Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Museums, and Gardens, and Tramway, Oh My!

In continuation of posts about my visit with Kara and her son Jeverett, I will be sharing our Saturday. They arrived on a Wednesday. Thursday, we went to the zoo, on Friday we rested, and now we're on Saturday. There were so many photos taken of the places we went and there is no way I could share them all..but collages help share a lot of photos in one. Remember, you can click on the collages to enlarge them. Yes, I did do all the driving. It doesn't take much for me to become sleepy in the car. In fact, it's a family joke that when I say, "Let's go for ride", it's code for, "I need a good nap"! My dad had planned on going with us 'most everywhere, but had a huge setback with his degenerative discs in his back and had to stay home. My sweet husband (who was going to be the driver) stayed with him while us mamas and sons went traipsing across the desert. Again, yes, I drove the whole way. Every time. I didn't fall asleep. Not once! (It really is a big deal. I shocked my family. I told them not to get used to it.)  I was courageous and just managed to drive across mountains, across the jungle of, there, and everywhere. And lived to tell about it. So welcome to our Saturday of museums and gardens and a verrrry close encounter with the tramway. ((Warning: this is a long post with a lot of pictures! It was a full day! ))

First we headed over to Santa Teresa, NM to the War Eagles Air Museum -"dedicated to collecting, restoring and displaying historic aircraft of the World War II and the Korean Conflict eras. This unique Museum pays special tribute to military aviation and reminds us all of the significant role these airplanes, their pilots and support crews played in securing our freedom."

Here are a few photos from this museum's visit. There were planes, cars, uniforms, historical information and a host of artifacts to explore. 

I thought this was interesting: 

And I loved this: 

It was another picnic lunch day. All this traveling and sight seeing made us hungry! Sandwiches never tasted so good. We were so glad we thought ahead and made lunches to take with us!  Next stop: University of Texas to see the Desert Gardens and the Centennial Museum. 

The Gardens:

Centennial Museum: 

And lastly, we headed to the Tramway with fear and trepidation. Well, Jonathan, Jeverett, and I did. Kara was ready to go on this thing. I was psychologically ready to oblige and go up with her. After we arrived and were ready to purchase our tickets, the Tramway was closing down due to an incoming storm. I was relieved and disappointed at the same time. I'm not too fond of heights, but I was willing to go for Kara and I was disappointed that we didn't get to go. We hung around and took some pictures, though, of the beautiful surrounding scenery. And then we drowned our sorrow (or elation?) on missing the ride over a Dairy Queen ice cream snack. 

Wyler Aerial Tramway: 

Some Scenery Shots:

Isn't this one beautiful with the storm clouds rolling in?

After DQ, we headed home (after I called John to ask him how to get home. Ha!) I'm not very good with directions and I need specifics and landmarks to get me from Point A to Point B and beyond. Jonathan was a huge help and I was very impressed with how much he knew about the area around El Paso. Kara helped too with maps and with general paying attention. What a day!! I hope I didn't forget anything. 

Next up in our Explorations in El Paso: Church in Juárez, Mexico, the Mirador (an overlook), and the great big mysterious X

Monday, July 27, 2015

Explorations in El Paso (Part 1) - El Paso Zoo

In the last post, I wrote a little about my friend Kara's visit to the Sun City - El Paso, TX - with her son, Jeverett. They arrived late Tuesday night and it was RAINING! She was trying to get away from rain and into the sun..and here we were having rain. Blessed rain! But, alas, true to desert nature, the rains did not last long and we had sunny (and hot!!) weather while they were here. Wednesday, we took our time getting up, went to WalMart for a few things, and had made plans to head over to Juárez, Mexico for our mid-week church service. We had heard news of some dangerous activity going on over the border between the Cartel and the Police by mid-afternoon.  Church service was cancelled that night and we stayed home and stayed safe. 

Jonathan and Jeverett hanging out Wednesday night. 

Now onto Thursday - Zoo Day! 

Jeverett loves animals and was so excited to head to the zoo. Kara and I packed picnic lunches and off we went. Here are a few photos of our day. You can click on each collage to see them larger. 

While Jev was ooohing and aaaahing over the animals, Kara and I were taking a lot of photos of the flowers on the zoo grounds. They were stunning! And Jonathan? He was just taking everything in stride - all cool, calm, and collected. 

We had talked about going to do something else after the zoo, but after walking around for a few hours in 100 degree heat, we decided against it and went home for the rest of the day. 

Friday, we rested and took it easy. It's a good thing, too, because Saturday was a busy day with driving to New Mexico to visit the War Eagles Air Museum and
 the UTEP Gardens here in El Paso. 

Next Up: War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa, NM and the University of Texas at
 El Paso Desert Gardens and Centennial Museum (Part 2 of 7)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Million Little Things

My friend Kara and I have been friends for over 20 years. I can't remember what year we met (somewhere between 1992-1994, I believe), but we met while I was in college through a mutual friend and we've been friends ever since. We even wrote letters to each other back in the day. As hand. On stationary. We kept in touch the old fashioned way before Facebook and texting and all that jazz. I was married in March of 1995, and Kara came to visit me that year all the way from Pennsylvania. It was her very first time traveling via airplane. We were living in Port Orchard, Washington at the time and John was in the Navy stationed in the city of Bremerton. John was overseas during Kara's visit so it was just the two of us heading out to see the sites. Here's a little throw back photo for you and one taken the day after she arrived in El Paso two weeks ago for another visit. 

She then came to see me when we lived in New Mexico after John got out of the Navy. We had Jonathan by then and we palled around NM while she was there. Jonathan was 2 years old then. Such a cute little boy, don't you think? 

Now it's 2015 and she has once again visited us, this time with her son Jeverett (age 11). ((Seems like it's my turn to visit her!!)) And this time with a digital camera. She loves to take photos and is not camera shy - like me. I had to psychologically prepare for her love of photo taking because I knew she'd want me in some of them! I'm glad we have this record, though, of the great times we had. We were joking about the many rolls of film she used to carry with us everywhere we went and how easy it was to take pictures now with a digital camera and rechargeable batteries! 

In the next few weeks, I will be sharing our Explorations in El Paso - photos and all. I believe she said she took 1,995 photos... but I won't post them all!! She really took some great ones! I did take some, but since I was doing all the driving, it was best I kept my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road for a lot of the scenery shots. We went everywhere. (Reminds me of Johnny Cash's song, "I've Been Everywhere". 

"I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breathed mountain air, man
Travel, I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere"

(You have that song playing in your head now, I bet.
You're welcome.)

And we have been everywhere... or just about as you will see in the next 7 or 8 posts! 

 We ran ourselves ragged in the scorching heat exploring the zoo, museums, mountains, parks, and Juárez. Just a few more days would have been nice -sharing the million different things that still makes us friends....

Next Up: Explorations in El Paso: El Paso Zoo (Part 1 of 7) ((I think))