After soaking up Albuquerque, we headed to Santa Fe for an afternoon. While there, we decided to get my tires rotated and my oil changed—something we neglected to do before leaving. (My husband, master of all trades, normally tackles this, but time simply ran out.)
After a stop at Jiffy Lube in Santa Fe, the car started to make an alarming rumbling sound. So we made yet another stop at Jiffy Lube, this time in Albuquerque, where they kind of just shrugged their shoulders and said they didn’t know what was up. (Always what you hope to hear from your mechanic.) So we went back to our hotel for the night and called Midas first thing in the morning.
Three hours in the “waiting room” (thank God it had free Wi-Fi) and nearly $300 later, and I had a new pair of front tires. Apparently the rubber on my four-year Altima was about to separate entirely, and we very well could have blown a tire had we driven any further. Moral of this story, kids: Get your car checked out before the cross-country road trip.
But really, it’s not a true road trip if you don’t break down (or come close to it), am I right?
From there, we drove all the way across the Texas Panhandle, neglecting to stop at the Cadillac Ranch—the car hiccup just set us too far back in time—but seeing it from the road. Nor did we stop for the 72-ounce steak we saw advertised for more than 200 miles on many a billboard (you think I’m kidding, but no), which we thought was impressive until we got to Oklahoma and they advertised a 100-ounce option! That’s a whole lot of food. I have trouble finishing off an eight-ounce steak on my own.
I’ve really wanted to see Oklahoma City for awhile now—from the diner that inspired the movie Cars in Stroud to the Langston’s headquarters to Bricktown—but we were just ready to be back already. Besides, did I mention the thermometer peaked at 113 degrees while we were there? Now I like the heat, A LOT, but even that is pushing it. So we stopped at a budget motel in Yukon, home to Garth Brooks we learned, then powered through the rest of Oklahoma and Arkansas the following day to camp out in Memphis for the night.
Memphis happens to be home to the two cutest moppets on the planet, my cousin Rebecca’s kids. How could we be in the area and not pay them a visit?
Meet Margaret, age 10 months.
And McKayla, age three. She also answers to Tinkerbell.
(McKayla happens to be a budding music video star, too, and if you missed my Tweet with the link to this video, take three minutes now to watch it and I promise it will brighten your day. Rebecca said it took a whole lot of M&M bribery to get her to film for the whole day!)
We played princesses and had tea parties and did Cool, Cool Tricks and watched Cinderella and twirled in our dresses.
After 2,500 miles, it was just the family time I needed. And I’m pretty sure being just three hours away from this family of four ensures that I’ll do a whole lot of “dropping in” on weekends. Sorry, Rebecca and John, but you have been warned.