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Published: August 9th 2013
Our daughter Rosanna and son in law Evan spent their summer holidays with us. Besides visiting the sights in our local area we took an overnight trip to Santa Fe as Evan had never been to the southwest United States.
4 August 2013 Sunday. We hit the road at 8:30 am, with Linda and I, Rosanna and Evan, and our two year old grandson Liam, whose mother Tamara stayed behind as she had a doctors appointment on Monday...besides someone had to feed the pets. We took I-25 and US 160 to get to Great Sand Dunes National Park, arriving by 11:15 am. After a quick stop at the visitor center, we parked near the dunes and hiked across the sand to climb the nearest dune. Linda and I only made it part way. Rosanna and Evan took Liam the distance. At first Liam didn't want to go...just back to the car, but with some encouragement he soon discovered that this was much more interesting than his sandbox at home. Not only did they climb the dune, but they also went down the other side to watch the sand boarders (like snowboarding but on sand). They finally returned about 12:30 pm
and we drove on to Taos.
We arrived in Taos at 2:15 pm for a late lunch at our favorite restaurant, Michael's, which fortunately due to the late hour there was room for us to park and eat. We each had huge portions of Mexican food, which I couldn't finish. Meanwhile, Liam was more interested in eating Frito chips than samples of each of our dishes. And being recently potty trained, and not having gone since we left earlier that day, we tried to get him to go, but to no avail. This happened to be a growing concern for the rest of the day, until ten hours later, he finally went at our hotel...I guess he just didn't like public facilities. After lunch we walked around the old town plaza to window shop. Evan wanted to see the famous bridge that spans the Rio Grand Gorge, so we drove there. We didn't have time to see the pueblo, which is more a tourist trap today. We left Taos about 5 pm to drive the rest of the way to Santa Fe.
We arrived in Santa Fe at 6:45 pm and checked into our hotel. We then drove
Evan, Liam, Rosanna and Linda
at Great Sand Dunes National Park
to the old town square area where a band was playing. We listened to the music as we window shopped. The stores were mostly closed at this time in the evening. We weren't that hungry since we had such a large lunch, so just had some ice cream. Back at the hotel we planned to take Liam swimming, but he was afraid of the water and just preferred to play in the room. It was had to get him calmed down to sleep.
5 August 2013 Monday. We dropped Rosanna and Evan off at the old town plaza where they could have their morning coffee and croissant. Linda, Liam, and I proceeded to do some heavy duty shopping, or at least tried. One of Linda's favorite shops is the Jackalop, which sells all kinds of Mexican and other foreign pottery, etc. I has going to show Liam the enclosure with the prairie dogs, but it was being maintained so all the prairie dogs were hiding in their holes. Our next stop was the Trader Joe's grocery store...the nearest one to our home in Colorado...although they are supposed to open stores in Denver and Boulder in January 2014. As I
was meandering the aisles, I noticed an elderly lady with a poodle in her cart. The poodle was very well behaved so I struck up a conversation with the lady, Marianne. She had a German accent, and told me she was from Berlin. As a girl she had been in the Hitler Youth. In 1944 when the Allies began bombing Berlin she and the other children were sent to a convent near Prague for their own safety and to continue school. When the Russians arrived in early 1945 she and the others were taken to work on a farm to grow potatoes which was used to make schnapps. They slept in the hay in a barn and during the cold winter months, snuggled up to a cow to keep warm. She didn't know the war was over until she was allowed to return to Berlin in 1948. She lived in the American Sector, where she met an American soldier who she married in 1952, and then moved to Texas, and eventually New Mexico. She had quite a story...and I was blessed to be able to cross paths with her.
By 11 pm we finished and drove to the old
Linda looking for the hikers
at Great Sand Dunes National Park
town to meet Evan and Rosanna. We continued to shop until lunch at the Fonda Hotel on the square...right at the end of the Santa Fe Trail. After another amazing Mexican meal, we returned to our car for the 5 hour drive home, arriving about 7 pm. I could have stayed a few more days...
8 August 2013 Thursday. We weren't in Santa Fe, of course, but back home where we spent the day hiking around the Garden of the Gods. I thought I would add a few pictures from that experience. This blog should put me over 20,000 views of all my blogs.
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