Thursday, January 23, 2014

Planes, Trains & Automobiles!!: My Cross Country Vacation- Day 9

Day 9

The last day of our incredible vacation was bittersweet…actually, it was more ‘bitter’ than ‘sweet’. As much as I wanted to tell my family and friends all about our amazing trip, I didn't want to leave this incredible place anytime soon. We covered so many areas of the United States in this short week we had, I wanted to continue the journey and see what else was out there. But, like all vacations, they have to end, and today was our last day, so we made the most of it.

Pete and I stared off the day, where else, having one last breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, (I think by this point my stomach couldn't wait to go back home, after all the dining out breakfasts, convenience store food and just grabbing food anywhere we found a place, a nice home cooked meal was in order!). We packed up for the last time, making sure all of our important stuff, (all the stuff we bought), went into our carry-on bags and the rest just squished into our luggage and checked out for the last time.

Top: Pete's strolling to Mexico. Train coming to American from Mexico
Bottom: U.S Customs.
Right- There are no guns in Mexico...FYI
We decided to head towards the International Border and Customs, or at least as far as we could go without going over to Mexico, (you can get in, but you can’t get out)- next time passports were a must! We parked the SUV and took a walk around the International Customs area and did the only thing we could do, take a bunch of pictures of how close we were to another country. While walking back to the car, we notice the Union Pacific Rail was coming out from Mexico, so we knew that mean that we’d be stuck where we were for a bit- these trains were about a mile long and went about 3 mph. For no reason in particular, I found this rather amusing, so once again, go the camera our and took a few more pictures. 

After we waited quite a while for the train to finally go by, we jumped on Route 82 for Patagonia, the area my Dad had mentioned for us to visit and check out a few of the shops that had there. It was about a 20 minute drive from Nogales, and it was another picturesque drive, full of mountains and cactus. We made it to what I think may have been the center of town, since it had a Town Hall right where we parked.
Patagonia, AZ
We ventured around the area, stopping in a few shops, including Global Arts Gallery, where I picked up a great leather-made clutch bag and Grayce’s Gift Shop where we picked up even more South Western trinkets and accessories for our apartment. The area was very quiet and relaxing, we got ourselves an ice cream and sat in a nearby garden and let the sun soak in. We stayed in that garden for about an hour or so, talking about our vacation and how it was going to be a transition getting back to the ‘real world’… but it was time to head on out to visit my Dad one last time.

We went back to Rio Rico to my Dad’s house which looked a lot different in the daytime; you could really see the stunning views he had from right in his backyard. He suggested that we take a different view of sorts and take the dune buggy, aka: The Bus, for a drive, so we did. We went up hills, down hills, around sharp curves and over a few very large rocks. The views were spectacular and so were some of the house; very southwestern style with the Pueblo & Adobe type accents.
Dad's backyard and views from the backyard

Wouldn't mind waking up to this every morning!

Once we came back from our riding adventure, we were greeted with a backyard feast of food and beer and margarita mix. Although it was starting to push a little for time before we had to make our way back up to Phoenix, (that was the only direct flight back to Boston), we decided to relax some more, because…why not? The food was there, the beer was flowing and that sun felt amazing on my back, (it was 75° here and about 40° at home, I needed all the sun heat I could get!). My Dad was telling all sorts of stories from when I was young, the good, the bad the embarrassing, it felt good to talk with him again and reminisce all the good times.
Amazing looking homes we saw along the Dune Buggy (Bus) Ride!

More amazing views from the "Bus"!!
Sadly, the stories had to come to an end as it was running due time for Pete and I to head back to Phoenix to the airport. It took a while to say our ‘good-byes’ to everyone but the extra warm open invitation had Pete and I saying ‘we’ll be back very soon’! It was hard to say good-bye to my Dad, but knowing that he was very happy our here made me feel happy inside, especially knowing that we could continue where we left off many years later and hopefully regain that bond we used to have.

The 2 ½ hour ride back to the airport was long, all the know memories I had in my mind, all the pictures we took, I couldn't wait to let everyone know of our amazing vacation and how much I didn't want it to end, (at one point Pete and I thought about asking the Budget Rental if we could just buy the Ford Edge we drove 1800 miles in back home, it did have Massachusetts license plates after all!). We got to Phoenix Airport and got our boarding passes and went through security check quickly (taking the Red Eye home was a very smart idea), so we grabbed dinner at the airport and waited for our Jet Blue flight to board.

Just under 5 hours later, (yet the time zone changes say different), we were back in Boston at 7:30am with 32° to welcome us back home, (being 78° in Phoenix, I wore shorts and a t-shirt forgetting where I was going), so it was a very rude welcoming indeed.

So that concludes our unbelievably amazing vacation of the southwest. There are so many places on my ‘to-do next time’ list that we need to visit again- Santa Fe, Pikes Peak, Grand Canyon to name a few…and some places I’m good with visiting again, (Red Lion Inn in Farmington). I hope you enjoyed reading about our vacation and maybe give you a few ideas for your next trip! Until then, it’s back to everyday life for me…with the exception of all the pictures and memories I have in my mind…and in picture frames… of the most amazing vacation to date! 

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