Day Thirty Two – Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Before I start out on Day 32, I need to close out Day 31. After the blog was done and posted yesterday, and we’d worked out our route for today, we turned on the TV. The TV was set to TCM and what do we come into but the middle of the great Lucy and Desi movie, The Long Long Trailer. This has been one of our favorite movies for a long time, and probably no small influence on this very trip we’re on. In fact, there have been several times, while driving up or down particularly hairy mountain roads, we have quoted some of the lines from the movie. Yes, we’ve seen it that many times! It was a real kismet moment!

So, today was museum day on our travels. We started this morning in Santa Fe with the New Mexico History Museum. This is a very nice museum that details the history of the area from way before it was a state. It speaks to what the Spaniards did to the Indian population when they first arrived, and continues through the Statehood of New Mexico. It also goes into the period of the Second World War and right up to today. A very well done and interesting look at the state’s history.

They also have a rotating series of displays, and one that I found really interesting was called Lowriders, Choppers and Hot Rods. It was a very well done exhibit and included several cars, as well as lots of pictures and video presentations.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then it was time for us to get out of town. As we followed our GPS friend, she took us past the Plaza and down the street we’d started and ended the tram tour on yesterday. As it was almost lunch time, I said to Susie, “If there’s a parking place, let’s stop at the French place again for lunch.” She agreed, and as we drove down the block, a pickup truck pulled out of a meter almost in front of the entrance. Another kismet moment, so we had a better lunch than we’d planned (McDonalds was on our radar), and today had a couple of wonderful crepes.


Our destination today was Roswell, New Mexico, of UFO fame, and our second Museum of the day, The International UFO Museum and Research Center. We traveled on a mostly deserted highway, passing but a few cars in the couple of hours we were on the road. What we did see was a weather mass off to our right, that looked like a mushroom cloud to us…perhaps influenced by our travels to Los Alamos a couple of days ago!

We got to the UFO Museum about 3:30 and spent a bit more than an hour looking at the displays and reading all the material they have. Susie and I both agree, if so many people have seen or been involved with what happened here, can you really discount it? I mean, how much do we really trust the government to be honest with us? Personally, it seems rather egotistical to me to believe that on all the planets and in all the solar systems they have discovered, we are the only planet with an intelligent life form. Who really knows???

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have to give Roswell credit, they certainly do take advantage of all that the name Roswell, New Mexico brings to mind, and truly embrace the alien presence. From Arbys to Domino Pizza, to even our hotel for the night, Comfort Suites, they all play with it, and I think it’s great!

For dinner tonight, we went right across Main Street from our hotel to Tia Juana’s Cantina and had a great meal. The most delicate, home made taco chips and addictively hot salsa, several Mango Margaritas, and then Susie and I had Mexican Flag Enchiladas…one red, one white, and one green! A great New Mexico Dinner!!

Tomorrow, after 5 nights, we leave New Mexico, and journey to the state of Texas, where we will be till before and after our 2 week cruise on the Liberty of the Seas with Kenny and Chris (the ship sails October 2nd, and returns October 16th). That means, discounting the two weeks in the Caribbean, we will be in Texas till at least October 17th. Our destination tomorrow is the city of El Paso, where we will spend two days with our friends Mike and Nancy McKay. Mike was one of the last DJs at Musicradio 77 WABC, before it became Talkradio 77. He stayed on for a short period, voicing commercials, but his real love was being a DJ, and he did that until he retired recently. Mike and Nancy have been in the Southwest for a long time, and we are really looking forward to rekindling our friendship with two folks that we haven’t seen for over 30 years! Not sure how much “blog time” I’m going to have Thursday and Friday this week, but fear not, I will keep you updated on our journey!

See you soon.

Day Thirty One – Tuesday, September 20, 2016

We woke this morning in Santa Fe, and split our day between Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.

img_2137We started off the day with a Loretto Line tour of Santa Fe in an open air tram. We were very lucky, because this tour almost didn’t happen! We left the hotel a little before 9, planning on making the 10 AM tour from Loretto Chapel. Susie had read that they started selling tickets a half hour before the tour, so after parking, we headed to the chapel. We figured we were in like flynn when we were the first people to arrive, only to have a guy from the tour company show up and tell us the 10 AM tour was all sold out! He told us to go around the corner to the front of the La Fonda Hotel, and talk to Larry on the 10:30 tour, who had lots of tickets. Well, it turned out that we got the last two seats on the 10:30 tour, and sat there and watched 10 to 15 people turned away. We were happy that we’d just made it under the wire!

Our guide Larry had only been in Santa Fe for 11 years, having come from Seattle, but had learned to love Santa Fe, and his information during the tour showed that. He started off telling us about Santa Fe, how it came to be, why here, and who were the original inhabitants. Then we were off on the tour, first seeing the Historic District of the town, where space is at a premium, and where he told us some merchants pay up to $30,000 a month in rent!

Then we drove down Canyon Road, which is the Art District of Santa Fe. Larry explained how important the art scene is to Santa Fe, and about all the great things the galleries bring to the city. While we didn’t stop, driving past all the galleries, we were able to see the amazing large scale art work, that couldn’t fit inside the galleries, which were built in old historic buildings.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we were on the outskirts of town, traveled down Museum Row, and to the place the Wagon Trains on the Santa Fe trail stopped. Larry explained that most of these wagon trains were full of goods to supply the merchants of Santa Fe or to be shipped down the El Camino Real to Mexico. As such, Santa Fe was the first trade link between the US and Mexico. To commemorate the spot, there is a wonderful sculpture.

One of our last stops was at the State Capital building, which unlike every other state capital building, does not have a dome. There was a very impressive sculpture out front of the capital building, which notes every Native American tribe that is extinct.


