Last week, my brother, his wife, and my niece came to New Mexico for the first time to visit us. Mom loved seeing them, and we had an exhausting, but good time. Here's 13 things about that visit.
1. My niece has found "her people" and is headed to Japan to teach. It was fun to get to know her a bit more and hear her passion for Japan and everything about it. My niece is quite...inscrutable...so actually talking to her was really cool.
2. My brother is bad-ass on the grill. Dad taught him. We had our classic "family dinner" BBQ and a pool party at Mom's apartment building. The dinner we always have when we are together is Filet Mignons, Asparagus, and Mom's potato salad. Yum! And the pool was fun.
3. Petroglyphs National Monument. We went to both Boca Negra and Piedras Marcadas. It was hot and windy, but they seemed to enjoy themselves.
4. Santa Fe. My brother, hubs, and my niece spent the morning at Meow Wolf (a trippy art installation) and Mom, Sis, and I went shopping on the Plaza. Mom bought me a cute little Talavera pottery cat for the top of my cupboards. We lunched at Cowgirl BBQ which was a favorite of my late Dad's when he was working out this way.
5. Old Town Albuquerque. It was a gorgeous morning. We shopped, did a cheese tasting at Noisy Water Winery, and came home with a couple of great New Mexico made cheeses--a sharp white cheddar and a mango habanero gouda. We lunched at Church St. Cafe, which was amazing!
6. Brother and family checked out Sawmill Market. We stayed home prepping for another family BBQ.
7. Brother and family stayed at the local Hilton Garden Inn, and one evening they tried a new Japanese place. I can't wait to go to Magokoru--they loved it, and we've not been!
8. Wings at our place. Hubs made 60 of them. He has the best recipe, and we enjoyed hanging out and reminiscing. Maddie was beside herself and Lily the formerly Feral actually sat in my niece's lap!!!! This is a true breakthrough.
9. Looked through old photo albums at Mom's and our house. A few tears and a lot of laughter. We all miss Dad a lot.
10. My brother and fam went to take the Sandia Tram up to the top of Sandia Peak, but unfortunately it was booked solid.
11. Had dinner at Turtle Mountain Brewery and Restaurant. The calzones were epic!
12. Took a drive on Route 66 (which runs right through Albuquerque).
13. They day they left, I packed up and mailed a giant box with all the goodies they bought. My brother loves hot chile, and I sent 2 quarts of Young Guns Produce red chile and green chile. My sis-in-law bought me a beautiful Talavera pottery burro for my collection!