Well, almost, anyway. But let me build up to that.
The trip was great, fairly uneventful, and relatively low-key. Mark is very glad he won't be spending any time longer than an hour in the car until Christmas, when the drive will be only 10-12 hours as opposed to 14. We got on the road at 5:30 - very early, considering Mark's hatred of the morning before 8 on a good day, 10 usually. The biggest adventure of the trip down was our brief stop in Las Vegas. Las Vegas, New Mexico, that is. We stopped to get gas, and the blue signs near the exit said there was a Wendy's nearby, so we figured we get lunch as well. After filling the tank, we went in search of grub. We saw a KFC and Burger King, but no Wendy's. After journeying two miles away from the gas station, we turned back, figuring that KFC would work just fine. Only to find out it was closed for remodeling (something the marquee displayed on only one of its faces - meaning we couldn't see this important information driving from the gas station). So we tried the Burger King. I told Mark what I wanted to eat and went to the bathroom to put in my contacts. I get into the bathroom and realize I had grabbed the bag with my contact solution in it, but not the one with my actual contacts. I left the restroom, only to find Mark standing there without food, waiting for me. This particular Burger King doesn't take credit cards. Back into the car we go, eager to leave the silliness that is Las Vegas not in Nevada. We had not ventured far out of Vegas when we nearly hit a dog trying to cross the Interstate. At 75 mph, that wouldn't have been a pleasant site. It seemed to be waiting just for the right time to cross as there weren't any cars for quite a distance either in front of or behind us. And that was about it for the drive down.
Our stay at my mother's was pretty relaxed. Watched movies, hung out in the spa, nothing too big. The Turkey Day meal itself was grand, as always. Although it wouldn't be my mother's cooking if there wasn't some sort of misadventure there. The turkey was a little undercooked. We were able to trim off big chunks that were fine, but it's about par for the big bird course. On the bright side, this turkey would've been fully cooked with another hour or so (likely less), which means it's still nowhere in the league of the Turkey that Wouldn't Die. I think we gave up on that one after 15 hours of cooking. Or maybe we did let it go longer.
Saturday we started our first leg of the trip back. We went to Phoenix to grab lunch at the only non-Western New York location of Ted's Hot Dogs. It's set up just the same as the others, with lots of Buffalo paraphinalia. They even had a few Buffalo newspapers there. Mark got a little misty-eyed. Until we realized that they are a cash only restaurant. Enter the fun game of Scrounge for Change. It was actually a rather entertaining experience. And the hot dogs were from Sahlen's, the same supplier of the NY Ted's. They even had Loganberry there.
That night we caught a sunset at the Grand Canyon. Breath-taking as always. It'll be nice to be closer to the park one day. We stayed in Flagstaff. Choosing a place proved somewhat interesting. Two hotels of equal price and caliber were right across the street from each other. Then we saw the marquee for one of them. It announced, "Martians Welcome." We went for the one not proudly catering to those uppity green folk. I mean, imagine sharing a floor with those aliens! Of course, my muse kept wondering what the story behind that announcement was and what these particular Martians would look like. And Mark actually dreamed about why the hotel advertised such a thing.
And now we're back, facing a mountain of laundry and a pile of newspapers. Time to start preparing for the next road trip.