Monday, June 30, 2014

Too Hot for History

Today was Saraya's last day of her 
"30 Days: One Object" photo project.

I decided to take her to Old Town
for a photo in front of the historic church.

With temperatures above 90*F and rising,
we found that there were only three places to visit in Old Town:
Sun, Shade, and Inside!

So, Old Town was still there,
but it was too hot for history, hanging out,
and wandering around.

I walked past a small "hole in the wall" that housed
a well reviewed restaurant called The Backstreet Grill.
The original location was closed,
but a new, larger location across the plaza was open.
I wandered in.

So this is how we ended our adventure together...
going out to lunch!

Chip also came as I am preparing to take him on a trip
and practicing using my iPhone for photos.

The Old Town Street Tacos
were delicious, the servers were so friendly,
and the atmosphere was clean and modern.
I can't wait to return with friends!

Thank you sharing Saraya's Summer Vacation
with us!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dust is a Noun, Not a Verb

Many years ago,
I got this great idea to build an
"adobe room box".

The floor is foam core that I painted to resemble the saltillo tiles
in my mother's apartment.
The walls were hardboard that I covered with paper mache clay
and then painted a tan color to look like adobe.

The fireplace has a basic structure underneath it,
which I covered with paper mache clay and painted.
The bookshelf was made by an individual who made furniture for
Ginny sized dolls.

The books are from printies I used to cover foam core.
The tissue box was also a simple printie.
The other items are small souvenirs from various
tourists type shops in Albuquerque or in Taos.

The red "ristra" on the wall is actually a wax candle.
The western items were from a resin set I purchased
at Hobby Lobby.
The wagon wheel is wood, but also from Hobby Lobby.

The bed was a simple wood bed made for Barbie,
which I shortened and painted.
The blanket is from Chimayo,
and I made the remainder of the bedding.

The clay figure is actually made from Sculpy clay;
an early attempt at make a "Hitty friend type doll".
The bowl was a miniature I purchased at
El Rancho de Las Golondrinas,
a living history museum near Santa Fe.

The plant was from Hobby Lobby,
but the pot it is in came from a Route 66
tourist shop/Dairy Queen on the other side of the mountains.
I glued it in with rocks and low temp hot glue.

I also made the western wreath from small western items
from Hobby Lobby and a small wreath frame.

Dust comes in abundance in the Southwest.
Every now and then, I do dust,
but it is not something I really pay attention to...
until it ends up in a photo!

Saraya was not happy about the dust that has gathered
in our adobe roombox!

I explained my philosophy to her:
Dust is a NOUN, not a VERB!

The adobe roombox is a "guest room"
for our 6-9 inch guests, 
who we have had from time to time.

I don't think we are quite ready for guests 
at this time!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Pueblo Montano Trailhead

At 8:00 pm on June 25, 2003,
the forest along the Rio Grande 
was ablaze in a human created fire.

The fire threatened the Montano bridge
as well as the homes along the forest on both sides of the river.
Crews of fire fighters worked through the night,
protecting property as the fire jumped from the east bank
to the west side of the Rio Grande.

Many cottonwood trees were damaged in the fire,
but no homes or lives were lost.
When the dawn brought the early morning light,
helicopter crews were able to bring in larger water drops
to finally help extinguish the fire.

Later, an artist, Mark Chavez,
worked his magic with the damaged trees at the trailhead
leading into the trails that wind through the forest (bosque)
along the river.

In honor and memory of the fire fighters...

Howling Coyotes

My favorite tree sculpture shows La Llorona.
The face in the tree may be the Boogie Man.

According to the legend, La Llorona lost her child to the river.
She weeps at night, searching for her child.
She just may pick up your children if they are naughty!

The eagle rising above the flames...

The roadrunner is the state bird.


Thank you to our firefighters
who sacrifice with courage
to serve others.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Bio Park Adventure

The Albuquerque Bio Park consists of
The Albuquerque Botanic Gardens and Aquarium,
which is on one property to the north,
the Albuquerque Zoo, which is to the south,
and Tingley Beach in between.
The smaller blue sections on this map
show the man-made ponds of Tingley Beach.

The most direct path between the Botanic Garden and the Zoo
is the Rio Line Train!
The Rio Line is a 3/4 scale train transporting guests
between both sites.
On this map, there is a gray loop with marks through it
toward the north end of the Botanic Garden.
This is the train line, which runs under Central (Route 66)
and along the Tingley Beach Property into the Zoo.

The map of the Botanic Garden shows the train line
through its property.

The train station labeled "Asia" by the elephants,
at the north end of the Zoo property
is the station for the Rio Line.

The train station labeled "Africa"
and most of the train tracks throughout
the Zoo are for the train that runs just through the Zoo.

Now that the maps have been explained,
off we go on a train ride!

I arrived 45 minutes before the first train left the Botanic Garden,
so I walked around for awhile.

The Botanic Garden

The Garden Scale Model Trains

The Greenhouse

Heritage Farm

I realized that I did not know where the train station was
and it was close to the time it was scheduled to depart.
After asking directions, I quickly walked to the station,
thinking that I would be late and miss the train.

When I arrived, the train was still at the station.
A woman with two children were at the station.

After some conversation and making some connections,
I realized that the train was in need of repair and was not running.
It had run into a large rock on the track and then run into the platform.
The other woman with the children had witnessed it.

This was not good news!
I went to the Botanic Garden specifically to ride the train.
I figured one loop around, and I'd go home
A shuttle van arrived to take us to the zoo,
so I decided to go and hope that the train would be fixed
by the time I returned.

The Rio Grande Zoo

I hung out at the zoo waiting for the train to be repaired.

First, time to re-hydrate and cool off! 

The polar bears were nearby.

The polar bears were wrestling under water!

I also watched them above the water.

 The polar bears were in the pool at the top of their enclosure,
which had window access to viewing the pools from under the water.

Time to keep walking...

The Thunderbird Express is a passenger train
that provides a guided tour within the zoo.
Its station is in the area labeled "Africa".

 I wondered if it was time to head back to the Rio Line station.

After waiting several hours to ride the train,
it was time to go to the station to see if the train would be running.

The Thunderbird Express passed by on the tracks.

The shuttle van had arrived to pick up guests
to take them to the Botanic Garden,
but the driver stated that the Rio Line would arrive in about 20 minutes.

And this is why elephants are marked on the map as being near the station.
The back of the elephant yard is directly across from the station.

Finally...THE TRAIN!!!!

Despite the heat,
I chose an open car in order to take better pictures.

This is an arroyo along the Rio Grande.

Tingley Drive

Tingley Beach-
The Man-Made Fishing Ponds

The "Train Conductor" I chatted with
while he stood on the edge of the caboose.

Back into the Botanic Gardens,
and around the loop through Heritage Farm

Back to the Station!
I sat in this corner in the green car
for our trip back.

Got My Train Ride!!!!