New Mexico 2007b

The same week I had a conference (CIC15) in Albuquerque, NM, my daughters had a four-day weekend, so I thought it would be fun to fly them out for a little vacation/exploration. I also asked Elizabeth if she and her daughters would like to come, and she agreed it was a fun idea, and was even willing to take care of the travel duties getting them all out to the airport and onto the plane on Friday -- no small feat.

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Here is the front lobby of the hotel where we stayed, and also where the Color Imaging Conference was held the week before. Some of my fellow geeks stayed on for the weekend also, and we kept running across them hearing snatches of conversation such as, "...but that would limit the gamut to sRGB again."
Keywords hdr

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The sunrise and sunset were both visible from my balcony, and usually quite beautiful.
Keywords hdr, sunset

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Hand-crafts are everywhere you turn in New Mexico. This clay chandelier was in a restaurant called "High Noon," where I dined with some of my associates Tuesday night.
Keywords art, hdr, nice

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One of many jewelry stores in Old Town Albuquerque, this one with a tin roof.
Keywords hdr

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Dad, pretending to be a fake flower.
Owner Tessala Larson

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This is the courtyard next to the restaurant where we had our first breakfast together. Alina liked the chai, which I tasted and also thought excellent.
Keywords hdr

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An iridescent plate in a shop window.
Keywords art, hdr

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Silver wares.
Keywords hdr

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Tessa took lots of photos in the Walgreens, where we probably spent more time shopping than the entire rest of the trip.
Owner Tessala Larson

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We resisted the temptation, strong though it was, to purchase singing holiday plushies.
Owner Tessala Larson

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The store was full of them, and Tessa was having fun setting them off.
Owner Tessala Larson

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Tessa's self-portrait taken in one of the many security mirrors.
Owner Tessala Larson

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OK, I'm dizzy.
Owner Tessala Larson

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"Tessa is more of an artist than you!" says Alina.
Owner Tessala Larson

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Church Albuquerque of the Latter Day Santas. (Also known as "St. Boxing Day.")

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The sky over Sky City, about 50 miles west of Albuquerque, which we visited Saturday afternoon.

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This is the mesa on which the Acoma Pueblo is perched, visible just left of center.
Keywords panorama

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Our tour began at the Acoma Mission, which was built upon the demolished site of the Acoma's original relgious temple, as our guide was quick to point out.

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One of the two bell towers. The place was immense, but we weren't allowed any photographs inside, even having paid $10 for a camera permit. It was an interesting combination of Catholic and Native American art and decoration inside, but they only held Mass there twice a year.
Keywords hdr

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Our guide (Kristin) was very amusing, and had many things to say about her life and the lives of her fellow Acoma.

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Elizabeth was fascinated by the different lifestyles, and didn't shy from asking questions.

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Kristin said that a cottonwood tree was generally a sign that there was water available nearby, and offered this as a desert survival tip. Some of the inhabitants sold handmade pottery and other wares to interested tourists.

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The Acoma traditionally gathered water filtered through the sandstone for drinking, but with all the traffic these days, they use a more contemporary source.

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This is a traditional oven the Acoma still use for baking bread.
Keywords hdr

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The vistas from the mesa were spectacular.

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Enchanted Mesa
The story is that many moons (planets?) ago, the original Acoma lived on Enchanted Mesa. One fateful day, a lightning strike took out the only path to the top. Fortunately, all but two of the tribe had gone down to the plains that day, and the tale says that the stranded pair lept to their deaths hand-in-hand rather than face slow starvation.

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I think I can see a small leak in the roof.
Keywords hdr, nice

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This was the last mica window in the Pueblo, with Pipsqueak added (by Alina) for scale.
Comment This was the last pane left made of mica.

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Kristin couldn't tell us what was inside the special house the men used for their religious ceremonies, because women are not permitted inside. I guess even in a matriarchal society, men retain certain privileges (or make them up).

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The walk down from the mesa was my favorite part. We got to use the same trail that's been used by the Acoma for thousands of years.

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The hand-holds were perfectly placed for the steps, neither of which I used.

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This was the only really steep bit, formed like a ladder. (I jumped, stubbing my toe on landing.)

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I'm sure these brothers have a name, but I didn't catch it.

