travel tuesday: carlsbad caverns

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Cue the music from Vacation! In 1969, my family left Oklahoma for sunny California in the family truckster for a typical family road trip from hell. Just kidding, kind of. I’m the youngest of three, so I had to sit on the hump in the back seat with our family poodle Petite Jean Jacques Rousseau. (Dad was a philosophy major before law school.) If you’ve never ridden 3,000+ miles sitting on the hump between your older brother and sister, don’t judge me for calling it hell.

The air conditioning broke in Death Valley. And, apparently, back then motels would charge extra for families with more than four people, so I had to hide on the back floorboard under a sleeping bag with Rousseau every time we checked in. I recall hiding in the shower with him as well when someone came to the motel room door. Perks of being the youngest, I guess.

California Dreamin’ with my sister, brother and Mama Cass in 1969.

On the bright side, we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns, went to Disney Land and Universal Studios where I somehow ended up eating shrimp cocktail with Mama Cass. We also got to attend a private screening of the premiere of the original True Grit. I don’t know why. We just did, and it was awesome.

Thanks for reading Tales From the Empty Nest. Stay tuned for more adventures coming up soon!

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