Monday, June 23, 2008

Howdy, y'all!

After a couple crazy months, we are finally here in Flower Mound, Texas. We left Denver on June 8, with a car and a truck load full of stuff. We had a wonderful detour on the way here, with four days on the Chama River in northern New Mexico. Great friends, great river, great relaxation, and great time (not to mention Wilderness Bocce Ball). Even Kai loved it! The farewells afterward were super tough. The better the friends, the harder the good-byes, that is for sure!! Even after all our moves, saying farewell to such good friends and family is never, ever easy. But we know we will see you all again, one way or another, whether through the wonders of the Internet or someplace in our travels.
GREAT FRIENDS     Wilderness Bocce Ball

Not too long after leaving the Chama, we were cheered up by our friends in New Mexico ... Chiara in Espanola and then Jon/Val/Daph and Danny and Jill in Albuquerque. Lots of wonderful food (too much!!), more great friends, and so much laughter my sides are still recovering! It was also so wonderful to have a bit more relaxation before the drive to Texas (although that relaxation was broken up by a high-noon death run through the "mosquito farms" along the Rio Grande; but one week later and no horrid diseases or West Nile, thank goodness!).

[P.S. No pictures from here on out as our camera died in Albuquerque and I don't have the attachment for the new camera. Photos to come when Mark gets home from work.]

We left Albuquerque on Tuesday morning, heading due south along part of the Camino Real through Hatch (where we bought what I assume to be authentic roasted Hatch green chilis and juicy juicy mangoes and tangerines), Las Cruces, and on to El Paso, where we waved to Mexico and said adios to the Rio Grande.

We then turned leftish and headed off the freeway toward Guadalupe Mountains National Park in far west Texas. It's a beautiful little mountain range and the highest point in Texas. I guess that was our official farewell to altitude. Our plans to get there early enough to walk around failed (they don't allow dogs anyway) and it was too early to camp (plus, we had no food for dinner or breakfast). So back in the car, where thirty minutes farther on, we drove past the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns (which was just closing--oh well). We still had ample hours of sunlight (with no mountains to block the sunset, daytime lasts forever), so we continued , traveling the backroads past potash fields (ugly), which turned into farm and cow fields (pretty in the sunset), then into windfarm fields (surreal in the nighttime lightning storm), and then into a few last hills before Fort Worth. (We did stop that night at Fort Griffin State Park for a restful sleep in an immaculate, yet empty, campsite.) [Wow, so many parentheses in that paragraph!]

We arrived in Flower Mound at noon on Wednesday and started the fun process of moving in, which continues to today. Who knew we still had so much stuff? The pile of things to get rid of is growing, as trying to cram all our belongings from a three-bedroom, two-car garage house into one bedroom is quite the challenge. And this is after we sold all our furniture, gave literally truckloads of goodies to Good Will and the library, and shipped off 1000 pounds of other items to Mom and Dad in Connecticut for storage. Whew!

We have been pleasantly surprised by our time in Texas so far. Flower Mound is on the northern outskirts of the city. We joked that we are now living in the Highlands Ranch area of Dallas, only to find out the shopping center just down the road is called Highlands Ranch. (Highlands Ranch is the area south of Denver that has all the newer developments and big houses and golf courses). Everyone is super nice, and even the heat hasn't been too bad (although I take back every nasty thing I ever said about air conditioning).

We are hoping to get the last of the unpacking done tonight so we can finally relax and enjoy. We did take a "break" yesterday for a road bike ride that just about killed my thighs. Mark's partner, Dave, and Dave's wife, Donielle, are in incredible shape, and they just about kicked our butts! But it felt good to move (even if it hurts to move now).

So that's it--the past month or so in a rather large and verbose nutshell. We truly and dearly miss all our friends in Denver, but we are looking forward to our new adventures here in Texas and then ... France?! That's still the plan. Stay tuned for more (but briefer, I promise) observations on our little life. For now, I will sit here and wait for the man to install our washer/dryer (who will be here between the hours of 10 and 4?!?!??)


Jonathan & Valerie: said...

We miss you guys!!! But happy to read that all went well with your arrival into Dallas. Can't wait to watch the transformation of your hair, Tara...Aqua Net is popular in 'dem parts!

The Frog said...

LOL! There really is nothing like Big Texas Hair! I can't wait for those pics either! Happy Trails!