After the self guided tour of the museum, we asked the front desk person for a lunch recommendation. He pointed us (literally - "go down that there bend") to a place called the Cross-Eyed Moose Cafe (I got the picture from yelp.com). See the rusted out flat metal moose in the front? He had Mardi Gras beads on. It was funny. I laughed.
While we don't know for sure, our group pretty much reached the consensus that there was ONE server and ONE cook. When we got to the restaurant, we were the second table seated. When we left, the place was FULL! You could tell that this was definitely a local place. We were all ready for drink refills and it was obvious to the casual observer that the server was struggling with all the tables. One of the other customers who had come in after us (she was in her 60s+ and her husband was on an oxygen tank) was probably a regular/local and started refilling everybody's drinks to help out. She was so sweet. Things like that make me want to live in a small town where everyone knows your name.
We didn't mind the slowness of the service because we had good company and everyone was so nice. The food was good too. I somehow convinced almost everyone in our party to get a pattymelt. I'm pretty sure they are my FAVORITE kind of burger. About half of our group also got sides of avocado. Which are NOT my favorite. Ugh. But everyone else was super excited about it. I think they are like pickles. You are either a pickle person, or you are not. Same with avocados. Troy is SO excited about Subway promoting their new avocado turkey club sandwich. Just because of the avocado. And the bacon. Yuck.
Moving on. Here is a picture of Avery enjoying (?) the giant stuffed moose on the wall. I'm pretty sure her whole hand fit inside the nostril. Not that I checked. On purpose. The picture also shows her top teeth.
Not to be confused with "Moose," our stuffed deer.
This is Nate, also enjoying the moose in the restaurant. They were having a stare-down. For inquiring minds, the moose won ;)
And this is me, enjoying baby Zack snuggle time :) SQUEEEEEEZE! His mom and dad needed to eat so I snuggled and smelled him. Really. And look at that mouth! So sweet. I stole some kisses. Love him.
During lunch, Jared, another one of Troy's classmates from training, drove up to go on a hike with us. Well, hike is kind of a big exaggeration. We underestimated the trail. Well, we didn't plan properly with the strollers. Zack ended up being carried in his backpack by Kristen, Jared (the other Jared, not the Jared who drove up at lunch) pushed Avery in her non-offroading stroller,and Nate pushed Zack's empty, also non-offroading stroller. Jared and Kristen don't have children yet. So we take advantage of them and free up our arms. Don't worry, they volunteered :) Here is a picture of our very awkward hiking group. As you can see, our shoe attire was about as appropriate as our strollers. It was fine as we only went about 1/2 to 3/4 mile tops. We are planning to go back up there in the next two months a little more prepared for a hike. You know with tennis shoes, baby carriers, hats, and sunscreen.
Natalie and Troy picture in the woods. Before the trail turned into gravel. You can see how we were tricked by the turn of events when the paved path suddenly turned into gravel. We were just far enough away from the car that we were all, oh well, the strollers were coming. There was no turning back.
This is Avery relaxing for the hike. Before it turned into a seizure inducing bumpy ride. She liked it :) I love that her stroller reclines all the way back. It's great for on the go diaper changes. But not sleeping. Because she won't sleep in her stroller. Or anywhere but her bed. Doesn't she look so long here? Baby girl is growing up...
I love love love this picture. You can tell these are genuine smiles from the girls.
This is Troy and me standing at the one of the lookouts. It's called "Devil's Elbow." That name is not creepy at all.
Avery was relaxed. I took this because LOOK AT THOSE CHUBBY LEGS! YUM!
I love this picture. It's all the boys at the bottom of Devil's Elbow. They left us girls at the top with the strollers (they really just couldn't go any farther) for about 20 minutes to go down there. Unfortunately, it was long enough for Karen to burn her shoulders :( While down there, they found the collapsed "S curve" for trains. It was the first one ever built and then collapsed in 1960. But of course I don't have any pictures of it because they didn't take the camera. Instead, I have the Superhero picture of the boys. Which is cute :) Me likey.
This is Jared (the one who drove up at lunch) attempting to climb the ravine back up to the platform.
I didn't get a picture of it, but there was a whole section of the trail that had the big steps similar to this:
Going down wasn't so bad. Especially since her Guardian Angel (haha) was pushing her. The way back up...not so awesome. After a few minutes of struggling, Jared and Troy wound up carrying her Princess style up the stairs in her stroller. Jared had the top and Troy held the bottom so Avery was completely supine. It kind of looked like this. Unfortunately, again, I didn't get a picture. Probably because I was too busy huffing and puffing up the stairs. I am so out of shape. Must. Work. Out. More.
We walked past this on the way back up the trail. I think someone was trying to make a gargoyle. Or a totem pole. But it just wound up looking like an unfinished Garfield.
We all got back in our cars to drive back to Holloman. We took a detour. To a place called the Old Apple Barn (image from yelp.com). It was a fun little gift shop. We bought some fudge. Yum. They also sold things like pie, apple jelly, and random little tchotchkes. We probably played in there for almost an hour.
Avery is very curious. And smart :) She does not like to miss ANYTHING. Unfortunately, that means that she won't nap anywhere except in her bed, in the dark, with no stimuli whatsoever. We left at 9am and then started to drive back around 430pm. Meaning no nap all day. At least she's not crabby. But then on the way home, this happens. Haha.
Overall, a very busy, but super fun day. I hope you enjoyed it (well looking at pictures) too! Anyone been to a weirdly named local restaurant? Or been ill-prepared for a hike?