December 7, 2016

Day Trippin' to Albuquerque

Edson had to go back to Virginia to deal with storage issues this past weekend. It wasn't our favorite option but it was the only viable one. That meant the kids and I were riding solo. It also meant that we were headed to Albuquerque to take Daddy to the airport and a day trip was in order. I have to say I was pretty impressed by Albuquerque. It's huge, new and modern. There are a lot of activities and tons of people outdoors. It's not how I remembered. My Dad lived here for a brief stint in my younger years and I visited a few times. All I remember was Sandia Peak. Another thing we passed on due to price this go 'round. I'm starting to see why my parents had one kid. Man these little beings make everything pricey!

Here are the highlights from our day:

1. Sushi Freak- My new favorite restaurant. We love sushi. We love burritos. Combine the two and you have Sushi Freak. Yes, yes please! Where have you been all my life? To top it all off the people that work there are over the top friendly, warm and accommodating. In fact, we liked it so much that we went there twice in the two days we were in Albuquerque! Once it was just me and the kids and then the second time was to take Daddy back when he got off the airplane. He had to try it! Unfortunately, this will be our last visit for a while. They only have locations in San Diego and ABQ. I'm just sayin' they need them everywhere-- I can especially picture it in Miami.

2. Petroglyph National Monument- The most random thus far. Right in the middle of nice neighborhoods are some amazing hiking spots and incredible petroglyphs. It was a relatively easy hike (easier for someone not holding a 2 year old but you get the point). There were trails everywhere, people walking their dogs... it was just nice. A great change from Santa Fe where I've hardly seen a sidewalk.


3. Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum- Free on Sundays from 9am-1pm this place was a must see on our list. Who can resist free and a place about hot air balloons? Not I. You know what they say, don't you? When in Rome. Well we were in Albuquerque and they are known for hot air balloons so it was a must. The kids weren't super interested in going but I told them we could leave if it wasn't fun--- no pressure when things are free and I love that. The kids were open to that plan and they were pleasantly surprised. It was neat. They had an area where the kids could get in the hot air balloon basket, play with a simulator and even create their very own hot air balloon, too! Cayenne slept through the whole thing and woke up as we were walking to the parking lot. Such a sleepy head. The boys got to play on their own for a bit (quite a relief for them) and my arm almost fell off because I forgot the stroller-- always a good time.

Reno pretending they were going down!

View from Museum
4. Old Town Plaza- I read about mock gunfights that take place 4 times every Sunday afternoon. I knew the boys would love it so we headed that way. We walked around the plaza, played tag, danced in the gazebo to live music, window shopped in some stores and just took it all in. We were there for a couple hours and didn't get to see the shootout. We did head to another place while in Old Town I'd read about: The Rattlesnake Museum. We walked in the door, saw a couple tortoises and decided against paying the $15 to go in. We weren't too impressed. We had other things in mind.

5. Explora Science Center- We learned of Explora from an associate at the Santa Fe Children's Museum. She told us to check it out and we were sooo glad we did! We spent a few hours there and didn't meet an exhibit we didn't love. It was pretty amazing. I even met a family that said they have a membership and go 3-4 times a week (they spent $97 for a year-- total deal!)!  Tons of photos below. Be sure to read the captions as it details the fun times.

The building is even cool!

Flying a plane into wind 

Creating a short video

Magnets and Air-- just fun!

I can't reach the pedals!

A few animal friends at Explora, too.

A cool area with animals in tanks, plants under heat lamps, blocks, a messy table and more fun!

The biggest elevator EVER

Lounging in the biggest elevator ever!

Reno was so excited to get to do this! We'd seen this high wire bike at a museum in Philly and Reno was too short to go-- he was so happy he'd grown!

Look ma, no hands!

A great bubble area-- never seen so many cool ways to make bubbles!

My favorite thing! You color in a picture (either a building, house, car or other vehicle), scan it and your image flys in and shows up in 3D on this touchable screen. It was SO COOL!  My kids must have scanned 20 images!
The kiddos and I had a very good time and I wouldn't mind spending more time in Albuquerque. However, the image of Cayenne running up to Edson in the airport when she saw him and the boys following closely behind to hug him was priceless. I was teary-eyed. It was absolutely the best part of our day. They'd only been away from him for 2 full days and it was so heartwarming to see their embrace: like it had been weeks.

A note to Daddy: We had fun in Albuquerque but we are really really happy you are home.