Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Mexico, Colorado & NYE. OH MY! Part 1: New Mexico

   No need to lie when I say that coming back to reality has been a bit of a bummer. We had such a good time in New Mexico playing in all the snow and enjoying a nice fire every night. The driving part was a bit much but you know, the scenery was like nothing Texas has to offer.

Day 1: Dec.23rd
So Avery left around 6am with Evans parents and grandmother because Evan couldn't get off work. So off she went while we had the car loaded with all the Christmas gifts and every ones luggage. Jarrods flight was arriving in Albuquerque that evening and dad was set to pick him up. So that left me with the majority of the day to finish packing, making my lists and getting amped up over this amazing trip. What we didn't expect was a huge snow storm to hit New Mexico and parts of west Texas...it took mom and dad a very long time to get to New Mexico and due to the weather all 3 main ways to get to Jarrod were closed due to snow and ice!! So dad calls me and asks if we can pick up Jarrod by going north to Amarillo and taking I-40 (an extra 4 hours in the car, no biggie) so I call Evan and explain how mom and dad got to the cabin but the roads were closed and Jarrod was stranded at the airport 3 hours away from them for the night. Evan talks to his boss and within 10 minutes is on his way home and rather than hitting the road at 1am we're on the road by 9:45pm heading to Amarillo to head west on i-40 to get Jarrod. We knew we'd be driving through the night and wouldn't get to the cabin until close to noon the following day.

Day 2- Christmas Eve:
 Everything is going great, we're making great time, we realize about Witchita Falls that we forgot Evans coat and the majority of the snacks and plan to stop in Childress to buy what we forgot so we don't have to delay any further once we get Jarrod. The roads are very  EMPTY.  One funny thing that happened was Evan bought me a 5 hour energy shot (he takes them from time to time for work). I've never had them or had a desire to try them but since we were driving through the night I figured, why not? Those things are so nasty!!! It wasn't so much the taste when you shoot them down but the after taste! Not to mention about 30minutes after I took it I suddenly kept burping and every time I burped I was revisited by that nasty taste that made me shudder and spaz out to Evans delight. By the time we got to the Wal*mart in Childress I was ridiculously jittery, enough to have me worried about being behind the wheel so Evan bought me a water and a snack to eat and took over once we bought what we needed. (We were also the ONLY customers in the wal*mart, WEIRD!)
 We got to Amarillo by  2:30am and again I note how EMPTY the hwy is, I mean we were all alone! It was so bizarre to me. We stop in Vega, TX to fill up before crossing into New Mexico and at this point I'm drowsy and in and out of sleep. Evan is super paranoid about things and tells me he thinks the tire on the front passenger side is low and asks around for a air gauge. Checks the tires and figures we're okay and he's just being how he is. (much to my annoyance) So on we go and I am delirious almost since I kept asking Evan about this building on the side of the road and yet we were in the middle of NOWHERE! Seriously he thought it was funny but there's a reason I do not sleep in the car and that was part of it.
We were on the road maybe 30minutes when suddenly....we got a flat tire!
Yep. Flat tire. 4am. Middle of nowhere. Christmas eve. Awesome.
 So Evan gets us to this entrance ramp for one of those picnic rest areas you never really wanna stop at and we pull off since the tire is just shredded. We sit for a few minutes, try to asses where we are to begin with, if we have a spare, who can we call, etc. Luckily (so we thought) Evan had just signed me up for AT&T road side service from my cell phone (which had barely any service at all!) so we call them.... TWO hours later they call us back to let us know they are not sure where we are and the nearest tow they can find is 60miles away and it'll be $400. Excuse me?! What are we paying for if it's $400 for a tow driver to come out and help us change a flat?! (apparently it being Christmas eve made the difference) So I tell Evan we'll just sleep until the sun comes up because it's pitch black and we can't see what we're doing anyways.....we also realize we moved into mountain time so it wasn't 6am but really 5am! wonderful.
 I didn't sleep. Evan did though and I was so glad because it allowed me to have my inner freak out and to just let the tears flow. I was cold, I missed Avery, poor Jarrod was waiting for us, we had everyones presents and clothes with us, it was Christmas eve...you can get why I got emotional. I also called Evans dad, Gary to let him know what had happened and he was immedietly upset and determined to come rescue us (in true Gary fashion) but I told him I had a plan, we were fine and I'd call him once we were on the road but he would have to go get Jarrod if the roads were opened. Thankfully one way opened up and he went off to get Jarrod very slowly.

