Arriving in Las Cruces, New Mexico
Another full day of driving which began in Austin, Texas in the morning finally got us out of that giant of a state and into New Mexico. We found another place on AirBnb, this time in Las Cruces and it definitely had that Mexican flavor to it. We really didn’t get to enjoy it though because once again we were arriving well after midnight and ready to pass right out.
Mexican Style Breakfast
The following morning we were feeling pretty exhausted and decided rather than spending the morning touring around we would just go for breakfast and get back on the road in hopes of reaching Las Vegas by the end of the day. Being so close to the border we knew our choice for breakfast had to be something Mexican, and boy did we choose the right place! La Nueva Casita Café in downtown Las Cruces was incredible, bit difficult to find parking for our Penske truck though.
After breakfast we squeezed our big Penske truck out of downtown Las Cruces and back to the highway headed northwest towards Las Vegas. We made our way through the changing landscape from the dry and dusty desert of New Mexico with the warnings of ‘zero visibility’ due to dust storms, to the cactus covered hills and into the giant red rock cliffs of Arizona. Our GPS took us through the Apache land. On one of the reserves we stopped for gas where my mom and I stood out like a sore thumb, pulling up in this massive yellow Penske truck, and the two of us walking in with my camera hanging around my neck. One man stopped me and asked where I was from. He introduced himself as “Baxter, Apache Indian”, and shook my hand. After I went to the bathroom I came out to ask for a picture, but he had already left.
Dinner “with a view” in Phoenix
Our next stop was in Phoenix for dinner at Twin Peaks, which was advertised as a meal with a view. We didn’t understand what it meant until we walked in and all the waitresses were wearing bikinis. Both my mom and I thought it was a bit weird, but at this point we were not about to turn around and go looking for something else. My burger actually ended up being pretty delicious, but my moms quesadilla was definitely not her favorite. When we got out of the restaurant I noticed that our gas cap was unscrewed from the tank, and I immediately thought someone had stolen our gas. Thankfully it was all still there, maybe the person realized it was diesel and didn’t want it, I don’t know, but we were good to go.
On Through the Night to Las Vegas
The remainder of the drive was in the dark, and although I missed watching the changing landscape I was happy to see the lights of Las Vegas in the distance. My father had just arrived in Vegas earlier that evening, so I was really looking forward to seeing him and also not having to drive anymore. But first we got to meet up with Lesley to park the truck somewhere safe for the night. She was super happy to see us, and let me borrow her car for the night to drive to our hotel. My parents got us free nights at the MGM Grand, so we were staying right on the strip!
After a quick visit with my dad we were all lights out and just glad to be together. The next day I was set to help finish getting Lesley all her belongings moved into her new home, so I knew I needed a good rest.