Monday, February 24, 2014


It's a well-known fact that armadillos have great rhythm and love dancing, but we don't usually get our smooth moves caught on camera. Allow me to present a video that changes all that and will rock your socks AND YOUR WORLD.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

EPIC ROAD TRIP: The End of the Road

Midday Sunday we reached Amarillo (Armadillo...heh), Texas. It was DEAD. SILENT. So much so that Nikki had some kind of random freak out while she was driving around trying to find a place to have lunch. She kept saying, "It's not a real city. It's not a real city" over and over. Finally, Lauren made her pull over into an abandoned parking lot so she could take over driving. Nikki is way too weird for her own good sometimes.

We found a restaurant open on a lonely street of closed businesses, mostly banks and corporate stuff like that. It was called Acapulco, and hardly anyone there spoke English. We didn't care though, because Mexican food is basically the best thing ever, and here we had found a genuine one!

 Very pretty building too!

Know what else is the best thing ever? Frozen sangria.

After the girls got buzzed on sangria, they realized that driving wouldn't be a solid plan, at least for a little while. So they took advantage of the empty streets by posing with some of the city's statues.

Nikki loves reading, so she wanted to join this mother and her children for story time.

What captured our attention?

The Bible! Kinda odd that there's a religious statue in the city, but if Amarillo is a religious place, then that would explain why no one was around on a Sunday afternoon.

Lots of cities have "themed" statues that best represent what their city is all about. Baltimore, for example, has crab statues. Denver has cow statues. Amarillo, Texas has quarter horse statues. Our first photo op was with "Horse Feathers."

So patriotic!

I should be a horse jockey! I'm the perfect size.

Nikki tested whether or not the statue would hold a human's weight. Turns out, yes. (Look at how empty the street is!)

Lauren and her pretty pointy toes

Lisa showing off how fab she looks on a horse

Not sure what this horse's name is. I'll call it "Deep in the Heart of Texas."


This seems about right. :p

I'm the size of Texas!

We walked back to the car and set out for our final "official" destination: Cadillac Ranch, a SUPER COOL art installation in the middle of this field off the highway. A guy bought the land and "planted" a bunch of Caddies into the ground and let people paint all over them. Obviously, we had to take advantage of this opportunity!

Heading towards the ranch's entrance...

Valid rule.

Even the entrance is artsy!


Lisa is ready to graffiti some cars!

Layers upon layers of spray paint. I wonder what these cars originally looked like?

Nikki repped the Ravens on this car! (The purple wheel & the yellow writing on the side.)

Lauren had a tetanus shot recently, so she figured climbing inside the car wouldn't hurt!

Queens of the cars!

I wanted to make sure that people knew I came from Denver to visit!

Here are some examples of the cool graffiti that people put on the cars:

A dad spent 15 minutes painting this for his daughters. They were so delighted!

15 minutes later, these boys started painting over it. Art is so impermanent!


Even straight-laced tourists stopped by! Hopefully they wore smocks though, because it was really windy that day!


Covered from head to toe in spray paint (told you it was windy!), we left our spray paint cans with some kids who hadn't brought any and hit the road again. We were heading west towards New Mexico, which we'd only get to pass through on our way back home. Texas, like the Midwest and all the states we'd driven through so far, was nothing but sky, flat land, and road stretching out past the horizon.

On our way through Texas, we saw a sign for the tiny town of Dalhart. Nikki asked that we stop there, as the town was a central focus in a book she'd recently read called The Worst Hard Time, about the Dust Bowl, which ravaged the Midwest during the 1930s. We wouldn't get to walk around it, mainly because there wasn't much "it" to walk around, and also because we didn't have the time, but we were able to get a picture of Nikki in front of the town's sign.

We kept driving (and driving and driving) and were passing through the town of Clayton when we noticed a sculpture that made us pull over for a chance to snap some photos.

Awesome metal dragon attacking a building!

That wasn't the only sculpture the artist (unknown to me, unfortunately) had prominently installed on Clayton's main street...

This guy looks like a less colorful, slightly less demonic looking version of "Blucifer" a.k.a. "Demon Horse" a.k.a. "Blue Mustang," which stands tall in front of the Denver International Airport. It was our favorite piece of art on the main street.

Famous citizen Charmayne James

This beautiful mural on Main Street said goodbye to us as we traveled farther west towards home.

