09.29.17 The Big Texan 72 oz Steak

September 29, 2017 – After having lots of fun at the VW Bug Ranch and the Cadillac Ranch in Texas we went to THE BIG TEXAN, home of the famous Free 72 oz Steak if you can eat it all.

This is  basically a very touristy Big Texan place, but lots of fun and the food was really good.

We went early evening so the place wasn’t filled up with people until we were almost through.  All the steaks are cooked in the open.  We were sitting right next to it so we got to smell and see all the steaks being cooked.  They are served on the BIG TEXAN plates shown below.

We got the 30 oz steak for two with fried okra and the best tasting loaded baked potatoes I’ve ever had at a restaurant.  We both got those sides and also enjoyed sweet peach tea.  Oh my!  

After dinner we walked around to see the rest of the place.  A hallway near the back had several photos on the wall.  When you stood in front of one it looked like a normal person.  When you moved a few inches to the side the person turned into a skeleton!


There was a very large gift shop which was mostly all Texan gifts.

There are rules for taking “The 72oz Steak Challenge.”  Here they are:

Meal consists of: Shrimp Cocktail, Baked Potato, Salad, with Roll, Butter, and of course the 72 oz. Steak

This is the table you sit at for the challenge.  It is on a raised platform so everyone can see you.  There are time clocks along the wall next to it so the person taking the challenge knows how much time they have left.

  1. Entire meal must be completed in one hour. If any of the meal is not consumed (swallowed)…YOU LOSE!
  2. Before the time starts, you will be allowed to cut into the steak, and take one bite. If the steak tastes good and is cooked to your satisfaction, we will start the time upon your acceptable approval. The time will not stop, and the contest is on, so make SURE before you say “yes.”
  3. Once you have started you are not allowed to stand up, leave your table, or have anyone else TOUCH the meal.
  4. You will be disqualified if anyone assists you in cutting, preparing or eating of your meal. This is YOUR contest.
  5. You don’t have to eat the fat, but we will judge this.
  6. Should you become ill, the contest is over… YOU LOSE! (Please use the container provided as necessary.)
  7. You are required to pay the full amount up front; if you win we will refund 100%.
  8. You must sit at a table that we assign.
  9. If you do not win the steak challenge, you are welcome to take the leftovers with you.
  10. No consumption or sharing of the leftovers is allowed in the restaurant once the contest is over.
  11. If you fail to complete the challenge, you must pay the full $72 dollars.
So that’s that for the Chauvin’s visit to the Big Texan.
I forgot to write a blog post about our visit to Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum in Amarillo, TX last week.  I’ll work on that next.
Today we visited the Historic Route 66 Museum here in Elk City, Oklahoma and several other museums on the same property.  I believe that will be the last Route 66 type thing we will do.  We go to Checotah, Oklahoma Saturday (tomorrow) for a week of doing nothing!!!  Sometimes that is really needed!
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
I love the book of Proverbs in the Bible.  Yes this one is a scripture!

09.28.17 A – Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas

Thursday, September 28, 2017 – Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas is much more well known than the VW Bugs are and it is very different.  All photos I’ve seen, showed the Cadillacs as though they were right  by the road like the VW Bugs and it was all dry around them like this photo.

It stormed the day before so they were ankle deep in water and were actually far far off the road like you’ll see in the first photo. 

We saw around 20 people coming and going while we were there.  Most all of them except one young man and MEEEEE didn’t go into the freezing muddy water to paint on the Cadillacs.  They resorted to painting on the ground which I did also!

Here they are as we walked closer and closer to them and around them!

I have wanted to see these things for the last three years and I was determined to get some spray painted on them.  I sprayed Roy, Rosie and the first initial of our six grandchildren’s names  K E M J C G.  Kallie, Ella, Madisyn, Jacob, Caroline and Gracie. That’s in the order of their ages! This video is when I’m telling Roy that the initials are the Chauvin grandchildren.  You can hear how strong the wind is and may not be able to hear me explain that!

