Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Route 66, Albuquerque, NM

When we were in Albuquerque, I couldn't help thinking about that quintessential TV Show with the theme song, "Get your kicks on Route 66."  One of these days, it would be great fun to drive the whole road, (as much as possible, since some stretches have been paved over), but last month, we did experience the highway, which in it's heyday ran from Los Angeles to Chicago. There are now breaks in the road, but it was once a destination of roadside attractions, endless restaurants, hotels, and Neon signs. 
Route 66, paved in 1926, was the conduit from the Rust belt to the Sun Belt, with hundreds of thousands finding their way to the California sun during the great depression.
In the 80's Route 66 was replaced by the interstate freeway, which displaced many businesses along the iconic route.  Even though many of these hotels and restaurants have been sidelined, there's till lots of fun places to stop along the route.

   

We especially liked this fun '66 Dinner' which not only had great diner food, but lots of nostalgic touches.  
You could imagine yourself back in the 60's with the decor and music!
There's a few modern touches like neon, and a few 21st Century menu items, but this is the place where burgers and shakes rule, and it's worth the calories!

Monday, May 19, 2014

UFO's In McMinnville, OR

It was one of those forecasted rainy Oregon weekends where we had tons of household chores to do. There's always the list of boring 'to-do's' around the house, or wait...Maybe it was Aliens that were summoning us to the charming town of McMinnville to enjoy the UFO parade, part of a 15 year annual tradition ufofest.co.  Well, it's not hard to see what won out!
Our first stop was lunch, where we came across this Alien enjoying a bite, while waiting for the planned invasion that was sure to be just around the corner! Foil headgear was very popular, perhaps sending out a frequency to the "Grays?
We grabbed sandwiches at The Red Fox Bakery, and had them boxed up so we could find a place on the parade route. I had a roasted turkey, Gouda, Apple sandwich on crunchy golden raisin bread, that seriously had to be one of the best sandwiches that I've ever had!  As a bonus, they included the most amazing chewy, melt in your mouth macaroon.  I always thought macaroons were boring, dried up poor excuses for a cookie, but these, were amazing!  I read on their website where they are baked daily and can be mailed!  Must check that out!
This was Ground Zero, The McMenamin's Hotel Oregon, where food and live entertainment, vendor booths, and the Pet Costume Contest made this THE Happening Place! The McMenanin Brothers are famous for buying up old public buildings, which have fallen into disrepair around the state, fixing them up, making them a cornerstone in their communities- Hotel Oregon is no exception.  I heard that they even have a rooftop bar that rocks!
Runners in the Abduction Dash were pelted with water balloons from the balcony of the hotel as they finished the race.
If that didn't get them wet, the Ghostbusters crew was on hand to finish the job!
Wait... a sighting!
I don't know how many people attended the UFO Parade, but they were six deep on the streets, and many wore costumes.
These guys had the best headgear, especially the guy on the left with a saucer that lit up! 
The parade was lots of fun, but there were many other events, including the purpose of the weekend-the Speakers, who are experts in extraterrestrial phenomena, like George Noory, host of the nationally syndicated radio program "Coast to Coast AM," and Stanton T. Friedman, Nuclear physicist, and UFO expert since the 60's. The whole event is based on the Trent UFO Photos, from May 11, 1950 which remain one of the best UFO sightings to this day! http://www.rense.com/general/mcmin50.htm

This was good- a recovery truck with satellite, lights and Alien storage 
The Grays!
There was a marching band from the local Jr High School
creatures from Star Wars
Space capsules
Not sure about the fish, but it was a big crowd pleaser!
Lots of Alien beings...
Even the local Square Dancers were out of this planet!
Little Terrestrials

                    This guy was amazing-the photo doesn't do him justice. 
         This band was really extra terrestrial-The Love Bomb Go-Go Marching Band, from Portland

This spaceship floated down the street to the delight of all the kids, big and old!
This entry featured the McMenamin's Hammerhead Beer.  It took me awhile to figure out the hammer heads
 You gotta love this little guy!
 Kip and his wonderful sons, Skyler, and Ben
 Everyone got into the spirit
 Have we had enough 'Keep Calm...yet?  
 More foil headgear!
Friends, Pam, Barb, and Karen...
 Sweet Murphy was so freaked out by the firetrucks, he didn't make the Pet Parade, even though he had a great costume!
  These guys were great!  
Even NASA was on hand...I guess they don't have much to do these days!
 A good time was had by all!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rio Grande Botanical Gardens, Albuquerque, NM



We recently escaped the oppressive rain in Portland and headed to Albuquerque and Santa Fe for a new days of sun.  On Saturday, Rick went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and I headed to The Rio Grande Botanic garden.  I think I got the better deal!

At the entrance of the garden, there's an eye-catching display of metal bird and insect sculptures. One of the most amazing things in the garden is this incredible mosaic; many hands went into it's design and completion.  It's truly stunning with the pond, dragonflies and and flowers.

My absolute favorite section of the gardens was the model train display!  Model trains are a secret passion of mine, and I've longed to have my own garden display.  I already have some track and a few cars that we used to put out every Christmas to entertain the cats!
All the ten year year old's and I were having a blast, inspecting the little towns and miniature gardens, with Pygmy Bamboo, miniature sedums, trestle bridges.  Best part was the fact that the display is interactive.


Lots of  'Conductors' were on hand to keep these engineering marvels on track!
There were also a Butterfly Pavilion, Japanese Garden, and Spanish-Moorish Courtyard, but it was all about the trains for me!
It was a beautiful April day and who wouldn't want to bask in the sun!
 
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