Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde will take up 3 posts.

It's another great spot on our trip. 2 major things happened there: A) I pushed myself to the extreme with my fear of heights. B) We ran over a bear.

Everyone has mishaps on their ventures. While we'd like for everything to go smoothly it just doesn't always happen. 

The biggest no, no that happened last year on vacation was that we all went into the wrong house by mistake. I felt a little like Goldilocks breaking into the 3 bear's cottage. It wasn't anything we meant to do.

This year Daddy was driving on the side of a mountain in Mesa Verde National Park. About 4 motorbikes were behind him. He wasn't speeding. We were just driving along, and out of no where a bear was there. He/she was right in front of our Honda Pilot! At first he thought it was a dog. It was too flat to have been a dog. No one wants to run over a bear!

Up the way there was a Park Ranger. I said, "Go ahead, and pull over into that look out point." We told him what had happened. He wasn't surprised at all. He said, "That's not the first time that cub has be clipped." He just used a pebble gun to pop him, to get him off the road.

The bear was delirious. Probably from being popped in the head with a pebble gun.

The park ranger said to the kids, "Your Dad did everything right. Other people could have died had he not hit the bear." To be honest the kids were so into their own worlds, they barely noticed anything. Before that moment of time I was reading Little House on the Prairie. Pa shot a bear in the book.

The park ranger took our information, but did not ticket us. I think it's just standard procedure to have what happened documented. He also checked our vehicle to see if anything was wrong. There was no damage.

He did look at all my mason jars and said, "What's in those?" I kindly said, "Water. I don't like the idea of water sitting in plastic in the heat." He nodded as if he agreed. I wondered what he thought might be in those mason jars? Regardless it was water in those jars.

As for the bear...I don't know what happened to him/her. :( The ranger went to find the bear, but it wasn't there.

The Four Corners

The Four Corners is the only place in the United States where four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado come together at one place.

In the one spot a person can stand in four states at the same time.

The unique landmark is managed by the Navajo Nation and is open for visits from the public.
  • Admission $3.00 (all ages)
  • Open 7 am - 8 pm (June - Sept)
  • Open 8 am - 5 pm (Oct - May)
  • Four Corners Park: 928-871-6647
We got to the entrance, and decided it wasn't worth the $3, which would be $12 for all of us to get in. It's just one spot. It's not like you get in to see a whole park. We just didn't feel like it was worth the money just to take a picture. Plus it was a windy day. 

I had Daddy pull over right by The Four Corners, and we took pictures. It's not the same thing, but it's close.

Do you ever decide that something just isn't worth the cost?

It's not like we were out anything, we were heading to Mesa Verde, which was on our way.

Daddy did get a picture of me, but I hate it. I'm not posting it. It was so windy; my hair was everywhere.

Proof the wind was a little much! His hat wouldn't even stay on.

Did I mention that the sky was bland? No clouds, nothing.

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday

Sing, Sing a Song Saturday is all about me discovering something that is different. I don't want to post things that you and I have more than likely heard before. I want to find something different. It could be from another country, someone singing from the streets of NY, and more.

This week I'm not going to feature a band. I'm featuring a band called Big Toe Band. Mark Goffeney happens to be an average guy with a huge appetite for rock and roll. He sing and plays the guitar. He just happened to be born with no arms.

He taught himself how to play when he was just a kid.  He did have help from a neighbor that happened to be a musician. Now Mark plays around the world with his band called Big Toe Band.

A Spanish version of their original song titled We Are the Same.

Here's a cover of Wild World.

Check out Big Toe's website.
Like Big Toe on Facebook.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Random Tid Bits

  1. One of my huge pet peeves is seeing sprinkler systems mainly watering the street, or sidewalk. I understand a sprinkler doing this, but a whole system everyday doing this! Talk about a waste of water!

  2. A older lady was grocery shopping. She was probably late 80s, early 90s. She was waiting for me to get done getting a veggie bag. I got my bag, opened it up, and handed it to her. Her face lit up like she won the lottery. She said, "Oh thank you. Those bags are so hard for me to get." Then I said with a smile on my face, "Opening the bag is the hard part for me." I got her a twisty tie. Then when I saw her go to reach another I handed her my 2nd bag. Sometimes it's the little things that make a person's day. 

  3. I started my longest, and biggest summer class this week. I was supposed to have 4 students. I'm down to 2. 1 was taking a class before mine, and failed it again for the 3rd time. She was asked to leave. I remember the 1st time this same girl dropped out, she wasn't mad that she might loose her financial aid, she didn't seem too upset with herself for not trying harder, and she wasn't hurt that her chances of making it as a designer were less. She was mad, crying, and yelling because her mom wasn't going to give her money anymore because she wasn't a student. The fact that she took the class again, and again with no success did not surprise me. I hope that one day life will teach her a lesson, and she'll changes her colors. There is some good in there. I've seen it before.