The muddy water sucked my shoes in with each step so I slowly, slowly walked out determined not to fall flat on my face.  I was very proud that I achieved that!

I wore these shoes because they already needed to be thrown away.  I brought a good pair of shoes to change into when we got to the car.

This is the other person who painted and even he didn’t go very far into the watery mud.

I painted the grandchildren’s initials on the ground as well so it could be seen better.  Pretty sure with the next rain this will all be washed away.

This video tells ya’ll all about our experience there!

Bales of hay along the walking way were sprayed as well.

This is the entry way.  Roy went through the barbed wire and I went through the swinging gate that was deep in mud.

The muddy shoes were left there with a lot of other muddy shoes!

Here’s some information I found to share: Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm.

Cadillac Ranch was originally located in a wheat field, but in 1997, the installation was quietly moved by a local contractor to a location two miles to the west, to a cow pasture along Interstate 40 (which is Route 66 in a lot of places) in order to place it farther from the limits of the growing city. Both sites belonged to the local millionaire Stanley Marsh, the patron of the project.

Cadillac Ranch is visible from the highway, and though located on private land, visiting it (by driving along a frontage road and entering the pasture by walking through an unlocked gate) is tacitly encouraged. In addition, writing graffiti on or otherwise spray-painting the vehicles is now encouraged, and the vehicles, which have long since lost their original colors, are wildly decorated. The cars are periodically repainted various colors.

If you are ever anywhere around Amarillo, I highly recommend going back to your childhood and painting on one of the Cadillacs or a bale of hay or the ground!

After spray painting (I call it graffiti) on the VW Bugs and the Cadillacs we headed over to the Big Texan Restaurant for a delicious meal.  More on that next time!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!



09.28.17 VW Slug Bug Ranch in Conway, Texas

Thursday, September 28, 2017 = Along a stretch of Route 66 east of Amarillo, in Conway, TX you’ll find the quirky VW Slug Bug Ranch, where five Volkswagen Beetles are planted nose-down in the ground—a bookend to the more famous Cadillac Ranch west of Amarillo.

We were the only ones here — you park just off the road and walk over to the cars. A cool abandoned building and older car on property as well.

Here’s how to get to these slug bugs: Exit 96 off 1-40. On the frontage road near the intersection of Rt 270. Look for the tall “MOTEL” sign. Approximate address: 9696 Interstate 40, Conway, TX 79068

As you look at the pictures in case you can’t tell what we spray painted here’s what it all says:  Roy and Rosie 2017, Chip and Misty, our oldest son and wife (whom requested their name not be used), Amite, La (our current hometown).  I hope you can tell that we’re not the first people to walk up to these VW bugs and spray graffiti on them.  You are encouraged to do that.  They are just one of the attractions on Route 66 that people are drawn to. Here they are!


That was our first fun stop of the day.  Next we went on to the much more well known Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.  I found out about Cadillac Ranch three years ago and have been wanting to go there so much ever since.  Wait till you see the pictures from that one!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


09.28.17 We are being divided into US and THEM, by Eva C. Christian

Wednesday, September 28, 2017 – A while back I found and fell in love with the daily positive, inspiration and spiritual graphics Eva C Christian creates and publishes each day on Facebook.  Lots of the ones I share with ya’ll are ones Eva created.

She published the following  article today on Facebook. Other than the Steelers comment, her feelings and thoughts about this are the same as mine, just replace Steelers with New Orleans Saints!

I remember my mama sayings long ago that “America’s going to hell in a handbasket” when things would get in a mess like this.  I told Roy that it really felt that way yesterday when I remembered that.  When I read her article I asked for and Eva gave me permission to share her words.

