Eating

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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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Our breakfast stop in San Marcos – a full twenty-five (for dramatic emphasis) degrees cooler than the beach! When we embarked on our journey, the hubster delighted in what he thought was the fact that he wouldn’t need to wear pants again until October. With a high of 43 one of the days we were there, he was mighty disappointed to put on jeans.

While in San Marcos, we visited the diminutive and sweet LBJ Museum off the town square – that’s one of his hats up there! They run audio of his speeches and commentary, and I do believe we stumbled upon the comedy section. The man made me chuckle!

Welcome to Austin! Sadly, I don’t believe they are Keeping it Weird (Portlanders, did you know the expression came from here??), but it IS rather fine.

melia azedarach

Smells so sweet!

swan song

The best Croque Madame I’ve had outside of France at June’s All Day.

My favorite turquoise on one of my favorite trucks for the wanderer win!

The company of our old friends Whitney and Michael – we’ve known each other since we were newlyweds – the absolute highlight of our time in Austin!

My favorite Cooper at Cooper’s BBQ – It’s All About THE MEAT! What fine meat, too. Good golly!

The Driskill

Thank you, Austin!

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Fredericksburg Public Library – isn’t it a peach? Coincidentally, they are rather famous for their peaches, but we were a bit early for harvest, sigh.

Main Street is lined with charming buildings, many of them erected with Austin stone, which I LOVE. The original settlement, as you might have guessed from the name, was German, and named after King Frederick of Prussia (where my Sohn ancestors hail from). In keeping with this heritage, we noshed on some uber-tasty German cuisine at the aptly named Old German Bakery and Restaurant. We were not disappointed!

I don’t know if it is actually true, but this look, to my eye, is quintessentially Southern.

And on to the namesake town of one of the best country songs, EVER, Luckenbach, Texas. Juniper made acquaintance with one of the very few actual residents.

Oh boy, if ever I decide to return to truly greener pastures, I am high tailing it to Texas Hill Country. I never expected to be so smitten with this rolling, rollicking landscape, but boy howdy is it something, with every manner of flower and tree growing with abandon. Beautiful!

The San Antonio River Walk – my first glimpse since I was a babe of four.

Star jasmine, which took a bit of coaxing to grow in pots on our Portland patio positively thrives here, winding wildly amongst trees to massive hedges, some fifty feet in length. The scent and memory was positively intoxicating.

Tower of Life

Fine adobe and Guadalupe niche at La Villita

The wind can be whipping wildly and the streets crowded and cacophonous, but descend the stairs to the River Walk and all is calm, lush, and contemplative.

Torch of Friendship

Remember the Alamo has NO basement.

Emily Morgan Hotel

Travis Park United Methodist Church

More River Walking

Bexar County Courthouse

San Fernando Cathedral

It’s a year-round fiesta inside Mi Tierra. So cheerful!

We enjoyed  muy delicioso hot chocolate and pastries and service as sweet and wondrous as the decor.

Photo-bomb!

He makes my heart SO happy.

We didn’t try the Miller Bar-B-Q, but the building sure was fine.

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