We had been counting down to this day for about a month now. Not only was it our youngest child’s birthday, but it was the day his big sister and niece were coming to visit us for 6 weeks. Excitement in the air is an understatement.
Morning found us driving thru the windy streets of Santa Fe looking at all the adobe houses of sandy hues on rolling hills. Downtown was of the same decor with bigger buildings. We discovered The Plaza where we strolled the streets browsing in a few gift & artsy stores where chilies hung as welcoming signs. Little looks like the Old Santa Fe Trail. All commercialized now, but you can read snippets of history throughout The Plaza.
Back in the late 1700’s this area of the country was owned by Spain, then it was owned by Mexico. Come 1846 Santa Fe became part of the United States. Pieces of land and buildings changed ownership from country to country, not just person to person.
A block from The Plaza the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi chimed its bells beckoning us to enter. At the sight of the church Anders wore a big grin. Churches are one of the things he admires.
Our Birthday Boy was itching for promised pizza and TripAdvisor delivered right on the money. We took their advise and had lunch at Backroad Pizza where we sat under the tree outside where big round metal tables gave us amples of space though we still had to work at hiding from the sun. Laars opened his gift from the family while our meal was worked on.
With a few hours left before Rauchelle and Marin arrived in Albuquerque we headed for the bigger city anticipating a short visit to Petroglyphs National Monument. But things heated up as we drove there and by the time we used the washrooms to wet down our heads nobody was interested in scouting out old scratches in rock with no sun cover.
It was in the low 100’s and a stupid idea of mine for such a day as this I realized after the fact. All we wanted to do at this point was find a mall with air conditioning. We decided we might as well just head to the airport early and hang out until our girls’ plane arrived about 5pm. However, on the way there the kids and I decided that chewing on ice cubes would be a fun thing to do so we pulled over at a gas station, bought cubes for $1.99 and crunched and slurped away on melting ice while hiding from the scorching sun. Some things in life are free, or nearly free. What a cheap treat it was.
Our van full of family, camping gear and baby paraphernalia we headed for the 4.5 hr late-night drive to our camping home base in Cortez, Colorado. Rauchelle pulled out a birthday gift for Laars who was able to add his glittering jewels and shiny bells to his new treasure box, and we stopped for impromptu supper alongside the road
before continuing on our journey, arriving back home after midnight where we happily fell into bed. It had been a l-o-n-g day for all of us.