We got down to Nokia Live over in Grand Prairie to see Sammy Hagar’s new band, Chickenfoot. It’s members are Sammy, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith. They put on a great show, lots of chemistry, and just in general seemed to be having a good time out there on the stage. They did a pretty full set of their own songs, plus a few covers and jams including Montrose’s Bad Motor Scooter. Anyone who has the chance to see them before they all go back to their bands/tours, do it!
The guest room has been emptied, carpet pulled up, and the trim, walls, and ceiling painted. In the process of painting the ceiling, I got to watch a section of the popcorn literally peel off and stick to the roller. Good times. Thankfully Home Depot sells “popcorn ceiling in a can” and it looks pretty good, so once it dries I’ll paint over it as well. Now I’ve just got to wait for the flooring guys to come and install the laminate so that I can empty the living room to get one big step closer to having the upstairs done.
Sleeping in is good, after all, it is a vacation. Once we got moving we loaded the car up and headed out to Carlsbad to spend some time under ground. We got in with plenty of time to spare and I scored a sweet shirt for Reese in the gift shop before we took the elevator down. We met up with the ranger who was our guide for the King’s Room tour. The tour was definitely worth the extra money, and if you’re going to do it, book it early and on-line as everything was sold out by the time we got there. The tour was about an hour and a half long and took us to parts of the cave system which are not part of the regular self-guided tour. In the Queen’s Chambers room the ranger did a blackout, and let me tell you, it’s eerie being in something that dark. After we got through with it we took a short break and then did the self guided tour through the great room and other chambers. It was really amazing, and I’m already planning a return trip with a tripod for some better shots.
We spent more time underground than we’d planned and instead of heading back we grabbed dinner in the cafe and went over to the open air theater to watch the bats leave for the night. If you’re going to go to Carlsbad Caverns, make sure you stick around for it. It was really amazing to see all of the bats, and there were a lot more than I thought there would be. We stuck around for about 45 minutes and they were still coming, but alas we needed to get back for the drive home tomorrow, so we hit the road back to Artesia.
We hit the road early, heading for White Sands and then Las Cruces. The road from Artesia to Las Cruces was great, in fact I’m planning on heading back on the BMW to ride it. We got in to White Sands and spent some time driving around and climbing the dunes. It was a very alien place, but a lot of fun. I’d like to head back some time to check out the lake, but the tours are limited.
After that we got on the road to Las Cruces to get some lunch and meet up with a couple friends from church who have moved out to west Texas and were spending a weekend in New Mexico as well. Lunch was at La Posta, and it was delicious, if a bit touristy. After that we wandered around doing a little shopping, and then headed over to the Las Cruces Brewing Company to meet up with another church member who was out there working and some of Heather’s co-workers from when she lived there. The beers were great, with a few pitchers of red ale and their pale ale consumed around the table. Sadly, we had to head back to Artesia, a 3-ish hour drive, but good times were had by all.
We hit the road bright and early, heading west to Artesia, NM, which is to be our base of operations for the weekend. The drive was pleasantly uneventful and seeing all the wind farms in west Texas was really nice. We got in to Artesia just before 5 PM local time, got checked in, and then went over to The Wellhead for some microbrews and dinner. The food was great, the beers were good, though I preferred the red ale over the American pale ale. To me the pale was a little one dimensional, as all I got was the cascades hops. After that I had to do a little homework before turning in…