Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Albuquerque Experience

Hi, S&C-ers!

Given the time elapsed between my last post and now, I think you can probably get an idea of what my time here in ABQ has been like. I've been working long days trying to get lots of work done during the five short weeks that I'm at Sandia NM. My work has paid off (I think? maybe?), and I have a bunch of things to test when I get to CA. It took a while to get used to living in a new city, fitting in with a new crowd, and acclimating to the national lab setting, and now when I feel like I know what I'm doing, it's time to go!

Fortunately, my time here hasn't been all work. Andy came to visit me a few weeks ago. We did some quintessential ABQ stuff like the Sandia Peak Tramway (the longest in the world!) at sunset, Petroglyph National Monument, driving down old Route 66, and eating (sopaipillas! green chile! carne adovada! oh my!). The main event of Andy's visit, however, was the Grand Canyon. We drove out on Sunday, spent the afternoon hiking down into the canyon, and came back up to the rim for sunset. I can't remember the last time I had my breath taken away, but the Grand Canyon definitely did it. We stayed the night in Flagstaff, AZ then headed back to New Mexico the next morning. On the way home, we swung through Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, during which I'm pretty sure we set a record for the fastest touring of a national park. We put almost 1000 miles on our rental car in three days. Awesome.

My parents also came out to visit for a weekend. We stayed more local and checked out Albuquerque sights like the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, which I thought was really awesome. Albuquerque also has its own minor league baseball team called the Albuquerque Isotopes, which sends players to the Los Angeles Dodgers. We also took the Rail Runner up to Santa Fe, which is absolutely adorable. Even though it rained, we got a chance to see the historic square, church, art fairs, and more. If I'm in NM again, I would definitely visit Santa Fe again!

My time in Albuquerque was eye-opening, but I am looking forward to heading to California. I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow! I'll miss the beautiful mountain scenery and the yummy food in New Mexico. I've learned all about Southwestern wildlife, too. Did you know that road runners are real?! Apparently, there is a restaurant in Chicago that serves New Mexican-inspired food, so I'll have to check it back when I'm back home.

I'll try to be better about updating on the West Coast. Until next time! Have a great week everyone!

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