Nov 26, 2011

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving! We were lucky this year to be able to spend it with the Ramirez's, Shawn and Tiffany and of course Olive and Chloe. Tiffany's parents took a trip to Denver and we definitely reaped the benefits with an amazing home cooked meal.
We had tons of Champagne and wine...which led to...
DANCING and Salt Shaker Maracas and an Adam who was  very curious of his family.


Our last three thanksgivings have been so incredibly different and each so special.
2011...In Denver with Shawn and Tiff
2010...In Jacksonville for lunch and Orlando for Dinner
2009...In Bali, Indonesia

I wonder where we will be in 2012...

Nov 19, 2011

Road Trip Day 9, Taos

This ladies and gents is the beginnings of an Earth Ship. It just so happens that my cousin Jeff used to live in one. On first hearing the name, I had no idea what he was talking about and risked the thought of him being an alien lover and well...thinking abductions and such. And then, he brought us to his "earthship" that he rented years ago and explained the technology. Now, instead of a house, I want one. I want to help build one. I want to live in one. It is  a very cool concept founded by Mike Reynolds more than 40 years ago.
The idea behind an earthship is that it is self sustainable and can be built anywhere. The walls are made of glass bottles, tires and earth. The home has solar panels and a very well developed drainage system to bring rain water from the roof into the home through reuse and reduce. Basically the design principle is very simple:

This video will explain the entire building and living within an earthship.

It was truly eye opening to see how simple it is to live in a natural environment. You just need to purchase some land and build!

After we went through the earthship, Jeff brought us to the Rio Grande Gorge which is 650 ft. above the river. I had no idea that the Rio Grande runs all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to Colorado. The water level was not very high or gushing, but it was a very impressive site.

Nov 18, 2011

Road Trip Day 8 continued....

As you can see, Adam was quite upset that we left the meat cooler..whereas I did nothing but laugh about it. I think his heart sunk a little when he realized the cooler was gone.

We left Carlsbad and headed North to Roswell. We went to the UFO museum and man it was interesting. They had so many facts and newspaper clippings, photos etc.

It makes it very hard to believe that the whole situation didn't take place. I am a strong believer that we are not the only ones in the universe and find it all very fascinating. I also think it is pretty awesome that more than 40 years ago this took place, how much more developed their technology is than ours!

After Roswell we headed west to Santa Fe. What an absolutely beautiful city. The architecture is just what I had hoped for. It was hacienda style and so quaint.

We also found a store that sold doors from India. I fell in love and wanted to buy everything up, making a house full of those doors.

I called my cousin Jeff, whom I haven't seen since I was 10 I think. He lives in Taos which was about 90 minutes north of Santa Fe. So, we drove up through the mountains of New Mexico (It is not all desert which was news to me) and met up with him to spend the night.

Road Trip, Day 8 - Carlsbad Caverns

 This here is the amphitheater looking down into the caves and below is the walkway down into the caves. We got to Carlsbad Caverns right as they opened at 8:30 am. There was a line to hike into the caves. I highly suggest going later in the afternoon though. At sunset, everyone sits in the amphitheater and watches the thousands of bats fly out of the cave at once, which I think would be very cool.
 The caverns were discovered more than 1000 years ago when Indians were looking for shelter. The cavern was formed when an inland sea evaporated more than 250 million years ago. Rainwater gradually seeped through the cracks of the reef and the caverns were created.

The caverns were huge and took about an hour and a half to hike the main tunnels. There are many different private tours and smaller tunnels you can hike through..however my wonderful fear of claustrophobia and the whole thing tumbling on us kept us only in the main tunnel.

Nov 17, 2011

Adam's a Nut

Road Trip, Day 7...concluded

We headed off to the East in search of New Mexico. Immediately we entered desert and it was exactly what we hoped for. We drove and drove and drove. We went through the Missile Range and where the first bomb was tested. Then, we made it just before sunset to the White Sand Dunes National Park. It was absolutely beautiful. The Sand Dunes made the mountains in the background appear hot pink.

Sunset was definitely the time of day to go. The Dunes are very similar to the red ones that we saw in Vietnam.

We headed out south east towards Carslbad hoping to pitch camp before dark. We ended up in Carlsbad after 10 pm and really had a hard time finding a place to camp.
We ended up driving forever looking for a place and decided to park behind a motel. We made dinner over our camp stove in their parking lot and slept in the car...which was so uncomfortable. Its amazing how when on a road trip, taking a nap in a car is so comfy and easy, but when it comes to sleeping for the night...just not a good place to be.

Road Trip, Day 7, Rattlesnake Ranch

The Rattlesnake Ranch deserves its own thunder.

Way down a very long, windy, cow ridden, dirt road lies the Rattlesnake Ranch. We were told by the cowboys in Tombstone to check it out. A retired couple from Illinois, (the husband actually grew up in Gainsville years ago) left the big city to create and become rattlesnake hunters. They use the skin from the rattlesnakes to create art. But, even more impressive is their massive collection.
They have collections of everything. When you first see the area, you may think it is a junk yard or something because there is so much stuff. But, as you begin to walk around you can see the order and amazing collection these two have. They have everything from old glass bottles, to type writers, irons, sewing machines, lanterns, army hats... and the list goes on and on and truly on. Here are some pictures of their collection.

After leaving the Rattlesnake Ranch we headed off to Gleeson to see the oldest jail...not too much of a thrill.

Nov 16, 2011

Road Trip, Day 7

Tombstone Arizona...Very Very cool place.
 After a great breakfast and a gallon of coffee with Cowboys we ventured off to roan Tombstone in the mist before the town opened for business.
 Adam and I had a shoot out, have no idea who won.
 The town was about a total of 7-10 blocks by 3 blocks and it had a ton of sites to see. Old billiard halls, restaurants, liquor stores, a mine, a cemetery, a fire house, museums and the largest rose bush in the world (said Ripley's)
 Kind of a funny name for an intersection.

 After gunslinging we headed back to pack up the tent when what drives by, but a stagecoach. By about 9 am the town was coming to life with cowboy characters, sherifs and madam's heading off to work. Im glad we saw the town before the hight of tourism for the day began. But, I bet that time of day would have been fun too.

Our Sponsors