Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Mexico w/ a side of Colorado Part 2

Well on Sunday we got up relatively early, having packed the night before we were pretty much ready to go in the morning.   Pat had made arrangements to take us all to Pagosa Springs Colorado!! Emily & I have never been to Colorado, so we were SUPER EXCITED!  Especially because we were going to be going tubing on a river! (This would be a first for both of us!)  So after a quick breakfast of bagels, coffee & chocolate milk for Emily we were ready to head out.  Pat is a wonderful host & always plans the neatest things for you to do when you visit,  I had a feeling this one was sure not to disappoint.  It's funny during the drive there & back because of the beautiful scenery & breathtaking views, not to mention Pat's narrative I couldn't tell you how long it took, it wasn't too long, maybe two & 1/2 hours. We stopped at  "The Village of Chama Visitor Information Center" at about the 1/2 way point to wait for Aunt Barb & Uncle Nic who would be joining us... Extra YAY!   We looked around & used the restroom & while waiting for them,  we signed the visitors ledger & announced we were from New Jersey! After a short while longer Aunt Barb & Uncle Nic joined us.  We arrived in Pagosa Springs around lunch time & ate at this quaint bakery that had sandwiches & salads & stuff.  We ate outside, I got a Chicken Panini w. a side salad.  really good.  Emily got a grilled cheese. & of course we all drank WATER!  I'm unfortunately not much of a water drinker normally so that's why I keep mentioning how much water I drank! We were not without our water bottles ever!  After lunch we headed to the cabins where we would be staying, a cool place called Fireside Inn Cabins,  Being it was Colorado,  I expected to be deep in the mountains but apparently there is a major highway that is like the only one to get you from point A to Point B right in the middle of the town of Pagosa Springs, so the Cabins & river were right off this major road,  BUT it still managed to feel homey, because when you were down at the river bank which was within a small walk from the cabin you still felt secluded because you couldn't see the road from there.  The Cabins were really nice, We were in cabin 101 which had a big room that included a living room with a futon bed & a full kitchen w/ a big refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot & even a full stove (which for some reason had only two of the burners that worked,  we managed though) & there was a table for four people.  There was also a master bedroom & a bedroom w/ three twin beds. *bunk beds & then a third pull out bed under the lower bunk. (really roomy)  Pat took the futon, Emily & I took the bunk beds & Barb & Nic were in the master bedroom. Plenty of room for all!  We even had a deer head on the wall to let us know we weren't in NJ anymore... lol! Around 4pm we went to a place called "The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park" a short drive from the cabins & they had a 4pm feeding time tour.  We saw bears, mountain lions, a gigantic elk, porcupines, wolves, coyotes, goats, emu,  all ready & some impatiently (calling) for their dinners.  The guide was a young woman who was really nice, after her little speech & feedings she asked if there where any questions,  Emily almost always shot her hand up in the air, (even if she didn't have a question ready... LOL!)  The bear was the coolest for me, her name was, "Princess"  she was a really funny bear,  the guide would throw up grapes on top of the enclosure surrounding her & she would get up on her back legs to get them off the top! We could definitely see how BIG she was.... She apparently liked sweets & fruits the best & would carefully pick thru the other foods to get to her favorites, "grapes".  The guide said her absolute favorite thing to eat is "starburst" candies but she only gets them once in a while.  As luck would have it, another guest had some on her & asked the guide if "princess" could have them.  She said sure, & put a few in the bucket of food, don't you know that the bear used it's giant paws to sort thru til she found that tiny candy & ate them up first.  It was so funny! After the tour, & a visit to the "gift" shop- Emily's all time favorite thing to do on any vacation, we headed back to the cabins.  After having seen all those animals eating, I think it made us all hungry! We were ready to eat!  We packed a dinner of "hamburgers & hot dogs" that we were able to grill on the gas grill that the management let you use & even had the entire picnic area to ourselves...there was a cabana that had a fancy wood table w/ wooden bench complete with butt cheek imprints curved out on the wood benches for each member of the party.. we all got a kick out of that! Now let's talk about the "meat"  I knew something was up when I saw it.... these were the biggest hot dogs & darkest hamburgers I ever saw.  I'm not dumb... I knew something was up, they were feeding us BISON!!! :) LOL! But I was good,  I've gotten better at trying things in my old age.   I must admit,  they really didn't taste much different, & Pat/Barb are all about eating "HEALTHY" apparently bison meat has less fat than "traditional" hamburger.  The hot dogs were a mix of bison/ yak! WHAT! haha... It was good though, & along w/ corn on the cob, & baked beans,  we all managed to get quite full!  Emily didn't even notice the hot dog was a little different than usual. LOL! Back at the cabin we played RACKO,  a family favorite of ours.  After teaching Barb the ropes,  we had a nice time playing BONUS I actually won, which doesn't usually happen.  Emily is really good at RackO & usually kicks butt, but not tonight... (cue evil Muauahhhahhh Laugh) I was the big winner!  We all headed to bed, because the next day was the day of "TUBING"  Anyone who knows Emily & I knows we aren't big dare-devils so for us this was huge! We couldn't wait,  see this is on the ground, this we could do, we aren't big "heights" people. But this looked fun!! So we were excited...  


