Back from vacation! I didn't tell you in advance, because what if a bad guy puts the pieces together and robs us blind because now he knows we're out of town? Losing the stuff would be bad, but what if he tortured our cat or just let him run free? The cat is a flight risk anyway -- maybe the crook and the cat are in cahoots. Just a sample of the stuff that goes on in my brain.
We drove to Northern New Mexico, which is about a 10-hour drive from where we live in Texas. A highlight of the road trip was the puffy tuna sighting. My husband and I have a long-standing joke about tuna from a gas station or vending machine. I think it's the grossest thing ever, and he taunts me by saying they're delicious. We stopped for gas, and he called my attention to this sandwich, making sure I noted the bag was puffy. I get queasy just thinking about it.
Our hotel was in Santa Fe, but we explored much of the region by car and foot. It was a fabulous vacation, partly because my knees are better, and I was able to move around without pain. I will have to write a separate post about my physical therapy, which has been a real eye-opener. Anyway, I'm on the mend and excited to be enjoying physical activity again.
New Mexico is stunningly beautiful. I've always been a beach girl but find myself drawn to the mountains as I get older. That's probably my skin's way of saying, enough. We could not have ordered more perfect weather. Warm sunny days with cool mornings and cool evenings. It was a pleasure to be outside. Not that Texas isn't a pleasure, but we are fast approaching the blast furnace season.
Santa Fe is a hip and happening place, but we were surprised at how upscale it is. Very artsy, lots of people dropping big bucks in the shops and eating at fancy restaurants. My husband and I both enjoy art, but we don't feel the need to own it. Still, it was inspiring to see what people create with their hands and hearts, whether it was in one of the frou-frou galleries or in any of the city's fine museums. We were the anti-shoppers in a city that seems set up to suck your wallet dry. But we enjoyed it just the same. The only thing I purchased was a vintage silver barrette.
We'd browse for awhile and then sit in the square to people-watch and inhale the fragrance of grilled onions from the fajita cart. We saw a lot of boomers who looked fit, happy and laid back. It's probably the Georgia O'Keeffe effect, but there are tons of women with long silver hair. Gray hair is practically the norm. The woman who sold me my silver barrette complained that her hair wasn't graying fast enough! Reverse peer pressure.
The best part of Santa Fe was getting out of town. We drove the Turquoise Trail and high road to Taos and soaked in the luscious mountain scenery. Tiny towns with rustic charm that seemed to sustain not much more than farmers and artists. Our favorite day was a trip to Bandelier National Monument to see the ancient cliff dwellings. We climbed a series of ladders taking us 140 feet above the canyon floor to the Alcove House, once a home to prehistoric people.
Much of New Mexico history is Native American history, and I came away more intrigued than ever with the Indian culture. I wanted to talk about it driving home -- 10 hours gives you plenty of time to chat. Dale was more interested in playing the car game we call, "Dead or Alive." I think the game only works if you are an aging baby boomer with memory loss. We both like music and argue all the time about who died, so as the radio plays we call out the name, and you have to guess.
Joey Ramone -- dead!
Brian Wilson -- alive!
Robin Gibb -- dead!
Aretha Franklin -- alive!
Finally, I said, you know ... I've been thinking about Indian spiritual beliefs. They believe pottery is sacred because it came from clay, which came from the Earth, which is the source of life.
Dale says, fine, they can believe what they want to, but to him it's just like any other religion -- a philosophy not based on logic or science. I agree, but I don't think you have to believe what other people believe to find value in it. I said I think of myself as a traveler, and I make stops along the way to pick up things that will be useful to me on my journey. I like the idea of feeling more connected to the land, I like spending time seeing the natural wonders of the world, so I put that in my pack and move on.
He was like, fair enough, relieved that I'm not going all tribal on him. He just wants to crawl back into his comfort zone, and just then I hear the opening riff of Satisfaction, so I throw him a bone.