For Thanksgiving we headed west…all the way to El Paso. I told Dennis it was going to snow. He was sceptical. He said it never snows in El Paso. It did.
Our trip was interesting. We headed our around 10pm on Wednesday night…okay it was 10:30. We hit the Starbucks in San Marcos for the “nectar of the gods” (yeah, a Carmel Macciata – how the heck do you spell that??). Then we were on the road. My folks were heading to the Davis Mountains so we knew our routes would be similar. The left around 8pm. They will usually find a Wal-mart to park in (hey, Wal-mart appreciates the financial support of RVers everywhere) when they get tired of driving. They had mentioned stopping in Junction.
So we headed south toward I-10. Around 1:00 a.m. I was ready to sleep. We were near Junction. I tried to call my parents several times. They are the only people I know who actually turn their cell phones off at night. Once in Junction we looked for the Wal-mart. We couldn’t find one. We both needed to stop so we went back to the highway and stopped at a truck stop. I thought I saw an RV parked around back near all the Semis. When we came back to the car we were discussing finding a hotel. Dennis suggested we drive around back to see if my folks happened to stop there since there didn’t seem to be be anywhere else in Junction to stop. So we drove around back. We knew it was them because there is only one red Ford F250 with a Promiseland Sticker on the back. So we knocked. They were shocked that we found them. So we slept in the very cold trailer for the next 4 hours or so. We woke up around 5 a.m. (too cold to sleep) and got back on the road.
Besides how cool it was that we found my folks in Junction…I am telling this so you will know, our sleep time clock was all off kilter. Add to getting up before the sun, we gained an our because El Paso is on Mountain time. We ended up going to sleep on Thanksgiving night around 9:30 p.m. And we woke up around very early and were out of bed around 7:30 a.m. I suggested we go shopping. Hey, if I’m going to be up that early, I’d like to be doing something I love.
So we headed to the mall. I got some great deals at Ann Taylor (my favorite store) and we headed to Old Navy. They also had some great deals. Old Navy had advertised free MP3 players with a $20 purchase, while supplies last. The sales associate told us supplies didn’t last much past their opening time of 4 a.m. As much as I like shopping, I guess I am really not that committed…I never would get up at 3 a.m. to go shopping. Although Judy and I did once go to the outlet mall at midnight…that’s different, that is staying up late. 😀
We spent the morning at the mall. By noon, we were “starving” (as if we could actually be starving after all the turkey the day before). So I suggested we head to Chico’s Tacos. Chico’s Tacos’ sign says they sell burritos, burgers and something else…no mention of the tacos. We go there for the tacos. They are more what we would call in central Texas, tacitos or flautas – rolled corn tortillas with beef in the middle that have been deep fried. They cover them with some type of tomato sauce stuff and cheese. They are a fine greasy mess and we eat them with french fries. Every time I have been at Chico’s (no matter which location), there is a very long line. So we split up…one person orders and the rest of us find a place to sit. This reminds me of finding a place to sit at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans – the one right off of Jackson Square. You have to be aggressive. You have to stand near the table where people look as if they are almost finished eating. You may even give them looks like “hurry up”. As soon as someone gets up, you swoop in. Then the guy comes and cleans up their mess. (It’s the same at Cafe Du Monde – there is powdered sugar everywhere from the begneits). Here’s the thing about Chico’s Tacos, you either love it or you hate it. It is an El Paso original and the locals love it. If you are from El Paso, it is one of the places you have to go when you are in town. I’m not from El Paso but I love it. It’s good stuff.
One of my mottoes when I travel is “go local”. I can go to Denny’s anywhere. When I am on a trip, I want to enjoy the local fair. If it’s good, then I’ll go there every time I am in that region. If you are in New York, near Time Square, visit Victor’s Cafe (Cuban) or if you are down near Chinatown or Little Italy, eat Chinese or Italian. When you go to Port Aransas, visit the Crazy Cajun. If you go to Mobile, Alabama make a trip out to the Blue Gill for the crab claws and definitely have brunch at the Spot of Tea downtown. I could go on and on.
So when in El Paso, visit Chico’s. And as I think back on all my travels (traveled for a couple of years while working on projects for Thomson Financial) I will keep you posted.