Friday, August 30, 2013

New Mexico w/ a side of Colorado Part 1

Hi... Well Emily & I just returned home from New Mexico.  We had an incredible time!!!  We went there to visit my mother in law, Pat.  Emily was beyond thrilled to see her grandma.  My mother in law,  lives in Santa Fe!  I love New Mexico, & I love this city, while some says it's too brown,  I just love it! I think the mountains are beautiful,  brown with spots of green bush & cactus, lots of pretty yellow wildflowers. The sky is the bluest you'll ever see the clouds come right down to you, or so it seems.   My mother in law is an incredible women, she's 73 but still very active.  She goes to the gym 4 days a week, hikes, kayaks & can truthfully run circles around me.  It's both refreshing & depressing... LOL! ;) We took the train, which I both loathe & like.  The truth is that I really don't mind the train, not even how long it takes to get to your destination,  the horrible part about the train is the lack of sleep, that and the fact that many trains run really late, we are talking several hours late!  Anyway we left on the 14th on a train headed for Chicago, reached Chicago on the 15th & got on another train to take us the rest of the way... another overnight train trip to reach our destination of Lamy NM.  We got in sometime in the afternoon where Pat was waiting for us.   We didn't do much that first night... but Pat made us a yummy "Zucchini" Pie for dinner. It had fresh vegetables from her garden & was really quite good.  Since Emily & I were both so sleepy from having slept only a few hours each night on the train we were more than happy to relax at Pat's house & take it easy that first night.  Considering that Pat doesn't slow down I figured we were in for many adventures while we were there.  Boy, was I right,  On Saturday, as it turned out was the biggest weekend for Santa Fe,  The Indian Market was in town.  This is a huge event for Santa Fe that happens once a year & people from all over the country come to Santa Fe looking for authentic Indian artwork & such.  As Pat says, the people watching is almost as interesting as the artwork.  The "out of towners" were quite obvious,  they would be dressed to the nines in fancy southwestern gear, boots, fancy belts & turquoise jewelry, some of them looked wonderful but many looked just over the top.  When Pat would see a "character" I should look at,  she would always get my attention.  Look over there.  I must admit she was right the people watching was fun,  the artwork was breathtaking however.  There was everything from clay pots, fetishes to beautiful sculptures costing upwards of $35,000.   Pat has quite a collection of "bear" fetishes which are usually small sculptured animals, in her case bears, made of anything from stone, clay, wood, etc.   We had fun at the indian market but it was a pretty hot day, & after not too long Emily got tired & wanted to head back to grandma's.  So Emily went with grandma back to her house & as luck would have it, we ran into Brian's aunt Barbara (Pat's younger sister) who along w/ her husband Nic moved to Santa Fe from Florida about a year before. It's great cause we now get to visit them all in one stop.  I love both Pat & Barb so it's really wonderful in that way.  Hopefully it means we'll get to see more of all of them. So Barb & I continued to "mostly" browse,  I say mostly because Barb ended up buying this very nice painting from this young artist.  It was on re-used ledger paper,  meaning you could still "see" the book-keepers markings behind his painting.  It was really cool & depicted the backs of a young indian mother & her baby & another (perhaps) daughter.   The funny part was the artist unknowingly made fun of me, well maybe not me, but of my state.  