By Eva C Christian with James Alan Christian.
~I don’t say a lot about politics, publicly. But, I must say that I am in total disgust of what is going on in our country…We are being divided into US and THEM

~Us, that still believe in God, in respect for our Armed Services, Veterans, Police Officers, Our Country, Our United States Flag, and in respecting Each Other. And, THEM

~I am not sure what they believe in or respect, or even if they understand self-respect. Until January 2017, I did not realize how many crazy people were actually out there… I went to elementary school in Aberdeen and Baltimore, MD in the late 60’s/early 70’s~with black children as my friends, black teachers contributing to my childhood and education, as much as white friends and teachers. I have friends of all colors

~ I was never taught racism, and I have never felt that way towards others…We are all children of God, we all bleed the same color. Sorry, but I believe everyone in this country, regardless of color, has the same opportunities to do right, or do wrong, just like me…We live in a country where many people have a complete disrespect for their fellow man. Where a man voted into office by the majority, working to bring peace and prosperity to all Americans, is disgracefully treated by his fellow Americans, even his peers. It is fine with me, if you dislike our president, if you voted for someone else, if you don’t think he is the man for the job. But, what ever happened to common decency? To the Golden Rule?

And NFL Football ~Disgraceful! How ashamed I was to see the team I have followed and loved to watch for years, the Baltimore, Ravens, kneeling….and Pittsburgh, only one player, a Veteran standing on the field~Well, I am done with the NFL…I can find something else to do rather than watch a bunch of millionaires, living in the very lap of luxury in this country, disrespect our Flag, our anthem, our country. They can call it whatever they like to, but it won’t include me, my money, or my viewing. I have a $200 Steelers backpack for my 14 yr old stepson, that I don’t feel a bit good about now. I definitely won’t be purchasing any more NFL merchandise.

I will continue praying for my country, and for all of those affected by fire, storms, hurricanes, and flooding…For all of the people outside of our country, affected by the same issues, earthquakes and terror attacks…

~I don’t care about your color or your politics

~ I care about your attitude. I care about your values, about how you treat people and animals… I know I am not the only person out there who feels like this, but I am starting to think it’s time to say how we feel about all the craziness going on….

~God Bless us all~

Here is a link to Eva’s FB page.  If you’d like to get her wonderful positive inspirational graphics in your FB wall each morning like her page and they will be there.  Her graphics are not just inspirational, scriptures but they are beautiful!  https://www.facebook.com/eva.c.pearson

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear.  We did some amazing things the last few days that I’ll share with ya’ll soon.

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09.26.17 – Teepee Curios, Blue Swallow Motel and Route 66 Monument in Tucumcari, New Mexico

Tuesday, September 26, 17 – In Tucumcari we saw the Teepee Curios, Blue Swallow Motel and the Route 66 Monument at the Museum.  If you’re counting that’s these three plus two in Santa Rosa that we saw all in one day.  And we watched our home church’s worship service before all this!

Teepee Curios is a gift shop inside a large Teepee.  One thing we’re finding on this trip is that all the Stuckey’s are closed.  The buildings and the signs are still there but they are not open.  When we walked up to the Teepee Curios and saw a sign that they sell Stuckey’s candy we almost ran inside.  We love Stuckey’s Pecan Rolls so we each got two.  I bought a Route 66 purse and a couple of Route 66 family gifts!  I always want to remember this Route 66 journey so I am buying things that will help me do that!


The Blue Swallow Motel was on every list of things to see/do in Tucumcari and I could definitely see why! It reminded me so much of motels my parents and I would stay in when we’d go on vacation. I like how their website describes it:

The Blue Swallow has been serving travelers along the Mother Road since 1939, and today, our guests enjoy a pleasant reminder of what it was like to travel across the USA in the “good old days.” Unlike the big corporately-owned chains, we are family owned and operated. With hospitality provided by owners Nancy, Kevin, Jessica, and Cameron, you will always be welcomed like family.

