A BBQ in El Paso is a whole family affair, and with nearly $100 worth of meat Adam made sure that everyone was invited. This included all of Jo’s sons, their kids and David’s Mum, Mrs.S, his sister Becky and her son, D’Angelo. First on the agenda was painting Adri’s nails to match mine, before playing bubbles with Adi, Zadie and Danika, all the while Kyle’s playing American football with Dominik and Donny in the hot sun. 20 minutes into the BBQ Kyle decides to have a little fun of his own and swaps the football for a water balloon and chaos follows, we can’t fill the water balloons fast enough…the kids are throwing them everywhere and with the addition of the water pistols it wasn’t long until we were all soaked, at least it cooled us down a bit.
Once everyone was fed and watered and the kids worn out from running around it was time to sit around the fire pit and get to know Becky and Mrs.S. Keen to share stories of travel, they told us how they enjoyed road trips around the states and Mexico with a favourite destination being Cancun. We told Mrs.S and Becky that Cancun has a reputation as a party place in the U.K so has always been somewhere we have avoided, but now that they’ve told us about the beaches and white sands we may have to add it to our list of future destinations.
Disaster struck the next morning when mum woke up to a foot that resembled that of an elephants. So sore and swollen she had difficulties walking and felt sick from the pain. A rush trip to the doctors revealed suspected gout, but we won’t know for certain until mum gets the results from her blood test and x-rays. Thankfully, they gave her two shots in the ass and two types of medication to keep her sane in the meantime. Though a return visit did determine that there’s no sign of gout but there may be an infection, so now she’s got 3 more types of meds…and rattles when she walks.
In a state where it’s legal to have guns of course the boys will occasionally drive off into the desert to have some fun. A family friend, Jack, kindly took Adam and Kyle into New Mexico for a bit of target practice. They got to shoot pistols, semi-automatics and other arsenal at targets, bottles and cans in an empty desert. Kyle said it was better than any firing range, even if it was a little hot, a new experience and he enjoyed seeing the mountains of New Mexico. I still don’t think that I’d let him have one in our house mind.
Another emergency called when Tony Montana, Jo’s puppy, started making funny snorting/choking noises. Holding him upside down, tapping his back and sticking fingers down his throat didn’t work, but oddly he was o.k when he was running around with the other dogs. A rush trip to the vets ruled out anything serious, the cute little bugger just has a bad case of hay fever and sneezes in reverse…nothing a little extra TLC and some steroids won’t fix though, hopefully in time for him to fit in my backpack.
After 3 very long mall days it was time for a road trip. Not believing that there could be snow in the desert, Kyle voted for a road trip to Ruidoso, a small town in New Mexico. As we got closer to our destination the air got colder and the scenery got greener, the desert gave way to huge green mountains and forests filled with brown bears and deer. We passed by land belonging to the Apache Indians, ghost towns (which are actually for sale), many ranches and all in the comfort of Davids new car…it was like being in an Uber X. Driving into Ruidoso we were greeted by the snow capped mountains, there may have only been a small amount but people were still able to ski up there. Walking through the town was like being taken back in time, reminiscent of the towns in the middle of New Zealand, Ruidoso is old school and looks like it hasn’t been touched since it was first built…real old town charm. Whilst the ladies did more shopping Kyle and I ventured along the river walk. Fast flowing water was filled with children escaping the heat, mountains lined the side of the path and grey deer roamed free. I was shocked to see that the river was so deep and strong, given the high temperatures I thought that it would be a trickle at best. The trail led to a path up a mountain marked as private property, in any other country we would of risked it, but seen as though they have guns here we thought better of it and headed back to find the shoppers.
We journeyed on to the Inn of the Mountain Gods, which turned out to be a casino, hotel and golf course set on a beautiful lake in the base of a canyon. We strolled around the lake to get better views of the mountains and could see even more snow. The lake was a beautiful clear blue, perfect for swimming in, unfortunately we didn’t get to jump in as nobody else was in the water. David, Jo and Mum were keen for Kyle to do the zip line, but after watching the old folks slowly cruise down our resident adrenaline junky passed on that offer.
Our final El Paso adventure took us to White Sands Monument, huge sand dunes that are whiter than a sheet of paper. We bought two round discs (like sleds) and took ourselves up the dunes. Climbing was bloody hard work I set off with good intentions but my feet sank near the top and by the time I reached it I couldn’t breathe. Sliding down was an effort, but i was surprised when mum stepped up to the plate and had the best and fastest journey to the bottom of the dune.
We arrived home to a delicious BBQ prepared for us by Adam, and enjoyed an evening of banter in the garden. We’ve had a great time in El Paso and it’s been great to finally meet the family that I’ve always heard my mum speak so highly of. There aren’t enough thank you’s in the world that will make up for the welcome and experiences that we’ve had from/with everyone here and I know for sure that we’ll be back, I’m going to miss this bunch too much, especially my little Tony Montana.
An 8 hour journey to San Antonio is next on the agenda for a few more days with mum, Jo and David, I’m just glad that we have the VIP mobile to get us there.
Love Carrie xxx