Friday, August 1, 2014

Day 32 - Santa Fe, NM

Dateline:  July 18, 2014; Santa Fe, NM

We got up super early to get Greg and Ruth to their balloon ride in Albuquerque.  They were doing a champagne balloon ride with World Balloons.  We arrived in time to get to Starbucks and get some hot beverages and then Gage and I (not being fans of heights) dropped them off and went back to Starbucks to hang out and use their free wifi while we ate our breakfast and drank our coffees.  Ruth and Greg had this adventure, though!


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There is a lot of prep work in doing a balloon ride! 

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From the parking lot behind the Starbucks, I could see the balloons getting ready. 

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This company was sending up two balloons that morning.  There were lots of others lifting off around Albuquerque as well. 

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Greg texted me and said they were right above me.  They were.  

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Amazingly, they landed within a hundred yards of where they took off!  That was easy! 

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Greg helped pack things up. 

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Cool shot! 

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Just a few of the other balloons up at the same time. 

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They had mimosas and goodies afterwards.  They even got commemorative champagne glasses. 

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A few shots from Greg's point of view! 


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After they were done, we headed to the nearby Petroglyph National Monument.  Surrounded by the outskirts of Albuquerque, this area was saved just in time.  There are amazing petroglyphs from the ancient native people as well as Spanish explorers.   We didn't have tons of time so we picked on quick hike. 


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Gage ran up, of course! 

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The rest of us came at a more leisurely pace. 

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There were tons of huge millipedes roaming around.  Very cool. 

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The cross indicates that this was carved by the Spanish.  

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You can see a little development behind Greg here. 

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You can see the city of Albuquerque behind Gage here.  

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This road runner and a friend of it's ran right by Gage and brushed his pant leg.  He swears they did not say "Meep-meep!"

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Looking down on my car.

Afterwards, we went shopping in Albuquerque and had lunch at Duran Central Pharmacy.  It is really a pharmacy with a restaurant in it.  Great food and our waitress, Donna, was awesome!   We shopped in Old Town and then drove back to Santa Fe on the beautiful Turquoise Trail.  We went back to Tomasita's for dinner that night as we knew it was our last night in Santa Fe.

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Clouds north of Santa Fe.  

Day 31 - Santa Fe, NM

Dateline:  July 17, 2014; Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe is one of our favorite cities.  The food is amazing -- and challenging.  You gotta like it spicy!  There is great shopping from cool stores to native american's selling their own wares.  The culture and age of the city are inspiring.  It's beautiful and the architecture is very special.  It's a great place to be.


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As mentioned, this is the campground we stayed in on our honeymoon in 1988.  It's centrally located and easy to get to stores and restaurants.  I'm glad we went back this time.   

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We shopped in Santa Fe's downtown -- the square.  There is a great combination of touristy, authentic, and expensive.  It's great for window shopping, browsing, and buying.  We had lunch at a great little spot Greg found on Yelp, Tia Sophia's.  Good food!  Waiter told bad jokes and dropped a pitcher of unsweetened tea at the table for me.  Perfect!  

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After lunch, we headed back to the motorhome and chilled for awhile.  We saw the new Transformers movie in the evening, choosing to have popcorn, nachos, and corndogs for dinner at the theater.  Healthy!  

Santa Fe is good! 

Day 30 - Santa Fe, NM

Dateline:  July 16, 2014; Santa Fe, NM


We got up early-ish and found a donut shop and a Starbucks!  Yum.  We ate our donuts and drank our beverages on the drive out of Amarillo to the famed Cadillac Ranch.  What fun.  It's a crazy art installation that is continually being added to by whoever stops by.  There are spray cans all over the place.  We brought a Sharpie, not having any spray paint with us.  The kids loved it!

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Miller 2014

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Liza tries to get shots without a lot of people but there were a LOT of people there! 

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FMC #708 from Cadillac Ranch

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The kids spray painted the ground and took pictures and texted them to their friends.  It had meaning that escaped us grownups!  

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While we were there, the American Idol bus showed up and set up to film some footage.  A guy was walking around with a stack of release forms but we had places to go and miles to cover so we headed on our merry way.  We did our best to get in some shots as we drove off.  So watch for us if you are AI fans! 

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A business near Cadillac Ranch -- you can't spray paint these babies!

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We stopped for lunch at the Midpoint Diner.  It was packed and we had to be patient.  There were a bunch of Norwegian tourists having lunch there too.  It was worth the wait and we celebrated being 1/2 along Route 66.   

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New Mexico! 

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We tried to stop here but couldn't see a good place to park the FMC.  

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Thunderstorms were threatening!

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A car museum -- most of the cars were for sale which was fun. 

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We pushed on through rainstorms and mountains and made it to Santa Fe.  We had dinner at Tomasita's -- our favorite restaurant in Santa Fe and stayed at the same RV park we stayed in on our honeymoon in 1988.  Santa Fe is about our favorite city in the world and we were so glad to be back there.  

Day 29 - Amarillo, TX

Dateline:  July 15, 2014; Amarillo, TX

We got up and headed down Route 66 in Oklahoma.  Along the way, we spotted this HUGE soda bottle on the side of the road.  We pulled in, of course.  It was a gas station, cafe, and soda shop.  They sold all kinds of crazy sodas.  Including our children's fancrush favorite, Faygo.  (This evidently features prominently in a web-based novel/cartoon/experience the kids love called Homestuck.)   Every single grocery store I had gone in on this trip, I was instructed to check and see if they had Faygo.

Finally, they did!  The kids were gleeful.  We bought a ridiculous amount of soda!

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I know we're still in Oklahoma but this is an impressive longhorn bull.  He was supremely uninterested in us.  We stopped at a "trading post" which was full of overpriced touristy crap.  Oh well, we stretched our legs and walked a bit.  All good. 

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Ahhh, look at the FMC and Suzuki in Oklahoma! 

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We saw a number of airplanes on this journey outside of various air and space museums. 

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This oil well was supposed to be very tall and important in someway that wasn't readily apparent at 60MPH.

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We stopped at this museum and were very glad we did.  They had nice, informative displays and good information.  It was a reasonable price.  They had organized the history by decades with music playing and lots of data about the eras such as the price of gasoline and the like.  Really nice stop! 

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Evidently this type of diner was sold in a kit!  It was adorable inside and looked ready to open up!  So cute. 

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We crossed into the great state of Texas and pushed on until we got to Amarillo.  We had dinner at the Big Texan steakhouse where they have a 72 oz steak challenge.  Greg did not take on the challenge (thank goodness!).  The food was good and the accents were thick!  It was fun.  I enjoyed having to order my iced tea as "not sweet!!!" 

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We stayed at Amarillo Ranch RV Park for the night.  They were very accommodating to late check-ins.  It was quiet and clean.  Perfect!