From the beautifully restored rooms, to the distinctive attached garages, to the fabulous neon display each night, a stay at the Blue Swallow is a unique experience that will leave you rested, refreshed, and with wonderful new memories. Come take a step back to a simpler time, meet your neighbors from around the world, and relax under the glow of the neon lights in the historic courtyard of the Blue Swallow Motel. It will be a pleasure to have you stay with us!

Next are the insides of where guests park their cars when staying there.  Their garage is next to their room.   

Related image

Last thing in Tucumcari was the Route 66 Monument at their Museum.  The Museum was closed but Dora and I took some photos with the Monument.

Dora seems to park herself in a way that gets her in lots of photos! She says she wants me to write one blog showing all the places she’s visited so we’re working on that!!

This is the actual museum where a couple of painted rocks were hidden!

Since we saw everything we wanted to in Tucumcari and had not yet killed ourselves from exhaustion we went on to Amerillo, TX where we are staying for three days to see Route 66 things here.

Here’s the road signs going from New Mexico to Texas.  We are very glad to be back in Central Time Zone!

  As soon as we entered Texas the landscape changed from mountains everywhere to being able to see as far as we looked with no mountains in the way.  The sage and other bushes that were every where and I mean everywhere stopped.  Beautiful crops all along the interstate were a joy to see.  Guess as much as I love seeing the mountains in all their very various forms and colors, it is nice to again see the flatlands that will lead us to Louisiana in a few weeks!

The windmills were not seen until we crossed into Texas and they are everywhere!

If you think this was a long blog post imagine doing it all plus the last two in one day.  By the end of the day I crawled to my bed and we slept until 11 am today!!  We recovered enough to go to the RV Museum in Amarillo and buy some groceries.  Again, this was one of those grocery shopping trips that included a lot of sweet things, but also a lot of fruits!  I’ll share about the RV Museum in Amarillo next!  Owning and living in an RV made this a very special place to visit!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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09.25.17 Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Monday, September 25, 2017 – Bozo and Anna Cordova have been the proud owners of  this very cool Mom-&-pop museum with classic, vintage, chrome & hot rod cars on display, plus Route 66 memorabilia since 2001. A few of the cars were actually for sale so Roy and I picked out the ones we liked best just in the off chance that one day we’d have the money for them!

You can see where they are located from a good distance with the bright yellow car mounted up high! I’m just gonna post the photos we took here.  We would both highly recommend visiting this place.  I purchased a Route 66 cap with lots of red white and blue bling, a New Mexico magnet and a Route 66 magnet for my refrigerator door collection!  We also bought someone a Christmas present, wooooo wonder who that is for!!

This is the one Roy picked out to buy!

Route 66 Map.  We driving from the first red dot you can see on the left to the one in Oklahoma City before heading south towards home!

This is the awesome car I picked out!  Very nice flames!!

Oh did standing in this telephone booth bring back lots of memories! 

We went on to Tucumcari, New Mexico where there was more to see.  Next up is the TeePee Curio shop!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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09.24.17 The Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Sunday, September 24, 2017 – When we decided to go see the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa near Route 66 we really didn’t know what to expect.  It was very awesome, but I can’t even say I understand it at all, so I’ve included info from their website and a couple of their graphics/pictures along with the photos I took when we were there.

Blue Hole appears in the midst of the desert like a great blue gem. Once known as Blue Lake, it is one of seven sister lakes connected underground by a vast system of water. This wonder defines Santa Rosa even as it seems to defy the surrounding red mesas. Born of a geological phenomenon called the Santa Rosa sink, the place is magic—as water always is in a land of little rain. Nomadic tribes, cowboys driving their dogies cross the Pecos, and Americans going west on the Mother Road, Route 66, all sought respite here.

In 1932 Blue Hole became a National fish hatchery, morphed into the Blue Hole Recreation Area in the seventies, and more recently expanded to become the Blue Hole Dive and Conference Center. Not just for drivers wanting to get out of the fast lane or divers eager to get on down, it’s more than just a watering hole. Now it’s a destination meeting site for everyone from brides to board chairs. Halfway between Albuquerque and Amarillo, it’s within two hours’ drive of 80 percent of all New Mexicans.

