Well, my Mom's in town for her annual visit to spend time with the grandkids. And there sure has been a lot of talk this past week about whether or not our fair burg is boring. So I thought i'd recap what we've been doing, if just to see how it measures up on the boring meter.
First, a little bit about my mom. She's been a teacher for 40 years, mostly in New Hampshire, with a couple of short stints in Massachusetts. In her early years, she taught music. She was a concert French Hornist
at Lowell State College
. For the last 30 or so years, she's been a special educator in Nashua (NH) Public Schools. She's set to retire in June. She's R-E-A-D-Y.
She arrived on Saturday, instantly appreciative of the amount of sunlight she was subjected to. I remember those winters
where we said goodbye to the sun for a month or more at a time.
My mom's first full day here was a full one- starting with Breakfast burritos from Golden Pride- I had a #9 AND a #11, and a quick trip to the Biopark
to take in the Farm
and the Aquarium, plus a bonus sneak peak at some of the expected residents of the soon to be completed Bugarium
at the Botanic Gardens.
Blake's Lotaburger was ordered via cell phone from the family truckster on the way home (I have the one on Adams programmed into my cell phone--I know, Prop. 8- boo, hiss
). I buck conventional wisdom and get a halibut sandwich, with grilled onions and tomato. My mom gets her Green Chile on the side, but puts about half of it on the burger and claims to really like it.
After naptime, we had the pleasure of taking the little ones to Popejoy Hall to see Jack Hanna's Into The Wild LIVE. This was a matinee event, where the well known zookeeper from the Columbus Zoo brought out animal after animal to talk about their features and idiosyncracies. In between discussing four or five animals at a time- poking, prodding and pointing, he showed videos from his travels, including a fantastic vignette from NM's own Gila Wilderness
in which he and a couple of biologists snatch a weeks-old baby black bear cub from the den of her tranquilized mother to weigh and measure it.
After the show it was time for a dinner engagement at the next door neighbors-- Two different kinds of yummy quiche and Olympics, and general hospitality...
Monday was a total washout- what with the weather conditions and the fact that our vehicle was receiving its 60,000 service at Albuquerque's best import automotive repair shop, discussed at length on DCF here
(along with workout gyms). For a really nice puff piece on the shop, check out Johnny Mango's handiwork here
. By the way, the estimate for the in-depth 60,000 mile service was $479, and the actual cost was $430, sweet! See them in another 4 years.
Tuesday featured an afternoon trip to a few of our favorite North Valley digs- Plants of the Southwest, Dan's Feed Store (adjacent to the uber-4H, FFA- friendly Dan's Boots and Saddles), and Farmer's Feed. My mom loves the North Valley, evocative of a place that belongs far from the city. We bought a few packets of seeds and walked the grounds, looking at the plants, laying low in their one-gallon containers, barely hinting at what they might grow into in all their mid-summer glory. The early leaders for potential purchases include any of the numerous penstemons, and the stunning euphorbias, which hint to me of the Jurassic period, for some reason. At Dan's we asked about special order poultry hutches, and fantasized about starting our chicken coop and our hand at Urban Chickenry
this year. Farmers Feed, just a 100 yards or so up the road from Dan's on the other side of the street, seemed more suited to our spartan goals, and tight budget. They even had pullets in racks for 2-year old Nola to gawk at.
When we took 4th street to head back home to Fringecrest, via downtown-- my Mom said as she has said a number of times before, "So this is downtown Albuquerque?-- It's so clean!" As we passed by Mary and Tito's we had a brief discussion of Beardean accolades
And today, Wednesday, we're off to Santa Fe, which is decidedly not boring, not even by "Hollywood Bitch" standards. We'll go to our usual haunts- Double Take, Designer Warehouse, etc. Except this year, we're planning on forgoing lunch at Cafe Pasquale's (a now five year tradition) for Bert's Burger Bowl. We've never been and we think it's about time to heed the hype. We'll also hit Merry Go Round and look for fancy stuff for Grammy to buy the 6-year old, sparkly shoes, a magic wand, what-have-you. The truth is, we know we can get that stuff much cheaper in Albuquerque, but Grammy loves the experience and the thought of the "remember when we went to Santa Fe and went shopping"- type memories... and really- who are we to deny Mom her wishes.
Then there are still two and half days more to go on this year's visit, and nobody's bored. Least of all Grammy, who's content to just sit on the recliner and watch the girls play dolly dress up.