Having skipped breakfast, by the time the tour was over, we were hungry. Just down the street from the tour stop, in the La Fonda Hotel, was a great little place. Called the French Pastry Shop and Creperie, they had a wonderful French menu, and we decided to have lunch there. Having heard about them for years, but never having had them, Susie and I both had Croque Madame sandwiches, and they were incredible. To stay in the French mode, we finished up lunch with a couple of Eclairs! A perfect lunch!

Then it was time to head to Taos, which is about an hour and a half drive north of Santa Fe. There were two things we wanted to see, the Kit Carson House and Museum and the Taos Pueblo.

Wandering through the Kit Carson house, we couldn’t help but think of our friend Kit Carson, who died two years ago, at much too young an age. I first met Kit back in the late 80s, when as a young struggling actor, he took a job opening Rush Limbaugh’s mail at WABC to make some extra money. Kit began doing more and more for Rush, and eventually became a very necessary part of the Rush Limbaugh Show. Eventually he met his wife to be, Theresa, got married, and had two sons. We’d had many good times over the years with Kit and Theresa, and it was a very sad shock when he died two years ago. If I’m not mistaken, Kit told me that his family was slightly related to “The” Kit Carson, and I always remember him telling me that his Dad’s name was Johnny Carson! Miss you Kit!

We enjoyed watching the movie and looking at all the exhibits at the Carson house, and before we knew it, we’d spent more time there than we’d planned, and it was too late to get to the Pueblo before it closed. Susie and I agree that the Santa Fe area is indeed a place we’d like to come back to again, and spend more time, so it will definitely be on the top of our next time list!


Tonight we spend our second night in Santa Fe, and tomorrow it’s off to Roswell, New Mexico! Hopefully we won’t be abducted by Aliens, or even someone from outer space! Wish us luck!

Day Thirty – Monday, September 19, 2016

I’m going to tell you a little secret. Over the last 30 days of our trip, Susie and I have become snobs! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true, we like nice hotels! The Hampton Inn and Suites we were in last night is the kind of hotel that has spoiled us for the hotel we are in tonight! If you remember back a couple of weeks ago, we re-did a number of hotel reservations after a disastrous Rodeway Inn. Rodeways and Econo Lodges went bye-bye, and were replaced with Comfort Suites, Hampton Inns and Best Westerns. The one exception to that, is the hotel we are in tonight and tomorrow night, the Econo Lodge of Santa Fe, New Mexico. When we looked at the reviews for the hotel they were good, and when you consider that the two nights here are less than one night at last night’s Hampton Inn, it seemed like a no brainer. But, now we are here. Yes, the room is fine and the hotel is in a good location, but we are on the second floor and there is no elevator. There are very few lights in the room, no charging ports, and there is but one ice machine, which is also on the first floor (remember, no elevator). Not a bad hotel, but as I said up top, we have become snobs! Based on this, we just changed our accommodations in Roswell from a Rodeway Inn to a Comfort Suites…neither are run by aliens (and I mean the kind from other worlds)…we don’t think!

Today our target area was north of Santa Fe, the city of Los Alamos, New Mexico. If you remember your World War II history, you will recognize that as the home of the Manhattan Project, where they developed the atom bomb. One of our main reasons for traveling there today was the personal relationship it has to Susie. You see, during World War II, Susie’s Mom worked as a clerk typist for the government in the Woolworth Building in New York City. It was only after the bombs were dropped on Japan, that they all found out that they were working in the New York office of the Manhattan Project. She has a letter and a pin, thanking her for her service to the country, so we really wanted to see this place.

Our main stop of the day was the Bradbury Science Museum of Los Alamos. They have an extensive display about the Manhattan Project, and the continuing work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, including two movies. We enjoyed the displays about the Manhattan Project, especially the real history displays of folks who worked there during the war. Some were scientists, some military personnel, and some were just young woman who were looking to do their part for the war effort. One young lady was a clerk typist, like Susie’s Mom, and like Susie’s Mom, knew nothing of what they were doing. Her quote was, “When asked what was being made here, the answer was, “We’re making windshield wipers for submarines.” I really had no idea what was going on here till after the bomb went off at Hiroshima.” It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours and to get a better idea of what the Manhattan Project was, how it all really came about, and the controversies.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On our way back to Santa Fe, we made another stop, one that I remembered from my childhood trip to California. You see, in 1960 when my Mom, Dad and I traveled across the country, we did so after my Mom and Dad finished the Cincinnati Summer Opera season. At that time, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where they were both members of the chorus, did nothing during the summer months, so members were in demand for various summer opera seasons around the country. 1960 was the first of five years my folks worked at the Cincinnati Summer Opera, and on our trip, we visited Santa Fe to see some of my folks’ fellow Met members who were working at the Santa Fe Summer Opera. On our way back from Los Alamos on US 285, there was an exit labeled Santa Fe Opera, and I had to see if it was anything like I remembered. To say that the Santa Fe that I remembered from 56 years ago is different than the current Santa Fe, would be a severe understatement. I have pictures in my mind that do not correlate with the large city Santa Fe is in 2016, and the Santa Fe Opera is no different. Turns out that since it started in 1957, there have been three Opera Houses, all at the same location, so this one dating from the 1990s would have not been one I might remember. We took the ride anyway before heading to the hotel.

Tomorrow our emphasis will be on Santa Fe, which is the second oldest city in the United States. The only one older is St Augustine, Florida, which we visited three years ago, even if all we remember is the Tini Martini Bar next to the Hilton Hotel!!


At 7000 feet, Santa Fe is also the highest State Capital in the United States, and the model name of our son Kenny’s Hyundai! See, we have a lot of personal connections to New Mexico!

Have a good night…we will!