We both thought that the Carlsbad Caverns were one of the biggest highlights of the trip. It's hard to believe when you're already 750 feet underground that there's a whole other cavern underneath you! Definitely want to go back someday and spend a weekend taking all the guided tours of the side rooms - crawling through spider caves, rickety wooden ladders down into the lower cave. If you ever want to do those ones though, just keep in mind that they have to be booked about 6 months in advance. Oh yeah, and don't leave your camera in your car... :-)
After doing that for the morning on Tuesday, we put in a long day of driving and made it almost to the East end of Texas. We had the kind of good sleep you get when you're tired. The next day, since we were already farther along than we'd planned to be, we decided to bypass our next stop too and just get there. So we drove all the way across Louisiana (added to Lisa's list of "States I've Been To" - #30!) and Mississippi and pulled up to Ben's brother Will and Laura's place in Birmingham about 5 pm. The guys went to the fish market for some salmon filets and grilled and smoked them for dinner. Yeeeaaahhhh. We were tired from the longer days of driving but it was all worth it to wake up on Thanksgiving morning surrounded by family.