Picture Tour: Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

ian viewA few weeks ago we ventured off to Bandelier National Monument, about an hour northwest of Santa Fe. Bandelier is a preservation area for the homes and territories of the Ancestral Pueblo People. The Monument is huge, over 50 square miles of land and about 70% of it is wilderness, so during this visit Ian & I chose to investigate the 10,000-year-old Pueblo cavities carved into soft tuff.

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It was a memorable morning at Bandelier. I conquered my fear of climbing long ladders, saw a few snakes, dodged a thunderstorm, and got a nice New Mexico suntan. Looking forward to returning to the monument, this time to explore another part of the 70 miles worth of trails!

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Picture Tour: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

A few weekends ago Ian & I ventured off to explore Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. When I first moved to Santa Fe I remember new friends asking if I had been to the Tent Rocks. “Not yet…”, I feel like I answered a dozen times. Apparently it is a must-visit destination in New Mexico.

One sunny Saturday morning, Ian and I finally packed our bags and headed west.DSC07754

The U.S. Department of the Interior states, “The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago and left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1,000 feet thick. Tremendous explosions from the Jemez volcanic field spewed pyroclasts (rock fragments), while searing hot gases blasted down slopes in an incandescent avalanche called a “pyroclastic flow.”

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“Over time, wind and water cut into these deposits, creating canyons and arroyos, scooping holes in the rock, and contouring the ends of small, inward ravines into smooth semi-circles.” U.S. Department of the InteriorDSC07746DSC07743DSC07757DSC07771

Tent Rocks is an adult playground. We loved navigating over, under, and through the amazing canyons, pausing for people to pass and taking in the layers before us. It truly is a special place to visit in New Mexico. Now, it’s your turn to adventure the monument!

Picture Tour: A Walk in the Park

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At the beginning of the month we both turned 30. Since then, an internal shift has occurred. A movement in which we are intentionally pausing more in gratitude for this life, setting moments aside for exploration, and talking about what matters most.

There’s something wonderful and different about this next decade that we both are noticing and welcoming.

Taking a stroll through the snow this morning, hand-in-hand, was one of those moments when my heart was pulsing in love, my feet wanted to skip out of joy, and my eyes couldn’t believe the beauty surrounding.

Here are a few pictures of a snowy Santa Fe morning in our “backyard”…DSC07521DSC07503DSC07518DSC07496DSC07530DSC07506DSC07528DSC07532DSC07523DSC07525DSC07508DSC07493This guy has been hanging out in the tree by our window for the past 3 days…
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Here he is the day before.

I love spotting him each morning and (occasionally) watching him eat his catch.

Picture Tour: Christmas Eve Farolito Walk

This Christmas Eve we bundled up in layers upon layers (Ian wore 3 pairs of socks) and headed out with friends for Santa Fe’s annual Farolito Walk. Thousands of men, women, children and pups filled the streets on and around Canyon Road to sip hot cocoa (in our case, mulled vino), defrost by bonfires, and sing carols. We did our best to beat the crowds by ducking off into alleyways strung with lights and greenery and huddled under heat lamps outside fancy-pants restaurants.  It warmed my heart to see people snuggling close and rejoicing in song, smiles illuminated by bonfire glow. Here are some photos of our chilly evening…DSC07469

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For me, Christmas is puzzling holiday. On the one hand, I love the chance to come together with friends and family to eat delicious meals, talk about life, and stay in our pajamas way too long. On the other hand, the way that Christmas has lost its meaning for so many because of societal pressures to give gifts (the better the gift(s), the more I love you?) makes my stomach churn. I feel shame on Christmas for not helping those who really need help and instead receiving gifts (most of the time, ones that I don’t need) just because it’s what you do on Christmas.

I want to explore in myself how I can find deeper meaning in this holiday. How can I give back to others while also being grateful for what I receive? What kind of lessons do I want to learn from Christmas and how do I want to teach my future children about gratitude and service?

My time so far in Santa Fe has pushed me to look deeper inside and question my own beliefs. Thank you for allowing me share my questions.

I hope you had a warm and relaxing holiday in a place that brings you joy.

Cheers to ringing in the new year with patience, willingness, and faith!

Picture Tour: Santa Fe Hike & Visit to Taos, New Mexico

This Thanksgiving we stayed in town, took a long and scenic hike through the Dale Ball Trails of Santa Fe, & made an afternoon visit to charming Taos, New Mexico. Here’s a snippet of what we saw…DSC07371

Sun & Snow

Sun & Snow

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A 5’8″ cactus

Beyond beautiful northern drive to Taos

Beautiful northern drive to Taos

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View from the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge

View from the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge

565 feet above the Rio Grande

565 feet above the Rio Grande (gulp!)

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Window shopping

Window shopping

DSC07431We’ll be back again soon, Taos!