Friday, March 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Volume 15

{story of a soul, condensed}

For as much as I talked about it beforehand, I'm only just now getting around to telling you about Andrew's and my trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico a few weeks ago!  My husband was presenting a paper on Alfred Hitchcock at a conference, and since I've always wanted to see the Southwest and since the conference fell on Valentine's Day, I tagged along.

Poor Andrew was so nervous beforehand, given that this was his first big professional thing--he wasn't hungry, and he wasn't talking much, either.  All of his nerves and his constant practicing paid off, though--I wasn't there to see it, but I heard he gave a funny, engaging talk (most people just read their papers instead), got lots of compliments, and the director of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. told Andrew a comment he made on the director's presentation was "super-sharp."  So proud!

I could brag about him all day, but instead, I'll share with you the rest of our trip, in the form of this week's quick takes!  Click here to read more, thanks to Jen!


1. Here begins a recurring theme of our trip, that of the paper-grading husband.  Andrew had to bring a lot of his students' work with him, but he managed to grade dozens of assignments while still going on adventures.  Our journey involved a layover in Dallas and a 10:30 p.m. flight, which somehow got pushed back to after 1:00 a.m. due to plane complications.  Here we are waiting, and here's husband making use of the extra time.  And, here is the oh-so-charming B&B we stayed at.  We loved the fresh flowers in our room, the gorgeous views out the window, and their homemade granola!


2. We were exhausted when we finally arrived in Albuquerque, but what with arriving in the early hours of Ash Wednesday, we dragged ourselves up for morning Mass at a beautiful church called San Felipe de Neri.  At over 300 years old, it's the oldest in the city, and it was so sunny and beautiful inside.  The church as an accompanying school, and one of my favorite things was seeing the kids as they walked up to receive ashes and as they left.  They were so cute!  Except I saw one of the little ones spit on the floor of the church.  Don't tell anyone, but somehow, I found that cute, too.



3. One of the hardest things about traveling during Lent, we discovered, is sacrificing yummy food.  Andrew and I love to cook and, of course, to eat, and when I travel, I try never to eat at chain restaurants I could visit elsewhere, preferring local choices instead.  The thing we found is, when one day of your four-day trip is Ash Wednesday and another is a Friday in Lent, and when eating out is the only available option, you feel the sacrifices of fasting and abstaining from meat more strongly than you do when you're just going about a normal day.  What's more, most of the promises I've made for this Lent have involved chores around the house, so since we weren't at home, it was hard to feel like my Lent had really started.  Honestly, given that our appetites were a little thrown off by the time difference and that we were tired, we weren't as strict with the "two small meals" Ash Wednesday rule as we could've been, but we did stick with just coffee for lunch.  I first had Cuban coffee in Miami two years ago, and it is so, so good--nice strong, bitter espresso with way more sugar than is necessary.  At this cafe here, The Guava Tree, I had a similar version in latte form.  I also discovered I liked sweetened condensed milk, which I've always professed to hate, when it's blended with espresso and topped with foam.  And so, husband graded, I read, and we whiled away the afternoon drinking our coffee.


4. I was so excited to find an all-organic, locally sourced restaurant called Farm and Table, and it was perfect for our Valentine's dinner!  It's in the prettiest valley area outside the busyness of the city, with a beautiful candlelit atmosphere Andrew and I shared some delicious French Fries with smoked paprika sauce, (some of the potatoes were blue!), ginormous scallops with white bean puree and Brussels sprouts, and a Black Forest cake and butterscotch pudding for dessert.  Since we still couldn't have meat that night, we got their lamb entree boxed up and ate it the following evening!

5. One of my favorite things about blogging has been making friends who hail from all over.  While Andrew was at his conference, I was lucky enough to meet up with Deme from Crinion Clan and Fresh Coat Of Paint!  Over a delicious breakfast and some serious adorability on the part of her sweet youngest son, James, Deme and I got to talk about how we met our husbands, fashion, Lent, Albuquerque, and so many things under the sun.  It was my first time meeting a blogging friend in real life, and our time together was a complete delight and gift to me.  I loved that I felt like I already knew her in so many ways, but didn't know many details of Deme's offline life, and it was wonderful to talk about those things, rather than just focusing on the common fact that we are both bloggers.  Deme, thank you for feeding me and for sharing your heart and your town with me!  My only regret is not taking a picture.



