Past Road Trip Part 2

After leaving Austin and heading west, Texas got pretty...desolate.

We drove through a lot of little dilapidated towns where we played "find the church" and "find the post office."  Every town, no matter how small, had a post office and church.  Sometimes multiple churches.  

Of course, driving on open two-lane roads is WAY better than sitting in anger-inducing city traffic.  Not to mention that we had excellent music in the car.  Between Ben Howard, The Lumineers, and Trevor Hall, driving was an auditory experience.

Other than our concert on wheels, the highlight of that first day was Roswell, NM.  We had planned from the beginning to make a mid-day stop in Roswell and view some top-notch alien-inspired kitsch.  

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That's right, folks.  It is a museum AND RESEARCH CENTER.  With such damning evidence as:

I enjoy that last photograph thusly: First, it has our reflections in it, which is kind of cool in a terrible photography skills kind of way.  But second is that the poster is a purely pictorial explanation.  This is what the poster board is demonstrating:

There are three different types of alien encounters.

  1. First Kind is simply seeing the spaceship in the air
  2. Second Kind is when the spaceship lands on Earth
  3. Third Kind is actual contact with the aliens themselves

(Hence the movie title: Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

You're welcome for that crucial education.

The absolute best displays are the straight up alien reproductions.  

**I would like to point out that I am wearing sunglasses inside of the museum in that picture, not because I'm just that cool, but because we got up stupid early in the morning in order to be able to make it from Austin to Albuquerque in one day.  Without the sunglasses on I looked like death.  It also would appear that I was too tired to focus and frame photos properly, so yes those pictures are a bit wonky. Apologies.

Every half-hour the central alien display lights up and the saucer spins.  The aliens' legs are illuminated with blue light and actual Christmas tree lights are involved.  It feels very true to life.

Although, in all seriousness, Roswell is flat.  Too flat.  Unnaturally flat.  Therefore, Carmella and I concluded that there is definitely a top secret facility underground and the town is so over-the-top ridiculous in order to throw us off the scent.  Not us!

Oh and all of the street lamps in Roswell look like this:

After our mind-blowing experience in Roswell, where we resisted purchasing anything from here:

UFO-Stuff.jpg

We continued on towards Albuquerque.

Albuquerque was not much of an experience.  I'm sure that the city has plenty to offer, but we arrived late at night famished and exhausted.  We barely succeeded in getting some food before passing out back at the hotel.  We ended up at a rather dingy Denny's (and that is dingy on the Denny's scale if that paints a better picture) right next to our hotel since at that late hour it was one of the only options.  Not that Denny's is ever quality (other than drunk at 2:00 am when it is DELICIOUS), but sober at midnight it is especially disappointing. 

We stayed in a La Quinta, which seems to be becoming the budget hotel of choice for Carmella and I seeing as how we just stayed in a La Quinta in Charleston as well. (A post about that trip upcoming!)

The next morning we packed up, grabbed some coffee from the free continental breakfast, and pointed our wheels towards Sedona.

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.

Past Road Trip Part 1

My upcoming road adventures have gotten me thinking about some of my past trips. My most recent road escapade was a jaunt from Austin to Los Angeles, by way of Albuquerque and Sedona.  There was a hysterical museum visit in Roswell, a pit stop at a meteor crater where we made a new friend, a dingy Denny's dinner that left us appreciating the food options in places like Austin and Los Angeles, and a long stretch of nothing.  And I do mean nothing:

Nowhere-collage.jpg

I was in Maryland in grad school when my best friend had a very intense need to get out of her cockroach infested apartment in Austin and move back to LA.  I flew to Austin and helped her pack up everything in her apartment that we didn't manage to sell on Craig's List, and quite literally shoved (mixed with some finesse) all of her belongings into her rented SUV.  (Her poor Volkswagen wasn't going to be up the to trip.) 

No space was left unoccupied.  Although, we did manage to fit all of her belongings INSIDE of the car, unlike these people:

Car-Austin.jpg

I did get to tour a bit of Austin before we bolted from the cockroach lair.  

*Quick side note: if you have a genuine cockroach phobia, I would not suggest living in Texas. They have rather unique cockroaches. They are large. And fly.  Luckily, I am oddly unafraid of insects so I was able to be the designated cockroach destroyer while I was there, but poor Carmella was worse for the wear.  

Austin definitely has some awesome food trucks.

 via seriouseats.com

via seriouseats.com

Naturally, we had to get cupcakes at Hey Cupcake!

 via wellheeledblog.com

via wellheeledblog.com

We also browsed some cute shops and spent an OBSCENE amount of time in the flagship Whole Foods that is located in Austin.  We are both Real-Food obsessed so that was a rather profound experience.

I wish I had taken some pictures of my own, but I tended to be too be engulfed in the experience, so I'm borrowing these from others.

 via thechubbyvegan.blogspot.com

via thechubbyvegan.blogspot.com

 via 1000dias.com

via 1000dias.com

 via eating-made-easy.com

via eating-made-easy.com

 via farmersmarketvegan.wordspress.com

via farmersmarketvegan.wordspress.com

 via tender-roots.com

via tender-roots.com

 via eatpure.blogspot.com

via eatpure.blogspot.com

 via bluebonnetinbeantown.blogspot.com

via bluebonnetinbeantown.blogspot.com

Seriously, Whole Foods was one of the biggest deals for me.  If you are ever in Austin and like food, go there. 

South Congress is a super cute area and there are some really unique finds in Austin shops such as my nag-champa-scented Ganesha car air freshener, journals made of recycled stuff and cool art pieces.

Austin-Stuff.jpg

I also got to see another friend who had moved from LA to Austin as well, and watch her Improv Show, which is always good fun.  I love improv comedy.  And my friend has serious talent. Ashley, you are one talented lady! 

Then, after some book store browsing (because ALWAYS), thus concluded my Austin stay.

And then we were off!

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Katie Dawn Habib

Katie Dawn Habib is a Holistic Nutrition Coach with a M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health. By combining her nutrition knowledge with a love of writing, Katie created her own website, The Hungry Gypsy, where she talks about food, nutrition, wellness and travel. On her site you can also find information about her nutrition coaching practice and join in on the conversations. Katie would like to contribute in some small way to global healing and help her clients and readers feel inspired.