This past weekend I went to Amarillo, Texas.
...but, before I tell you about my trip to Amarillo....I don't actually know if it's possible for me to head West without singing this song...in my car....at full volume....even if I'm just heading West 30 minutes to church...it's still necessary....because it's George, and it's one of my favorite songs because IT'S GEORGE...and it's a good song about Texas. Two things I like. A lot.
....and so....it's definitely not possible for me to WRITE about my trip 6 hours West (from Plano) to Amarillo past cows, windmills,and tumble weed lined highways...
...without adding a little mood music.
...and now...on to why I now love Amarillo.
This past weekend was my birthday 'weekend'....I could have said month, but I contained it to a 'weekend'...or two this year....My Mom asked me what I wanted to do. She even suggested a possible trip to the beach. My birthday was on a Sunday, how perfect was that for a beach weekend? My response? "Mom, I've actually been DYING to go to Amarillo." And so....we went.
If you aren't me, it's possible that Amarillo isn't exactly your dream weekend get away, but since last summer that slight desire to explore the city FESTERED b/c we drove THROUGH Amarillo for the third time in as many years on the way West to California....and we drove through at night....for the third time in as many years, and I didn't get to see Cadillac Ranch, which is right OFF the interstate. Literally, you can see it from the road, but I didn't see it because it was DARK! It's like driving by the biggest ball of foil during a lightening storm and being forbidden to stop and see the ball of foil in all it's glory. I made that up, but it could be a real concern!
If you don't know, Cadillac Ranch is a ranch some wealthy man owns and he doesn't plant the traditional crop. He planted 10 vintage Cadillacs, nose down, at the same angle as some pyramid, in honor of Route 66 which wanders along I-40 in this part of West Texas. He's been growing these Cadillacs for over 40 years. You can read about it, with more accurate details here. And if this doesn't sound like a place I needed to visit....my names NOT Christy! I'm pretty sure the owner is a long lost family member.
At one time, they looked like classic cadillacs, after years of visitors, and hoodlums....the owner painted them pink in honor of breast cancer, and then he just invited everyone to bring their own spray paint can and add a work of art. And spray paint they bring...
...and spray paint....I brought.
It really was a lot of fun. You enter the ranch through a gate. It's hard to miss b/c there were 10 Cadillacs sticking out of the ground, a ton of people climbing and spraying the cars, and a line of paint cans leading the way.
This is also where I should say I discovered another little thing Amarillo is apparently known for are their mosquitoes. I'm used to the pesky little beast. I'm sort of one of their favorite snacks, but I've never seen so many out....in the heat of the day, without any water in sight, so....BRING BUG SPRAY if you go anywhere within a 100 mile radius of Amarillo, and you should....because it's a fabulous town.
We also shopped along Route 66 and it's old Antique Shops. There were a surprising number of shops in the downtown area.
I saw a ton of unique antiques, but they were pretty pricey, so...if you are looking for that item that is impossible to find, maybe this is your place, but I'm usually looking for a great deal, and less concerned with the actual value, just the character.
We also headed to a restaurant I've seen all over the Food Network, and news articles....
The Big Texan
The insides exceeded my expectations. There is a ton to do other than eat, but the food was delicious (get the macaroni), our waitress was great, and there is a trio of musicians who go table to table and serenade groups with old country favorites upon request, and then....there is 'the contest'...
Inhale 72 oz of steak, a baked potato, 4 shrimps, a side salad, roll, and a drink in 1 hour or less and it's yours for free. If you don't accomplish the task, you pay 72 dollars. There is a raised table in the middle of the restaurant with clocks ready to mark the attempt. We saw the beginnings of a steak feast, but left before the finish. Good news...you can watch live attempts at any time on their live web cams at www.bigtexan.com.
Day Two we headed into the middle of an old West movie....Palo Duro Canyon.
This is the second largest Canyon in the US. It's not the Grand Canyon, but it's colorful, with lots to do-horseback riding, the play Texas (which I've heard is good, but we didn't have time to see), morning trail rides to breakfast filled chuck wagons, hiking trails to impressive rock formations, etc, and you can actually drive THROUGH the canyon. There are cabins to stay in, stores, horse stables on site, and some really helpful employees. I loved it all, and I can't WAIT to go back!
I'm ready to book my next vacation, like, yesterday!
Monday, July 19, 2010
This past weekend I went to Amarillo, Texas.