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Cross-Country Journal -- October 2003


Wednesday, October 1 -- We went to the movies.  We hadn't seen a movie in months and saw Pirates of the Caribbean.  Only tow other people in the theatre.  I liked it a lot.  We picked up dinner ingredients and cooked Thai food at Jaimie's.

Thursday, October 2 -- We came over for lunch (left over)  We went back to the motor home to give Jaimie and Mario some time to work on their video application for the Amazing Race.  Mario cooked dinner.

Friday, October 3 -- Tom worked on two projects and I worked on sorting and naming pictures for web albums.  We hadn't done much to our website all summer and had quite a few places to add to the list.  I cooked dinner and Jaimie and Mario drove to Denver to pick up Tommy at the airport.

Saturday, October 4 -- The weather was a little iffy but we decided to try to visit a few places.  First the air force academy.  We drove around some of the grounds and went into the visitor center.  The sky was clearing so we continued to Garden of the Gods.  A wonderful park full of red rock formations.  We went to the Mexican restaurant in Monument. A stop at Wal-Mart was required to purchase the last of the Harry Potter books.

Sunday, October 5 -- We awoke to a clear sky!  We were going to drive the road to the top of Pikes Peak.  The temperature changed from in the 60's to 30's and a few flakes of snow came into the sun roof.  We were in a dark cloud at the top but still had fun playing in the snow and cold.  This is a change from the Florida weather Tommy is usually in.  We drove down the road taking time out to scrabble amongst some rocks and take pictures of the Aspen trees.  Their color was very nice.  We drove to Florissant Fossil Bed NM.  Not much to see besides the fossil display at the visitor center.  We drove a mountain road to Cripple Creek, a mining town and then a very scenic drive back to Colorado Springs.  Mario was the chef.

Monday, October 6--We met Jaimie and Tommy for breakfast at Rosie's Dinner.  It was a totally clear sky.  We drove Tommy to the airport and then moved the motor home to the Coast to Coast park at Monument Hill.  It is nice but not as nice as the one in SD.  Still $6/night is good.  We grilled spiedies for everyone and then watched Horatio's Drive on PBS, about the first cross country drive in a car in 1903.  Things have changed.  We got back and watched the Monday night football game go into overtime.

Tuesday, October 7 -- We went to the hardware store and got some things to start projects.  Tom is building a workbench for Mario.  There was an assortment of tools all over the garage and this will organize them.  I worked on sorting pictures for the website.  There are lots of them to chose from.

Wednesday, October 8 -- Day two of the garage project.  We went to Home Depot and got lots of stuff.  I was assigned to painting the dry wall in the garage.  We found two premixed, sale cans of paint.  It is a nice beige and it looks good.  I had to learn to use an extension for the roller.  Tom finished much of the workbench, installing two lights and then cleaning and organizing.  Mario didn't recognize his garage.

Thursday, October 9 -- Another beautiful day of weather.  We are being spoiled.  I came over early and me and Pepper walked around the neighborhood with Jaimie.  I shellacked the mudroom entrance stairs and workbench.  Tom continued his organizing.  Louie also spent the day.  The campground is turning the water off tomorrow so Tom filled up the water tank and did his outdoor thing.  Guess they are expecting a frost here some time soon.

Friday, October 10 --Jaimie, Pepper and I walked to Fox Run Park this morning.  I did some gardening and Tom is working on some outside lighting.  Jaimie wants to get a male, orange kitten and I called a few ads and found one.  We set up to pick it up more things didn't work out so no kitten.  :-(...

Saturday, October 11 -- Good news.  Two male, orange kittens wanting for adoption from an animal rescue group at Petsmart.  After some discussion of getting both Jaimie and Mario chose Indy.  He is very sweet and purrs and kneads like crazy.  Cali is not meeting him right away.  We had a lobster/steak dinner with Champagne.  The best! 

Sunday, October 12 -- After straightening up around the motor home and waxing some of the bottom, and stocking up at Wal-mart, we went over to Jaimie's.  We took a walk/roller blade to Fox Run Park.  We cooked a turkey breast dinner and said our goodbyes.

Monday, October 13 --We had forgotten the grill at Jaimie's so we drove over Roller Coaster road separately.  I got the grill and met the See Ya in the park.  We drove to New Mexico but rather than retrace our old route we went through Colorado to Oklahoma, then Texas and then into New Mexico.  There was some wind and I drive some to give Tom a rest.  We found a state park on Ute Lake.  Not a bad temperature and the wind did let up.

Tuesday, October 14 -- We walked Pepper down to the lake and then drove down route 54/40 towards White Sands NM.  We drove by the Lincoln Forest where Smokey, the bear, was found clinging to a tree after a forest fire.  There is a lava flow called Valley of Fire that we could see in the distance and then a very large basin with mountains on either side.  Whites Sands NM is near Alamogordo, NM.  We chose a campground and rested.

Wednesday, October 15 -- No furnace needed during the night!  After stopping at the Alamogordo Visitor Center to get info, Wal-Mart for sunglasses we drove to White Sands NM.  We had brought Pepper with us since she could walk on the dunes if leashed.  We also now had a car with AC.  The dunes are amazing and reminded me of snow piles.  They have to plow the road since the dunes are moving on an average of 30 ft/year.  We had some fun walking on the sand and took a small walk into the dune field.  Pepper appreciated the water I had brought.  Driving back we got great views of Stealth aircraft flying out of Holloman AF base. We bought some pistachios grown in area. 

