I drove with my left foot and steering-wheel knob. Because we have cruise control, once we were on the highway, the speed can be controlled by pressing a button to either accelerate or decelerate. The hardest part about driving our Pontiac Vibe was getting in and out of the car. Of course, having to cross over my tucked-under right leg with my left foot in order to accelerate can be hair raising, at first. Except for the knob, our Vibe is not outfitted like the Chevy, with a left-sided gas pedal.
I was always seeking the chance to use my right arm and leg. Holding things is what my right hand does best, so I use it to carry things back and forth like a sweater or jacket left in the car or reaching into the ice chest for a beer. Putting half the weight on my right side while standing is therapeutic. Remembering to do it all is the challenge!
Not having made hotel reservations before-hand, we checked out the prospects in Fort Stockton and decided on the Quality Inn because the room was good size; they provided me with a shower chair as well as free breakfast. So I took a much needed shower in the morning.
On Wednesday after we got to El Paso, we went to historic Old Mesilla for lunch at the Double Eagle. There and La Posta are both well known restaurants. I had beef and mushroom soup and two chile rellenos, where as my wife had some fancy chicken dish.
There are not too many barriers around Old Mesilla Plaza with a wheelchair cut-out ramp on every corner, even in the restaurant I could move around. Though I could see where a wheelchair would have difficulty negotiating the long bar and through the doors to the restroom. Inside was a clean, spacious bathroom with plenty of room to maneuver. If I remember correctly, there were no barriers on the way.
While in El Paso, we stayed in my boyhood home with my 93 year old dad. Twice in the morning, Wednesday and Thursday, we took a half-mile undulating hike through McKelligon Canyon. The mornings were pristine, complete with clear blue skies and just a slight smog over Fort Bliss. My dad walked with me because ever since he broke his hip he's been slow moving.
What is a trip back home without a funeral? My dad has an aunt, Elisa, who died on Tuesday, the day we arrived. The rosary was Friday, the day before we left. She was 98. It was so great to see family I had not seen in forever or could not ever remember meeting.
Our last day in El Paso when we got in from T or C, and before the rosary, we enjoyed lamb, roasted vegetables, salad and capirotada at my sister Sandy's beautiful home in West El Paso. And that was the best meal of the trip until we got to Ozona, on the way back. The Best Western clerk recommended the Café Next-Door, so we went. The way I judge a restaurant is by the quality of their food, and those were some of the best tacos I ever had, and coming from Austin and El Paso, I have eaten my fair share. It was garnished with the freshest tasting tomato salsa. Chris was served the most scrumptious enchiladas with red Chile, El Paso style. With all these superlatives I can't help but highly recommend the Café Next-Door. So the next time you find yourself on the road to EP, you should consider Ozona for dinner.