Friday, March 1, 2013

New Mexico Getaway

For my birthday, my sweetie whisked me away for a mini-vacation. He decided that we would play tourists in our backyard, and he planned a very fun two day itinerary. Connie and Kerry were willing to come down and stay with the kids, so it truly was a vacation.

First we stopped at the Very Large Array. If you’ve seen Contact with Jodi Foster, you’ll be familiar with it. It’s one of the world’s largest arrays of antennas. There are 27 antenna, and each one is 82 feet in diameter. Hence the “very large” part. To say that Aaron was excited to see it is a definite understatement. He was completely geeking out. I thought it was very interesting, but honestly, the best part for me was watching how excited Aaron was.




After that we drove to Pie Town to get…pie. How could we live with ourselves if we left New Mexico (no plans to leave, by the way) without having eaten pie in Pie Town? But, sorrow of sorrows, everything in Pie Town was closed for the winter season, so we were unable to check that off our list.

We made a stop on the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail (yes, that is a real thing) and had burgers at Ella’s in Reserve, New Mexico. It was rather strange eating there. I had the feeling I had invaded someone’s family reunion. Everyone in the restaurant knew everyone else, and the waitress treated them like family members rather than patrons. The burger was very good, though.

After that we drove to Silver City to spend the night. I had no idea how beautiful that part of New Mexico is. It’s very mountainous, and full of tall pines. We saw two huge male elk and several wild turkeys on our drive. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in a charming Victorian home in the historical part of the town. It would been delightful—period-style dining room and parlor, lovely wood floors, huge jetted tub in the room—except the room smelled so strongly of cigarette smoke. It was really a shame. Regardless, we had a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast in the morning.

In the morning we visited the Silver City Museum and learned a bit about the town and New Mexico history. I wish they would have had more detail on Silver City itself, as it seemed to be a very interesting little town. Billy the Kid was raised there, and it had quite a heyday as a mining town. I would really like to go back for a visit and see more of the town and visit some of the other historical sites.

After the museum we traveled to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It was such an interesting place! We arrived right on time (by chance, which is usually the only way we arrive on time for anything) for the only tour that they give each day. It was better preserved than other cliff dwellings we've visited, even though they did see their fair share of looting. I became the tour guide's star pupil. It was a bit disconcerting after a while, because he didn't even bother addressing anyone but me after a few minutes. Guess that's part of why I did well in school—teachers usually loved me. Not sure why, but they did.




Then we drove the longest, most winding road back to I-25. After nearly three hours of that, even my iron stomach had nearly had enough. I'm glad my mom wasn't with us. She would have had to have been completely doped up on Dramamine.

We drove to a town called Truth or Consequences. Here's the Wikipedia entry on it: “Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the title of a popular NBC radio program. In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show. Hot Springs won the honor. Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next fifty years.” In reality, the place is…somewhat frightening. (Sorry if anyone happens to live there who reads my blog.) The entire city seemed to be a huge trailer park. Aaron has planned for us to visit a hot springs there, and we started to get really nervous. We imagined that someone was going to hit us over the head and sell us into human trafficking...or something like that. However, the hot springs was AMAZING. It was like something you'd find in a top-notch resort. The landscaping was beautiful, and the pools were right on the river. It was incredibly beautiful at night, when you could look out across the river and see the mountains silhouetted by the moon. The weather was also the perfect temperature for being in a 109 degree pool. It was supremely relaxing and the perfect way to cap off our trip. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Thanks for a marvelous trip, honey. So glad I get to spend the next 30 years (and more!) with you!