Traveling

You are currently browsing articles tagged Traveling.

Mt. Maestas

Blanca Peak & Mt. Lindsey

When Greg and I were first together, a woman we knew had a rather curious comic taped on her refrigerator, front and center. It read: “It’s not a vacation if your husband goes with you.” I imagine her snickering while carefully clipping it from the paper. Then, with precision, taping around its border, ensuring it would rest for ages and ages on the freezer door, in the direct gaze of her husband of more than twenty years. How funny it must have been to her. How cruel it always seemed to me.

Our trip to Taos was initially one Juniper and I would take without Greg. His schedule at the time of planning was fluid, unknown. It would be fine, of course. I am an excellent traveler, with or without him, and Juniper is so easy going. But I didn’t really like it. Not because I feel completed by him or “need” him. No, I am my own person, solidly so. Perfectly complemented by him, yes. Two synergistic beings in rotation round the sun. I didn’t like it because I love his company. His wit and wisdom. His kindness. His gentleness and strength. His ability to make me laugh and feel comforted. And, boy howdy, that handsome face. So easy on the eyes.

So when his schedule definitively opened, we jumped on the chance to travel together. And what a marvelous time we had!

The Plaza at Costilla, New Mexico, which lies just over the border from Colorado. My Great-Grandparents (times three), Maria de Jesus (a partial source of my Native ancestry) and Aaron Williams, lived here at the time of the 1860 Census. She kept house, and he was a Wagon Driver (note his horse shoe tie pin!). The Plaza is much as it looked when they lived there, the building dating to the 1850s. I continue to feel awed at each layer of history as revealed to me, that they lived and died more than a century ago, yet I feel incredibly close to them. They are in my dreams and on the air, a pulse in my very veins. A marvel, truly.

Oh gosh, how I wish you could see the vivid emerald flush as it appeared to our eyes. We were treated like never before to green on this trip!

This little guy or gal, a cicada, I think? Long since dead, but still clinging to it’s final resting place. Nature really is a wonder.

The Claret Cup Cactus and Opuntias put on quite a show for us.

ponderosa

We hiked to the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge (a rift zone, actually), 680 feet, and thankfully not straight down!

Good Juniper. Not so great Colleen.

Not so great Juniper. Good Colleen.

We are none of us models!

Greg hides behind a most delicious post-hike burger at Taos Diner. It was well earned!

Manzanita Market – where I, of course, bought another wonderful selection of Dryland Wilds products. The cottonwood bud hand balm is the scent of my childhood springs (!) and super moisturizing.

Chokola never fails.

My people!

Back with more tomorrow…

 

Tags: ,

Pike’s Peak floats among the clouds…

Off to Raleigh (Walter the namesake pictured above), North Carolina for a little work and R & R of the pleasantly green and humid variety. I have never been so gobsmacked by a tree canopy in my life, dear peeps, even after sixteen years in the Pacific Wonderland of Oregon. That is saying something, y’all!

Not having traveled much in the South, I was thoroughly delighted by the place. I have never seen such diversity (black, white, Muslim, Asian, Indian, Latinx, LGBTQ!) and was SUPER grateful not to witness any overt bigotry or racism. I’ve been sickened by more Confederate Flags in the West than in Raleigh, and in case you’re wondering, we didn’t see a one. Progress! Raleigh seems to have made great strides, with many a sign boasting “Y’all means ALL!” and other forms of welcome. It made my heart happy!

Another reason to be happy – our super conveniently located digs, walking everywhere in this post and logging more than twenty miles over the course of our stay!

Morgan Street Food Hall – a mad collection of  bomb-diggity food truck-style vendors – indoors and out of the weather. The Food Court of my mall strolling youth taken to great heights.. Yup.

Great art, too!

O M G – the Hot fried chicken and mac bowl at Iyla’s Southern Kitchen was ALL the things with perfect pickle slices on top. Not pictured: the hubster’s shrimp and grits – the best we’ve ever tasted!

Bittersweet – we tried the Paris Fizz and Strong island and were not disappointed!

Short bed. Warm night.

Porch coffee

The finest aspect, by far, had to be the humid green, positively redolent of jasmine, magnolia, and rose. How lovely to have spring rain without the cold, too, as I had grown so accustomed to in Portland, frequently lamenting the need for a turtle neck well into June!

We also learned about the tomato and vinegar BBQ divide, and while the meat was perfectly cooked at Clyde Cooper’s (and piled sky-high!), the super tang of vinegar had us falling firmly in the tomato camp.

Saw some pretty talented artists’ work at artspace. Bought a lovely piece, too!

More Friday…

Tags:

When we visited Santa Fe last year, I bought a Dryland Wilds Sagebrush Plantwater, so I could mist my face with one of my very favorite scents on the daily. After using it a short while, I wondered what other wonders I was missing. To my great luck, the lovely Robin Moore and Cebastien Rose make much more than plantwaters. They are high desert wild crafters, sustainably foraging native and invasive flowers, leaves, and resins, and harvest plants that would otherwise be discarded to make the most exquisitely intoxicating scents of New Mexico.

It’s no surprise I became a huge fan. In addition to the sagebrush, I purchased pinon plantwater, luxurious soaps, evening primrose and copper mallow lip balms, and beauty oils infused with willow and loosestrife, sagebrush and snakeweed, rosehip and thistle. Each is evocative, efficient, and positively uplifting!

Imagine my delight upon learning they offer a perfume making class. And what great luck to have the date correspond with our anniversary! So we planned our trip to Albuquerque around a Sunday afternoon. Cebastien is a fantastic teacher, educating about the various perfume notes, and encouraging us, via scent combining exercises, to try what would normally make us run for the hills. It culminates in the exciting creation of our own scented oil.

I call mine High Desert Morning. An infusion of ruby red grapefruit, balsam fir, honey mesquite, and labdanum. Initially, it only contained the first three, as I imagined peeling a grapefruit to the rhythm of the rising sun. It was lovely but lacking. So I pondered Cebastien’s teaching and decided to go for a run-for-the-hills essential oil. I tried the labdanum, and that drop on my perfume card made it all come together, for the missing element was Greg. Labdanum is on the musky side and reminiscent of his sweet bearded cheek. Crazy fantastic!

So if you need a reason to head to Albuquerque besides fabulous food and turquoise, treat yourself to a class. If you are less adventurous, try a soap, beauty oil, or plantwater, and inhale the magic of the high desert.

Tags: ,

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!

 

Tags: ,

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!

Tags: ,

« Older entries