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Days Four & Five: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

The past two days have been quite driving-intensive.  On Easter, we spent the morning in Santa Fe, as planned.  For our holiday breakfast we dined on capuccinos and crepes from a busy French creperie/bakery nestled in the plaza of the historic district.  It was delicious.  We then strolled around and eventually made our way back to the car.

I, sadly, do not have any photographs from the past two days. While we were in Santa Fe, our camera was dropped and broken.  (And NOT by me! I cannot express how happy that my hubby did the damage and not me. If it were me, he would never let me forget it.)  So, instead of taking photos, we fired up the videocamera.  Which has been fun, as we rarely use it. I have decided that we must be better about taking videos; they are so much fun.

Not that there was too much to photograph over the past few days. The drive through northeastern New Mexico was pretty bleak; the scenery improved as we crossed into the Colorado state line, but turned pretty bland again as we headed east out of Denver.

In Denver, we stayed with my lovely Auntie Patti for the evening. It was so great to see her and one of my cousins whom I rarely see; I hadn’t seen Aunt Patti since she came out for a visit in Newport last summer. She was, of course, excited to meet the baby.  It turned into a little party when an old friend from college came out for a few hours. I hadn’t seen Tiffany since our wedding back in 2007, so it was a treat to see her!

We headed out of Denver toward Omaha midmorning for what turned out to be the most boring drive EVER.  Eastern Colorado and the state of Nebraska are not exactly majestic.  I must say, however, that we have been quite lucky with the wildlife. In the past few days we have seen deer, elk, antelope, prairie dogs, a fox, mustangs, cattle, horses, pheasants, wild turkeys, raccoons…I think Giuseppe  pees his pants a little with excitement every time we spot wild animals.

So here we are in Omaha, all snuggled up at our dear friends’, Lisa and Rob, home.  I cannot believe this trip is coming to an end.  We will decide in the morning if we are going to stay in Omaha and maybe visit the zoo or if we will head straight to IOWA tomorrow. My vote is to stay one more day and go to the zoo, but we’ll see how we all feel in the morning…

We may be moving into our new place in IOWA tomorrow!

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Happy Easter

Buona pasqua a tutti!

I love Easter. Everything about it from Mass to coloring Easter eggs and decorating the house.  It has been a bit of a bummer for me that we are on the road this year, but, at the same time, being on this trip has made it very special.  I knew that today was not going to be very Easter-y, so I took Paolo see the Easter Bunny last week at South Coast Plaza. He loved it, and I think the Bunny liked him back.

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Day Three: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

Today we arrived to New Mexico.  It is gorgeous here. As we drove through western Arizona, the landscape grew more and more desolate; as we traveled further into New Mexico, it improved.

As we drove east, we drove through the Navajo Nation, Apache Country, and countless Indian reservations and pueblos. It was very interesting. Did I mention the landscape was beautiful?

We passed the Continental Divide today, too. We stopped at a little gas station/convenience store/souvenir shop. It was filled with American Indian crafts, petrified woods, Route 66 souvenirs, and, of course, Continental Divide souvenirs. I almost bought the most adorable set of mugs with the vintage-y ‘Route 66’ logo on them, but refrained. If I published how expensive it was to move our household goods to IOWA, your jaw would hit your keyboard.  So I refrained.  And bought a magnet instead.  I have started thinking in terms of cost per pound…I mean we will eventually have to move everything back to the West Coast again. And this time I plan to downsize even more and/or find a job that will pay for moving expenses.  But I digress.

So, from Flagstaff, we drove through the Painted Desert to Albuquerque and then north to Santa Fe.  Along the way, Paolo had his first drive-in experience. He wanted some Diet Coke and made chewing movements with his mouth as we ate. It is hilarious how he acts around grown-up food.

Santa Fe is amazing. Absolutely adorable.  I am in love.  We are staying right in the historic district.  Even the hotel is a historic building.  I think it reminds me Europe, with the old buildings and central square surrounded by shops and restaurants. And everything is decorated in a Western style, but very tastefully. After we checked in, we took a stroll around the downtown and stopped in at a ‘New Mexican Diner.’  Then we strolled around a bit more to stretch our legs before calling it a night.

Tomorrow morning is Paolo’s first Easter. And we will be celebrating very unconventionally, without Easter baskets and candy at home. Instead, I think we will sleep in here at the Hilton, then walk to downtown Santa Fe and have coffee and pastries in the plaza. Next stop: Denver.

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Day Two: Dell’Anna Family Road Trip Adventure

Today started off to a leisurely pace, which was lovely.  We enjoyed (well, we ate) the hotel breakfast before heading off to the Grand Canyon.  The scenery was gorgeous, but it was cold outside!  I never associated Arizona with cold weather, but it is rather chilly here.  By the time we got to the Grand Canyon, it was in the 40s!  Paolo prefers to be nakie, so you can imagine how he felt about being all bundled up.  But we got a smile out of him. I think he was just so happy to be outside and not in the car.

We stopped for lunch at a little town just south of the Grand Canyon National Park.  Giuseppe wanted a steak since we are in the Far West.  (Which can only be said if it is followed with a little Western-sounding theme song; you know the one when the bad guys face the good guys in a crowded parlor.)  There were a few a funny things at this restaurant:

No firearms allowed in by order of the Sheriff! Really? People have to be told where they can and cannot bring their personal firearms?  And if that wasn’t strange enough, the first thing I saw on the menu was an appetizer of RATTLESNAKE meat? People eat that?  I suggested we order it just to see what it looks like, but Giuseppe wasn’t up to spend the extra money for that.  And no, I am not brave enough to try snake meat. I draw the line at escargot.

The Grand Canyon was more beautiful than I remembered.  It wasn’t sunny, which was a bummer, but it was breathtaking.

Oh, and we saw elk! I thought Giuseppe was going to pee his pants, he was so excited.

Again, I never really associate Arizona with cold weather, but the drive to Flagstaff was beautiful and snowy.  Snowy Arizona.  We had to stop and get out warmer clothes.  From our backpack on top of the SUV. It was totally worth the hassle. My Uggs have never felt so great.

So, once we got to Flagstaff, we stayed in and ordered room service. I mean, there is snow outside. Reason enough to stay in and snuggle with my chub-a-lub. Tomorrow: Santa Fe.

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