We decided to stay for a week just outside of Albuquerque to make sure we were not traveling on Thanksgiving day. Normally Sarah makes a large Thanksgiving day feast for us, but with a small oven it seemed like too much to ask her to make a feast this year. We decided to just go out to eat and the kids really wanted to eat at a buffet, so we went to a casino buffet for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a little strange going to a casino having lived in Nevada for most of our lives. The food was good though and everyone ate till they were stuffed, so mission accomplished. The kids made some Thanksgiving/Fall decorations to put up to get us in the mood. Sarah cut out leaves from construction paper and we wrote thing we are thankful for on them. It was a good holiday, though we missed spending it with family.
We were able to visit several museums in Albuquerque, which everyone enjoyed. The Nuclear Museum had the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb and a ton of other nuclear related items. I never even knew the military had an atomic cannon that could shoot a nuclear bullet, but we learned all about the nuclear era from the beginning through the cold war. The natural science museum took us through the history of Earth from beginning to modern times. As always the dinosaurs fossils were great to learn about. The kids were more impressed by the kids museum we visited. The hands on museums are great for the education of the kids because they get to touch and feel the science displays.
The big bust was the capital building. We were looking forward to seeing the Sante Fe capital building because it is the only round one. It would have been nice to see the New Mexico version of history too because Arizona and New Mexico almost shared statehood. Arizona voted to not share statehood and New Mexico voted to share it. As you know Arizona got what it wanted and they were made two states instead of one. The website said they were open with no tours on the weekend, so we drove over an hour to see it. After much confusion on where to park we decided to stop in the visitor center to find out where to park. The worker bluntly informed us that the capital was closed and suggested we visit some churches and the original capital building. Of course you have to pay at everyone of these tourist traps. We found that out at the oldest church. Yes you heard that right, in New Mexico they expect you to pay to go into a church. We were a bit mad when we found that out in the gift shop, so the attendant told us to go in for free. She was super nice and when we exited she told us to go visit the other old church in the area and she would call and arrange it to be free. Both these old churches were beautiful historic buildings that are super commercialized. Of the two the oldest church had more history and cost less to visit. The oldest house in America was free to see though you had to walk through a gift shop to see it. Of course the Native Americans had older religious buildings and houses, so these are not even the actual oldest places in America.
All in all we were not impressed with Sante Fe or Albuquerque. If you have followed our blog then you should know we rarely don’t like an area. Everywhere has something great about it, but everyone was happy to be heading out of New Mexico. The people in the grocery stores were unfriendly and everyone seemed grumpy. The wind and dust must get to the locals. Either that or the lack of prosperity, since most of the area seemed to have seen better days. We are hopeful though and maybe the last part of our stay in New Mexico will redeem the state.