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DesertDave invited us to his wedding in Santa Fe in July of 2008, and Lis and I happily accepted. We decided to make a longer trip out of it and spent a week visiting lots of places in New Mexico, as well as San Francisco.
- Albuquerque - Our home base for the New Mexico portion of the trip was Lis's cousins' home in Albuquerque. On the first day we just wandered around the city's Nob Hill area and hung out with Larry and Lucy. After our trip further south we also saw Albuquerque's botanical garden and aquarium.
- Very Large Array - We got up early on the second day of our trip to start our explorations of New Mexico's south side. Our first stop was the Very Large Array, a few miles west of Socorro. It definitely isn't a sight that everybody would be excited to see, but for an astronomy fan and science geek like me, it was a great visit. Those radar dishes are HUGE!
- White Sands - After spending an hour or so at the VLA, we continued our trip south on I-25. At Las Cruces we headed east on highway 70 toward our next destination: White Sands. We got there late in the afternoon, so we decided to start out with a quick drive through the park before checking in to our motel in Alamogordo. After checking in we drove back for a sunset dune hike, which was fantastic. The next morning we headed back once more, this time spending several hours wandering the expanse of white dunes. The freedom allowed in the park was great - they encourage you to run all over the dunes, sled down them, play on them like you're at the beach, or just about anything else you can think of. I highly recommend White Sands.
- Three Rivers and Valley of Fires - Our trip to White Sands complete, we headed on up highway 70/54 toward Valley of Fires state park. Along the way we made a quick stop at a pistachio farm, and then made a slightly longer stop at Three Rivers to take a look at petroglyphs. Eventually we made it up to Valley of Fires and saw the opposite of White Sands: all around us was black volcanic rock. The difference made for a fun study in contrasts. After our stop there, we continued our way on highway 380 across the White Sands Missile Range, met up with I-25, and headed back to Albuquerque.
Albuquerque » San Francisco
- San Francisco - Our trip concluded with a couple of days in San Francisco. Kevin and Jackie had been at the same wedding in Santa Fe and we had wanted to visit them for a while, so we rode the same plane back to California with them and spent a few days cavorting about the city. This included trips to Muir Woods, Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, Chinatown, and the famous view from Alamo Park. Plus, Lis got to push an old lady across the street.