Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To Southfork, James.

If any of you get an itch to take a long road trip halfway across the country with a cranky cat, a child, a husband, suitcases, and more snacks than should be allowed in a moving vehicle, let me give you a piece of advice.

Don't do it unless you absolutely have to. Or unless you have a full supply of Diet Coke. And some really cool kid movies.

We just arrived in our new hometown in New Mexico. The terrain is a lot like West Texas, including all of the black, white and brown spots of cattle moving and grazing on the vast open plains.

Well, some of those brown spots aren't exactly moving. Ahem.

And sometimes the wind blows across the vast open plains and you catch a whiff of the brown spots that aren't, you know, moving. My husband calls it the smell of money.

I say let's put that money in a bank made of airtight containers.


On our way here, we stopped in Amarillo, Texas. Hubs and I had been to Amarillo years ago where we ate at The Big Texan.

The Big Texan is the home of the 72-oz. steak. If you eat the entire steak within a certain amount of time, it is free.

But, here's the clincher. In addition to the colon-clogging slice of beef, you have to eat all of the sides. Seriously, it's that little bowl of cowboy beans that will send you over the edge.

The Big Texan also offers a free limo ride to and from the restaurant. Hubs thought it would be fun for our daughter, (at least that's his story) and he called for a driver to pick us up at the hotel. We waited in the Hampton Inn lobby for our limo to arrive.

It was a white, stretch limo with huge longhorns on the front.

Our driver was wearing a cowboy hat and wrangler jeans. I looked down, expecting to see cowboy boots, but instead, he was wearing authentic, heavy-duty work boots. OSHA has gone and infiltrated the safety standards of the cowboy limo driver and ruined it for the rest of us.

We climbed in our limo and cruised on down I-40 with the longhorns on the grill leading the way. I felt just like J.R. right before he got shot. It was exactly like the old western days when cowboys would climb in their stretch stagecoach to go out for a good steak.

Very authentic.

When we stepped in The Big Texan, we were surrounded by a taxidermist's retirement fund. Every animal that has fur is on the walls. Vegans, turn your heads.

Our waiter, Kyle wore a cowboy hat, boots (not orthopedic ones), and an authentic sheriff's badge. You never know when someone needs to be arrested and taken in to the Marshall in the limo.

Hubs and my daughter drank from plastic boots. I felt safe knowing Deputy Kyle was close by in case they started to get crazy and start smashing their plastic boots on people's heads. A brawl will spoil your steak dinner every time.

Our steaks were delicious. You just get better steaks out west. My peach tea was the best I've ever tasted.

We quickly toured the gift shop, complete with boutique quality rattlesnake items but bought only a few postcards. Our daughter was happy with her free cowgirl hat and empty plastic boot cup.

On the way back to our hotel, our cowboy limo driver tied a special knot in our daughter's cowgirl hat. He said her hat had a hurricane knot and she needed another knot that would loosen if it got caught on anything.

She is now officially ready to rope any stray calf on the range.

All within OSHA standards, of course.


Smilingsal said...

Ya Hoo! Sounds like a rootin' tootin' place to strap on the feed bag!

Jeanne robinson said...

Miss you all so much!! I am so glad you made it safe Janet asked about you the other day!! Please keep in touch!! Love Jeanne

happygeek said...

So, did you finish the steak in time?:)

PJ said...

Wow!! Authentic experiences!! And those brown spots DO have an odor. :) Hope you enjoy your new home!

Roxanne said...

Oh, that is so awesome. My hubby has been to The Big Texan, and we were supposed to go to Palo Duro Canyon this summer for our 15th--which included a trip to TBT, but gas prices squelched it.

I have enjoyed it vicariously through you.

I grew up with the smell of money too--but it was from a paper mill. Similar smell though.

Rocks In My Dryer said...

I've eaten there! (Didn't even try that big ol' steak, though).

Brian said...

Welcome to TEXAS! I mean, NM.....i mean, BROWN country....where every living animal and vegetable fight for the last drop of water. oh, on a happy note, stuff does bloom in spring, which is beautiful.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Can't wait to see pics of NM.