Thursday, October 16 --We checked out some houses in this area.  We saw some golf villas that seemed very nice.  We drove up into the Sacramento Mountains.  Quite a drive.  It is something to look back and see the Tularosa Basin and the White Sands.  We enjoyed the weather.  We plan to move down the road tomorrow.

Friday, October 17 --We decided to move towards Las Cruces, NM.  First we stopped at the White Sands Missile Range and saw their museum and exhibit of missiles.  There was a Patriot missile/launcher and others.  We drove into Las Cruces and couldn't stop looking at the Organ Mountains to the east.  It reminded us of the Catalina Mountains of the Tucson area.  We were sure they would be changing colors at sunset.  We checked into a Passport RV park and then got Real Estate info on the area.  We had been told to visit the Sonoma Ranch area but were taken with an ad for Patio homes with golf course or mountain views.  A small gated community.  Sounded good and we really liked it when we saw it.  We went back and took Pepper for a walk around the area.

Saturday, October 18 -- There was a Parade of Homes going on this weekend so we visited the other gated golf community.  We didn't like the feel of it and ended back at Fairway Village and decided to go ahead with a letter of intent on lot #14.  It has a nice view and no neighbors on one side.  I didn't think we would find a place we liked so fast and never had thought about living in NM.  We were surprised there was no water in the Rio Grande but then found out they had just "shut it off" in the beginning of October. 

Sunday, October 19 -- We spent the morning thinking about the lot and we went over to see the country club.  We have a tee time for Monday to try the course.  We watched some football, talked with family, meet with the builder and felt like we had put in a very full day.  Jaimie told me Indy had a very bad kitten cold. 

Monday, October 20 --We went over to the golf course and hit balls.  I had asked Tommy for a golf lesson over the phone and he said to always keep your eye on the ball and your head down. My previous golf experience had not been good.  I usually swing and the ball remains right where it had been sitting.  I was able to hit a few balls a distance and seemed to have a swing with the 7 iron once and awhile.  It is a very beautiful course.  I had a ball with Joe Imondi's name stamped on it so I bonded with Joe and tried to make him do some golf things.  I never tested him over water.  He did seem to like the sand and rough and he once chased after a bunny into a bush.  Then there was the Yucca Tree that he got stuck in and once and awhile a truly inspiring shot that went straight and landed in the middle of the fairway.  We met with the builder, saw a couple of his completed homes and got plans which Tom is cutting and taping to make the perfect space for us.  Another full day.

Tuesday, October 21 -- We awoke to no coffee but sunshine.  We went to Super Wal-Mart, there are two in Las Cruces and got coffee and dog/cat food.  We paid for 8 more days at the campground and started to look at the plan.  The game is how to get the best space for the least amount of square feet.  We want two bedrooms and an office, extra space in the garage for a workshop, a nice kitchen. 

Wednesday, October 22 -- We decided to go over and walk the path around the street.  Pepper went with us.  It was hot since we didn't get out there until 11:30.  We came back and cooled down and then went over to the movies. We saw Runaway Jury and saw previews that interested us on a few more movies.  We will grill some chicken and watch the Series and the Bachelor.  We like the feel of this town and feel it has a lot that were interested in. 

Thursday, October 23 --We met with the builder and handed him our plans.  Tom had worked many hours on taking the best of all the plans and choosing what we liked.  We were able to easily decide things about the spare bedroom and get that out of the way.  We met with one of the banks and started learning about construction loans and mortgages.  We watched Survivor and the next game of the World Series.  Go Marlins!

Friday, October 24 --I spent some time cleaning part of the Alfa.  We don't obsess about the motor home but ever so once I get the urge to clean and it doesn't take too much.  We met with another bank and learned more.  We went to see Intolerable Cruelty.  We liked it a lot.  Went to a spa/fireplace store and then Wal-Mart and Tom is making his favorite dinner.  There were a few wispy clouds in the sky.  A very nice day.

Saturday, October 25 --I had thought about testing the theory of how far it was to go to Colorado Springs but instead we drove a little ways up I-25 and went to the town of Truth or Consequences, NM.  This is a town that had a Passport campground that had sounded intriguing with a spot on the Rio and hot baths at the "resort".  Glad we never drove the Alfa there and saw the 8 campsites.  It would have been a new low. A very run down area.  We went over to see Elephant Butte reservoir.  It had last been full in 1980.  It was very low now. We drove to the Pecan farm store and got a pecan pie!  Very good but dangerous to have so close.  Watched the last game of the series and couldn't believe there actually was some rain!  Hope we don't bring a change of weather to this area.  We have loved the sunshine every day so far!

Sunday, October 26 --We watched some football and watched the Bills lose.   

Monday, October 27 --We met with a banker and she bought us lunch at the Cattle Baron's.  We didn't think she was very up on her facts.  The two previous bankers had been very knowledgeable and had impressed us. 

Tuesday, October 28 --We met with our real estate agent and went out to lunch.  It was a small Italian restaurant and it is now my favorite in the area.   

Wednesday, October 29 -- We met with our builder and went over the plans of the house.  Tom had a list of questions and some changes.  We drove around the area to come up with ideas for the front of the house and we think we have narrowed it down.

Thursday, October 30 -- We met with the builder again.  We gave him our ideas and feel we are very close to the plan.  We have decided to just go ahead and build with out delay and hope to move in and spend a little time in the house before we return to the lake next summer.  We went to see Mystic River and then went to my new favorite restaurant.

Friday, October 31 --No trick or treaters.