October 2009 Archives

Hopefully my only taste of snow this year

Well, Ive been a bit distracted lately, trying to squeeze in studying for the GRE's (exam I have to take for graduate school entry) in between enjoying myself here : ) Which apparently I didn't do enough of, because I didn't perform very well on the test.  My mom also just read me my first graduate nursing school rejection letter over the phone yesterday.  It was from Metro State, a college in Saint Paul.  But it's okay because I wasn't expecting to get into that one anyway and it was my last preference choice, but I thought it was worth a try.

Now that the bad news it out of the way, we can talk about the wonderful fun I have been having. Ive gotten to go on a few great hikes here and Nancy took me to see a great funk band one night in downtown.  I got to see my cousin Allie in a pre-season gymnastics competition, and see my cousin Walt practice gymnastics for the Special Olympics.  We went to a giant corn maze one day.Albuquerque part 2 008.jpg  I met with a Nurse practitioner/New Mexico University faculty person that Marian set up for me.  We got to talk about community heath that she does and talk about my future plans.  She was wonderful and gave me some really great encouragement and advice.  When I asked her what the most valuable thing she has learned either formally or informally, she told me learning spanish was the most valuable skill she had, which was nice to hear since that it my next task at hand!

My sister Genevieve and brother in law Jake and their daughters also came to visit here for a few days.  We went on another beautiful hike in the Sandia Moutains (called the Spanish word for watermelon because they turn a reddish pink when the sun hits them right before dusk). Albuquerque part 2 028.jpg We had a cousin night game of cousins scrabble, that I won again! (you'd better believe it Bernie! Jake said I was a "closet scrabble genius").  So that's one area where studying vocab for the GRE maybe has helped, haha! Jake and I also went to a Western bar with a live band, it was the kind of place that would have been fun except there were like two other people in this huge bar besides us.  So we played pool, got soem late ngiht New Mexican food and called it a night. We also went to the beautifully exquistie Albuqerque Botanical Gardens and aqarium. Albuquerque part 2 035.jpgLastly we went to the Indian Pueblo cultural center and watched some ceremonial dances.Albuquerque part 2 037.jpg

I also got to cross something off of my bucket list this week....I went on my first horse back ride  EVER! Albuquerque part 2 038.jpg My cousin Allie and her mom Marian took me.  We had a genuine, real cowboy (with the accent, hat, fringed chaps and everything) take us up on a beautiful trail up through a canyon in the mountains. It was fun, exciting and suprisingly scary! I must admit that I let out a nice little yelp at the beginning of the trail when there was aAlbuquerque part 2 046.jpg big puddle that the rest of the horses trotted through, but my horse decided to jump over it! Yep I wasnt expecting that, like I said, exciting! I got my best view from the top of that trail. It was breathtaking; this expansive view off all of albuquerque and all the mountains and canyons around it, unfortunately my camera ran ou tof battery before we reached the told, but Ive got it right here in my mind!  So I now know why horseriders have strong thighs, mine were really sore afterwords, but that may also have been because i dont think I quite have the bouncing with the horse things down haha, I probably looked pretty silly : )  

Yesterday I took the train to Santa Fe for the day. Thankfully my Aunt had lent me her big winter coat and hat because it was snowing there.  I must say, snow isnt so bad when you think it is the only time you have to see it all winter! Plus it only snowed part of the day.  And it snowed really strangely there, it was these little balls of snow, but they werent hard like hail, it was like it was snowing Dippin Dots.   Santa Fe was great, I entrenched myself in museums, churches and Santa Fe handy crafts.  After arriving at the main plaza early in the morning, I walked to four churches, including the oldest church in America.IMG_0176.JPG I went to the New Mexico Museum of Art, the America India contemporary Art Museum, and of course I couldnt go to Santa Fe without seeing the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  I walked all around the plaza and Govenor's Palace looking mostly at native american jewlery and art. It was a full and enjoyable day and my legs were really sore when I got back on the train that night.  

So its finally starting to get cold here...time to head South for the winter! I will miss being able to see the Sandias everytime I walk outside and I will miss my bed here at my grandma's made incredible cozy by her big down comforter.  But I still have a couple great last days planned here including going to a Flamenco dance show and celebrating halloween here.  I fly out to Mexico City Sunday morning. I feel so lucky; all my relatives and friends here have gone out of their way to show me an amazingly good time and that have been helping me out to find all these great things to do! Life is good! Until next time.........

And here is a link, you can click on it or copy and paste is into your browser to see the rest of my photos 

Sunny With a Chance of Balloons

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Hi!  So I made it to my first stop, Albuquerque,New Mexico.  I am staying with my grandma, living in her sunny art studio/spare bedroom.  My Aunt and two cousins also live down the street, and my Uncle is in town for the weekend.  New Mexico is beautiful this time of year.  It's perfect fall weather, which is nice since we seemed to skip that part in Minnesota.  The air is cool and crisp but the sun is very strong with clear blue skies nearly everyday! The morning after I arrived, my aunt and I were volunteers on the recycling crew for the International Balloon Fiesta (the most photographed event on earth).  balloon fiesta 025.jpgIt was a great gig, that allowed for most of the time to enjoy the festivities. We had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get there nice and early.  We were able to see the dawn patrol (the first balloons that go up in the morning when its still dark to test out the air).  balloon fiesta 006.jpg  balloon fiesta 010.jpgAfter the sun came up, balloons started to inflate every where around me, I was in awe of the sheer number of balloons around me and all the great colors. It felt like being in a cartoon, which might have been partially because of the special shaped balloons that came in the likes of kissing bees, Darth Vador, and pink elephants! balloon fiesta 021.jpg balloon fiesta 032.jpg balloon fiesta 054.jpg 

 We tried to make it back to see the balloons for the "night glow" and evening show, but the winds picked up and the balloons could stay up, but we got a great firework show at least!

 On Sunday, my aunt Nancy and I took a long walk down to the Frontier restaurant to get the famous breakfast burritos (kind of a signature for the balloon fiesta and Albuquerque in general).   We also went on a beautiful hike in forth of July Canyon (named that because its famous for all its radiant fall colors).

balloon fiesta 081.jpg I have been having a great time spending quality time with my family and enjoying this beautiful city.  I have been going on lots of walks and scoping out things to do around town.  Also enjoying the little joys in life, like reading on my grandmas hammock or waking up from a nap to the smell of fresh carrot cake (god bless my grandma), and winning a game of scrabble, (thats right folks, I BEAT my grandma in scrabble, this needs to go in the record books because my family back in MN with never believe it : ). Click here if you want to see my complete set of balloon pictures


Until next time....


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