Bright and Early in El Paso
Before resuming our road trip to California, we started the day bright and early with a continental breakfast. This of course included the Texas-shaped waffles, a typical delight in nearly every hotel in The Lone Star State. Our children have great appreciation for the continental breakfast ordeal. After all, there are chocolate chip muffins, cheese danishes, and all kinds of other sugary goodies that we would not allow them to eat normally.
After we finished the morning feast, we loaded the car, and hubby was ready to jump right back on the freeway. He was ready to get on with the road trip to California, except he forgot how his wife’s adventurous, wacky mind works. You see, when I am on the road to somewhere, my goal is not to get to that place as quickly and efficiently as possible. My goal is to see and explore as much as I can along the way, even if that means getting to the final point a little on the late side.
El Paso Scenic Drive
Since I had never been to El Paso, I researched it while lying in bed the night before, and found a few interesting “things to do” on TripAdvisor. Hubby was not at all thrilled when I said, “Let’s take The Scenic Drive, and go to the city overlook!” Even though he grumbled a little, he knew it was in his best interest to drive us there. The sweet man that he is, he quickly reset his phone GPS, and figured out how to get us to that point of interest. It turned out it was a pleasant drive, with as beautiful views of El Paso as you can possibly have. After all, this was the number one attraction in the city, and I wouldn’t have been able to get a good night’s sleep if I hadn’t checked it out!
After we got an eyeful of these expansive El Paso vistas, we quickly jumped back in the car, urged by hubby, and made our way back to the never-ending I-10 West.
We drove on until we reached Phoenix, Arizona. This is where we stopped for lunch at a local Whole Foods Market. As a side thought, I often heard that it gets very hot in Phoenix during the summer, but I always brushed it off because it’s “dry heat.” I come from Houston, where temperatures are in the mid to upper 90s during the summer, and the humidity is through the roof. I figured, nothing can scare me after this kind of training, not even the 109 degrees of Phoenix, AZ. I bravely stepped out of the car, and instantaneously realized, at that temperature, regardless of the humidity, you will quickly melt away without a trace. This is the only reason I did not research any points of interest for Phoenix. We would not have lived long enough to see them!
Too Hot for Sightseeing
After cooling off and getting a bite to eat, we got back on the road to California on good ol’ I-10 West. The original plan was to make it to Los Angeles. It did, however, dawn on me that right before LA, there was a place that I had never seen before…one that I had always wanted to visit. I was thinking of Palm Springs, CA. Staying there would also help us avoid LA traffic, also known as Hell on Earth. I immediately shared my genius idea with hubby. “We should stay the night in Palm Springs! What do you think?” I asked. He seemed agreeable, and the decision was made. All fired up with excitement, I started searching for accommodations in the city of Palm Springs. I quickly reserved a room in not the most luxurious place. Oh, who am I kidding? I got us a room in Motel 6. But hey, it was Motel 6 in downtown Palm Springs. This, I could definitely live with.
Palm Springs, CA
We arrived in Palm Springs right after sunset. It was a boiling hot evening, but I didn’t really notice the temperature much because I was too busy staring up at the palm trees. Palm trees here, palm trees there, palm trees everywhere! I don’t know what it is about palm trees…I just love them! Is it that they remind me of the beach, of turquoise blue waters, of lying around and relaxing with a cocktail by the sea? All I know is, if you open the dictionary, you will see my picture next to Obsessive Palm Tree Disorder (OPTD).
As we enjoyed an evening walk in the sweltering heat, we slowly made our way to a Mexican restaurant called La Bonita’s. I had found it on Yelp, and it was literally one of the cheapest joints in town, but very well-rated. It was a tiny little place, a total dive. I can say, the food however was amazing! Everything was so fresh, and well prepared. I ordered a grilled chicken burrito bowl, and gladly noted that it didn’t contain any cheap, tasteless iceberg lettuce. Everything was fresh, delicious, and very reasonably priced. This was the perfect ending to an otherwise long and tiring day of driving. After a short walk back to our car, we finally retired to our Motel 6 suite.
Join us again for half a day in Palm Springs, and then a drive From Palm Springs to Oakhurst. This is the day we finally make it to the outskirts of Yosemite National Park.