Sunday, April 4

Las Cruces, Day Two (Part One)

The next morning we had breakfast with Jami at the hotel. Free continental breakfast. Thank god for English muffins. After breakfast, we had a little photo shoot in the parking lot and then wished Jami happy travels as she headed to Austin.


Will needed real coffee so we decided to walk to the Starbucks that we had seen on our way in. (I know, I know, we don't like giving Starbucks the business but when on the road, sometimes it's the only choice.) University Avenue is a super busy street so it wasn't the most scenic walk, but I had fun taking pictures of trees and other random sightings.

The flowering trees made me really happy. Some day that will start happening around here too.


I quite liked the prickly pear cactus patch as well. There were a lot of apartment complexes along the way, the kind that university students live in. And a lot of abandoned places too. At least they looked abandoned. Or at least run down and vacant.

We saw a lot of run down and abandoned houses on our walk.

There's a cat in the window.

And one kitty sighting. Kitty sightings are always good.

So Will got his coffee and we had a pleasant morning walk in the super bright sunshine. I was so delighted not to be wearing a coat, just my hoodie. Ah, warm weather!

We didn't really have a plan for the day. Caroline was supposed to call us when she got up which we didn't expect to be until later in the day. The main thing I wanted to do was find a yarn store. I had looked "yarn shops in Las Cruces" up before our trip and there was one that came up and had very positive reviews. I was excited about it. And so we headed out. The Tom Tom actually led us to the right place that time. Downtown Las Cruces. Let me tell you, downtown Las Cruces is not really happening. But that's okay, it was a gorgeous day and just walking around was so nice.

We parked and walked along this pedestrian mall type area. There wasn't much there, a theater, a handful of shops, the Museum of Art and a bookstore (which I'll get to in a minute). Lots of closed up storefronts. I think they are trying to build up the downtown area, but it's still in the beginning stages. So we walked along and no yarn shop. Tried calling and got a disconnected number. Rechecked the address and we were in the right place. We found a quilt shop instead and the ladies in there said the yarn shop had closed in January. Alas! They should have updated their website and Facebook with that info. Oh well.

We decided to check out the bookstore. It was a used bookstore, the largest used bookstore in the southwest, I think it said on the window. Largest or no, it was a HUGE place with room after room of books. Exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I immediately forgot the names of all the writers that I like and didn't even know where to begin. Will went off on his own exploration and after a bit of wandering around, I ended up in the fiction section. I browsed through the floor to ceiling shelves, racking my brain for books that I've been wanting to read. Nothing really grabbed me. Ended up in the mystery section and was thrilled to find a whole row of books by one of my faves, John D. MacDonald. I have reread his Travis McGee series countless times, but I don't own much of his other work. I picked a few things out and then continued to wander around.

And then I hit the jackpot. I hadn't really noticed that all the books I was browsing were hardbacks until I got to the mass market paperback section. Holy shit. I went directly to the mystery section and found myself in mystery book heaven. I quickly had a huge stack of books in my hands. A collection of short stories by Raymond Chandler. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (which I have read but didn't own). A few Ross MacDonald books and a ton of John D. MacDonald. They had just about everything he's ever written. I had a tough time picking things out, in part because I couldn't remember what I already have at home. Anyway, I realized I had no idea what the books were priced. I found an employee around in the next aisle and asked. Mass market paperbacks are half the cost of the original price. Score! Most of the books I had in my arms were originally priced from $.35 to about a $1.50. I was in fine shape.

It was hard to pull myself out of there, but Caroline had called that she was going to lunch and then would be ready to hang out with us a bit. And I was getting hungry. So I went on a search for Will. We paid up and headed back to the car. I randomly picked the name of a deli that I had seen in the hotel book so we punched it into the Tom Tom and set out to get some lunch. Half an hour later, we were still driving around, getting hungrier by the second. Tom Tom is not the best direction provider sometimes. We did eventually find the place, but guess what? It was closed! Forever! Thanks Ramada Inn.

So then I did what I should have done in the first place. I called Caroline and asked her where we could grab a sandwich. She directed us to a little deli, right up the road from our hotel. Duh. Should have done that from the start instead of driving across town and wasting time.

Okay, this is getting a bit out of hand so I am going to call it quits for now and finish up a little later. Apparently we had a pretty busy day!

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