John & Brenda's Excellent Tour travel blog

Bronze statue of John Chisum (Chisum Trail fame) accross from the Chaves...

Blue visits the UFO Museum


I forgot to mention something that happened to me in our museum tour day on Thursday. When we went to the Buddy Holly Center, I was asked for ID to prove that I qualified for the senior rate (55+) and, in the same day, when we had lunch, I was asked for ID to prove I was over 21 and could order a beer....I guess I'm just at "a certain age". They wouldn't even ask Brenda because she looks way too young.

April 14

We picked the hotel we stayed in because it was a block away from the Honda dealer; the bonus is that it is probably the nicest hotel we have stayed in so far. The bed is SOOO comfortable and Brenda says it has the nicest gym we have come across (I wouldn't know!).

While Brenda did her workout, I began my nagging calls to the Honda dealer. I listed in my last entry the many good things we could find in our breakdown. One more is that this is the first Saturday ever that the service department at the Honda dealer has been open...I mean EVER! Also, the mechanic working on Big Blue wasn't scheduled for Saturday but said if the new radiator made it in, he'd be there. It sure pays to be the luckiest guy in the world. I also took this opportunity to file a claim with ICBC.

At about 11:30am, I got a call saying the radiator was in. Big Blue would be ready about 1:30pm....and, oh, they noticed I was due for an oil change and they'd do that, too. We took a little scouting tour in our rental Ford Edge (don't buy one) and dropped it off at the rental agency across from the Honda dealer, glad to be rid of it. While Brenda walked back to the hotel, I went and waited at the dealership for Big Blue. Out she came, good as new but still sporting the almost sweet cookie smell of spilled antifreeze.

We did a little mall walking with the rest of Lubbock. Apparently the wind and cool air had driven everyone else inside as well. Brenda found a pair of black shorts she had been looking for for some time. We went for dinner at the "Texas Roadhouse" which turns out to be a popular spot on Saturday night. We put our name in for a table and went to the bar to wait.

As always, we found someone to share adventures with; Richard was a mechanical engineer, near our age, from Memphis in Lubbock for an extended business trip. Our hour went by quickly as we shared our trip happenings and retirement situation while Richard filled us in on his volunteering trip to Ghana with his wife to do humanity work in small villages. We had a really nice meal next to a large Hispanic family with a delightful 10 month-old little girl who gave us a bit of a grandkid fix.

April 15

In the morning, I went to the hotel lobby for the free breakfast while Brenda worked out (again!). The local paper provided my flyer fix and I pored over the stack of sales opportunities, albeit with a farming flavour. Among the Staples and Best Buy Flyers were ones offering a variety of weed sprayers, cow and horse penicillin and syringes, fence building material and, of course, guns, guns, guns.

We were finally leaving Lubbock and have to say we really liked it, especially the very friendly people. Apparently the hotel manager/owner and I hit it off because he always stopped me with a "Hey John, how y'all doin'".

We began our trip to Roswell through Brownfield, again, and, would you believe it? We hit another *&%$^ tumbleweed. At least it was smaller and, being kinda gun-shy by this time, I was able to brake and dodge a little to minimize the potential damage. The drive to Roswell is a very boring straight line and I suffered my first real bout of homesickness while Brenda napped. She told me later she has had a couple of similar bouts but kept them to herself to stay in the moment.

We stopped at the visitor's center in Roswell where they kind of directed us to the UFO Museum. We toured the motel strip and selected a Best Western that had everything we were looking for.

April 16

Happy Birthday Sheila!

Blue needed a car wash real bad and I needed a haircut so I got that out of the way early in the morning. We packed up and decided to do a couple of museum tours before heading to Carlsbad. Our first visit was to the Roswell Museum and Art Center and it was a very pleasant surprise. It had several visiting and permanent art exhibitions as well as some terrific displays of regional artefacts.

The UFO Museum, which had been recommended to us, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. While it was developed around the Roswell Incident of a crashed UFO in July 1947, it is basically a display of period photographs along with myriad affidavits disputing the supposed military cover-up. It would be great for conspiracy theorists but kind of cheesy in presentation. We'd recommend the RMAC way over the UFO Museum. Overall, Roswell is a nice little town and the mountains just to the west around Ruidoso are apparently quite beautiful. Our lost weekend on Lubbock, however, cut any flex time out of our schedule, so we moved on.

We traveled on to Carlsbad, about 70 miles south, and found a somewhat seedy but comfortable motel. The Stagecoach Inn is in the old Auto Court style that works well for us. You can park right outside the door and it's really easy to move luggage in and out. The TV news was all around the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. It was pretty disturbing and we decided to have a quiet, relatively early night to get ready for our cavern tour tomorrow.

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