Monday, August 20, 2012

Road Trip #2 - 2012 - Day 4

Sunday, August 19 - Roswell, NM to Las Cruces, NM

Beginning odometer: 43,082
Departure time: 10:50 a.m.

We started our late morning with a big breakfast at Denny's.

We drove out of Roswell on Highway 70 West.

I really wanted a piece of alien yard art to take home, so we stopped when we saw this sign. Unfortunately, the cement aliens at the establishment were not cute, so none of them came home with us.

We drove through Ruidoso, NM, but did not take the time to stop. It looked like a great place to explore, so it has been added to our list of future vacation destinations, along with Silver City, NM.

One of most interestings things for us during this tour of southern New Mexico has been the education we've received in terms of the agriculture of the area. We've seen pecan groves, apple orchards, and wineries using locally grown grapes. On this day we saw pistachio orchards. We had to stop at McGinn's Pistchio Tree Ranch outside of Tularosa because it is the home of the world's largest pistachio!

See! Here I am with the world's largest pistachio!

Naturally, we toured their store and bought some pistachios before returning to the road. 

Just a few miles later, we pulled into the White Sands National Monument

Have you ever been there? If not, it's a trip you should take. It is amazing how there are 275 acres of white sand in the middle of the New Mexico desert. It's just amazing!

The Husband on top of one of the dunes.

Be careful on the way down!

He took this photo of me at the bottom of the dunes. This is a view of just small amount of the park. It's huge and full of white sand!

After leaving White Sands, we headed towards Las Cruces, NM. To get there, we had to drive past the US Army's White Sands Missile Range. Do you know the whole afternoon we were in the area, we could not get good reception on our phones. Coincidence? I think not! 

We made it to Las Cruces and found our hotel, the Big Chile Inn. We picked this hotel because of the amazing reviews on Trip Advisor. Our room was cheap, clean and spacious. The hotel has a funky, fun vibe and outside decor. The innkeeper, David, was a great chap and personally escorted us to our room. We stepped out to get our luggage and when we returned, chips and salsa were waiting in our room just as described in all the Trip Advisor reviews!

Because it was late and because we had a good experience previously with a Cattle Baron steakhouse, we opted to eat at the Las Cruces restaurant. The Husband had an excellent prime rib, perfectly medium rare, and I had the soup & salad bar. (Not the whole bar, silly, just a selection of items!)

We were both very impressed that even though it was 8:30 p.m. on a quiet Sunday night (only two other tables and us ), the staff kept the salad bar fully stocked and cleaned. We both saw the staff refilling items from the bar each time we went in to get something else. 

We returned to our room after dinner and went to sleep early.

End of day odometer: 43,294
Miles driven: 212

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