Friday, March 25, 2005

Trailer Blues

Ahh- the joys of home, err, trailer ownership. We had a landing leg jack break this morning (March 25) which rendered our trailer unlivable. Without a landing leg we can’t unhook our trailer from our truck. This leaves us with (a) no truck to use, but more importantly, (b) we are unable to set the trailer down (i.e. land it) and put the slides out (which gives us access to the beds).

OK, it is still early in the day – surely someone can fit us in to get it fixed. Oh shoot! (read: &%@@##$). Today is Good Friday. I must admit PANIC seeped into my happy world when I realized this – long weekend – everything closed until Monday. Double shoot! We’re supposed to be heading towards the Grand Canyon tomorrow. Triple shoot! Then we found out that in the U.S.A. Good Friday is not a holiday and that all the RV repair shops are open (and in Phoenix, Arizona – there are a lot). Hooray!

“OK, we’re going to be OK.” I said to myself. After the eighth call with a Service Manager telling us they were booked solid and couldn’t fit us in for at least 2 weeks. The “oh shoots!” weren’t quite strong enough by this point. I tried the “but we live in the trailer” and the “we have two small children & are very far away from home”. And still the only answer I could get was “Sorry, wish we could help”.

All it takes is one – the 9th call landed us at Beaudry RV that asked me “We’ve had a cancellation - how soon can you be here?” Didn’t need to tell us twice – I had the kids putting there shoes on before I’d even hung up the phone - we were at the shop within the hour.

It’s great the way everyone pulls together in a crisis. Toria was hungry and was saying that she wanted toast for breakfast but I was on the phone trying to find a repair shop. I couldn’t help her and Todd was outside seeing if there was anything he could do to jury-rig the jacks. Tomas who has never made toast a day in his life took it upon himself to get the bread from the cupboard, put it in the toaster and put butter on it (that part was a little gross - fortunately, Toria likes to lick raw butter – but that is a story for another day).

At Beaudry RV– we were there for 4 hours – not a peep, a whine, nothing but smiles and laughs from both Tomas or Toria. I am so proud of them. They watched TV, coloured, read books, and practiced using a water cooler (which ranks just below Disney World on the kiddo-fun meter).

In other news, we’ve had a great stay in Arizona. We’ve gone for amazing hikes amongst the tall burly Saguaro cacti, squirmed in our truck as a rattlesnake slithered across the road in front of us, stared in awe as the bald eagles soar over our trailer, and been swimming. My, how we have been swimming! We’ve had great pools at the RV parks in Arizona and both Tomas and Toria have improved so much in the past 2 weeks.

Tomorrow we are off to Sedona, Arizona for a few days before continuing our northward direction towards the Grand Canyon. Hope to add some pictures then.
Ciao. Carmen.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Saw snow, heading south...

Today we drove the hour from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Taos, New Mexico where we drove over a small mountain pass and saw (gasp!) snow. Not only that but I received an email from my dad who said that Regina, Saskatchewan was 1 degree WARMER than we are. Hmm, pondered that for a lengthy 3 seconds before deciding it is time to head back south for a little longer.

So, tomorrow we are turning the rig south towards Tucson, Arizona (where it is +87F (+28C) today).

I must tell you that I loved Santa Fe with it's adobe architecture, quaint boutiques, art galleries and fantastic restaurants. We even had a very distant brush with US politics... one day we lunched at The Shed (amazing red chile sauce) & we found out this is where Laura Bush lunched when she was in town. The next day we went to Tomasito's (amazing margarita's) & we see this is where Hilary Clinton ate lunch when she was in town.

Taos was great - very picturesque. Not only that but there were some people golfing & others driving around with skis/snowboards on their roof. I think it would be great to go skiing in the morning and golfing in the afternoon!

Taos also had a great playground where Tomas and Toria showed us that siblings really could get along :-)

Cheers for now. Carmen.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Lost in the Wild, Wild West

March has arrived and we find ourselves lost (sort of) in the Wild West. Today we are in Carlsbad, New Mexico after a fascinating journey from San Antonio to Big Bend country (along the Mexico border) and then north via Fort Davis, Texas.

We had a big windstorm last night with gusts of 80 kmph and for the first time in our trip, we had to bring our trailer slides in for a while. We were really a movin' & a shakin'.

In Big Bend country (which may be the last real frontier left in the US), we found the Closed Canyon and went for a long hike with the kids. The canyon is about 1000 feet deep, more than a mile long & only 10 feet across. We were the only people in the canyon and had to perch our camera on a rock for a family picture. Tomas has discovered binoculars and will not go hiking without them.

We also found one of our favorite restaurants of the trip, the Starlight Theater in Terlingua, TX (home of THE annual Chili Cook-Off) and a proverbial ghost town (except for the cook-off when 10,000 chili aficionados arrive). We went to the Starlight three nights in a row and we were treated to a "Word-Off" with the local populations sharing poetry musings and verbal thoughts defying categorization with a wildly enthusiastic crowd (especially Toria).

In Carlsbad, we took the standard Cavern trip and we also drove up to Roswell for the UFO Museum. The kids met a nice alien and had a great Mexican lunch at Martin's restaurant.

Today we leave for the 7,000 foot elevations of Santa Fe for a little more scenery and some new age culture. Cheers for now ... Todd,Carmen and the krewe.