A Travellerspoint blog

Bataan death march, year #2

22 March 2015

sunny 70 °F

This years Bataan death march was a bit different. #1 we only did the 14.2 event and walked it and #2 it was not so cold. It still took a really long time to start the event. We heard from the Philippine ambassador to the U.S., had a fly over by a medevac helicopter and got to shake hands with survivors. We finished in about 4.5 hours and had plenty of time to relax and have our food at the end.
Before the march

Before the march

Bataan flag

Bataan flag

Bag pipers

Bag pipers

Huge flag

Huge flag

The crowd

The crowd

Curt marching

Curt marching

Posted by ErinDriver 18:31 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Inn of the Mountain Gods, Ruidoso, New Mexico

13-15 March 2015

sunny

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Inn of the Mountain Gods


I felt very blessed to have a few days off work over my birthday so we went to Ruidoso, New Mexico to the Inn of the Mountain Gods to celebrate the occasion.
view from hotel

view from hotel

another view from room

another view from room


On the way up we drive through Alamogordo and stopped at Pistacchio land which is marked by what has to be the Worlds Largest Pistacchio! I really just wanted a picture of that but as it happens there is also really good pistacchio brittle inside the shop.
pistachioland

pistachioland


Parking for nuts only

Parking for nuts only


As with every casino we had the opportunity to gorge on the buffets and watch our money go down the drain of the slot machine. There was also a nice pool and hot tub we made use of on the first day.
slot machine win

slot machine win

slot machine winnings

slot machine winnings


Ruidoso is a mountain town so hiking is priority for a lot of people. There was a trail from the visitors center that ran along a stream that we checked out before doing with hike of the shops along main street. I was excited to see that I could get my very own alien for only $25!
aliens for sale

aliens for sale


Ruidoso River Trail

Ruidoso River Trail

walking the line

walking the line

River trail

River trail

Noisy water winery

Noisy water winery


A six mile out and back hiking trail also set off from the hotel and runs along the road but still offers pretty views of the mountais.
prehike photo

prehike photo

Posted by ErinDriver 07:44 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

29-30 January 2015

snow

Fresh snow

Fresh snow


I'm going with the philosophy that one night out of town is better than none so Cloudcroft beaconed. Approximately two hours in to the mountains lies this tiny town that seems to be there mostly for summer hiking. It was beatiful in the winter though and we got to experience some of the fresh white stuff. Being that it is a small town most everything was closing down at 1700 so we just did dinner at one of the few restaurants in town. I got this chili cheese burger fitting with the New Mexicans love of this ingredient.
chili cheeseburger

chili cheeseburger


Husband Day Care

Husband Day Care


Since nothing much was open we just made ourselves at home at the Crofting Inn until the morning. Breakfast left something to be desired so we made a stop at the local bakery for a pastry. The town has some cute shops and w did a little shopping until it was time to head back home.
Crofting Inn

Crofting Inn


shopping in Cloudcroft

shopping in Cloudcroft

Posted by ErinDriver 18:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

White Sands National Monument

16 January 2015

sunny 55 °F

white sands

white sands


White Sands National Monument is the world's largest field of gypsum sand dunes ringed by the San Andres and Sacramento mountains. These dunes cover 275 square miles in the Chihuahuan desert and fill the Tularosa basin. The gypsum deposits were left behind after the evaporation of the shallow tropical sea that covered Arizona, southern New Mexico and western Texas millions of years ago.
nature study area

nature study area


Curt studying nature

Curt studying nature


nature area

nature area


There is a road to drive through the monument with sand dunes on both sides of the road as well as several places to get out and walk around. Most of the hiking areas were closed when we visited but there was a nature area we were able to stretch our legs.
view from the top of the sledding hill

view from the top of the sledding hill


waiting sleds

waiting sleds


saucer sled land speed record

saucer sled land speed record


At the end of the drive there are numerous areas of packed sand where you can pull out the saucer sleds and sail down the hill. The gift shop at the entrance of the park sells the sleds and you can even sell it back when you leave. I felt like this was one of the first times I got to truly laugh in the last six months!
sledding

sledding


Curt sledding

Curt sledding


white sands landscape

white sands landscape

Posted by ErinDriver 20:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Skiing in the new year

1 January 2015

snow 5 °F

I can only hope that the rest of 2015 is as good as the first day. Taos Ski Valley helped us welcome in the new year with discounted military lift tickets. Initially it was snowing but we stuck it out and the day was gorgeous. They had some of the longest runs of any I have ever been on and to my surprise were not very crowded. Curt was enchanted by a trail called psycho path but other than that we didn’t even have any big crashes. Just before we called it quits we had a yummy cinnamon crepe with the sun warming us in the lodge. Not a bad way to start out the year.
the start of the day

the start of the day


psycho path

psycho path


middle of the day

middle of the day


frozen mustache

frozen mustache


overlooking the slopes

overlooking the slopes


And we ended the day pretty well too with a third trip to Stella’s Italian Restaurant with our friends. The lasagna was the best thing I had so far! We took a walk through the town afterwards and Curt found a new date!
kissing the indian

kissing the indian

Posted by ErinDriver 19:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Finishing the year with food

31 December 2014

sunny 5 °F

Taos Mesa Brewery

Taos Mesa Brewery


The end of the year found us pretty lazy other than taking the girls for a walk through downtown and the subsequent showers to wash their feet. Christina and Chris Carmody and their friends Carol and Rick got in to town today so we met at the Taos Mesa Brewery for a beer before dinner. El Monte Resort and Restaurant has pretty swanky looking accommodations and was our destination for dinner. They had a dinner special with lobster bisque, steak and scallops with fruit crisp for dessert that was decent food that took us almost three hours to finish. We spent the remaining few hours of the night with our friends in their Georgia O’Keefe suite in the Sagebrush Inn.

