Saturday, February 04, 2023

Unexpected Southwest Airlines Southwest Road Trip: Day 2

What does Day 2 of the road trip bring? Let's see!

The shortest route would have been to continue on Interstate 40 across Arizona. We could have met up with my sister-in-law in Flagstaff for a late lunch and then spent the night at my mom's in Vegas. Well, there was a heavy snowstorm in Flagstaff and my mom was stuck in San Francisco. She was flying back from Taiwan and she ended up stranded at SFO for three days. She was going to fly Alaska Airlines home from SFO and Alaska was very generous with the hotel and food comps. She ended up having a great time.

I woke up at our motel in Tucumcari before everyone else so I decided to go to the donut shop and pick up some surprises for the family. Sadly, it was closed. I went to the gas station next door instead. The cashier was a trip. He called me sir and was super polite. But he (a white guy) had dreadlocks a la Korn and wore a tuxedo t-shirt. 

This was the sunrise along Route 66, just outside the gas station.

We headed west on Interstate 40 to Albuquerque for lunch. There was a billboard proclaiming that abortion is legal in New Mexico. There were also a few billboards looking to hire prison guards. The job does not pay well.

As we approached Albuquerque, there was a snow flurry. I'm glad we are going south. Neither my wife nor I have much experience driving in the snow. And we didn't want to risk it in an unfamiliar car with the kids in the back. 

Check out this old Kia Sephia!

Here is a billboard for a personal injury attorney in Albuquerque. He's the brother of a friend. Apparently, their dad is a law professor and they are all super well educated and cultured. The brother that stayed in Albuquerque is Bertrand, named after the philosopher Bertrand Russell. Anyway, he came up with this tagline "Hurt? Call Bert!" He's the inspiration for Saul Goodman!

My wife found our lunch spot, which was inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

We then drove 270 miles south on Interstate 25. After a third of the way down past Socorro, there was nothing. I made the mistake of not filling up sooner. The strong winds ruined the gas mileage. My wife and kids were sleeping, and I was sweating bullets. We were going to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere! We stopped at a place that said GAS. All of the pumps were cordoned off with cones and TV show tribute cars, like Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine, My wife went inside to check if gas was available. She told me a guy who was really down on his luck stood up from his chair and apologized, stating that state regulators shut down his gas station due to safety issues. We didn't get gas until we got to Truth Or Consequences.

Then, we arrived in Las Cruces. It's close to the Mexican border and I spotted this!

Dinner ended up being the best meal of 2022. We ate at La Nueva Casita. New Mexican cuisine is not like regular American Mexican cuisine. I love it. I got this combo plate with chili con carne, chile relleno, enchilada, taco, and squash.

My son had been eating beans for a day straight.

After Las Cruces, we headed west towards Tuscon for the night. Here are some Texas-build Teslas headed for year end delivery.

We ended up at the Hotel McCoy for the night. It used to be a seedy motel next to a freeway but it has been transformed into a hipster hotel. I really liked it. It even claims to have the longest oatmeal breakfast bar in the world.