***WARNING-THE WORD SHIT IS USED MANY TIMES IN THIS BLOG***
Being told I have a kidney infection the day before I’m supposed to get on a flight to visit my best friend in El Paso, TX wasn’t exactly the type of news I wanted to hear. Positive Marie was thinking how lucky I am that I found it before it got too terrible as I’ve had one once prior that almost turned very ugly. I headed to my nearest pharmacy to pick up the prescribed antibiotics- thinking this was the peak of my bad luck.
This trip was my birthday present to myself. Oh universe, thanks. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARIE! REMEMBER THAT ONE TIME I GAVE YOU PINK EYE ON THE DAY OF YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY IN THE 4TH GRADE.
The next day I arrived at the airport at 3:30AM in attempt to make my 5AM flight. Walking into the terminal, I browsed through the 12 emails I got that morning, one of which said: “Sorry, we cancelled your flight- please use code “SHITOUTTALUCK” to book a new flight.” As it turns out, Las Vegas had some insane winds and they were cancelling flights into McCarran for the entire day. My luck wasn’t all bad though, as I was able to get a flight into Dallas and then into El Paso- instead of an arrival time of 9AM, I was going to get into town at 6PM.
My flight to Dallas was as smooth as one could hope, even having the entire row to myself. Surely things were looking up, right? WRONG. I wish the shit ended there, as my flight into El Paso was another story. Turns out those winds in Las Vegas decided to follow me to El Paso, my flight wasn’t cancelled though! As we were descending to land, the turbulence was pretty rough, it started to get worse the lower we got. The plane would shake, DROP, shake, DROP. The pilot tried to descend, but he then aborted landing (multiple times), then speeding up the engines to try again. After doing that a few times, the pilot’s voice came over the intercom: “OK, guys make sure those seat belts are on, it’s really important they’re on right now. The turbulence will get worse the lower we get.” I had never in my entire life heard a frantic pilot- this pilot was legitimately frantic. After 12 hours (or so it felt) of deep breathing from me and the crew attempting to land, we finally made it to solid ground. As the pilot’s voice echoed over the intercom, you could hear a sigh of relief as he explained we were flying in 60 mph winds right there. I didn’t die that day and I suppose that’s something to be positive about.
The day of my actual birthday was overall a normal day. My friend and I headed to the annual poppy festival in El Paso, which unfortunately there weren’t any poppies! After the festival, we headed to a local Mexican restaurant where I bonded with our server as it was her birthday too. After our late lunch I was super exhausted and took a lengthy nap (I don’t nap, ever; probably that kidney infection) and we relaxed the rest of the evening.
Sunday, we drove 3 hours to New Mexico in attempt to hike some trails my friend had recommended. My friend wanted to bring her two Rhodesian Ridgebacks with (exercise them and they aren’t alone all day- win-win). Unfortunately, 30 minutes into our hike, her poor pups got their paws attacked by fire ants. Their pads started to swell and we didn’t want to risk skin being rubbed raw, so we turned back on the trail and drove another 3 hours home. Le Sigh. Universe – 3, Marie-0.
Thankfully, the universe decided to give me an experience that didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth making the last day exactly what I needed. In the morning we made our way to Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso, TX- no dogs. Just the two of us, my camera, the blue sky, and simply beautiful weather- it was the perfect way to end the trip. My flight that evening did end up cancelled again, unfortunately. It was bittersweet, but I got to enjoy a few margaritas and a little more laughter in the company of my best friend for one more night- a few more memories to cherish.
Trail Recommendations for Franklin Mountains State Park- The Upper Sunset Trail: Fantastic views and a hike all along the peaks of the Franklin Mountains.
We hiked the Aztec Caves Trail, it was not a long hike, but it was very steep incline up to the caves and the trail was made of gravel which I was not used to.