Dinner with Old Friends (Las Cruces, NM)

After a restful evening at the Saguaro SKP park in Benson, AZ we packed up Tuesday morning and slowly continued east on I-10 for ~230 miles to the Elks Lodge in Las Cruces, NM.

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Once again we drove through a brief rain shower… just enough to get the Coach and Silverado dirty 🙁

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Elks Lodge 1119 in Las Cruces, NM.

The Elks Lodge 1119 (←link) has three RV spots located on the side of the building.  We went inside and paid $15 for the night.

All by ourselves at the Las Cruces Elks Lodge RV parking sites.

We got in touch with old friends John & Eva who live in Las Cruces, NM.  We have stayed in contact since the early ’90s when we were in Colorado Springs stationed at Fort Carson.  John and I also deployed to Fort Hood, TX together for ~6 months.

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(L to R) Self, Stilla, Eva & John at LaPosta-de-Mesilla restaurant..

John & Eva drove over to the Elks Lodge to meet us and go out for dinner.  Although it was Taco Tuesday at the Elks Lodge, we opted to go elsewhere to dine and catch up.  We couldn’t help but notice when we first checked in that the lodge still allows smoking which isn’t something we would enjoy with our meal.

We ended up at historic LaPosta de Mesilla (←link).  This was our second time at this very nice restaurant.  We dined together here a couple years ago when we passed through Las Cruces and visited John & Eva.   The history of this famous Mexican restaurant is long and colorful.  For more than a century and a half, these adobe walls have withstood the attack of elements and man, sheltering such personalities as Billy the Kid, Kit Carson, General Douglas MacArthur and Pancho Villa. A roaring Wild West town during the late 1800’s, Mesilla was the largest town in the Southwest between San Diego, California and San Antonio, Texas. During this period, La Posta served as the Corn Exchange Hotel, a favorite stop on the Butterfield Stagecoach Line.  Read more of the LaPosta de Mesilla story at the restaurants website.

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Entrance to the LaPosta de Mesilla restaurant.
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Inside colorful LaPosta de Mesilla restaurant.

Bird cages and aquariums greet visitors in the lobby at the restaurant.

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Still and Eva browsed the gift shop after our meal.  Luckily we made it out of the restaurant with just the price of the meal 🙂

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After a great meal ( I recommend the combination plate #1) that we washed down with a couple tasty margarita’s we went over to John & Eva’s beautiful home here in Las Cruces.  We continued to catch up on each other’s ‘going-ons’ and reminisced about old times.  John was one of the first (of many) great NCO’s that I had the pleasure of working with during my 26 year Army career.  I had just finished the Warrant Officer Candidate Course and was a WO1 when I first met John.  It’s no secret that any successful Army officer’s career is predicated on the fine NCO’s that he/she learns from and is supported by.  I learned early on to try and surround myself with good and capable NCO’s.  John was one of the first (and best) that supported my Warrant Officer career.    I am honored and humbled to still be able to call him my friend after all these years.

We also got a “treat” while visiting John & Eva’s house… John showed off his beautifully restored ’71 Chevelle to us.  Nice job John!  Here’s a car show flyer (below) that he made for an upcoming show.  His car is pictured on the top left.


John & Eva dropped us back off at the Elks Lodge where we stretched out our farewells.  Thanks for the hospitality John & Eva!  See you next time we come through the area.

This morning (Wednesday) we’re going to press on (slowly) towards our youngest daughter’s house in Bowling Green, KY.  Maybe we can swing by the Fort Hood, TX area and meet up with some more old Army friends.  That would be nice.  Stay tuned to see if it works out.