I remembered something my friend Beth had told me about the back of your Texas Drivers License having a 800 number to call for help.
Oh. My. Goodness. Never again will I forget this number. I collected myself, called the number and within 5 minutes I had a state trooper dispatch tell me exactly where I was, how far we were to the nearest town and how a Trooper was on the way to help us!!! (We needed a lug wrench to get the spare free and remove the old tire) 15minutes pass when the dispatch calls me and asks me what landmarks are near me because the trooper can't find us, I tell them the mile marker in front of us and he was on his way.
 The trooper arrived right at sunrise where we had already unloaded all the presents to the side of the highway (in the melting snow!) and were trying to unlock the spare from the bottom console. The first thing out of his mouth was "How long have you two been out here like this?!" to which I just started crying while Evan looked at his phone and said with a shrug..."4 hours?". In which he stared at us then said "Why didn't you call 911!?" well.....I didn't see this as an emergency to be honest. Sure we were stranded and yes, nobody had stopped to help in the middle of nowheresville but was it an emergency that would require 911? no. He then rubbed my back and told me the dispatch was urgent to get me help because "They said you sounded like you were scared and very young and they thought you were alone." haha
 Over the next 2 hours that trooper not only fixed our flat using 2 jacks, OU jokes and pushing me out of harms way when the jack fell and the car moved towards us! but he totally went above and beyond his duty!! He was determined to get us on the road and to our family for Christmas!!! He was so sweet and wouldn't let Evan and I help much, he even called a buddy who owned a towing company in Vega but told him nevermind because he wasn't going to have us towed when he could get the tire off. He was a muddy mess when it was all said an done and he hated seeing me cry as much as Evan did and begged me to stop haha (I was just exhausted and cold). He helped us load all the gifts back in, get the shredded tire where the spare went and then gave us specific directions to the better tire shop for us not the nearest 2 (27 miles away!). He was so amazing and kept us smiling through it all and by 9:15 we were slowly on the road to the NM border. (we got his card and will be sending a gift soon to his PO Box)

 2 hours later after the tire shop he sent us too didn't have the tire we needed (but we're waiting for us!). We were in Clovis, NM at a Discount Tire where we got 2 new tires (to go with the other 2 new tires we bought the day before the trip) and warranty on all of them and were headed south to Roswell to get to Ruidoso where Avery and our family were. I passed out from exhuastion and awoke to a very tense evan driving in this!

When we left Clovis, there was ZERO snow on the ground but in the time of my 20minute nap we were suddenly in a white out! To add to that, the roads hadn't been plowed and people were sliding everywhere and going about 15-25mph. We got behind a huge 18 wheeler hauling new vehicles and were stuck behind him for an hour with a huge line of traffic behind us on the hwy to Roswell. I tried to lighten the mood by proclaiming "I spy with my little eye...something white!" but Evan was not amused. After awhile I finally convinced Evan to go around the truck (slowly). Once we did we were soon on our way to Roswell and watched as the snow plow had cleared the other side of the hwy but not ours until we got to Roswell! *Sigh* an hour later it was lightly snowing but we finally made it to Ruidoso only to be stuck by this hill leading us to the cabin since we didn't have 4 wheel drive only 2. Evan lost it then for a few minutes and who could blame him!? 18 hours in the car and we got 100 feet from the cabin only to know we couldn't drive up that stupid hill! We parked at a nearby house that the owner was gone for the holidays and Evans dad and Jarrod (who arrived 20 minutes before us) unloaded the car while we just walked in and grabbed Avery.
We didn't do a single thing the rest of the day except play in the snow with Avery and enjoy an amazing dinner of Dads chili and Jarrods Red Velvet cake balls. I'm pretty sure the hot shower I had that night was the best I've had in years!!!!

Day 3- Christmas Day:
 We all woke up around 7:45-8am and set up the gifts by the fireplace. Avery was the last to wake up (she's not a morning person) and then the wrapping paper flew like crazy!

Needless to say I was spoiled yet again my my amazing In-Loves and I have been using my new Kuerig everyday! Avery got so many barbies and dolls and Hello Kitty clothes it's like a mall exploded in her room now. Such a fun Christmas and full of so many sweet memories.

Shortly after lunch it was time to take Jarrod back to the airport. :( so everyone said their goodbyes while Evan, Gary and I did the 3 hour drive there and back for the day but at least the roads were plowed and safe to travel on!

 He is so amazing and even though it was only for a day and a half we LOVED getting to have him with us. Avery sure misses her uncle Jarrod and the pictures of them playing in the snow are some of my favorites!!!

Day 4 & 5:
We played in the snow a lot, Avery tried sledding for the first time and is a mountain girl! She is such a pro daredevil and just giggled like crazy every time she zipped down the hill. We had Deer a plenty all around our cabin and I took some neat shots very close to them before a buck rounded everyone up and let me know I was getting too close. :) We also wet into town for a little shopping and I really like Ruidoso, such a fun little town and if you ever go be sure to eat at Grace O'Malleys Irish Pub. Super yummy food.

Day 6- Off to Colorado:
 We cleaned the cabin and packed up in the morning before saying bye to Nan and Gary and continuing on to Colorado to take Evans grandmother back home since  she was visiting us for the holidays. As we were loading up the deer came to the front of the cabin! Avery was barefoot and in her jammies rushing out the door to say hi to them while I asked dad to give me some left over bread. I started sweetly baby talking them and before you know it this happened!!!

 It was so sweet. I loved it and the one brave deer who kept coming right up to me only had half an ear on one side so he was extra adorable. Evan geeked out about how all week I was the only one able to get so close to them and then to feed him I just told him it's because I'm a mom...

Ruidoso is so much fun and our cabin was awesome!! Check out Dan Dee Cabins, you'll love it. I think we're going to plan an after Christmas trip for the family as a new tradition whenever we can. It was so worth it, even with the craziness getting us there. Being a family, having so much fun and enjoying a truly white Christmas was just spactacular! Hard to compete with that for Avery she is so spoiled on Christmases.

Up Next Part 2!

-Brittnye :)

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