A Visit To: Ancient Volcanoes (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

We drove a little ways outside of Albuquerque and found the volcanoes in clear view in the distance. It was a long drive but we could always see these in the horizon anywhere you are in Albuquerque or Rio Rancho areas and really wanted to see them.

We parked our car on a paved parking lot and found the hike to the volcanoes was going to take some time. The dirt path leads to the first one and then forks off to the distance to the others. We could see that the trail was suitable for dirt bikes and horses as tracks from both were visable.

The walk back to the first volcano I would say is about two miles and then goes quickly up the side of the first. Don’t expect to see a pit at the top of it though as these haven’t erupted in thousands of years and really look more like hills.

We chose to view the rest from where we were at the first, gazing over the valley of Albuquerque and seeing the rest of the volcanoes was a real treat.

We received a cell phone call while there about a house we were trying to get and so we had to cut this trip short but it was fun and enjoyable and the scenery was beautiful.



A Visit To: Petroglpys National Monument (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

We recently went for a trip to Petroglpys National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico and really enjoyed ourselves. We first went and stopped in to visit the visitors center and got our map and got more directions to where the petroglpys are actually located. The visitors center is located on one road and you have to go off this road back onto the main road to go to where the petroglys are actually located. The visitors center has some native plantings with name plaques along the way as well as examples of outside ovens used to make breads and cook foods.

When we got to the turnoff for the petroglpys you can see the mountains and we now knew this was an uphill clinb. We had only been there a week and coming from West Virginia it was a bit of a struggle since we were in such a different climate.

I pulled the car up into a parking space after giving a dollar for the fee. We decided might as well start off with trail one since their are so many. The trail is not for the week… there are boulders and large steep steps to climb. The petroglphs were everywhere and some were in very good shape.

We got to the top and saw rabbits and a squirrel and then made our way down. We had originally thought we were going to do the three trails but after that decided the one was enough and since we were moving there we could do the others at another time.

Our boys decided though that they wanted to go running around and while my wife and I relaxed thats what they did…. teenagers.

We left and made note to make sure we came back here again…. and bring plenty of water.


A Visit To: The Owl Cafe (Albuqerque, New Mexico)

Upon entering The Owl Cafe located at 800 Eubank Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, NM 87123-1200  (and their phone is (505) 291-4900‎) I found I like the environment of the fifties diner very well. In the entrance I found magazine and newspaper clippings of reviews and stories about The Owl Cafe. I then went to the front counter and was promptly seated in one of the many comfortable booths that surround the restaurant.

The waitress was speedy to get our drink orders and bring them back with a small plate of green chili, beans and cracker which are on the house. This was my first taste of actual chili and I can tell my move here will be good because they are very addictive.

She came back repetitively and asked if we were ready to order because we couldn’t make our minds up from all the fabulous foods. My wife and oldest son had their famous original green chili cheeseburger, my other son had a large order of fries with chili and cheese (the portion was huge) and I had chili rellenoes (which was all vegeterian but I happened to love it and was very filled). Food was served hot and portions were very large leaving all of us enough to take home and eat a snack later.

My wife and I also had the Hershey chocolate shake to take home and it was clearly one of the best shakes I have ever had and well worth the $4.99.

Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone and especially a family as the food is diverse and adults as well as kids will have a perfect find on their menu.

A Visit To: The Albuqerque International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

A Brief Description:

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly festival of hot air balloons that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during early October. The balloon fiesta is a nine day event, and has around 750 balloons. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world and is in the Guinness World Book Of Records for the most photographed event in the world.

The Visit:

It was an early morning and it was cold when we got up but we were told we needed to be there early. So we were up at 4:00am and we got on the road by 5:00am. The traffic was regulated down to a one lane for about two miles before the entrance and the traffic was backed up that long also.

We finally made it towards the entrance and paid the parking fee…. we decided not to participate in the “park and ride” (the city had the option of parking at a distant location and riding on a bus to the the fiesta). We wanted the convenience of leaving when we wanted to but paid for that by the wait time and traffic getting into the park.

When we arrived there were no balloons out and there was an overcast and wouldn’t you know it it started to sprinkle…. and without perfect weather conditions the balloons would never make it off the ground. We were disappointed, in the weather and what seemed to be complete unorganization. People were everywhere and being a first time for us we hadn’t a clue as to what we were to do.

So we walked around and looked at all the vendors and the craziness of what carnival and country fair food is these days. Fried Twinkies, watermelon drink, deep fried Pepsi, fried doughnut hamburgers, fried candy bars and of course funnel cake. We decided on the favorite funnel cake and something new, the watermelon drink. The watermelon drink was ok but after a few sips I came to an understanding that this flavor shouldn’t be in liquid form and I went back to get a fresh squeezed lemonade. The funnel cake was of course delicious.

We sat for about a half hour in the plush grass and waited. They sent up the test balloons (these small balloons with a flame under them) to see the wind patterns and to test the weather since it had sprinkled. After about twenty of those the ok was given but was at drivers discretion. We were happy… we were gonna see this finally.

We started walking around trying to figure out where the balloons that we wanted to see were gonna be. The two bees with their new “baby”, Darth Vadar, witch, lighthouse, Pepsi can were amongst them. We also started collecting the baseball-type cards that the drivers gave out that showed the balloon and information about them…. these are pretty neat and we ended up with about 30 of them.

I tell you it is important to know where the balloons you want to see are going to be located because when all 660 balloons are inflating you sometimes can’t see the sky. That coupled with the sea wave of people makes the experience unbelievable.

We walked around the arena for about three hours seeing every shape of balloon we could think of and many of the big balloons that were shaped either came back down or fall due to it not being the most ideal weather pattern that morning. The space shuttle almost landed on our heads.

When the last of the balloons finally took off or had been deflated and were being packed back up we decided it was best to head home… that and the fact my camera decided to act up and was finished taking pictures.

The traffic was slow getting out and I wondered where all the parking and traffic guides were now everyone was heading home because they had numerous help when we arrived. It ended up being a free-for-all and a little annoying, not to mention dangerous.

The event is a once-in-a-lifetime type of event that you can actually see every year… if that makes sense. I will attend each and every year I am able to and see the new balloons that are added every year. That and the fact we live here makes it a week of constant entertainment with balloons in every directions in the sky.

Hope you will attend it next time…………