Henry's Albuquerque Adventure!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
(This post requires you to be comfortable--perhaps a cup of coffee or hot chocolate is in order? Either that, or you need plenty of time to kill at work in order to get through this post. Also, please enjoy the extensive collection of landscape photography. If you're not into that, sorry. There's a lot in this post. I think we might be looking at 100 photos in this post. As always, happy scrolling.)


18 hours. That's how long we were in the car with our little toddler. Given the circumstances of being cooped up in a car seat for 18 hours, he did amazingly well. We left our house at 4:30pm Christmas day afternoon and pulled into Auntie Liz and Uncle Adam's at 11:09am the next day (Thank you GPS). Ryan did most of the driving, but I even did a little myself! Henry's schedule was something like this:

Up from the start until approximately 7pm.
Slept from 7-10.
Up from 10-12ish.
Slept from 12ish-3.
Up from 3-4.
Slept from 4-6ish.

It wasn't until we were about 2 hours out where he became (almost) unconsoleable. At that point, no DVD, toy, book or food item would stop him from telling us he was "all done".

It was a long time in the car. Portable DVD players for the car are an amazing invention. It didn't occupy/entertain Henry as much as we thought it would, though we did enjoy watching Thomas the Train's Snowy Christmas about 20 times.

Auntie Liz and Uncle Adam bought Henry this awesome rocking horse! It makes noise, rocks, wags it's tail and nods/turns its head!

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Once we got settled in, ate lunch and showered we went to the River of Lights. Check out the photos I could get! We even got to ride on a little train from our car to the entrance (unfortunately, Henry was asleep for both rides). He woke up for the majority of our time there and seemed entranced with the lights.

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On our second day of Henry's Albuquerque Adventure we went for a small hike in the open space of the foothills near Auntie Liz and Uncle Adam's house. Henry was in a carrier and did pretty well (unless daddy stopped moving--then he got pretty upset). We saw some coyote poop, but no wild animals.

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Later, Ryan and Adam went off on a bike ride (yay for them coming back in one piece!) and Auntie Liz, Henry and me went to a local art store looking for something special to bring back home.

Once everyone was back we went out to Pelican's restaurant where Henry ate no more than what you see below...the sunflower seeds that were supposed to be sprinkled on the salads. Ryan and I were stuffed and most of the main course came back in a to-go box (but it was so delicious!).

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Don't let him fool you. He wasn't eating. And he was grouchy.

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Liz, Adam, mussel.

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Liz, Adam, no mussel.

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A delicious Dragonberry Mojito.

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Henry's day was done!

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Day 3 was a very busy day! We spent the morning at Tent Rocks National Monument which was breathtakingly beautiful. Neither I nor Ryan had ever been on a hike such as this. Henry went about halfway with us in the carrier and then he stayed back with Auntie Liz and Uncle Adam while we climbed all the way to the top. The view was amazing! Check out the many pictures!

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I also snapped a few of just Henry for some very unique and one of a kind 17 month photos. Can't get much more awesome than that. Except for the fact that he wanted nothing more than to explore after I was finished and was very unhappy being carried the last .2 miles back to the car.

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Once we got back from Tent Rocks, Henry stayed back with Auntie Liz and Adam, Ryan and I went up the Tramway (which goes up the Sandia mountains--in their backyard). It was slightly terrifying, but I was a big girl and kept my eyes open most of the way up and half the way back down. It was 15 minutes up to the top where we then hiked a bit on top of the snow covered mountain and took some awesome photos (see below). Once we finished our hike we had some drinks at the restaurant that sits on top of the mountain.

Note to future travelers to mountains: drinking 2 gigantic beers is pretty much the equivilant of 8 regular beers. Not only were the beers large enough to be considered 2 solid beers per glass (which means it was more like 4), but due to the decreased oxygen (I think) at 10,000 feet up, the effects of the alcohol hit you harder and faster than it normally would and thus drinking 4 drinks is more like double that at 8.

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I need to decide how large and where this fantastic photo will hang in our house. 

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Our tour guide.

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Brothers.

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Somebody had too much to drink at the top of the mountain and had fun with the camera on the way back.
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ABQ at night.

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When we came back, Liz made delicious chicken pot pies!

Day four started out very relaxing as Auntie Liz and I went to her favorite spa! We soaked in the hot tub and were lucky enough to squeeze in a 30 minute massage. Fantastic! While we were at the spa, Uncle Adam, daddy and Henry went off to a Nuclear Warhead Museum. As much as I know Ryan wants to learn how to properly use my camera, he gives up easily and flips to auto when all else fails. Except here, he turned off the flash and THEN flipped to auto. Made for some motion blurred pictures, but glad that he captured them nonetheless.

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After we met back up we went down to Old Town and ate at a fabulous Mexican restaurant. Henry had some salsa!

