Albuquerque Research Trip

I needed to do research at the Center for Southwest Research at University of New Mexico, but it would have been hard to do over the summer, or on a break, since the library hours are also subject to summer and breaks. Enter, sabbatical research time.

It’s a good thing that research was the agenda because Albuquerque turned off cold and windy, unseasonably so. We got an AirBnB near the University, but even better, it was near a park/playground so the kids could get some energy out. My parents were super helpful, watching the kids while I did my work. We got to eat at some favorite places from when we used to live there. Porter, Seamus, and Gilbert all want to move to Albuquerque. Harlan doesn’t care as long as he’s with the whole crew. We did get to do a few fun things after I finished my work for the day.

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Look at all those ristras! We saw four rainbows in one day, which is not unusual in New Mexcio, if it’s been raining. The kids were very excited about that, as we just don’t see many rainbows here, despite it raining all the time.

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Seamus has been studying the geography of Virginia, especially the different types of rocks. I took them out to the volcanoes one afternoon, so they could hike up. We did hike, even though it was so windy! Gilbert wanted to “Stomp on the top of the volcano!” which he did. I warned them, though, not to expect to be able to see down the volcano into the center of the earth, having learned my lesson on our sojourn to the Corvette Museum. That turned out to be what they thought we were going to see! The inside…maybe because we walked through one at the Natural History museum.

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We had a beautiful, sunny day at the zoo. The kids liked seeing the polar bear and hippos, as we don’t have those at the national zoo. They also liked the flamingos, prairie dogs, and mountain lions. I love the Rio Grande zoo, but it’s under construction right now, and lots of animals were off exhibit. At least we got a picture in the desert habitat!

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I so wish we’d had more time and the weather had been better, but as I said, it was much easier to spend my time working when the outdoors wasn’t calling me. It did snow, and this is at the top of Sandia Peak. Seamus and Gilbert wanted to hike down, but it would have been treacherous.

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Explora, the science museum, was packed, but we did have fun with the bubbles (above, Harlan, Porter, Seamus). We ended up bagging this museum and going over to the NM History and Science Museum. Our science center membership pays off again! I learned something at the NMHSM that I can use in my research!

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The kids are such good travelers (probably because they get lots of practice). They got lots of compliments, and it was worthwhile to take them, even though it was kind of a lot of work to just be going to do more work. I love that airports have so many windows because watching the work of an airport really helps pass the time for the kids. I’m not going to lie, though. Really looking forward to a solo research trip next time.

We miss New Mexico, and being there with the kids and my parents underscored to me how much it is a place that begs you to get out side, even when it’s cold or challenging. I don’t think Seamus or Gilbert had ever seen a place like it. They thought the houses were interesting, but they were deeply impressed by the landscape where you can go miles without seeing houses, cars, or people. That just doesn’t happen here. I was saying that I feel like I can breathe better there, that there’s more room to think. This is also party because my research home is there. I was in a library surrounded by the books I need–no need to order them from somewhere else and wait. It’s a treat to go back. I can’t wait to take the kids again, when it’s a vacation, and we can hike, eat, play, and enjoy even more than we did this time.

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