Posted by ErinDriver 18:57 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Snowmobile tour and Rio Grande Gorge

30 December 2014

sunny 0 °F

Michaels Kitchen had such a good breakfast and a great ski lodge feel so its easy to convince ourselves to go back again today. The enchiladas are delicious with their green chili sauce and Curt also orders us a homemade English muffin!
Rio Grande del Norte

Rio Grande del Norte


At the wine tasting yesterday a couple ladies told us about the Rio Grande Gorge that had a bridge where you could take photos. They saw bald eagles and even a coyote. So we packed the camera, the girls and made the 20 minute drive. There was no wildlife waiting for me to snap a photo and the wind made it pretty chilly so we didn’t really stand around looking for long.
Rio Grande

Rio Grande


Girls at the gorge

Girls at the gorge


Drivers at the gorge

Drivers at the gorge


The main event for today is with Big Al’s scenic snowmobile tour in Taos Ski Valley. We put on nearly all our clothes and make the 30 minute drive to the ski slopes. It takes quite a while to get like 20 people on their machines and started going up and down the mountians. The trails are gorgeous and I wish I had more of a chance to look around. The guide tries to have us to the top for sundown and some good photos. The tour goes for a couple hours around the mountain before depositing us back at the ski village. Dinner is calling to us from the German restaurant but we go for little meatballs and split and ½ pound hamburger.
ready to snowmobile

ready to snowmobile


start line

start line


Curt being excited

Curt being excited


at the top for sunset

at the top for sunset


Top of the mountain

Top of the mountain

Posted by ErinDriver 18:52 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Massages and Black Mesa Winery

29 December 2014

sunny 10 °F

Rest and massage is the name of the game today. The renter of the house gave us the name of a massage therapist that would come to the house and give massages. Emma was pretty concerned about the other person in the house and spent a lot of time checking on us.
I had seen an advertisement for the Black Mesa Winery tasting room and that seemed to go along with rest day. The beauty of our lodging is that it is close to town so we walk to the winery and have a good time chatting with the other people visiting Taos. It seems as if most of Texas has come to Taos for the holiday. We make off with quite a few new wines for the collection and catch dinner at the Gorge.

Posted by ErinDriver 18:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Arriving in Taos, New Mexico

28 December 2014

sunny

First walk in Taos

First walk in Taos


I totally forgot what it was like to be really cold and also about how snow makes mud and that makes little dogs very messy every time they go outside! We arrived in Taos last night to Casita Montoya. It is close to town but not the place we thought we were renting. The Casa Montoya next door is where we were supposed to be. We have to get used to our pretty tiny little house in the back. Last night we had dinner at Stella’s Italian restaurant that had some really tasty crab cakes.
Michaels Kitchen

Michaels Kitchen


So after an excellent breakfast at Michaels we decide to get the girls out of the room and walk them to town. Kind of a mistake. Emma is brown by the time we come back and they have to get baths. Window shopping is all we can hope for with our two filthy girls but at least it gets them out.
Emma in the snow

Emma in the snow


Taos Pueblo sign

Taos Pueblo sign


We take a drive to Taos Pueblo which is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the US.
1000 year old building

1000 year old building


The multi-tiered buildings are over 1000 years old and the tope levels are where inhabitants would get protection from other Indian tribes. The Red Willow Creek is naked after the willows that grow along its banks and is the only water source for the 50 or so people that still live in the Pueblo without any modern conveniences.
water source

water source


pueblo puppy

pueblo puppy


There are dogs throughout like this adorable puppy. He seeks us out when we come out from the bakery. We tried a pumpkin chocolate cookie, bread, blueberry turnover and sugar cookie.
bakery

bakery


When you arrive in the Pueblo you can take a 20-30 minute tour where they explain a bit about how the people live in the Pueblo. Many of the people use their homes as shops and try to get tourists to buy little trinkets.
stove

stove


They actually still cook in these adobe stoves called hornos.
cemetary

cemetary


This cemetery is full so no longer in use.
entry to church

entry to church


door in pueblo with candycanes

door in pueblo with candycanes


blue doors

blue doors


On our way home we stop at Eske's, a local brewery for a delicious stuffed soft pretzel and a few beers.
Eskes Brewery

Eskes Brewery

Posted by ErinDriver 18:27 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Christmas in El Paso

25 December 2014

overcast 54 °F

My third day in a row without studying....I feel like a new person! I felt so lucky to be home with my hubby and our girls today and not at work.

They had fun playing with new toys (after I took the dress off Emma) and I had fun planning new trips with my world atlas.
sad sacks

sad sacks


fighting for the snowball

fighting for the snowball


Emmas new toy

Emmas new toy


ready to plan some more trips

ready to plan some more trips

Posted by ErinDriver 16:17 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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