Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in New Mexico

 As night fell on Christmas Eve, we started out in Old Town, where there was a gigantic Christmas tree and Santa.

Next we drove over to experience the incredible luminaria display along Ridgecrest Drive in Albuquerque.  We walked at least a mile down the small boulevard.  Each side of the boulevard  and the sidewalks of the street were lined with luminaria, small paper bags weighted down with sand, each holding a lighted votive candle.  Along the way, people greeted each other wishing one and all a Merry Christmas.  This picture doesn't do justice to the peaceful, beautiful lights flickering in the night.

Back home, it was hard to fall asleep.  "Santa's coming tomorrow," we told each other.  The next morning, I was awakened by a little voice.  "Time to get up, Grammy Judi.  It's Christmas."  Then came the fun of opening presents.

"Look what I got, Dad."

Check out my new apron . . .

and my very own cooking basket.

What a mess!!

We finished up with eggs and green chiles, hashbrowns and Dad's homemade cinnamon rolls.  Yumm.

I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Back Seat Drivers and A River of Lights

I think of myself as pretty savvy about computers and electronic gear.  But I met my match several days ago.  My son had a meeting and let me use his new Prius so that my granddaughter and I could have lunch.  In my defense, I knew you pressed a button to start the thing.



Press again.

Still nothing.  Then I glanced at the computer readout on the dash and it told me I had to step on the brake.  Did that and still nothing.

Then, I hear my three-year old granddaughter from her car seat in the back.  "Grammy Judi.  You need to put in park."  There's no park on what would loosely be termed a 'gearshift'.  I finally found the park button, pressed it, then pushed the start button.  Of course, not much happens 'cause it's not a typical internal combustion engine.  I put my hand on the gearshift and thought I shifted it, but the car just sat there.

Again the little voice.  "Grammy Judi.  You use D for drive and R for reverse."

So I moved what amounts to a toggle switch down to the D, and lo and behold the car started to move.

Thank goodness for observant youngsters.  In spite of their bad rap, back seat drivers can be very, very helpful.

A Little Sweetie back seat driver

The other night we went to the River of Lights at the in the Albuquerque Bio Park complex. 

This is an incredible light display of lights covering about 10 acres of the 20 developed acres in the Botanical Gardens.  It was mind blowing.  

Here's a picture of my Little Sweetie beside one of several penguins playing on a glacier.

We wandered through the display, following the lead of my granddaughter and her exclamations of delight.  There were dinosaurs, a whole field set up to simulate walking through the ocean, 

with an octopus,

a whale and many other sea creatures,

elephants, a mesmerizing animation of a jaguar, the lights sequenced so he jumped down, raced along and leapt to the top of a wall, many many flowers

The evening was cold, so we stopped for hot cocoa and went inside the tropical garden enclosure to warm up.

We ended up going through the Children's Fantasy Garden, where everything is over-sized so even adults feel small.  High up, at the entrance, is a huge, buzzing bee.  There's a maze to wander through, eggs bit enough for kids to crawl into and a vegetable garden.  

Here's No. 2 son, sitting in a gigantic carrot.

Now, we're on the countdown for Santa's arrival.

HO!  HO!  HO!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Random Observations While Flying

Traveling is always an adventure even if nothing unusual happens.  Even better that way because it give me time to just look around.  There are always different things to enjoy.  People watching in the airport.  Striking up short, casual conversations with strangers.  An excuse to eat junk food--not that I really need one. 

This trip, I flew to Albuquerque and here's where I'm staying

After landing for what seems to be the obligatory change of planes on any trip these days, as we taxied to the gate to deplane, I saw a couple of airplanes sitting by themselves, front end to a barrier, as if they had been put in time out.  Hopefully, just for cleaning and not bad behavior.

Back in the air after a layover in Denver that gave me just enough time to recharge various electronic devices, we climbed to fly over the Rockies.  If I'm lucky enough to get a window seat, I can watch the world go by beneath me.  The folds of bare land in the mountains look like rumpled sheets.  Further on, what I know are trees covering the ground look like blades of grass.  Miniscule dirt trails that snake up and down hills, crisscross the landscape and seem to go nowhere.

But, best of all, after I landed I get hugs from my son and granddaughter and get to spend the holidays with them.