Friday, April 27, 2007

Road Trip Day 3 (FINAL)

Despite knowing we were 9 hours from home, we still wanted to take the 90 minute tour at Acoma Pueblos. They are the longest inhabited dwellings in the western hemisphere (or something like that.) They were built on plateaus for protection. It's really impressive considering they had to lug all the building material up. Thankfully, in the 90s a movie crew gave them a paved road, so I didn't have to haul my cookies up and could take a convenient shuttle. (View looking down to the visitors center that thankfully has nice bathrooms)

The homes are passed down matrilineal ending up with the youngest daughter (who should live the longest and take care of the older siblings) Their government is run by men.

This last picture is a good representation of the old along side with the restored houses. They tried to keep as close as possible to the original look, but stuff from Home Depot can only do so much. There is no running water or electricity, because they don't want to run visible above ground lines. Most houses have generators that they use for special occasions like Super Sunday (they are Broncos fans). Most of the people live year round off the pueblos in houses that have modern conveniences, however, many of the elderly do live up there year round. I did point out to one of the residents that the Taos Pueblos have DirectTV dishes, and she said REALLY??? So I expect by the next time I visit they will have satellite as well as DSL.

The Spanish forced them to build a church. And ofcourse the materials besides having to be carried up the plateau, weren't exactly conveniently near either... and it's the middle of a desert. To this day they still have a form of Catholicism that they combine with their original beliefs (frankly, if I were them, I would be kind of soured on the whole Christian thing.)

This part of the walking path seems innocuous enough, but lower there is a point where they have to turn around and go down by rope. They still use this path on planting day.

Outside the church is a graveyard. They had to build a retaining wall and bring in dirt because they couldn't dig into the mountain. They have people stacked in the ground about 6 deep. Surrounding the edge of the plateau, besides porta-potties, there are mounds with faces on them. From a distance they are meant to look like sentries station and guarding the pueblos. Up close, they are adorable!

Unlike the Taos Pueblos, they dont have stores to sell their wares; instead, they set up tables outside and have the tour times pretty well down.

Clay ovens still in use:

So Anna and I were walking along and I saw this entryway, and I said, "wow I would sure hate to come home drunk to THIS house." In any other community, an innocuous comment. Unfortunately, I forgot that I was in a community with the drunk Indian stereotype, which probably explained the odd look that a tourist guy that was walking near us gave me. Anna thought this was hysterically funny and immediately insisted on taking the picture.

There are packages where you can stay at their casino hotel and then observe some of their rituals. I might have to check out some time. Though, I will admit, that casinos outside of Vegas, irritate me with their goofy rules. Luckily or not, it was a Sunday, I didn't even try to look for LYSs. We left the reservation around 2pm MDT and drove back over the Hoover Dam around 9pm PDT. I've always kind of written NM off, as well, Arizona, which I have really written off as a lot of space between my point A and whatever my point B is. But my 2nd trip now checking out NM, has made me want to explore it even more. I'm thinking for sure I will be back there in 08 and exploring more and more pueblos... and maybe a few LYSs ;)

Driving back to Las Vegas was a bit frustrating because the lights can be seen so far away... I would think I was a lot closer than I really was. Suprisingly when I got home, I got luke warm greetings from everyone but BABETTE! The ferret that hates people, greeted me! I was shocked. My faithful dog and WHN, barely lifted their eyes from the TV. The cat, once he got home greeted me... so he's off the hook.... but the rest of them... little beasts.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Road Trip Day 2

We last left off with shitty weather in OK that continued through Texas. In Texas, we drove by the 2nd largest cross in the western hemisphere. We also hit a big snow storm. The traffic on 40 slowed down to less than 20mph. Mainly because Texas doesn't plow. They can build the 2nd largest cross in the western hemisphere, but they can't build a plow? I think a misuse of resources there. I always see WWJD stickers, I think he would plow the highways.

Once we hit NM, the roads were clear. We stayed overnight in some random NM town. We slept in since it was our first chance at sleeping in a bed since we left Las Vegas. Sat we travelled towards Taos, famous for Julia Roberts and their pueblos. We visited the latter. I had been before, but I thought Anna would appreciate going since we both had a professor from there.

They live and work at these pueblos, though the top levels aren't still inhabited.

Church on site.

