Thursday, May 31, 2012

Enchanted Adventure Pt III

Whoop whoop!  Sunday was a fantastic day.  We climbed up and over the mountains from Carlsbad to Las Cruces.  I enjoyed a pit stop in Cloudcroft to check out their Memorial Day festivities - an artsy market and the fire department rummage sale.  It was amazingly cool up there in the mountains, and we all remarked about what an unexpected landscape it was.  As we dropped out of the clouds, you could see the flat dryness awaiting.  After a quick lunch, we made it to White Sands National Monument. 

 Thomas asked me which I liked better, the sands or the caverns.  They really are tough to compare.  The sand was much more fun to play in, and play we did!  After an upright shot, I tried to tackle Thomas into the sand.  I will need to work on those moves.

There was no cordoned-off trail to follow, so we enjoyed making our own paths.  We also all left our shoes in the car and trod barefoot...nice.

 Thomas and Marty made many leaps over the edge into the sand.  On Marty's camera there are some nice shots of the guys hanging in mid-air.  Here Thomas has landed a great way down.  I joined him, and then Marty slid down and "avalanched" the sand behind our heads - with every part of your body so supported, you can relax practically every muscle in your body. 

Marty in the distance taking pictures.

There actually is a "path" from the parking lot where we stopped.  It was a loop, and every fifty yards or so a plastic post stuck out of the sand to mark the trail.  A few sections I saw were clearly heavily-trafficked, but when the wind blows, it doesn't take long for the tracks to disappear.

 I like this view and the faint shadow of Marty's footsteps back to us.

Ollie missed out on the giant sandbox.  I am sure he would have delighted to sit in the sand and fill his shoes and diapers and ears, etc with white sand, though a big shade umbrella would have made his mother feel better about it.  He was a tired boy, so Miki snugged him into the "front harness" (is it an Ergo?) and covered him up.  He slept pretty much the whole time were there.  I was able to get his hands in the sand before he zonked out.

From there we were psyched to drive into the Organ Mountains and come out the other side in Tom's old stomping grounds of Las Cruces.  We were even more excited at the thought of checking into our hotel and jumping into the pool.  Tom toured us around as we wound our way into Cruces and towards the hotel.  Our enthusiasm plummeted when Miki discovered that the pool was empty.  Muy triste!  Showering felt good, though it wasn't the same, and then we loaded back up once more for the night to get some grub at La Posta - a spot Thomas thought we would all enjoy in old town Mesilla.  And was he right...

 Ollie was awake!  And he was really happy flirting with a little girl, watching the toucan and parrots, splashing in the fountain, and checking out the milling crowd as we waited for a table.

He even found a seat until he got a high chair.

The food was delicious.  We were all stuffed, but made a little more room for sopapillas.  Ollie had his first refried beans, which elicited a rather funny scrunching of nose and squinting of eyes while he shook it off and had another bite.  I also discovered along the way what fun he could make with a drinking straw, so Ollie called dibs on all our straws and had quite a time drumming away and folding them up.  

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