Still, we never forget that the real sapphire is the incredible beauty of the Blue Hole itself. The lake is unsurpassed for its clear, pure water. That’s why we work so hard to protect it, ensuring, for example, that that surface runoff won’t impair its purity.  Like scuba divers who drive ten hours to get here, we know it’s the crystalline water that draws them in. Visibility is an astonishing 100’, due to the fact that the water completely renews itself every six hours—it’s truly never the same lake twice. What doesn’t change is the temperature—a constant 62 degrees.

  Roy wanted to see how cold the water was and he said very

This video shows the whole thing better than the pictures on.


That the first stop of a very busy Sunday on Route 66.  Next we went to the Route 66 Auto Museum also in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  Wow, wow and wow!  I’ll share that next!

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09.23.17 – To Sante Fe or BUST! – Sante Fe, New Mexico

Saturday, September 22, 2017 – Traveling Route 66 is kind of like trying to find your way anywhere in the dark. Sometimes the only way to know is to see the sign to the right here every now and then along the route.

When Route 66 gets to Albuquerque from the west, it goes both eastward toward Oklahoma City, and northward towards Santa Fe. We are currently staying in Tijera, NM very near Albuquerque.  Since Sante Fe is a fairly famous US city I decided we’d take a drive there one day.  I really had nothing specific to see in Sante Fe and realized this the day before we went. I asked friends on Facebook (they always come through for me!) what we should do on our way there or in Sante Fe and got some great suggestions.  Nancy Duvic said that downtown Sante Fe was great, BJ Smith said that Gabriel’s was a great restaurant and Deborah Thompson suggested we go through Madrid, NM because it was a cool little town with lots of neat shops. Those three stops made it to our list (it was really all on our list!) but we didn’t accomplish seeing downtown Sante Fe very much or getting to enjoy the shops in Madrid, NM though we did see the town.

We took Route 66 from Tijera west to Albuquerque to see Route 66 in that stretch.  What we found were several Route 66 old signs and business signs in places where the businesses have long gone away.

Next on our way north I discovered a “must see” Restored Trading Post in Santo Domingo on our Route 66 New Mexico map.We put it in the GPS and two trading posts showed up  so we set our course for the first.  The more we drove the deeper into a really poor area we went.  It was the poorest area I’ve ever been in. I felt really bad taking photos of the worst areas so the three are of an area that wasn’t the worst.

After seeing that and not finding the Trading Post we went to find the other Trading Post and didn’t find that.  One very nice building stood out from the rest.  We pulled over so I could get a photo of that and a man in another car jumped out and told me no photos of the church were allowed.  I told him I didn’t know it was a church so I apologized and got back in the car.  We rode around that area a bit more and decided that the information on the Route 66 map did not work well with our GPS so we didn’t find any trading post.

Then we made our way into Sante Fe and when I saw a Trader Joe’s sign I asked Roy to turn in there.  My boss Curtis loves Trader Joe’s as do many other RVillagers.  I’d never seen one and couldn’t imagine what was so special about it.  As soon as you walk in you see it is different.  Every single thing that I saw was made by Trader Joe’s.  No Campbell’s soup, no soft drinks, and everything was healthy or organic.  Most things in the store I’ve never seen before.  Here’s some photos I took there

Everything was very reasonably priced for such a unique store.  So many different types of food and even in this healthy organic place Roy and I found cookies and candies to buy.  I will be looking for more Trader Joe’s as we travel!

I hid these rocks in the parking lot and didn’t realize a lady in her car saw me do it.  She approached me in the store to ask what that was about.  I told her and she loved the idea of putting a smile on someone else’s face by using something so simple as a rock.

At this point we’d had two detours, one the poor mexican area that took us way off the interstate and this amazing find of a Trader Joe’s which we walked each and every aisle checked each thing out!

