Saturday, June 18, 2011


June 16, 2011

The Quinta in Amarillo, TX had a Texas-shaped waffle iron so Collin had a couple of Texas waffles.

We stopped Wal*mart to get a couple of cans of spray paint. The whole family still had the itch to do some tagging so we returned to Cadillac Ranch and took turns spray painting “Lewisburg,” “Bucknell,” “Aidan M.,” “SVDV” (with a roller skate) and “McKinney 2011.”

After we got the graffiti out of our systems we  hit the road and drove toward Adrian, Tex., human population 300, bovine population 28,000. Emma, Ian, and Collin won Cows and Churches, Aidan and I decided not to even try to catch up. At lunchtime we stopped at:

Midpoint Café
1,139 miles from Chicago and L.A.
Adrian, TX
(806) 538-6379

which is geographically the exact halfway point on Route 66. The décor was adorable with Formica topped, chrome legged tables, black and white checkered floor, and a counter with stools that spun. The food was kind of overpriced, but it IS in the middle of nowhere so I don’t really blame them for charging so much. Collin had a club sandwich, which was giant. The kids and I each had a BLT without mayo. The sandwiches were decent, but did not achieve a state of culinary nirvana. I shook a little Texas salt on mine: salt, garlic, jalepeno, The pies however, were slices of baking wizardry. Collin had chocolate chip pie a la mode (giant warm chocolate chip cookie pie), Aidan had peach cobbler which he declared to be the best he’d ever had, “Except yours and Grammy’s, of course, mom,” he was quick to add. Ian had lemon mereinge, but only had a few bites, it wasn’t what he expected. I had coconut cream which was, bar none, the best I’ve ever had. The crust was not too heavy, not too crumbly, the coconut cream filling was thick and coconutty with big chunks of shredded coconut mixed in, the whole thing was topped with a generous amount of whipped cream. Aidan, Emma, and Ian kept wanting bites of my pie, which I was jealously guarding. We had made a deal with Emma that if she ate all her BLT, tomatoes included, she could have her own piece of pie. She wasn’t able to eat her tomatoes so we said she could have a few bites of everyone else’s pie. So Emma had a few bites of Collin’s, Aidan’s, and my desserts, and then she had all but two bites of Ian’s, so somehow Emma, who didn’t eat her tomatoes managed to get more dessert than everyone else!

The kids started bickering so we proclaimed enforced naptime. The kids all slept until we got to:

121 Sandia Crest Road
Sandia Park, NM 87047
(505) 281-5233

Tinkertown is a museum containing over 1,000 small carved and painted wooden figures all created by Ross Ward, a former circus poster painter.  The building is made of glass bottles and bicycle wheels with concrete. The entire museum had license plates, funky posters, and penny arcade machines. Aidan had his fortune told by a gypsy similar to the one in the movie Big. His fortune said he was unlucky in love (totally true, he was asked out and dumped by the same girl three times this past school year alone). There was a spot where the kids could write a message and put it in one of the bottles. Tinkertown was simultaneously cool and creepy, it had a LOT of clowns—not my favorite in the world. There was a sign that said anyone who could sing the 50 Nifty United States song would win a prize. Aidan sang it and won (trumpets blaring) a Tinkertown sticker. He was slightly disappointed, but the Tinkertown owner did write his name down in a book with the town he’s from and told him to keep singing because he has a beautiful singing voice.

After Tinkertown we arrived at yet another La Quinta, this time in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was definitely a step down from the one in Amarillo. This one had a screw missing from the lock on the door, a huge crack above and below the deadbolt indicating that someone had tried to break the door down, the toilet ran all night, and it had permagrime in the bathtub. Collin took the kids for a swim in the pool so I could get some freelance writing work done. Then I fell asleep for 12 hours.