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I could have spent all day just photographing rocks, if anyone else had the patience...

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It really is a skateboarder's paradise.
Keywords hdr, nice

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El Rey Inn
This is the reception of the hotel we stayed Saturday and Sunday.

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Parts of the grounds are very pretty and feel secluded. Our room was right next to a lovely spa, which we enjoyed both nights.

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Sunday morning, we got up early and had breakfast so we could make it to the Cedar Crest Ranch for a horseback ride in the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque.

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We arrived early, and found animals before we found people.

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Everyone had a turn, and we found some kittens as well.

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Very cute, but they had a bit of a little flea & tick problem. (Too young for collars.)

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This horse was very friendly, and seemed to look everyone straight in the eye.

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Riders regarding their mounts.

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Eliz was the first to saddle up on a horse Donald called "Little Man."

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And they're off!

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We followed a property fence for a mile or so before heading into the wilderness area.

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Alina was riding "Snoopy," who liked to snack at every opportunity.

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The trail was dry but beautiful.

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Donald borrowed my camera for a couple of group photos.

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Do I look like a weekend cowboy or what? (Actually, Alina looked a lot cooler in her helmet than I did in my hat.)

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Enjoying the view.

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Our leader was quite the horseman, and had numerous riding trophies to show for it.

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Group photo #2.

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Pretty nice day, eh?

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How far?
That afternoon, we went in search of a vegetarian restaurant. Unfortunately, the place was farther from the downtown square than we initially thought, so I walked back to fetch the car while the women hiked the rest of the way there.

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We made it to the restaurant at last.
Owner Tessala Larson

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It's closed?!
Which took Sundays off. Tessa captured our expressions when we heard the news, which the others had been keeping quietly to themselves.
Owner Tessala Larson

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On the edge of downtown, there was this interesting salvage shop, full of old goodies collected over the last century or so.

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This seemed to be a secondary church or some other competing denomination. Very impressive, but an entrance fee prevented yours cheaply from getting a peek inside.
Keywords hdr

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Luckily, the main church had no such fee for entry.

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St. Francis himself was welcoming visitors.
Keywords hdr

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I was the only one from our group who went for a look.
Keywords hdr

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I think Eliz was curious, but she was dedicated to giving our kids a good shopping experience.
Keywords hdr

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Keywords hdr

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The sunset was catching this tree in the central square just right.

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Monday was our final day, and we had breakfast at this famous southwestern eatery.

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After brunch, we drove a short distance to a mall to locate a particular store.

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Alina pointed out that there was quite a "Wizard of Oz" theme going on our trip, including daily glimpses of the classic, which we caught on our hotel cable.

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The store display was quite humorous.

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The famous Ruby Sneakers.

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On the way out of town, we stopped at this well-known novelty art store.

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Elizabeth pointed out that many of the wares actually came from Mexico or Indochina.

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These guys were obviously local, though.

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Alina really liked the handstanders. (The other girls were hanging out in the car.)

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My favorites, the Street Sisters.

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Elizabeth showing off her new earrings.

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On the way to the airport, we stopped at the art/tourist town of Madrid. Just outside Madrid was the eternally funky "Tiny Town," which is the work of local artist Tammy Jean Lange.

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This truck is going places, but not in any of the regular dimensions...

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Weird things going on at Ken & Barbie's Lounge.
Owner Elizabeth

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Owner Elizabeth

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French Revolution Barbie.
Owner Elizabeth

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Sticks and Bones
Owner Elizabeth

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Another familiar scene.
Owner Elizabeth

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The town of Madrid gained recent celebrity as one of the key settings for the movie "Wild Hogs."
Keywords hdr

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Takes me way back, to before I was born in this case.

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I loved the atmosphere. It was so funky and hippie in places, and so formal and artsy in others. Truly unique.

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Owner Elizabeth

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Owner Elizabeth

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A cool old motorcycle with sidecar.

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I would have liked to go inside the coal mining museum, but most of the kids were sitting in the car, being obstinately bored.

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I recall he was very soft.
Owner Elizabeth

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Owner Elizabeth

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Owner Elizabeth

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Parting shot.
Owner Elizabeth

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Page created Nov 18 2007 10:03:26a