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We left Las Vegas. We actually did it. Our first stop on the long trip “home” was Albuquerque, New Mexico. We decided to take the southern route this time, since we took the northern route on our journey to Las Vegas. I tried to break the trip up into four equal parts, which put us in hotels for three nights. We decided on Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, and St. Louis. Each day we would travel for around 10 hours and thankfully, my Dad is a frequent traveler and allowed us to use his hotel points for our rooms. It was such a huge help!

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Day 1 travels

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Baby G and Me

We wanted to check out Albuquerque because we are huge Breaking Bad fans and we are also super-geeks who like taking a million pictures of spots that we’ve seen on TV. It took us awhile on that first day of driving. We had a screaming cat in our van who we drugged twice in an effort to shut him the hell up, a nervous dog who whined and paced inside of her crate, and of course, four humans who needed to eat, pee and poop along the way. Coordinating everyone’s needs was tricky. We arrived in Albuquerque 9 hours, 15 minutes and 560 miles after leaving Las Vegas. It was only 5:00, so we decided to check out a few Breaking Bad spots on the same side of town as our hotel. We saw Tuco’s hideout and Jesse Pinkman’s house and then just kind of drove around Albuquerque. We checked into the hotel and decided to have pizza delivered.

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Tuco’s Hideout

Well, Albuquerque has a ton of pizza places… and none of them were willing to deliver to our hotel, which was right off of the highway, in a good part of town and was in the middle of a ton of other businesses. It was the weirdest thing ever. We called pizza place after pizza place and we got turned down over and over again! Could we have gone to pick up pizza? Sure! But that kind of defeats the purpose of ordering pizza in the first place. After finally unpacking all of us; tired, cramped, hot and exhausted, and unloading sixty pounds of shit out of the back of the van, and walking the dog and setting up a litter box for the cat, and dishing out food for both pets and filling water dishes AND cleaning cat vomit out of a flailing, flying, snarling cat’s long fur… I WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE. Not even for food. Not even for wine. Not even. Not.

Finally, someone took pity on us and brought us a pizza. We ate and then fell asleep almost immediately. The next morning we woke up and went to the lobby for free breakfast (which was surprisingly very good and again – free – which is one of my favorite things!) and met a couple also traveling to Michigan from Las Vegas! We chatted for a little while and learned that they were stopping in Oklahoma City and St. Louis as well. So funny. We looked out for them the rest of the trip but they were a middle aged couple traveling alone, and probably made it to their stops in half the amount of time our party van did. We didn’t see them again.

We went back to the room and loaded the van. Drugging the cat had failed so miserably the day before, we decided to work together and try a new method for day two. I wrapped the cat in a sheet and held him close. Mike opened Zorro’s mouth and dropped the pill down his throat. Unfortunately, Mike didn’t move his hand fast enough and Zorro bit down, scraping Mike’s finger in the process. I didn’t see the wound before Mike started swearing and yelling, so I assumed it was a deep, horrid puncture wound. I calmly, yet firmly told Mike to wash his hands really well, since cat bites tend to get very infected and can be nasty. He got upset and headed for the sink, started scrubbing, swearing more and more. I decided I’d better check it out and began thinking about going to buy peroxide. Well, his horrid, gaping wound was actually a teeny tiny scrape that was slightly red and barely bleeding. He became the lucky recipient of one of my “looks” and we continued loading the van.

We were ready to roll. I went out to double check the car seats and walked back into a three ring circus. Mike informed me that the cat threw up the pill, and the dog proceeded to eat it. So, now the dog was drugged and didn’t need to be and the cat needed to be drugged again. After I tore out a few handfuls of hair, I wrapped the blasted cat in a sheet, made Mike do the restraining and I shoved a pill down his throat. He went into the carrier and we ushered everyone out to the van. We left the hotel at 9:30. We drove to the other side of town and toured all of the rest of the spots on our Breaking Bad bucket list. We saw everything imaginable and drove out of Albuquerque 2 hours later.

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Hank and Marie’s house.

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Saul’s Law Office

New Mexico was beautiful. Bluffs and desert, everything gold and red with spots of green mixed in. We crossed  into Texas, and just as my friend Rachel had told me it would, everything looked bigger. The street signs, billboards, stores, gas stations, crosses… everything was enormous. Though, nothing so enormous as the sky. The sky in Texas is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It felt unreal, like we were on a movie set or in some kind of blue, painted dome. It was impressive, and beautiful. We stopped and saw the Cadillac Ranch and Truman loved stretching his legs and running around. I think we all needed that break.

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Little Boy, Big Sky

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The Yeoman Family at Cadillac Ranch

We drove and drove, tried Chick-Fil-A for the first time, talked, laughed, and I made 20 trips to the back of the van to entertain the boys. We ended up in Oklahoma City at 10:00 pm. But… that is NOT where our adventures the first night ended. Stay tuned for Part 3!

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Walt and Skylar’s house

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