on to santa fe!

The Shroyers hit the road

Our time in Savannah came to a too-quick end. We loved our time there and hope to return. If you’ve never been there, I hope you get a chance to visit! We had to leave a day earlier than planned in order to make annual dental exams that our Texas dentist had worked in. We bade a sad farewell to Savannah and headed to Mobile. En route, we noticed a sign for “FDR’s Little White House.” We googled it and learned that this was the location of the famed Warms Springs where Franklin Roosevelt found relief from his paralysis and pain due to polio. We decided it was worth the detour, and we were right! Even though it ended up being a three-hour detour (making it a 10-hour travel day), we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and were glad we went. My favorite part was chatting with a guide who explained that her parents met there when her mother, a polio patient, was wheeled around by her father, a “push boy.” They fell in love, married, and CarolAnn considers that she owes her existence to FDR!

FDR’s “Little White House”

The next morning we were off to Beaumont, Texas. Although we tried walking through the historic downtown, we found the city to be run down and a bit depressing. We were glad to head out early the next morning, meeting our friend Patricia in Houston at House of Pies for a quick breakfast catch-up chat. Then it was off to our Dripping Springs dentist, followed by a happy reunion with out son, who greeted us at the door with adult beverages! We caught up, headed to Torchy’s Tacos for carry-out dinner (If you go, check out the secret menu!), and when our daughter-in-law got home from work we all dug in. We spent a wonderful six days with our kids and loved every minute of it. The strangest and most exciting (scary) thing for me was a trip to the shooting range. Our son, a gun afficionado, had wanted to introduce me to shooting for a long time, and I finally acquiesced. The drive out to the Marble Falls shooting range was lovely, and he secured a tactical bay for us–a very private area that faced into a large, built-up berm. He started me out with a .22 pistol, from which I eventually progressed to an AR15. I went from shaking hands to relative calm, due to our son’s gentle instructions and focus on safety. I’m glad I did it, and it’s a memory I’ll cherish. Oh, and Phil beat me on the clay shooting!

“Sandy Oakley”

On Inauguration Day we bade a fond farewell to our kids and headed out to Roswell, New Mexico. We listened to the inauguration, sang the last verse of Amazing Grace with Garth Brooks, and wept listening to Amanda Gorman’s beautiful poem. With a new President and our first woman Vice President–!!!–safely installed, we breathed a sigh of relief and checked into our hotel before heading out for a stroll. We happened upon the International UFO Museum and Research Center a half-hour before closing, and the gracious owner refused to let us pay. We skimmed through the exhibits, marvelling at the old newspaper stories and claims of over 300 witnesses, finding the museum to be a mix of facts, speculation, and kitsch. It was fun!

One of the exhibits at the museum


The next morning we had only a three-hour drive to our destination for the next month, Santa Fe. We had some trepidation about our AirBnb, having been so impressed with the lovely bedroom that we’d failed to notice that the place is a studio casita! We wondered how we’d adjust to living in a single room with a tiny kitchen and bathroom.

Looks big, right? Then you realize it’s the only room!

We checked into our casita (incidentally, our AirBnbs all have contactless checkin) and schlepped everything once again from the car. And guess what? We found that while it is VERY cozy, it’s going to work out just fine! I was thrilled to discover that the desk is big enough for my giant monitor. We even found a spot for our Breville espresso machine. Did I mention that we’re traveling with that monster? 

Can’t travel without it!

Sure, we have to make toast in the living/bed/dining/office room–insufficient counter space and plugs in the kitchen–and we now have to go to bed and get up at the same time, but we’re cool with that. A big part of this adventure is learning, problem-solving, and adapting. Case in point, I’ve already managed to prepare a few tasty meals in that tiny kitchen!

Salmon, brown rice, and haricots verts, prepared in the casita kitchen

So now we’re happily ensconsed in our cozy casita, taking long walks through downtown Santa Fe, visiting the farmers’ market, enjoying the fabulous scenery (and snow!), and feeling thankful for this new life we’ve carved out despite the pandemic. We are a couple of lucky Shroyers!




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