I’m taking full advantage of our unexpected excursion to the US to teach Tess to drive. She’s been 18 for two months, the driving age in Germany, and still unlicensed. I need another driver. Someone who can go get the eggs I forgot, the milk… Dane.

The process is much easier here, in English. In fact, she got her permit while still fighting off jetlag. After staying up all night studying for the test, she aced the 25 questions in no time. After she acknowledged that getting her German bicycle riding license had helped enormously (Fahrrad überprüfen).

Now that she has her permit we have a week to get those 50 hours of driving in. Thankfully the desert is proving to be the perfect testing grounds. Yesterday we moved out of town, and onto the highways. Working on going faster, staying in our lane, changing lanes, getting off, getting on, all without any competition. I have a very relaxed and happy new driver. After an hour of driving, I took her to one of my favorite spots on Earth. Lea Lake.

Hidden in the desert, nestled amongst the bluffs overlooking Roswell, NM, the lakes are a welcome surprise to visitors. A series of nine bright blue lakes, contrasting beautifully with the red clay desert, they are a sight to behold. On our visit we were happily surprised to be alone despite the weather reaching into the 100’s. We kicked off our shoes, splashed in the water and were delighted by the hundreds of curious fish. Tess soon found herself surrounded. Every time a little fish bumped into her, her squeals of delight rang out across the water, bouncing off the cliffs, making me smile.

We very reluctantly got back into Gramma’s bug and made the drive home. But only after stopping by Sonic for their half-price drink special. This is our new tradition. It may be short-lived but we are whooping it up while we can.

Lea Lake is the only lake where swimming is allowed.

The tower greets us from a distance every time we visit.

Really a sinkhole, the shore drops away fast.

I suck at selfies, my face does weird things.

Tess giggling at the fish bumping into her legs & nibbling on her toes.

The beach & picnic area seen from the lake. I love this place!

Lea lake from above (there is a road, we drove).

Tess behind the wheel. Ready to go.