Barb was talking to him about another potential customer that was there earlier & whether he bought one of the pieces,  and he goes & says... "NO, but he's from New Jersey, what does he know!" HAHAHAHA... Barb then says, "well she's from NJ" & he just is standing there like oh shit... how did I just put my foot in my mouth.  I'm just like, "yeah.. what's that about"  haha.. a few minutes later Barb shakes his hand & he reaches out to shake mine & I say, "well I'll shake you hand, even if you did diss my state"  we were all smiling.. He said, "well you don't sound like you're from NJ", *We DON'T all sound like that!!! Ugh... haha Barb & I decided to grab a quick lunch, so she said that these fried flatbread green chili hamburgers from one of the many food vendors that was there, was really yummy! So I said, "sounds good" when I'm in New Mexico, I'm up for eating all things.   Anyway they sure were yummy, & the green chili's on it weren't too hot! :) After a quick visit to her/Pat's church, we got back in the car and she took me back over to Pat's house.  After a few minutes of relaxing, Pat had to go to meet one of the artist at the Indian Market who would be available to speak with her, because she wanted to to find out if he was the artist who made a particular piece she has.  So while Pat went to the Market, Emily & I after filling up our water bottles decided to head over to the local park, (only a block away from Pat's house) Emily had fun & was able to run around & such.   I of course kept reminding her to "drink"  It's apparently very easy to become dehydrated, because of the heat & the elevation in New Mexico.  So Pat lets everyone know that unless you want to have a headache or worse the entire time you're here... you need to DRINK!!!  I've never drank so much water in my life as I did that week. LOL! But I wanted to feel good so I was very good at following that rule & making sure that Emily did too. We came back & Pat was back by then, I think she was surprised Emily played so long at the park considering it was hot & Emily tires easily.   The rest of the day we spent mostly relaxing but Pat cooked chicken on the grill, along with corn on the cob, salad & broccoli for a very healthy yummy dinner.  Barb & Nic came over & we all enjoyed a nice dinner outside in Pat's awesome yard.  She has several hummingbird feeders, a lil' waterfall & it's just a nice place to be, BUT on this particular day we were surrounded by flies.  Which Pat says was very un-usual.  it was weird,  cause the night before we didn't have any when we ate dinner outside.  Despite the flies it was a nice dinner & it was really nice to see Barb & Nic as well.  I was hoping they would be around this week, they travel quite a bit, just like Pat so the fact they were around was such a great bonus.   After cleaning up, we went to bed early that night cause the next day we would be heading to.... COLORADO!!!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


You don't have to understand me,  but if you're in my life, If I'm close to you, then I hope that you know my heart enough to know what my true intentions are.  I don't hurt people to hurt them.  I'm not conniving or sneaky & I don't try to cause rifts between others. Of course I don't like to be used or treated unfairly either.  I will call you out on it because I speak my truth, the only one I have.  I am not a perfect person but my faults generally only hurt myself, and If you tell me that something I did hurt you, then know it wasn't with any malice intend and If pain was what you felt then I'm truly sorry.  But I would NEVER intentionally cause another person harm because I've been cut & judged a lot.  I hate it!!!!  I want to help people not hurt them.  I want to lift people up not cut them down & if you don't know that about me, well then you really don't know me... at all.