  4. True story Mica's friends with someone that has a sister who dresses like a boy. Even her hair is short like a boy's haircut. There's nothing wrong with this. It's just that Isaak always calls her a him. I've corrected Isaak many times, but he just looks confused and still calls her a him. What would you do?

  5. My sister sent me this article about the connection between Alzheimer's being another form of Down Syndrome.

    Some of you may know that my Grandma passed away with Alzheimer's. Some of you may know that what my nephew Emerson has is called Trisomy 18 - Edward's Syndrome. It's too much of the 18th chromosome. Down Syndrome is too much of the 21st chromosome. We have rare carriers of Trisomy 18 in our family. My nephew Evan is a carrier, my sister Terra is a carrier, and my mom is a carrier. My mom had a baby before me that had Trisomy 18, and died after 2 weeks. It is believed that my mom became a carrier of Trisomy 18 from my Grandmother's side. My Grandma is the one that had Alzheimer's. She had a few miscarriages. They could have been Trisomy 18 babies. We'll never know because she wasn't tested to see if she was a carrier.

    If there is a break through in the connection of Alzheimer's and Down Syndrome that's huge! That means Alzheimer's could be connected to other genetic conditions.

    There was an article years ago in the N.Y. Times about a doctor that has a daughter who has Down Syndrome. He's been giving rats with Down Syndrome the same drugs that Alzheimer's patients receive. Their brains functioned normally. Now they still had a high risk of dying from cancer, and physically they didn't change. My sister called the doctor to see if he's done any research on any other chromosome flaws? He did not.

    Then I saw a PDF that Alzheimer's Association along with 2 Down Syndrome Organizations are trying to mutually do research.

    Any developments like this with diseases and conditions are amazing! Here's a heart warming video about Alzheimer's. I may have showed it before. If you haven't seen it, it's a happy video.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

One of my favorite spots on our vacation was Chaco Culture National Park. It's located in New Mexico. This is a remote network of ruins offering a glimpse into ancestral Puebloan life, picnic areas, camping and stargazing can be enjoyed there. There is an $8 fee for one vehicle to enter the park. There is an additional fee for camping.

Warning: The 13 miles of dirt road before you get there are very poorly maintained by San Juan County. This was the only downfall. It's a dirt road, and it just seems to go on and on. Much of that road is filled with dead trees and grasses. We did spot prairie dogs popping their heads up here and there. That was fun to see. As far as the road goes, that was the only bad part of our trip to see Chaco Culture National Park.

This is what you see when you first get into the park:

There is a lot of strata layering of rocks, which is so interesting! I love that the ground was reddish, but some of the rocks were tan and white.

They do have a Visitor's Center. It has maps and a gift shop. The park is open every day from 7 to sunset. The Visitor Center is open from 8  to 5. Daddy picked up a book, and the boys got cowboy hats. They were eying cowboy hats in Colorado Springs, but they were more than I wanted to spend. The boy's hats in the Culture National Park Visitor's Center were around $3 each! That was their souvenir. Mica in particular loved his hat! From that moment on Mica wore his hat with most everything.


Isaak doesn't do well when the sun's in his eyes. I had to laugh because my youngest sister Terra didn't as a kid either. Maybe it's a youngest thing?!

Massive buildings of the ancestral Pueblo peoples still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities in the American Southwest. These structures were built between 850 and 1250 A.D. There's also interesting rock formations around them. 

Rock formations that surround the Pueblo village.

The villages themselves - I thought they were so interesting!

This spot has the largest site of Chacoan ruins, which date back at least a millennium and contain a remarkable set of masonry structures that served its inhabitants as a ritual, ceremonial, and communal center for 300 years or so. Pueblo Bonito, for instance, is thought to have been the world's largest apartment building housing upwards of 1,300 people, a size not eclipsed until the late 1880s. I guess a lot of the ruins have been removed before it became a national park. :(

A guy was walking right behind me that said he went to a concert there before it became a national park. He said the acoustics were amazing!

An Outside View:

This is one of my favorite shots minus the rope and wood holding it together. In some spots there is rope and wood there to help keep  the structure in tact.

An Inside View:

 They had plenty of windows and doors, but no roof protection from natural elements of the earth. People might of been shorter back then. I have no clue. The doors were so short.


I look funny squatting.

I was in their upstairs looking down.

 Daddy wants one of their fire pits.

Even though the road getting there was bad, I strongly recommend checking this place out! We went on a self guided tour. Believe it, or not I have twice as many photos than I posted. I know it seems like photo overload.

