Eating

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Took a step back in time today, to visit Glen Eyrie Castle, the home of William Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. Though we all know my Native American ancestors had a bit of a jump on him! It was a rare treat, as every room of the castle was available for viewing, including each of the guest rooms. We had two stellar and knowledgeable tour guides, and oohed and aahed over details grand and small.

As you can tell, I was most intrigued by the views, imagining quiet moments wandering from gorgeous window to window, conjuring the supreme quiet of every season: a drift of snow, froth of new green, arc of azure sky and rock formations and evergreens at every turn.

We ended our tour with a very British high tea, with that pretty salad, wee sandwiches, biscuits, and scones and equally good conversation. Thank you, Cori (front and center), for the marvelous suggestion. Happy Birthday to you!

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The crooked jolie laide, looking rather upright, was delicious! And what a marvelous time we had with our friends, too.

Not so great was Wednesday’s snow bomb, wreaking all kinds of havoc all along the Front Range. The winds were positively horizontal for hours and hours, with icy snow closing highways and airports, stranding people in cars, knocking over trees, power lines, and fences – part of ours included!

We were out of power for just a couple of hours, which was a shock considering how horribly it was blowing. We were ready for the long haul, with solar lamps, candles, and firewood at the ready. Thank you Colorado Springs Utilities for that bit of wonder.

Yesterday’s weather was much more agreeable, with nary a breeze, though still awfully cold, and with all the ice on the ground in the morning, Juniper only got the briefest afternoon walk after sidewalks were cleared or partially melted. It’s sunny now, yet still too cold to walk for long, but how lovely the snow and ice look, and boy howdy, do we need the moisture!

In Albuquerque now, enjoying a  most fabulous lunch at Pueblo Harvest inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Greg enjoyed a stellar pre-contact meal of bison, asparagus and yucca mash with walnut milk gravy. My salad was very tasty (red chile in the dressing!) but not as cool in concept or execution.

The center lies on what was once the Albuquerque Indian School, where native children were forcibly taken from their families to learn white ways. In the beginning, it was an appalling practice, where children were forced to cut their hair, speak only English, and forget native ways. Only later were the schools adopted by Native people, as institutions where children could learn and thrive and celebrate their heritage.

Taos Pueblo, 1890s –  Smithsonian

Pojoaque Pueblo, circa 1899

photographed by Adam C. Vroman

Do you know the book Are You My Mother? It tells the story of a baby bird whose egg hatches while it’s mother is away. It leaves the nest to search for her, asking the question of every animal it encounters along the way. I feel like that bird as I dive down the rabbit hole of my native ancestry. My Grandma Tillie told my dad Comanche, but as I research, I am learning my relatives were born all over Northern New Mexico (and a few in Mexico, too), and may have also hailed from Pueblos like Pojoaque and Taos. The wonder…

For our anniversary, we dined at Campo at Los Poblanos, a beautiful historic ranch and organic farm on the western edge of Albuquerque (If you’re not traveling with a dog, you can stay there – lucky you!). While every bite and sip was pretty darn fabulous, our favorite dish was the Blue Corn fritters! Elevated carnival fare, with quince jam mixed with other magic for dipping. Eeek!

A nice saunter along the Rio Grande (looking a little poco), where cottonwoods past their prime have taken on new life as magnificent sculptures. As we walked, I was especially struck by the fact that this was my first trip to Albuquerque since my Grandpa died. As we drove the streets of his neighborhood and stopped in front of the house where he was raised and my Nana and Bampoo died (looking utterly foreign to its beginnings), I missed him terribly and had so many questions he could no longer answer. Did you play along the river when you were a boy? Where was Bamboo’s office? Did Nana ever work outside the home? Where? Did you walk to high school? Where did you and Grandma live as newlyweds, New York Avenue? And on and on…

the beauty of Old Town

Juniper learns a pig isn’t always a pig.

Muy delicioso BBQ (the Experience) at Matanza

Homeward bound, and reveling in our great luck, to be together for these twenty-eight years, to love and be loved, and know the great privilege of travel. Here’s to US!

 

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A journey to New Mexico in celebration of twenty-eight years since our first date. Our first stop was Charlie’s Spic and Span in Las Vegas, of course, for a stuffed sopapilla (carne adovada for me and chorizo for the hubster) and an apple fritter as big as my head. Oh gosh, do I love that place!

The Montezuma Castle, built in 1899 and originally a luxury hotel serving the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. It is now a private boarding school (Armand Hammer United World College) and only available for viewing on specific tour dates. We were a day early, rats!!

my best love

travel by train…

Virgin Guadalupe

work in progress

Traveler’s Cafe – get your coffee on!

The Range Restaurant inside the Plaza Hotel. The best  prickly pear cactus margarita in the land, kindly and attentive service (thank you, George), and really good food. The portions are huge, so do your best to save room for dessert!

Here we are!

Greg tries to get Juniper to greet me on the street. The windows!!

How about that headboard? Though we’ve eaten at the restaurant and enjoyed the gift shop on several occasions, this was our first stay at the Plaza Hotel. It did not disappoint!

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When we were newlyweds, Greg’s Grandma Rouble, in between serious laments for my failure to change my name to Cooper (Are they really married?), sent us photos of Texas Bluebells and other wildflowers in an attempt to convince us to visit while they were in blossom. Though we did visit in springtime, we sadly missed the blooms. So, every time we drove past a  field dappled with every color and hue, we thought of her bidding us good day from the sweet hereafter, the pair of us offering our most cheerful “Hello Rouble!” in reply.

Good coffee and even friendlier service in Post!

Greg’s Dad grew up in Ralls. Hi Alan!

While in the Panhandle, we stayed with our cousin and very fine host, Cynthia. Juniper was ready to romp with her dogs. This is Groot.

League adjacent bowler…

Sunrise at Cynthia’s

Juniper in wild wonder at the sight of bison at Caprock Canyons.

Adorable babies!

Hello!

Cousins AND fabulous music fans.

Jimmy Dean – most notably of breakfast sausage fame, hailed from Plainview. We went to his museum and learned he was a singer, an actor, and super dandy dresser, too.

When I was a little girl, my Grandma Frances LOVED Furr’s. She would always convince me to go by saying that I could get anything I wanted, which actually translated to most anything (Jell-O!) but not everything. I could never-ever have a pat of butter or a beverage, because, at the time, they cost extra. So, when I saw the sign for Furr’s, you bet I wanted to go, and so we did, TWICE. You bet I got extra pats of butter and iced tea, too!

Kress sunset

A wee slice of Oklahoma.

Two Buttes

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