Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Highlights from the Southwest

We had a great time in the Southwest last week. I wrote here and here about our trip to New Mexico. Here are some of the things we did while we were there:

Monday we went to the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center in downtown Albuquerque. Here, we saw a fascinating movie showing how black-on-black pottery was made... from digging red clay and blue sand in the desert all the way through the firing process, using cow chips and horse manure. All four kids were mesmerized. They asked to make pots when we got home. I agreed... but with air-drying clay, as the manure firing process seems a bit stinky for my tastes.

Then we headed into Old Town Albuquerque for some sight-seeing and souvenir shopping.

Tuesday morning, my cousin took us on a tour of the pueblo on the Isleta Reservation. We got out and explored a crumbling adobe-style house. We were able to see the structure, design and architecture. The teacher in me couldn't resist the opportunity!

Wednesday we headed about an hour north into Santa Fe, to visit with my friend (and acclaimed sculptor) Carrie Quade.

She gave us a tour of downtown Santa Fe, a foundary/sculpture garden, and some of Santa Fe's finest food. We had a wonderful day, catching up and seeing the sights... even a bunch of prairie dogs in the middle of Jackalope (an art/furniture store conglomerate).

Thursday morning, the kids played with Aunt Mary... got to scare her with the stuffed rattlesnakes they got on Monday morning!

In the afternoon, we explored Petroglyph National Park, climbing volcanic rock in a desert canyon to discover ancient Petroglyphs (or "rock drawings").

Way cool... even in the desert heat!
Before bed on Thursday night, we made sure to get a group picture!

From left: Aunt Mary, Billy, LilBro, BigBro, me, Padre, and Princess

Friday evening, as we stopped at the halfway point in Oklahoma City, the kids got a little adventurous in their eating. BigBro tried a baby octopus.
Princess ate some sushi.
LilBro declared that neither were to his liking... but the ice cream was!

It was a full, educational, friend-and-family-filled week. We are blessed to have had the time with my great-Aunt, and to have explored so much of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I know that I am already looking forward to my next visit!

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