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!


  1. What wonderful pictures of Christmas in Albequerque! And of the Little Sweetie. Such a helpful driving instructor. Thanks for an entertaining post.

  2. Thanks, Susan.
    Frankly, it was one my more embarrassing moments.
    The lights are incredible.
    Tonight we go see the luminaria. More pics coming.

  3. So funny about your little backseat driver! Good thing she knew what to do. Have a wonderful Christmas, Judi!

  4. You bet, or when her dad got through with his meeting 4-5 hours later, we'd have starved to death.