Church in the Mountains

Friends,

A few weeks ago my husband took me shopping for my birthday. We took the scenic route to Santa Fe through the mountains. One thing I love about New Mexico are the little quaint churches in every town. This one is in a ghost town, and the church is all that is left. Take a look.

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I think it is in Golden, near the quirky hippy town of Madrid, if you ever want to venture there. As I make my way through New Mexico I plan on taking pictures of the little churches in remote places.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Church in the Mountains

Sedona

Friends,

If you plan on visiting Sedona, do it in the fall. It is not too hot, and the colors are pretty. Sedona is nestled in a valley. We started from the north, thus getting beautiful views of the valley from the top (see above).

As you drive down into the valley you will see a wall of rocks for miles. A river runs parallel to the highway, and there are lots of camping spots along the way.

This at the bottom of the valley. You can park here and go on long or short hikes. Nearby here is also the center of Sedona, with lots of touristy shops, restaurants, and hotels. I found Sedona much bigger than I expected. If you camp near the center you can mountain bike or hike right from the town. Be aware that you must secure a camp site down there months in advance, they fill up quickly.My husband got a shot of me taking pictures.

We didn’t have much time as we were driving through on our way to Phoenix. I will be back soon for sure. My husband has taken his Boy Scout troop there several times. They go mountain biking, and then cool of in the river at Slide Rock. You can rent bikes and fuel up on coffee at BikesNBeans.

How about you, have you been here? How long would you recommend staying?

-Sofija

Sedona

Balloon Fiesta

One of our favorite things to do in Albuquerque is the annual balloon fiesta. The fiesta is a big event. It seems like the whole city shuts down and traffic comes to a screeching halt (which is unusual around here). For 9 days you can see hundreds of balloons flying above the city every morning. It is quite a sight. But it is even better to be there. I was told it is the only hot air balloon event were visitors can walk on the field amongst the balloons. You can stand right next to them as they take off. We go on the days when all the special shapes take off. We try to be there by 6am because the balloons take off at sunrise. Here is a picture of me in front of scores of balloons being inflated.

There are favorite shapes that come back year after year, like Darth Vader (below), Spider Man pig, a haunted house, and many more. One year I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a balloon shaped as a pitcher with apple wine which is only made in the county of Germany where I was raised. Balloonist from all over the world come here. My kids collect the cards they hand out telling people who owns the balloons and where they are from.

My kid’s favorites are the bees below. The first year we came there were a girl bee and a boy bee. They would hold hands as they go up and even kiss up in the air. The crowd always cheer when they kiss. Last time we went they had had a baby, now there are three bees. So sweet. You can only see two, they third one hasn’t been inflated yet.

Here is a ballon from the inside. I was told Noah’s Ark is the only one that has a scenery on the outside and inside.

Here is Noah’s Ark on the outside, just about to take off.

This picture shows you how close these balloons are and how many people stand around them watching. The butterfly was my 4 year old’s favorite.

Here is my 4 year old warming up with some hot chocolate. It is pretty cold until the sun comes up.

You can get an idea how many balloons are in the sky, I read we have around 600 taking off each morning.

Friends, if you are planning a trip to New Mexico, this is the time to come. If you are brave you can even hitch a ride for about $250.

Have a wonderful day,

Sofija

Balloon Fiesta

Old Town Albuquerque

Hi there,

On Friday I had a chance to go to old town Albuquerque. We had an international student stay with us last week, so I wanted to show her the sights. Founded in 1706 it is quite charming. Spanish settlers organized the center in the traditional Spanish colonial way: with a central plaza anchored by a church. This is San Felipe de Neri church, built in 1793.

There are shops all around the plaza shaded by pergolas like this one.

What makes Old Town so fun are the little shops hidden in sideways like this one.

Here is the plaza in the center. On the weekends there will be bands playing life music and children dancing.

New Mexico is all about manana. Life is slower here.

Here you can see the blending of cultures in this area. Native Americans side by side with Spanish settlers and poeple of Mexican origin. This is reflected in the stores, museums, and performances in old town. When you get here on the right day you see a Native American dancer performing on the street.

Found this water well in one of the side passages.

Here is my 2 year old, Natasha.

The building still look very much like when they were built centuries ago.

This is me and Natasha cooling off with a smoothie. It was quite hot.

Hope you enjoyed it. Come visit us sometime.

Have a wonderful day,

Sofija

Old Town Albuquerque