Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 2, Albuquerque to Flagstaff

sassy flavor
bursts on my tongue
in sun soaked neighborhood
we walk together
his memories
coming to life before us
sharing his childhood
with our child
in the shadow of the Sandias
we delight
in the treat
of ripe mulberries

Day 2 started about 5 miles east of Albuquerque. We were greeted with a beautiful view of the Sandias Mountains. They loomed big over the city. These mountains are ingrained in Jim's memory. The plan of the morning consisted of finding the old house his family lived in when he was in 2-4 grades, as well as the elementary school. Both of which we did.

Here you can see Jim and Ian in the ditch where Jim played with his friends. I'm assuming that Jeanne had no idea he was down in the roadside ditch collecting pieces of iron with a magnet and jumping off the side into the ditch, although maybe she knew and secretly spied on his friends and him while it was happening. Either way, according to Jim the ditch has seen some attention over the last 20 years as has the neighborhood. We walked down the block, found the house (we think) viewed the Sandias which could not possibly be ignored, admired all of the beautiful desert gardens and were treated to a wonderful surprise of ripe mulberries that were being completely ignored by their owner.

Here you can see Ian having a blast on the playground equipment that now exists where before there was only rock and tractor tires, a four square court and a tether ball.

As true nature lovers and plant geeks must, we gather green things from all over. Jim thought it apprppriate for him to gather sage from this place in his childhood.

After the walk down memory lane we headed over to the Old Town. Here is the Catholic Church, San Felipe De Neri which is the oldest church in Albuquerque. The church is the center of the Old Town.

We ate lunch at a restaurant in Old Town called la Hacienda. The chili relleno was spicy, the margarita was strong and the sopapilla was delicious. Although, the whole idea of the sopapilla nags me to leatn more about where it came from, how it became such a part of the American-Mexican food tradition and why it so like Indian fry bread which seems to be a pan-American Indian fair food. Some folks might lambast me for this opinion but as a foodie I think I might look further into the bringing of the friend bread dough as a staple...

Me and my boy at the entrance to the Old Town square.

When we finished our tourist duties in Albuquerque we packed into the car and headed west. Our destination, Flagstaff. Along the way we were attacked by roadside dinosaurs and I just happened to have my camera ready for taking this shot. Who says dinosaurs are extinct?

As we approached Flagstaff, I was amazed at the greeting given to travelers by the San Francisco Peaks. They just rise magically out of the landscape and make their presence known. To the Hopi these are sacred mountains. This is where the Kachinas live and the way of life is directly tied to ceremony calling on the spirits to send rain as well as to take the rain home. A number of years ago Jim and I were lucky enough to have happened on a traditional Hopi Home Going dance. This was the ceremoiny in which the Hopi give thanks to the kachinas and the spirits and send them back to the peaks at th eend of the harvest season. I can still hear the chanting and see the dancing.

We finally arrived in Flagstaff and headed to the DuBeau Inn Hostel. Let me tell you, I had no idea that Flagstaff was such a happening city. The Historic square was packed with families who had been watching a free movie and there were folks everywhere just enjoying life. We walked around enjoying the festivities and tried a local brew at a pub across the street.

Today we're headed to the Grand Canyon and Ian is so excited. Neither he nor I have been there and so I'm excited too. Catch you next time.