Kid Alert: There is no touching! You can walk through the structures, but you can't touch things. There is a trail leading up to get into the structures. You can't go off their trails. This was a little hard for our boys to understand. Isaak was thinking, it's outdoors, so why can't they go ahead and touch? They just don't want anything to happen to this place. Isaak got snapped at a few times. I have to say they were pretty good though. They loved walking through Chaco Culture National Historial Park.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nature's Floor in Santa Fe

The boys had to have their walking sticks that Grandpa made for them. Most of the time they were great with them. Every once in awhile they decided to swing them, change them into swards, and they were taken away.

Mica wouldn't stop talking that morning, so I put his Blah, Blah, Blah shirt on. As you can see he kept talking all morning long. He was telling me all about Indiana Jones. He was lagging behind when it used to be Isaak that lagged, and Mica a mile ahead.

Mica wasn't the only one I was secretly making fun of with his shirt choice. Isaak's had a brain that said, Closed for the Season.

On with Santa Fe's nature floor:

We saw things we don't normally see.

A plant growing on the edges of rock. I'm thinking it's a natural ground cover there.

Moss, or something growing on a tree trunk.

A tree that looked like a puzzle.

 Cacti on the edge of the trail.

A dead tree, but interesting none the less.

I spotted this little guy. It's probably because I kept looking at the ground, while I walked. You see I'm afraid of heights, and there was this drop right beside me. Isaak walked, and pushed right into me. I snapped at him so hard. He scared me bad! The little lizard popped up. I missed the shot of him. Daddy captured him though.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Daddy let me drive once on the trip. Guess what? I didn't take a right highway, and ended up going 20 minutes out of the way. Hence the reason why he drives, and I do not. I also get really tired driving.
We saw this on the way to Santa Fe:

There are a few things that you should note about Santa Fe: 
  • It's filled with art galleries. This is great if that's what you are into.

    I like going to galleries, but I can only handle going to them for so long. I'm that way with history museums to. Daddy can't understand why I'm like that. I heard, "You were an art major, and you are an art teacher. What's wrong with you?" Never mind the fact that my major was Illustration, and I'm into graphic design. I know it's all related. Art History was my least favorite class in college. I love going into bookstores and browsing the children's books just to look at the pictures though. Going to galleries is kind of like shopping for me. Yes I love it, but I can only do it for so long. A lot of artwork in one stretch anywhere has a certain feel. Once you've seen 3 galleries the size of museums you kind of feel like you are in repeat mode. I know Daddy was getting irritated with me. I was just done. Daddy could go to galleries ALL DAY LONG.

    I felt like I had to entertain kids that didn't want to be there. If we went too fast through there, then that's too fast for Daddy. If I made games out of the experience, then we're too slow. I played I'm Going to Guess Your Favorite Artwork in This Room, and then they guessed mine. Daddy looked at me as if to say, What is taking so long? I tried my best to wear the kids out before we started. It was my idea to go hiking in the morning. That will be the next post. I only wore myself out I'm afraid.

  • If I sat outside a gallery to give the boys time to be boys, then Daddy wondered what was wrong with me? He thought I was having a miserable time. Then it was all the boy's fault that I was not into the gallery experience. Like I said I can only go to galleries for so long. Sure it was the kids, but it was me to.

    Do you ever feel this way about going to certain places?

    I found this photo of me on Daddy's camera. I thought it was fitting to put it here.

    I really felt like Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. Santa Fe is one of the happiest places, and so is Sesame Street. I guess we can't be happy every moment of a long vacation.

  • Santa Fe is sunny almost year round. Bring some sunscreen. It was not uncomfortably hot. It was just sunny.

  • I really wish we would have gone on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are the days they fly hot air balloons. It's not that I would have wanted to go on one, but I would have liked to have seen some in the sky.

  • Source

  • There is good, healthy eating choices. I guess they are known to like chili peppers. It takes the food a bit longer because the chilies have to be cooked just right.

  • One of the places we went to was Annapurna's Word Vegetarian CafĂ©. I loved it! One thing about traveling is that food places are usually unhealthy. Once you do find a healthy place, feeding the kids is another story. While adults have a choice of sides, kid's meals are usually fries. I got the boys an adult salad to split. That's what I did most of the time from then on. They didn't always get salads, but they got an adult dish, and split. It worked much better for them, and cost less to.

    It was decorated very beautifully to! Sorry not the best photo. I was fighting the harsh light coming in the window.

  • There is sweet architecture.  They have trees and mountains. In Nebraska it's flat - grassland.
I wish the houses looked like this in Nebraska!

This ladies and gentlemen is the oldest house in the US! 1646 A.D.

One unrelated thing about our trip was the hotel room. This was the second hotel we had. Both the first and second hotel had the same room number. How odd is that? Another odd thing about hotels were that they just kept getting better and better. We paid about the same price for all of them.


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