08.05.15 – Texas – Day 8, Sweetwater – El Paso

Today was going to be a driving day. We planned to head to El Paso and spend a couple of days there exploring downtown and seeing a couple of interesting sounding museums.

We tend to have days like this on holiday.  It is necessary to get on the interstate and travel large distances just to cover ground.  We intended to reach El Paso by tonight.  We did discuss going to Amarillo but decided not to as the only thing we had marked to do us there was see the Cadillac Ranch.  Hubby and in-laws had been before and I decided I could live without seeing it.

As we were driving, the landscape began to change.  It became more industrial and there were Lufkins in the fields.  Finding somewhere to eat was tricky.  We drove through a couple of towns that appeared to be ghost towns.  There were houses and some shops but the shops were closed so we ended up in McDonalds.

We stayed in Hilton Doubletree in downtown in El Paso with the intention of walking round and spending some times in the shops and museums. El Paso was very different to what I expected.  It was bigger and seemed to be a bit trendy.  It gave off the impression of being a party town.  The hotel was full of people who appeared to be on stag nights or away for the weekend.  They didn’t cause any problems, they were just incredibly loud and obnoxious.  We were in town on a Friday night though.

20150508_205550 20150508_155247HIlton Doubletree wasn’t great.  The reception staff were disinterested and allocated us a room with people already in it.  I was trying the room key in the door, wondering why it wasn’t working then I noticed the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door!! Ooops!  I’m really glad the door didn’t open!  The rooms were just like Best Western or La Quinta rooms, just more expensive and with less facilities (it didn’t have a fridge or microwave).  On a positive note, it did have good views over the city as we were on the 12th floor and they gave us a cookie upon arrival! Everything is better with a cookie!

20150508_194610We ate in the hotel restaurant , The Fire Restaurant, which was surprisingly not very busy for a Friday night. We received impeccable service from our very Mexican waiter.  He was delightful and as predicted, I loved his accent!  I had Sesame Ahi Tapatias which describes itself as ‘wontons, guacamole, mango serrano salsa, radish sprouts and korean bbq sauce’.  It was delicious, really fresh tasting.  Hubby ordered Bakka Ranch Porcini Skillet Meatballs which consisted of caramelized onion, spicy tomato sauce, parmesan, fresh herbs, crostini.  Also delicious and a bit more hearty than the Tapatias.

I don’t drink often but I fancied a cocktail.  I wasn’t sure what wanted so our waiter suggested a Cosmopolitan.  Apparently the characters in Sex in the City used to drink them but I’ve never seen the programme so I wouldn’t know!  It was very nice though and I happily indulged in a second one to go with the main course which consisted of Tacos for me and pork for hubby.  I’m not very familiar with Mexican food but I’m discovering a love for it here in Texas.  I’m definitely going to make it my mission to master the art of Mexican cooking when I’m back in the UK!

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