Our GPS showed Gabriel’s to be almost 25 minutes away so we decided to head towards Gabriel’s for dinner which gave us very little time to visit downtown.  We did get to see the University of New Mexico

Along the interstate (where there was no Route 66) we saw this cool roadside art.

We accomplished probably the most important which is eating!!!  BJ Smith, a friend of ours from church recommended Gabriel’s Restaurant in Sante Fe.  It is way, way out on the outskirts of Sante Fe and we thought surely we were lost but was delightfully happy when we found it and got to enjoy their delicious food.  They made guacamole dip for our chips at our table to our preference.  It’s on the menu as an appetizer and is well worth it.

We are not use to Real Mexican food but we did know to ask for no hot chilis.  Roy and I eat at La Caretta’s in Amite and the one in Hammond when we are home.  We always get the same things, a Grilled Shrimp Taco Salad for me and the LaCaretta’s Special for Roy.  Gabriel’s menu was so big and had so much it took us a while but we wound up ordering the same type thing here.  Roy ate every bite of his big plate of food with the same three items he got at LaCaretta.  I loved my taco salad except that they didn’t have shrimp so I had chicken in my taco salad.

After being absolutely stuffed from eating all of this we headed back to our RV.  We went a different way back because of a recommendation from our friend Deborah to see the small town of Madrid.  After miles and miles of nothing but desert, all of a sudden there is this cool little town of house after house which are shops!  Unfortunately by the time we got there it was 6 to 6:30 and the shops were closed.  Also the sun was directly in our eyes so what was there we couldn’t see too well.  This was the only photo that I got!

I really wish we could have visited this charming place, Roy not so much! I looked on the internet for Madrid, New Mexico photos and found a bunch.  Here are a few that can give you an idea of what it’s like.

This day could have been a bomb for us but it turned out to be a great over all day.  I had a great brain day and not having to do very much strenuous helped me not be totally wiped out when getting back home.  Although I think the fact that I slept until 11 am today does show I needed that much rest but again today is a rest day so I’ve been blogging and rock painting all day.  We will rest Saturday and travel Sunday to see a couple of things in Santa Rosa, NM and then on to Tucumcari, NM to see more Route 66 things for a couple of days.

From there we continue east on Route 66 ending in Oklahoma City before we head back south to go home.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


09.22.17- 66 Diner in Albuquerque, NM

Friday, September 22, 2017 – After riding the Musical Highway and the Sandia Peak Tramway, we really enjoyed eating at 66 Diner located on Route 66 in Albuquerque. Great food and amazing old time atmosphere! We felt like we’d stepped back into the 50’s and 60’s with their eclectic ambiance! Betty Boop, Elvis, Marilyn, vintage and neon signs, juke box, soda fountain and Pez collection are just some of what you’ll experience when you visit there.

Originally built as a Phillip’s gas station (Sam’s Sixty Six Service) in 1946, the business soon expanded to include a service garage to better meet the needs of locals and Route 66 travelers.   Converted to a diner in 1987, much of the original building is still intact, and the hydraulic lift “lives on” under the restaurant’s hopscotch court!

This was very funny “Jim’s Bumper Crop” made up of car bumpers!! As I said near the top, a portion of the dining room was once a mechanic bay, and there’s a hydraulic lift still intact under our hopscotch court! In 1987, they converted the service station into a restaurant.

We knew right away this was meant for Roy and I.

Our misbehaving amounted to me having an asthma attack while eating and then I spilled so much dreamsicle shake (oh how delicious that was!) all over the table while pouring some from the metal tumbler into the tall malt glass. The stack of napkins below came from me trying to clean up my mess. Roy was very well behaved so at least one of us was! While this was a fun day even if it was exhausting! We had a wonderful day of rest on Wednesday.  We then headed out on Thursday going to Santa Fe, New Mexico to see what’s between here and there.



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