6. I got to spend some time on my own while Andrew was off wowing the crowds, and realized that I'd never explored a new city completely on my own before.  It was more fun than I expected!  I went to Mass, bought some New Mexican spices to try my hand with at home, did a little boutique shopping, and admired the architecture.  Part of the city runs through old Route 66, from the days of family road trips, and there are still hotels and diners along the road!  



7. There's a trail in Albuquerque that winds all along the Rio Grande river and past some of the city landmarks.  We rented bicycles (please observe and enjoy the yellow tires) and gave ourselves a little tour!  The landscape of desert and mountains is so beautifully different from what we're used to on the East coast, and although we were a little underdressed for the weather, it was such a pleasure to spend the morning in the sun.

Have a wonderful weekend; I'd love to know what you're up to!


P.S. Check back later this week for the next installment of my monthly resolutions!

23 comments:

  1. Great pictures! A paper on Alfred Hitchcock!?!? Perhaps on of my favorite genre of old movies! :)

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    1. It was on the movie "Shadow Of a Doubt!" I'm so proud of him!

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  2. You two are the sweetest! Your trip looks absolutely perfect - the beautiful church, the organic restaurant date, exploring, and biking! So happy you two were able to have such a fun get away weekend :)

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    1. Thank you!! Everything was such a gift =)

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    2. Ditto --- that church is beautiful, too! Such a different style than churches in the South.

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  3. Sounds like a great trip! Your pics are so beautiful and vibrant! You guys are so adorable together!

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    1. Thank you, Stef! Have a good weekend!

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  4. Looks like you had quite the adventure! Thanks for sharing with us!

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    1. An adventure indeed, so glad you like!

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  5. Ah, Stephanie, thank you for sharing this virtual trip with us! A little getaway!

    The sites you've shared are gorgeous. And I love those shoebooties. I need to branch out with my footwear/legwear.

    I haven't been as stringent with my Lenten diet as I could have been...time for a reboot!

    thanks for sharing...

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    1. Albuquerque really is a beautiful city; I'd go back tomorrow if someone offered! It took me a while to take the plunge with booties, too, but now I consider myself an official convert =)

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  6. OH I think the only reason I'd wish for all the snow to melt is to get back to riding my bicycle! Those yellow tires are so good.

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    1. Aren't they?! We came home to lots of snow, too, so now I'm just counting down to Spring!

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  7. Looks like an amazing trip!!!

    Thanks so much for the Liebster nom, I answered your questions here: http://erikamarieh.blogspot.com/2013/03/liebster-award-random-facts-about-moi.html

    :)

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    1. I just read your answers; thanks again for indulging my nosiness!

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  8. I was just in NM visiting my grandma last week! Old Town is one of my favorite places. I go there almost every time I'm in town. I'm always telling my husband about the bosque trail but haven't taken him yet, who did you rent the cool bikes from?

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    1. Ohhh, you're so lucky that you can go there frequently! I just love it. The bikes are from a family-owned shop called Routes. They were great and are located pretty close to the trail!

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  9. Sounds like you had a fun time in ABQ - I lived there for a few years and miss the great vistas and amazing food out there!

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    1. Lucky you, Lisa! It really is gorgeous. And delicious =)

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  10. What FUN FUN photos! Y'all are too cute. And that church is absolutely beautiful! And I"m kinda jealous that you and Deme got to hang out -- how awesome is that!

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    1. Thank you! And I totally hear ya--don't you wish we could all just have a dinner party or something?!

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  11. An adventurous couple & Alfred Hitchcock.. hmm A perfect match lol.. anyway the pics are beautiful, You two are super cute & your onpic chemistry is perfect (:P) & thanks for sharing with us..

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