October 27- November 3, 2018
We visited New Mexico a year ago at the beginning of this adventure but it was the southern part of New Mexico. We are headed south from Colorado and back East so we decided to stop in Albuquerque to stay a week and visit Santa Fe from here.
We parked at the Stagecoach RV Park. It was a very convenient location to shopping. They had a great clubhouse that we were able to use for school work all week. We grilled out, using the community grill, twice this week as well. It was not having to dig out our grill and then clean it before storing it back. The first half of the week it was warm but then Halloween night a cold front came through.
We missed the World’s largest annual Balloon Fiesta that takes here the first weekend of October. The RV spots book up a year in advance so we were not able to attend this year.
The Albuquerque Balloon museum
Even though we missed the Fiesta, we were able to attend the balloon museum. We learned a lot about the history of hot air and gas balloons. For example: The first hot air balloon sent a chicken, cow and a duck up in a basket to test before humans tried it. We learned about the ‘Albuquerque Box’ which explains why the balloons in this area can ascend and descend in the same field. You see normally, you land wherever the wind takes you but because of the temperature and the Albuquerque Box, balloonist can control where they land. The “box” is a set of very predictable wind patterns that can be used to navigate the balloons — at low elevations the winds are from the south, but at higher elevations they are from the north. The museum has a hot air balloon simulator, a great hands on section and a 4-D movie. We visited on Sunday mornings when it’s free.
We drove up to Santa Fe (about 45 minutes from ABQ) to visit the capitol building. Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the U.S. The Palace of the Governors, which now houses the state’s history museum, is the oldest public building in the country. The Capitol building, also known as the Roundhouse, is the only round capitol building in the country. It was cool to see the semi circled House and the Senate rooms. We had the girls run around the building to get the feel for the Roundhouse. There was so much art work inside this capitol! My favorite was this Bison made of art supplies.
Palace of the Governors was closed for renovations but we were able to walk around the outside and through the museum next door.
The New Mexico History Museum is a nice museum located right next to the Palace of the Governors.
After exploring Santa Fe we ate dinner at the Cowgirl BBQ and smokehouse. Chris uses the TV Food maps App to find great eats that have been featured food, travel and cooking shows. This BBQ joint was featured on four different shows. They are known for their Five Pepper Nachos, Mother of all Green Chili Cheeseburgers and award winning BBQ. We tried all three of these and definitely recommend! The portions are huge. They have a kids menu and a playground to use while waiting for food.
Back in Albuquerque
The girls asked me to find a Pumpkin Patch so we could pick out pumpkins to carve. We found a great one only 10 minutes away.
Have you ever seen a Corn Pool? Abby was in paradise! This girl loves corn so much…it was like she died and went to heaven. I took my shoes off and played in it as well- it felt so therapeutic to play with it just like sand at the beach. We took turns burying each other.
Petting Zoo, Bowling, Putt Putt and more
The girls did an amazing job carving Jack-o-Lanterns by themselves!
Chris fit in a round of golf Sunday when it was still warm. He played at Paako Ridge and says this is one of his favorites on this adventure.
Chris found us a nice neighborhoods to go trick or treating. The lot sizes were small so there wasn’t a lot of walking from door to door. Oh and the land is flat out here so that makes it easy also. This is so different from the hills we are use to back home. We enjoyed seeing all the costumes and the girls filled their bags about half way before they were done. They came home an separated the candy and treaded. Bonus- one of the houses was giving out the big chocolate bars- score!
We also tried another restaurant from the app, called Nexus Brewery. The services was terrible and the food was nothing to write about.
We walked around ‘Old Town’ to learn about the history of Albuquerque. San Felipe de Neri Church is a historic Catholic church located on the north side of Old Town Plaza. It was originally built in 1702 and then re-built in 1793, never missing a service. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city and the only building in Old Town proven to date to the Spanish colonial period.
Next to Old Town is Albuquerque Museum of art, history and people. We really enjoyed this museum before walking around Old Town.
Across the street from the museum was a great park and playground.
We also visited the science center called Explora. I loved that they had hands on exhibits that coincided with our physics lesson this week.
And the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science had geologic exhibits that connected with several places we’ve visited. We are constantly reminded at these museums that the middle of this country was under water several times in Earth’s history.
In case you are counting, that’s 5 museums this week!