Isaac did really well in the car - it helped to have a DVD player with a new trash truck movie! We drove halfway on Thursday afternoon, stayed the night in Phoenix, and made it to Las Cruces around lunch time on Friday.
First things first: the jeep ride. We kept Isaac buckled up until we hit the back roads and then he got to sit up front with Charlie. He loved it! I think he was really excited to be in the front seat, and he loved rolling the windows down and driving on the bumpy roads and looking for road runners.
That night we went to Andele's for dinner. It is a local mexican restaurant where Karl & Janelle (Charlie's parents) ran into probably half a dozen different people that they know. It's a fairly small town and they've lived there for about 30 years, so it should be no surprise that they are so popular! Isaac was fascinated by all of the men coming in wearing cowboy hats. That's something you just don't see in Irvine.
Saturday morning Charlie & I went for a quick run (we had to miss the Woodbridge 10k this year) and then went to the mall. Isaac loved his first trip to Chuck E Cheese. He loved climbing through the play area and tube slides, playing the arcade games, and riding in yet another jeep.
We had lunch at Roberto's, which is known for their delicious food and terrible service! They are technically a "fast" food restaurant but we waited for over an hour for our food. It was not that busy, they are just slow... oh, and then they accidentally gave our food to the wrong people. It was pretty easy to tell who those people were, considering there was enough food for 7 people (5 of us and 2 of them) sitting in front of the couple across the room. I'm pretty sure they knew it wasn't their food but I guess they just couldn't pass up the opportunity. Anyway, no apologies from Roberto or any of his employees, but we did eventually get to eat and the food almost made up for the long wait. Last weekend I was half-watching the Food Network when I suddenly looked up and realized that Roberto's was being featured on Unwrapped. They hold the world record for the largest enchilada.
Later that afternoon we went on another jeep ride, this time way out west of the city. We saw cows. And lots of dirt and weeds and a small dust devil. No road runners. We had planned to stop for a picture by the giant road runner statue on the way back into town, but Isaac fell asleep. Here's the statue anyway:
Janelle offered to watch Isaac while Charlie & I went out on a date. We had dinner at home, and unfortunately there is not a whole lot to do in Las Cruces, so we went on a date to Wal-Mart. Which is actually something we wouldn't do back home so it was kinda fun in a way. Good people watching too. Next we headed over to Dairy Queen for a blizzard, where we ran into Janelle & Isaac. Like I said, small town.
Sunday morning Isaac donned his new cowboy hat (that we got for him at Wal-Mart) and we headed over to the University to see the farm animals. Karl is a Director at the University so it was no problem for us to be wandering around on a Sunday morning. We saw the sheep, pigs, horses, and cows. The stench from the pigs was pretty bad. When I show Isaac the pictures, he still tells me "Pee-yew, stinky!" Isaac loves construction vehicles, so I think his favorite part was being able to sit in a backhoe and a forklift.
We spent the afternoon at church, where Isaac willingly separated from us to go to the nursery. No one ever came to find us, so I think he did okay... but I think they were glad when we came to pick him up!
Now it was time to enjoy the holiday! Janelle made a fabulous dinner of brisket, baked beans, coleslaw, roles, an orange salad, guacamole, and probably even more that I am forgetting. After dinner we set off a few of the smaller fire works out in the backyard. It was so funny to watch Isaac's face as he watched the little fountains sparkle and pop. He was totally intrigued, maybe a little uneasy, but fascinated and kept requesting more, more, more! We also had some of the little poppers that you throw on the ground, but he couldn't do just one - he preferred to throw handfuls at a time. We bought the longest sparklers available, thinking they would be more fun, but also a little safer since they would keep the fire farther from Isaac's little hands. Well turns out they are not so safe for anyone standing within a 3-4 foot radius of Isaac! He just loved waving them all around. We quickly learned to stand back.
Janelle made homemade ice cream with fresh cherries and crushed Oreo's. It was kind of like a Cherry Garcia, but of course much better since it was homemade. After it was dark we headed out front to set off some of the larger fire works in the street. Isaac loved them and Cracker hated them. He hates every 4th of July. When we were just about to head inside, we started noticing the ariel fire works going off above us. Isaac was so excited! It was so fun to watch him experience the joys of fireworks. Personally I think holidays are much more fun when you have children.
Monday morning we packed up and headed home. We had a great time in Las Cruces and hope to go back once more before Karl & Janelle move to Utah.