Day 3 – Cheeseburger in Paradise

"Burgers from Hell"

Today is our shortest day driving – only eight hours, so we don’t leave until 8:30am. I take advantage of the late start and head to the gym at about 6:45. Troy joins me. 30 minutes of cardio is good enough for me after three days of doing absolutely nothing.

Let’s get out of Oklahoma and head to Texas. After four hours we stop for lunch at Coyote Bluff, where the very first Man vs. Food episode took place (too cool!). When host Adam Richman was here, he sampled their famous Burger from Hell (fresh sauteed jalapenos, coyote hell sauce, tobasco, cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions) and Chili Cheese Fries. We have to do the same. Or at least Troy and Sonny can. Mike orders a steak and I go for a good old-fashioned cheeseburger. We all share the chili cheese fries. Everything is delicious at this cute little hole in the wall. The boys savor their burgers (not too hot), but immediately start to debate how long we’ll be able to drive before they have to stop and use the restrooms (it is a much more graphic conversation, but I’ll spare you the details).

On to New Mexico. Not the most scenic drive, so when a leaning water tower catches my eye, I’m intrigued and nervous. Mike makes fun of me for being nervous about an object that can’t hurt me, and when I turn back to the road Troy is swerving in front of me. I follow suit quickly to avoid a piece of tire, but Troy is swerving again past the rest of the monstrous rubber, and I’m a little slower this time. I swerve into my right lane and can’t regain control of the car. It’s a couple more back and forth’s before I’m back in my lane with two shaky hands on the wheel. Thank God there were no other cars around. Everyone is fine. Fingers crossed that’s the only car trouble we have.

We reach New Mexico and enjoy the awesome mountain views. Ears are popping and it’s a little chilly up here. The Hyatt is lovely and there’s some delicious complimentary lemonade in the lobby (we are really getting spoiled with these hotels). As we linger in the lobby before heading out to do some bar hopping in Albuquerque, who walks right in but the Terminator himself. Oh hello, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I make eye contact with the surprisingly small icon of a man and smile. Mike is a little late to see him and stares stunned. A small entourage follows him to the elevator. A couple of girls beg him to take a picture. I’m pretty sure he turns them down.

Lounging at the Library in Albuquerque

First stop, Maloney’s for a shot and a drink, then we head down the strip to the Library. Troy and I try a shot of the local tequila – alien, it’s called. Mike and Sonny stick with Rumplemintz. The place is cute with, obviously, books everywhere. We sit in a little nook on large leather couches and chat with our server who is dressed as a sort of school girl with a short plaid skirt (guess the librarian look isn’t as appealing as “Hit me Baby, One More Time”). Last stop on this short bar crawl is bRgR, a cool little burger joint with awesome beers on tap. The place looks almost like a kitchen but there are small chandelier lights hanging from the ceiling and the most enormous painting of a cow covering an entire wall. Weird. I like it. I indulge in a scrumptious breckenridge vanilla porter for only 3 bucks. Insanely good deal. Since I already had a beef burger early, I go for the ahi tuna burger with wasabi coleslaw and pickled ginger.

We head back to the hotel to hang out with Arnold. The guys have been doing his quotes all night. They get a real kick out of themselves. Arnold is nowhere to be found, so we call it a night.

*Jimmy Buffett

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