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Day five was a cold day. I think it was colder that day in ABQ than it was here back in fabulous Minnesota. Yuck. Anyway, we started at some volcanoes which I decided to stay in the car for because it was just miserably windy. Uncle Adam and daddy climbed up to the top of one of the volcanoes. As Auntie Liz, Henry and I waited in the car, we laughed at the employees shoveling the dusting of snow off the sidewalks.

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The picture above was to my left. The picture below was to my right now too long after. Amazing.

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We had Indian food for lunch, which I was admittedly reluctant to try to enjoy, but it was actually really good. Ryan thought he saw Howie Mandel there (but not really). I really wanted to recreate our famous Virgin Indian Food lunch video from our Jersey/New York trip in 2006, but they did not have the pastry balls on the buffet. sad. Maybe I'll post that video. It's pretty funny.

Because of the cold, we opted to take Henry to the children's museum, explora! He absolutely loved it. He had a few favorite activities which I will point out below in the photos. After the museum we went and had cheese and chocolate fondue at the Melting Pot. We have one in downtown MPLS, and I can't believe we haven't been there before. I casually mentioned to Ryan that that would be a fabulous place to take me on my birthday (15 days away :) ).

Henry LOVED the giant bubbles!!!

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He also really loved this. Drop a ball through a tube and it falls out the other side. Daddy told him he'd build one just like it in the basement.

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I remember wiping away a tear when I took this picture. I don't know what about this particular moment triggered this realization, but it was at this moment that I completely realized I was no longer looking at a baby through my viewfinder.

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He also really loved this!

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We all got a huge kick out of this:

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We played with blocks.

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Electricity.

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And more bubbles.

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It was such a good time. He threw a few tantrums, but enjoyed the freedom to finally run around. I think we'll have to check out the Minnesota Children's Museum and see what they have!

Day 6 (New Year's Eve) was an even colder day, but my camera was aching to take more scenic photos. Thus we ventured out on the Turquoise Trail which eventually led us to the Pecos ruins. It honestly felt as cold (if not colder because it was REALLY windy) on that day than it did today in Minnesota. Ewww. However, the sun was out and the sky was blue which = fabulous photos. We stopped on the way for lunch in Madrid (made famous in the movie Wild Hogs).

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Somebody made it snow.

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We rushed back to ABQ just in time for these sunset pictures (as it was our last night to try and capture those). Auntie Liz and Uncle Adam had some neighbors over as well and we rang in the new year with delicious Sangria, Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and some Guitar Hero.

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On our final day daddy spent a lot of time cleaning and packing the car for a journey back. We then went out to lunch and had a gigantic piece of chocolate cake (that I unfortunately neglected to take a picture of). We stopped at Walmart to pick up some more Thomas stuff. At the beginning of the post, I failed to mention how vital Thomas the Train was. It was the only DVD that Henry was interested in, and I was not about to watch that same damn DVD another 30 times. So, we picked up a 6 disc set (6 hours worth of Thomas!) hoping we'd go through it once, maybe twice. Umm, nope. It was definitely the only thing in for pretty much the entire trip. I still have nightmares and fear I will never get the Thomas theme song/jingle out of my head.

We left ABQ at 3:30 mountain time and returned home shortly after 1:00pm the next day (central time). The drive back was MUCH more difficult (all around, for all of us) than the drive there. Henry did seem to sleep through most of the night, though. Must be something psychological about driving to an unknown, interesting, exciting place that makes a drive better than driving back to chores, jobs, routines and reality. I think it took us 20 hours to get back. We stopped more, I drove WAY more (got slightly lost in Texas in the middle of the night) and got pulled over in Kansas (Ryan, not me). It felt so good to pull in the driveway. Although it wasn't TOO bad, I think we will fly next time.

A great big thank you to Uncle Adam and Auntie Liz for welcoming us, your hospitality, feeding us and taking us around to see the sights. Another great big thank you to all the grandmas and grandpas for taking care of the puppies while we were away. Chris and Kelly also get a thank you for getting our mail, helping us unpack and clean up a bit once we got home. Thank you to Thomas the Train, whole milk, pringles, marshmallow treasures, and Mcdonalds french fries for making this all possible by making the car ride bearable for Henry. Finally, thank you to the miracle cream Desitin for making the worst diaper rash I have ever seen disappear after the first application. We changed him frequently on the way home, but apparently it was just too long in the car for his little parts.

I hope you enjoyed the post. And I apologize for anything that is missing, misaligned, misspelled, etc. I've worked on this for about 5 nights now, and it's as good as it is going to get. Hopefully at 17 month update later this week.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Jenna! These are beautiful photos!!! Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip and great memories! :) We are glad you are back home though- We missed you 3 (5 counting the dogs) LOT'S!!!!

Jenna said...

thanks Kelly! You don't even have to sign it and I knew it was you. :)

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