So driving through New Mexico (especially) and Arizona, can I be honest? The landscape is soul filling. It is beautiful. I love the green of North Carolina. But the brown and red and blue with the stark contrasts of cliffs and rocks of New Mexico. If not for my deep rots (and job) in Charlotte, I could easily move to New Mexico. It's a stunning part of this earth.
Also, one of the things I wanted to show the children was how BIG America is. I have only ever lived in the densely populated areas of the coasts. So driving through the middle of America and seeing all that open space is mind-opening. I'm a psychologist. And I am interested in the effects of physical environment on people's cognitions and behaviors. Living with a 20 mile clear view of everything around you must affect how you believe the world is and should be. And many parts of this part of the country are so stunning. So, really, if I need to turn my research towards this part of the country to study how the environment affects groups and communities--for the betterment of society really--I will do it. Somebody fund me. Stat
So we drove yesterday.
And we visited the Painted Desert.
And we found STANLEY!!! He was by the marker showing where Route 66 came through the Petrified Forrest. But absolutely, it was Stanley!! (For those of you whose children are not so young, Stanley was a statue in the Cars movie--which took place along Route 66, which 40 parallels)
Then we hit the Petrified Forest. What an amazing American experience: Trees from 200,000,000 years ago that, when they fell, went into water, became infused with silia from the bottom of the riverbed, and turned to stone. This is a piece of wood/stone below. It was awesome.
Then we went in search of the Cozy Cone, Sally's hotel from Cars. AND WE FOUND IT!!!
We even found Doc Hudson's car!!
What a great day. Today we are in Winslow, AZ. Going to Stand on a Corner (an actual park) and hit a few more historical sites before driving to Anaheim tomorrow.
At some point, I WOULD LIKE TO EAT SOME FRUIT AND/OR VEGETABLES in the next meal or two. Yes, we've had some amazing food, but DANG, I am full of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. My mouth is happy, but my body is revolting. (HA!)
Ready for the next adventure!!