I'm not entirely sure McChump #2 needed a winter getaway all that bad since he lives in a fairly warm town, but I definitely needed to get away from Chicago. So I talked him into meeting me in Phoenix, from where would visit Turf Paradise then drive over to Santa Anita then back to Vegas for some casual gamblin' then down to Tucson for Rillito then over to El Paso for Sunland Park and then eventually back to central Texas, from where I would return to Chicago. And him doing all the driving. Sweet.
Things were kinds deadsville along Huntington in Arcadia this trip, but we had an okay time at the track.
I already took pictures of all the neon down by Fremont Street about 100 times, but they did have a giant mantis that looked new. And I made McChump #2 stop at Hoover Dam. And we stayed at the classic old St. Michael in Prescott for old times sake, and did some stumbling around Whiskey Row. And I must say a "suite" at the St. Micheal leaves something to be desired. The visit to Rillito the next day (or was it the day after that?) was great as ever with a big enthusiastic crowd, and they had a killer band out to the side of the stands, playing that Mexican gangster type music. The crowd loved it.
On the way from Tucson to El Paso, alongside the road in Arizona, at a nuthin' exit, there's a roadside attraction to beat all roadisde attractions: "The Thing ... What Is It?" No one knows, for sure. There's a whole cheesy and very dusty museum you can walk through, with all sorts of oddities and old cars and stuff, just a big old collection of weird things, but at the very end, in a glass case, there's ... The Thing. Well, I already had the t-shirt becase McChump #2 had sent me one a couple years back, but now I needed to stop and see The Thing for myself. So we did.
We were soon done with The Thing because really there's only so much Thing you can take, and kept going to El Paso and Sunland Park.
But after a day and night in the El Paso area, when we were going to leave, there was a huge ice storm in southern Texas through which McChump #2 did not want to drive and I don't blame him, so we decided to stay in El Paso one extra night and play Sunland Park one more day. That extended this outing to like 12 or 13 days together, when our usual limit is about 4 or 5. By the time we finally got to Fredericksburg TX where I was to be dumped off, after a long drive that was still icy anyhow, McChump #2 could not kick me out of the car fast enough. He was cranky. But thanks for all that drivin' man. I had a blast.