I didn't see any of the don't pet the dog signs from the last trip, but I wasn't really looking for them either if you know what I mean. How can I reject a dog??? In the bottom level of the pueblos, residents sell their crafts- jewelry, pottery etc. Some sell food and the dogs know which ones. One particular dog saw Anna buy cookies. He saw that not only was she an easy mark, but he would have an ally in me.
Anna: how do I get rid of this dog??
Me: give it a bite and it will go away. (hehe hehehehee hee I still laugh thinking about it).
A: REALLY?? That doesn't make sense?
M: you can't apply logic to animals that's a human thing. Don't you watch the Dog Talker?
A: Whisperer
M: Whatever just give the dog a bite. He'll leave you alone after that. I promise.

I couldn't say NO to this face.

So she did and she made a friend for it who stayed with us to the bitter end...

...the bitter end. And he brought a friend!

We basically tossed the cookies and peeled outta there.

I wanted to go to Taos Sunflower LYS, but we didnt get there in time for them to be open, but I did hit La Lana and bought a natural dye kit. I dont know if I want to break into now, or wait until Javajem is here next month to help me figure out.

We left Taos at sunset, and had dinner in downtown Santa Fe. We had the most gorgeous pistachio encrusted goat cheese. I still dream about it. We spent Saturday night getting more NM behind us. I could have spent days there, but we needed to be back in Las Vegas Sunday night.

We were aiming for Acoma, NM because Anna wanted to see their pueblos (NM is lousy with pueblos) Even with a GPS we were hopelessly lost. We went down some road that best could described as an alien spotting road. I think we kept making eye contat with each other to ensure that the other wasn't replaced with a creepy crawly. What can I say, I grew up on Scooby Doo. We finally get find a casino/hotel in the middle of all this darkness. But, hey hey casino, that makes us feel at home. IT WAS SOLD OUT! GO FIGURE. There was nothing around this joint but Acoma pueblos, darkness, and cacti.

Not Las Vegas, NV, but Las Vegas, NM! They were quick to point out when we stopped for gas that they were the first. Sounds like some town is feeling a little insecure.

Next time Acoma!



My lovely SP sent me a great package, which I am embarassed to say that I didnt even realize the green theme until I took the picture a few days later. I am slow. THere are votives and tea lights and tea and candy and cute container... but my favorites are the stitch markers she made for me! I love them. And my other favorite which I have been using like crazy so not in the same picture is a little cable bag. For me, it's one of those things I have really wanted, but never got around to making.

She even lined it!!! God I need to learn how to sew!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Road Trip Day 1

My friend Anna and I have been on a roadtrip timed with all the shitty weather going on. Reminder, I am from coastal California where the weather stays a comfortable 73 degrees year round. Through Flagstaff it snowed.. hard. The snow came towards our windshield and not straight down. It was very mesmerizing which probably wasn't great when trying to navigate icey roads. In New Mexico, we contended with snow, ice rain, and rain. Texas, where everything is big, had rain drops so big that it seemed as if the clouds were just puking. Ofcourse, we were under the impression that it was SPRING and so dressed for spring weather. Anna even wore crocs. The warmest thing either one of us had were UNLV sweatshirts. Not only were we not that warm, but since we walked around coordinated, we looked like a happy gay couple.

In Oklahoma we stopped at the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial, and it was quite moving. A fence outside the memorial had momentos that brought life to the names of the people who died.

Right outside archway to Memorial:

Once inside, the memorial consists of several components. Two archways display the time of the minute before the bomb, and the minute after. Inbetween the two sits a relecting lake.

To the side of the reflecting pool are chairs-- one representing each life lost with smaller chairs for the children in the daycare of the builidng.

The chairs are sorted by floor and arranged to match up to the footprint of the building. At night the glass part of the chairs light up to illuminate the name of each victim. The ranger explained that during the day the chairs should appear floating. They represent the whole of the lost, while at night seeing the individual names.

Part of the building still stands behind the chairs.

The tree in the background is over 60 years old, but survived the blast. Behind that is the museum. The windows that were blown out just got boarded up. Any that survived the blast were blacked out.

Across the street, a Jesus statue weeps.

After, for dinner, we went to Bricktown, a retail area with canals running through. We wanted to walk around, but the weather was still way too cold and dreary. Overall, we really enjoyed Oklahoma City. It was a pleasant surprised after driving through Tulsa.

After dinner we left Oklahoma for Texas where evidently they don't plow.


accommodation in Barcelona