tomatoes, and a Crabcake.

That and a glass or two of tea and we left with happy, but not overstuffed, bellies.

But we did have to stop at a DQ in BFE for an afternoon snack to share. Yummy cookie dough blizzard.

After 7+ hours of driving (takes 5.5 the other way), we finally saw the skyline. Drove straight to the ballpark and found a St. Arnolds (only $.50 more than a Budlight. Craft beer FTW). Braves kicked butt, so we left a bit early to check in our hotel and find something to eat.

We found the first place that looked open and decent, which was Yao Ming’s restaurant, Yao (creative name). Appetizer was a tuna dish that you sear yourself on a hot stone. I like playing with my food, so this was fun, and yummy. I got a small sushi roll with soft shell crab called The Spider for an entree, and The Man got Schezuan Chicken. We were the only people in the restaurant and they were closing, but the service was great and the food was fresh. I was kinda nice to be alone.

The next day… well.. our cameras iphones were running on what minimal charge we could manage on the one and only car charger we had, so not many pics. We had delectable breakfast tacos at El Rey, then headed to Ikea as the doors opened. We got some great stuff for the house, included some items for redecorating the girls’ room this summer. Looking forward to showing them to you later on. You gotta love Ikea.

We were debating on a trip to the Museum of Fine Art, but opted for an afternoon nap in the quiet hotel instead. My back was not feeling all that snazzy, and when you have two little ones, the idea of going somewhere quiet and taking an uninterrupted nap is very high on the list of desirable activities. Second ball game was a blast, even though I could have sworn it was going to be a dollar hot dog night. It wasn’t 😦 Spent a lot of money on a crappy junk food dinner that night.

Sunday morning was spent sleeping in, getting a not-as-good-as-hoped for breakfast at Ziggy’s downtown, and heading back home ASAP up Hwy 59. Junky crap foods were consumed for necessity’s sake (why oh why did I use to LOVE and I mean LUUUURVE Arby’s?) and we snatched up the girls and the dogs from my mom’s. Savannah may or may not have helped dad drive down a country road back home….

Or maybe Jazz was driving??

The point of sharing this post was not to just tell you about our boring lives or what we eat (although, I like to share so you might find out about new places), but to emphasize the importance in investing in your marriage AFTER you’ve been married awhile. You know, we are starting to get to be pretty good pros at this. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I’ve learned a lot in 9.5 years. Many, many marriages don’t even last that long.

The Man and I have fights. We argue about who’s fault it is that This or That happened, or didn’t happen. We get frustrated with each other and go without talking for a few days (but we are not very good at that and always end up forgiving).

But… The Man and I…. we love each other. Since 1999 and college. Since band practice on the asphalt and ska music. Since it was just the two of us (and Scout, my dog) and not a care in the world, fishing on the bayou.

This weekend was about investing in US. I don’t feel guilty about leaving the kids behind, or not visiting with family while in Houston, because this weekend – was – about – US. Enjoying each other and remembering why we liked each other in the first place. There is a time for kids. There is a time for family. There is a time for friends.

And there is time for chilling out in a hotel room at 3:37pm, because that’s all you want to do, and you are with the one you want to be with.