It’s About Time for Something New Here!

Since moving to Rice Lake, Wisconsin in April 2012, we haven’t done a whole lot of traveling that we’ve written about. I’m going to try to make sure and write about our travels this month though in May 2013.

This month’s trip will take us out of the snow we just had on May 2 to a nice hot 100 in Arizona.

Goodbye snow!

Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013
Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013

We’re taking the month to eventually get the rest of our stuff out of storage in California. That will be near the end of the month. Here’s our basic itinerary:

  • May 6 – Leave Rice Lake, WI and drive to Kansas City, MO; stay overnight at a hotel we’ve already booked.
  • May 7 – Drive from Kansas City to probably Delhart, TX where we’ll stay at a hotel we stayed in last time we were through that part of Texas.
  • May 8 – From Delhart drive to Phoenix, Arizona and be warmly welcomed by our very good friend Terry Wilson and his lovely wife Virgie. Go swimming in their pool in 100 degree weather! :)
  • May 9 – Visit with Terry & Virgie and that night Joel will get to play music with Terry and his band.
  • May 10-12 – Stay with our friend Dan and his family in another section of Phoenix.
  • May 13-18 – Back to Terry & Virgie’s to visit more, play music, swim, swim, swim.
  • May 19 – Visit with Sue’s Uncle Phil & family in Glendale, Arizona. Sue hasn’t seen her Uncle in about 30 years.
  • May 20 – Drive from Phoenix to San Diego, California. Stay at a hotel in Chula Vista that has a pool.
  • May 21 – Visit with Joel’s brother and family
  • May 22 – Visit with Sue’s mom; possibly go to Balboa Park.
  • May 23 – Visit with Joel’s sister and family (read about their recent road trip); stay overnight with friends Ken & Kelly in San Diego
  • May 24 – Drive up to Northern California and visit with Tom Bentley.
  • May 25 – Drive to San Francisco and visit with David Reffkin.
  • May 26-28 Stay with good friends Pam & Phil in Roseville, California. Pick up stuff still in storage. Fiona spends two days with her sister Rachelle.
  • May 29 – Leave California for Idaho
  • May 30 – Drive through Montana
  • May 31 – Drive through Wyoming, North Dakota
  • June 1 – Arrive back in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Of course it’s all subject to change. I plan to take pictures and keep a written journal and hopefully post often here. Fiona may post at her website as well.

We plan on having a blast!

Theobroma Chocolatier in Albuquerque

Every time we go to the local grocery store we pass this place called “Theobroma Chocolatier”. Being chocolate lovers, we just had to go in one day.

Amazing! Lots of different varieties of chocolate-based gifts. Dark chocolate is Joel and I’s favorite and Fiona loves milk chocolate. They have chocolate with spice. A very interesting new one we got to try has thyme and olive oil. Chuck let us try a few different things.

Once we got home I wondered what ‘theobroma’ was. So I looked it up. According to Merriam Webster online it’s “a genus of tropical American trees (family Sterculiaceae) which includes the cacao (T. cacao)“>

Sandia Mountain Crest at 10,678 Feet

Last Saturday after we finished at Tinkertown we continued driving on up to the peak of the Sandia Mountain Crest – at 10,678 feet!

It was a beautiful drive up. At the crest there was a wonderful breeze. Fiona got to look through the binoculars out over Albuquerque. Unfortunately we also saw the smoke from the fire in Los Alamos. That night we could smell the smoke in the house.

What beautiful scenery surrounded us – except for the towers!

Fiona was a bit braver this day and climbed some rock.

Joel was asked by a couple if he’d use their camera to take their picture. Afterward he asked if they might be Irish. Sure enough! We had a wonderful chat with this couple visiting from mid-west Ireland. They even took our family picture before leaving.

Tinkertown: Ross Ward Did It All While You Watched TV

Last month as we were preparing to come to Albuquerque, I read the Boyink’s blog post about their time here. (We got to meet the Boyink family in Arizona back in March.) They mentioned Tinkertown so I decided we had to check it out as well. It’s close to where we’re staying and the price was right.

I had a hard time explaining to Joel what Tinkertown was so at first he wasn’t that excited about going. After looking it up though he realized he’d heard of this guy Ross Ward and yes, wanted to see his place.

It’s a fun little place to visit. Fiona enjoyed it immensely! In the little gift shop they had two travel activity books for children published by Rand McNally. One has a page for each state with an activity and the other is just fun stuff to do in the car while traveling. So on our next long drive Fiona will have plenty to keep her entertained.

Petroglyph Monument in Albuquerque Scares Fiona

I decided we needed to get out and see something here in Albuquerque. I chose the Petroglyph Monument as I’d heard the parking fee was only $1 on weekdays and there is no admission charge. I thought it would be an interesting site. Yes, it was hot. But we only needed to be out for a bit. I don’t ever want to push the family to do more than necessary. So we donned hats, sunglasses and lathered on the sunscreen.

High Desert in New Mexico

This morning we walked the neighborhood nearby of “High Desert” here in New Mexico. There are interesting street names such as Osage Orange, Paper Flower, Red Yucca and Copper Rose. We picked up a small, smooth round gourd. We thought perhaps it was an Osage Orange fruit. But it doesn’t appear to be from what I saw on this website. Guess I’ll have to do some more research.

There was a sweet smell in the air of all the flowering plants, particularly the Spanish Broom. Fiona says they smell like tortillas. We also saw some cholla cacti. It’s amazing all the beauty you can find in cacti. From our walk you can see out over the city of Albuquerque. We’re staying in the foothills of the mountains at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

The higher elevation can cause altitude sickness. We think we suffered from a mild form the first week we were here. We’ve been drinking plenty of fluids and seem to be adjusted now.

Our Pet Dinosaur and other assorted photos

Fiona found her pet dinosaur. Several in fact. You can see in the gallery below photos of Fiona riding a dinosaur and walking another. They vary in size from very tiny (Fiona can hold the head of one in her hand) to HUGE!

We decided not to drive the main interstate between Colorado and Albuquerque and went the back roads through Taos instead, the home of Kit Carson. We also drove along the Rio Grande.

We’re enjoying our stay in New Mexico other than the smoke we’re getting from the fires in Arizona. Hopefully it will clear in a few days and we can continue to enjoy this gorgeous weather.