Carlsbad Caverns is a huge cave. There is almost certainly a Wikipedia page that can say a lot more. For my part, I can tell you it's probably better than you'd think; certainly worth the trip as long as you're just horsing around anyway.
We dropped the 750 feet inside a mountain to arrive in a cool, comfortable, and enormous cavern. As the elevator drops, you see sheer rock instead of metal or flashes of light from each floor of a high rise. The cavern is dimly lit, with natural features illuminated somewhat artistically. Good job, folks.
Kristin and I took the longer route, which was a 1.4 mile path weaving through the entire part of the cave that is open to the public. The only thing that could make this better would be roller skates and having the place to yourself. As it was, I ended up glad we went. I saw the cavern when I was a much smaller human, but that made it no less awesome this round.
After the cave we were back in the desert. There's not a lot to look at - specifically, anyway - but the drive is a beautiful one in its own right. We weaved through the Guadalupe Mountains, and the Festiva continued to operate just fine. No complaints from this car or driver. Aside from needing to downshift more than I would expect, all is well. I would think that driving at 55-65 would be a little hairy on roads with a speed limit of 75, but that has not been the case. I get passed a lot, but I also have plenty of company in my preferred speed range. Notta prollem.
We ended up at a hotel. Amazingly, a hotel every few nights or so is well within the budget. I cannot believe that I just said that, but it seems to be the case. These are good times, and I'm working passively on a real live suntan. Good times indeed.