October 3, 2021-Balloon Fiesta

(click for today's pictures) 

We all slept very well last night. I did wake right up at 6 and could not go back to sleep which is odd for me. I guess that I was excited about the day. By 6:30, Robby's alarm was going off. He got himself ready before taking Bentley out to potty. While he did that I made our bed and got myself ready.

The kids were all sleeping so Robby crawled back in through the driver's door with Bentley. That left me to crawl over sleeping Anderson and Graham with my hands full of my water bottle, phone and computer. Crawling over them did indeed mean that I had to crawl down the couch and then step over Graham before stepping on Anderson's bed to make it to the front. 

Once I did make it to the front, we were off. We drove for about 30 minutes before we heard any movement from the back. Graham was the one who was the first awake. He moved around quite a bit and even made his bed back into the couch. Soon Anderson was awake followed by Keaton and then Campbell. 

Days that we don't really pack up properly, I spend most of the day trying to straighten this place. I won't be able to do that properly really for a few days-there are pillows and blankets everywhere. I at least can keep the trash picked up and the cords for all of the devices off of the floor, but gracious me. I know that I won't be able to live in a tiny house with all of these people-some in particular!

This morning in between listening to church services, Robby read about the last time we were in New Mexico-Whitman was just 4 months old and we drove all the way to NM in one day. That was our first time to see a Sonic with a playground. That was the beginning of an 18 day road trip-kind of makes me sad that because of the big kids' school we have to cram our trips into just a week. I miss those long road trip days.

We stopped at a rest stop after driving for about an hour. The dog and the driver pottied while the rest of us worked on heating up our breakfasts that we had bought yesterday at Buccees. We then drove on into New Mexico. We had gotten gas last night, but it didn't seem like too long before we were stopping again. Gas stations have been a bit sparse since we started heading west.

We spent a good deal of the morning tracking our folks and talking to them about their trip. Around noon, we pulled into Carlsbad Caverns. The parking was a little tight, but it was like they did save one space just for us. After we parked, we pulled out our sandwich stuff and sat at a picnic table and had lunch.

It was perfect weather-a bit warm in the sun, but comfortable in the shade. After lunch, Bentley rested in her kennel as we headed to the cave. We already had tickets so after a quick look through the museum and stamping our books we went down the elevator.

The cave is pretty impressive. I can't really remember Mammoth Cave, but this one probably has it beat. Now, when you have seen one cave then you really have seen them all. We had walked the loop up until the short cut part. Robby suggested taking the short cut, but the kids would have nothing of it. Anderson wanted to see the Bottomless Pit section of the cave, so we headed off on the full cave loop.

It was just a mile and a half total so it didn't take us long at all to walk through the cave. We did over hear our first Karen/mask natzi on the elevator. She fussed at some people for not having masks-my people just stood there with eyes wide open during this. We had our masks on since it was the rule.

Keaton and Whitman snagged their Jr Ranger badge-I have printed out quite a few of those booklets for this trip. All of the kids help do a few pages each so it doesn't take us any time at all to finish them-though we still have a few more to finish for later this week.

We also found a sticker for the camper-that is fun. I guess we are collecting stickers now instead of ornaments. The stickers are probably cheaper than the ornaments...maybe.  When we left the gift shop area, we drove for about an hour to the Carlsbad KOA. I don't really think that we are in the city of Carlsbad anymore since we drove so far, but that is what it is called.

It is a fine campground. Just a KOA-the neat things are the 24 hours laundry room which will come in handy tomorrow night plus they have a rec room with lots of things in it. The kids and Robby actually went this evening while I worked on cleaning the camper. There was a 4 person ping pong table, darts, a wii, tv, board games-every stayed for a long time playing and could have stayed longer.

When we did pull into this campsite, we quickly did everything that we needed to do-no tent or anything though we did miss our lights tonight while cooking. We made quesadillas for supper-that is one of our favorite camping meals right now. Everyone can get exactly what they want, and they taste so much better when cooked outside.

As we finished supper, the neighbor came over and offered for us to use their fire. So of course we pulled out our s'mores stuff and went to town. After we cleaned up all of our supper stuff, Robby took the kids to the rec room while I cleaned. When I finished I joined them for a little bit.

Next up were lots of showers for everyone. It is almost 11 here so it feels like midnight to us-except everyone in this camper is still going strong. 

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