Scared of heights? Climb a ladder.

Welcome back, friends.  We have been enjoying Our stay in New Mexico.  Still doing the pilates (go Us) and We decided that since Our muscles were sore from all the “core burning” We have been doing, We should totally go for a 2 mile hike.  Ok, so We didn’t actually think about it that way, and kinda forgot Our muscles hurt until We started the hike…We went on a road trip:

Our roadtrip route from ABQ to Bandelier to Jemez and back. about 250 miles

Our first stop was Bandelier Natl Monument.  It was pretty amazing.  We had gotten up at around 8 that morning to pack a picnic lunch and get on the road.  Cali was like a kid at Christmas…He was up before the alarm and getting things done before He woke me up!  For those who don’t know-that just doesn’t happen.  We got to the park and got an “Access Pass” for all federal lands (which means We don’t pay any entry fee to Natl parks or other “federal lands” due to His military status).  We visited the welcome center and purchased a self guided tour map and a Natl Parks Passbort book.  The passport has a map of all Natl parks and reserves and such and has them grouped by region and there are pages to put stamps from the parks to “cancel” your passport like when you travel to other countries.  Pretty exciting stuff.  I got to cancel the Bandelier one.  Stamp and everything.  Im going to post some of Our favorite picture from that day to give kind of an idea of what We saw, but Im also posting a link to the album where all the pictures are from that day.  They are beautiful and you should check them out if you have a few minutes. CLICK HERE for the album and click “slideshow” at the top right.

First was the drive out to Bandelier National Monument.  It took about 2 hours and We went through Santa Fe.  Took the “back way” on the “Turquoise Trail”.

He likes this one. On the road to Bandelier

The rocks were so big.

When We got there, We had a picnic lunch of turkey cheese sandwiches, cheez its, potato salad He made that morning, and pink champagne.  MMmmmmmm.  Once We started the hike, We saw so many beautiful things.

Not so rio grande! (or frijoles creek)

We saw the remains of a “kiva” which is where the pueblo people would have had important meetings and nobody would be allowed in if they weren’t directly involved.

Inside a ceremonial "kiva".

It was in the center of one of the ground villages.

We were in the wilderness.

I like to climb!
Awesome view of village walls from up on the rocks

Thats the village I spoke of before with the kiva.  Then We started climbing ladders to get into the cave dwellings in the rocks.

I dont think I could do this all day everyday
Looks like a lizard on a dragon head
A "ladder" if you will

The small holes in the rock face are a “ladder” that the inhabitants of these caves would use to get up and down. Carrying everything…their water, food, kids etc.

Looking up into the room above.

I had a lot of fun climbing into and around in all the caves.

It was amazing inside.
Inside looking at the doorway
The view out the window of a cave dwellers home
Almost like an apt complex

I cant even imagine climbing around on that with a child squirming around!

The small holes are foot holes they used to climb the wall to their home.

The swirls and stuff on the wall are petroglyphs.  Amazing.  a half mile and 4 ladders in, We get to this sign:

No health problems, but We are scared of heights! Push on.

And the fun begins.

Very narrow walkway. Barely wide enough to set your foot down.

That walkway was literally barely wider than my shoe.  It was crazy narrow.

See how high up? People climbing ladders and stairs above Us.

We look up to see people climbing stairs (just as narrow) and ladders (with no railing).

Cali climbing the highest (therefor scariest) ladder of the day just before me.

Both up and down that ladder were close to the scariest I have ever done.

Looking down a ladder before getting on.

There are more, but you get the idea.  Seriously though, check out THE ALBUM.

We hike the 1 mile back just looking around at all the nature.  It was so beautiful there.  The grandeur of everything really showed me how small We all really are.  When We left the park, We drove through the Jemez mountains to get to…yep, Jemez.  Prounced=hay-mez.  We came upon this:

A snowy/icy field We saw after leaving Bandelier on the way to Jemez through the mountains

Water cutting through the ice and snow.

Not long after, We happened upon this:

Another roadside view in the Jemez Mountains

Loved the colors here.

When We got to Jemez, and in between also actually, everything We wanted to see was closed due to snowy conditions.  Blah on that.  The Jemez Ruins were just closed because it was after 5pm.  Stupid business hours.  Driving back to Albuquerque wasn’t a long drive and it was very pretty.  Most of what was said in the car was “look at that” and “wow, thats pretty” or “I like that”.  We very much enjoyed Ourselves.

We have another trip planned for next week toward Ruidoso.  (rio-doso  I dont know why, it just is).  We are going to stop at several different places, including “ABO Ruin”, “Quarai Ruin”, “Gran Quivira”, “Valley of Fires” and 3 Rivers Petroglyphs.  Pretty excited about it.

We got a giant atlas that We carry around and use to plan Our trips and not get lost, and He got me some flourescent highliters…which means that I have been tracing Our path across the pages of the states for the road trips and the long in between state trips.  I love tracing the roads.

We have been cooking a lot.  I wasn’t kidding when I said a full size kitchen is not to be taken for granted.  Having counter space is so nice after NOT having counter space.  A regular size fridge is equally amazing.  Our friend Stephen has been so nice to let Us stay at his apt.  Its a very stylish place that was remodeled right before He moved in because an old lady burned it down.  We blow up Our air mattress and put it on his futon every night and the first thing I do every morning is deflate it and put it all away.  Since We sleep in his livingroom, its courtesy, but he also has 2 cats that would looove to get their claws into Our mattress.  No privacy here, but thats ok mostly.  Around here, nobody cares what the others do.  Its like We exist in the same space with no knowledge of each other except when We are directly communicating or interacting with each other.

After pilates, We do about an hour or more of school and then eat and stuff and do more school and do more stuff and do more school…see a pattern?  I have been doing a few hours of arabic a day.  He got me a writing book that I have started using so I can write the words I know.  Since I am doing my school work on the computer with rosetta stone, I don’t get to write it.  There are excercises that make me type the letters and it has a virtual arabic keyboard…which is pretty hard if you don’t know what the letters look like in the middle of a word.  All the letters have 3 different versions (basically) depending on where it is in the word.  I can read it pretty well, but I definitely will improve.  I am almost done with the Level One Rosetta Stone program.  I intend to finish it and go through it a few more times while practicing my writing before We buy the next level.

We are going back to TX for a week at the end of may.  My oldest daughter Zoe is turning 8.  OMG my daughter is turning 8.  We are returning so I can be with her on her bday and she can have the most awesome party ever.  She has laid out what she would like and it sounds like a good plan.  A sleepover at La’s with her friends (La’s kids) and me and Cali and La and Ammer.  She wants to go shopping and get a dress then go back to La’s and do nails and dress up.  Then rent a movie and watch it while eating and have cake.  She would also like to karaoke.  Zoe has always loved to sing.  Im not sure about karaoke but her party will be amazing.  Plus mom showing up at school on her bday with cupcakes and a flower?  She might stroke out she’ll be so happy.  I miss my babies and Im glad I get to see them soon.  They are pretty excited about getting a baby brother (their dad, not me crazies) and they seem to be doing really well.  We also have to visit a few VIPs.  If I don’t hug my BFF soon, I might die.

Thanks for taking the time to read these blogs.  It means a lot to me.  I know they can be long, and full of pictures and I update erratically, but I like sharing it with yall.

Now subscribe dammit.

Stay tuned.

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