About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Road trip!

This past week the kids and I did something we haven't done in a long time...packed up the car and headed to parts unknown.  We were wing'n it every step of the way as we headed south to Santa Fe.  Yes, we had hotel reservations, but that was all we knew "for sure".  Everything else was an adventure waiting to happen!

I enjoy going places I've never been before and seeing things that are completely new to me. It's almost as if I can feel my brain expanding, waking up and saying "wait a minute, this isn't the same ol' same ol', there's actually something interesting happening here!"

On the way down I-25, we stumbled upon the Old Santa Fe Trail historical markers while at a rest stop.  My son said, "we just learned about that in history class" and proceeded to go on and on...and on...about it as we drove.  More historical markers, more conversation, more links the kids get from what they learn in school to real life visuals of where it all happened.  Refreshing.

Santa Fe...what can I say?  It exceeded all my expectations, not that I really knew what we were getting into, but that's the point.  We saw the oldest church in North America, learned Santa Fe's history is much older than any East Coast city (take THAT you east coasters with your Mayflower and Plymouth Rock--LOL--don't pout, I still love you), and walked some historic trails where it was easy to imagine the violence of the past despite the overwhelming peaceful energy of the city.  We stayed in a hotel where Billy the Kid once worked as dishwasher--before being hanged out back by a lynch mob.  We learned how the atomic bomb was built on a mountain just NW of Santa Fe and read portions of letters from the people who worked there at the time.  We enjoyed some of the best food we've had in a long time--can you say green chile?!

From Santa Fe, we headed out on Route 66 for short while before curving up toward Durango, CO.  The scenery here blew my mind.  I've been around the world...I'm not exactly a novice traveler...but this section of the United States left me with no words.  I took pictures, but they failed to capture the overwhelming awe I felt with the contrast of desert backed by snowcapped Rocky Mountains in the far distance.  Most people fly over this part of the country--what a pity for them and what luck for us.

I'm not trying to give a travel log here.  My point is that by going on a road trip, the kids put down their electronics for awhile (yes, even I put down the computer for five days!), looked out the window, discovered a new part of the country, learned a lot, and talked about it.  Yep, my teenagers and I actually had long conversations that didn't involve homework or sports.  We weren't in a hurry...we took it slow and soaked it all in with no agenda.  I hate to say it--but that doesn't happen often, at least with my family who's always running in high gear.

It's amazing how powerful a road trip, bag of chips, cooler of soda, and the sense of "not-knowing-where-the-hell-you-are" can be for stimulating the mind.

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