Because of our visit to the Petrified Forest in Arizona, we didn’t reach Albuquerque, New Mexico until late evening. We were well past our goal of being off the road every day by 4pm and even needed to pick up dinner along the road. Our kids are great in the car, but everyone has limits, and none of us are at our best when we’re tired and hungry.
So we may have been a bit ragged when we arrived at the home of our old friends who so kindly hosted us while we were in Albuquerque. By “old friends” I mean the kind of friends who we haven’t seen in at least 20 years (I was in middle school or perhaps even younger – none of us could remember exactly when it was) but who still opened their home to us when we were in the area. Bob was my dad’s best friend in high school and they went on to serve in the Air Force together. Though they kept in touch over the years, living on opposite sides of the country made it difficult for them and their families to get together very often. As it turned out, Bob was out of town the week that we came to town, but his wife El received us very graciously. We worked out all the details over Facebook with Bob’s oldest daughter Melinda. Once again, Facebook to the rescue!
We camped in their driveway, which was probably a little too steeply sloped for Home Sweet Pop-up, but with the help of all the extra boards we had with us, plus a few from their garage, it worked. Late October in Albuquerque was much colder than it had been in Arizona, and we considered moving inside since it was available. But the space heater kept it comfortable enough, and we decided it was better to avoid interrupting the kids’ sleep routines too much.
It doesn’t look too bad from a distance…
But this set up made me a little nervous.
There are probably a lot of very interesting things to see and do in and around the Albuquerque area. We didn’t do any of them. After a couple of weeks of pretty intense sight-seeing, we found ourselves saturated. After browsing a number of sight-seeing options, we opted for a day of “sight-missing”. What we found was a Fall Festival for kids – with free entry no less! – and decided to go there first. It turned out to be so great that we stayed the whole day.
This was perhaps the best thing ever. Like a cross between a ball pit and a sandbox, filled entirely with corn. I can’t even estimate how much corn was in there. It was huge. The kids loved it!
I’m still not sure how we ever got them out of there. Who knew you could have so much fun with a muffin tin? Will have to remember this for the sandbox!
Then they had a hay bale maze…
And a giant tube slide…
And whatever these would be called…? They’re super fun anyway.
But quite a workout as it turns out.
Poor Peter was too young for a lot of things, but he thought it was fun to watch his big sister
Bean bag toss is always good…
And a plastic bowling set. Nice follow through!
And these seem to be obligatory everywhere.
Emelie says, “Do I really look like a cow?”
Finally something Peter can do too (with a little help)
On the way home, we stopped at one of those frozen yogurt bars that I’d been dying to try. We had the place to ourselves and the friendly older gentleman working there gave us great a yogurt bar tutorial. It’s my new favorite thing! I wish they had those in Sweden, but it’s probably better for our waistlines and bank accounts that they don’t.
So we opted to skip all the tourist sites of Albuquerque and enjoyed a fun, relaxed and free (except the yogurt) day playing in the sun together. It was refreshing, and it was absolutely the right decision. After an evening of visiting and a second night in our somewhat precariously balanced camper, we were on the road again and heading south.
Pajama party and hair brushing with El
“Hanging” with Melinda’s son
Just give me some blocks and I’m a happy boy!