Nikki's camera died somewhere in New Mexico. Because it was getting dark anyway, she decided that charging it would be silly. We looked at the beautiful mesas that turned into the Rocky Mountains as we sped past them, often the only car on the road. By the time we got home to Lauren's house in Aurora, it was after 11:00pm. We were tired and FREEZING; the three girls were in tee shirts and shorts because it had been 90* in Amarillo and Clayton, but it was still early spring in Colorado, meaning freezing temperatures, especially at night. I put Nikki's scarf on and waited in the car while the girls said good-bye. We drove home, dragged our stuff into the apartment, and promptly fell asleep.

I'd LOVE to take another Epic Road Trip, maybe heading west this time, over the mountains and into Utah, or get a chance to check out New Mexico. There's a big country to explore. I can't wait to do just that.

The end.
...especially for all the bugs that hit our windshield.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

EPIC ROAD TRIP: Oklahoma and Texas

The whole point of the EPIC ROAD TRIP, other than to be awesome and have a great Girls Weekend, was so that Lisa could go to Oklahoma, a state she'd never been to before. It's her goal in life to visit one new state in the US every year, so of all the places we aimed for, we chose Oklahoma City. Because we'd spent more time in Wamego than we'd anticipated, we had to hurry up to OKC, and unfortunately didn't get to spend much time there. We all swore we'd go back again some day...which isn't something you'd think someone would say about Oklahoma. :p

On the way, we encountered MORE GIANT CROSSES!! What the heck, midwest! Why do you have so many crosses the size of skyscrapers?!

When we finally got to Oklahoma City, we found a cool city that was much more interesting than we'd thought it'd be. We were pleasantly surprised to be proven to be snobs about what an urban center should look like.

We spent the night scarfing food down and wandering around Bricktown, a really cool part of OKC that used to be a warehouse district. Now it's all nightclubs, restaurants, and a brand new stadium for the Oklahoma City Thunder, their NBA team. I really wanted to take a ride on a water taxi, but we didn't have the money or the time. I remember that the night was really warm and a little humid. However would we cool down?!

A monstrous drink, of course!

Not pictured: their quickly-rising blood alcohol levels.

Like true champs, we finished the whole thing. It was amazing.

Lisa climbing up a sign for Flaming Lips Alley like a little monkey!

After a night of walking around downtown Oklahoma City, we returned to our hotel room, tired but laughing with all the silly things we'd done. We had to save our strength for our trip through the Lone Star State, Texas!

Our main destination in the west Texas panhandle was Amarillo. I didn't really know much about it, other than it sounds a lot like "Armadillo," which would have been a MUCH better name, in my humble opinion. 

We didn't want to miss the sign, like we had with Oklahoma, so Nikki pulled over early.

Her first time in Texas!

Look at all that sky!

Climbing up the state line sign. It was not as sturdy as it looked though!!

We decided to take the historic (but sadly pretty abandoned) Route 66, which used to be a MAJOR highway that took you through the Midwest to California. You might remember that in the movie Cars, the hero Lightning McQueen breaks down in a little town that used to be on the main route but was later bypassed for a new highway, leaving Radiator Springs to fade away except for its steadfast residents. We found a similar place on our way to Amarillo.

So begins the weird procession of signs leading into town...

Going east...

...or going...


...Route 66...

...does it best! (Everyone loves a good rhyme!)

Corporate sponsorship keeps the signs looking fine!

The town we were in was McLean, Texas. It was eerily quiet for a Sunday morning. Then again, mostly-abandoned towns tend to be eerily quiet. We started exploring once we hit the town line.

OBVIOUSLY my favorite part of town! An armadillo driving a convertible! If only I had one.

Here are some photos that Nikki took of the various abandoned/historic buildings in McLean:

We went to a gas station that wasn't this one so we could fill up, buy snacks, and go to the bathroom.

Nothing says "fun vacation" like a picture next to a broken-down car!

The main historic strip. We didn't have time to walk around it, as we had to get to Amarillo in time for lunch, but it was super creepy and would have made for some interesting investigating.

So that's the end of our trip TOWARDS Amarillo/Armadillo. I'll leave you with two random pictures we took at another gas station somewhere in Texas. They're...special.

DISCLAIMER: Please do not give your toddlers soda!