So, we took the trip to Santa Fe and had a wonderful time. Everything went off without a hitch (for the most part). We are working on mentally redefining our travel personalities as we incorporate a new, and much more domineering, personality into the mix. When we arrived in Santa Fe I had visions of blissfully walking around the Georgia O'Keeffe museum while Alex slept peacefully in the Baby Bjorn. The little man had other ideas though, so after two attempts in line with him feeling antsy and consequently, exceptionally conversational, we abandoned that plan. At first I was disappointed. I've been waiting five years to visit the museum. But we swapped out the cold, dank indoor museum for ambling from gallery to gallery. Galleries that didn't cost anything and we could escape from quickly should Alex become crabby or too chatty. We stumbled upon some treasures that we might never have seen - including an exhibition of the work of the late photojournalist Carl Mydans. For those of you who don't know, he is the photographer who snapped the famous photo of the navy enlistee kissing the nurse on the streets of New York, among a slew of other images both recognizable and not. What a great discovery! And Georgia's not going anywhere. There's always next time.
We discovered a restaurant called Maria's the first night. Reasonably priced New Mexican food, and over 100 different margaritas. Good thing we'd had those too. The first night in a motel was sensory overload for Alex. In total, I slept about two hours that night. I spent the night transferring him from Pack-and-Play to the bed with me in the hopes that he might sleep. He spent most of the night squirming and grunting and smacking me in the face when he was next to me. Finally morning arrived.
Our visit to Bandelier National Monument was fun. It was so nice to be in the fresh air. Alex was fine once we got him into short sleeves and loaded up with milk. He must be having a growth spurt. He ate every two hours on this trip. I think he gets distracted when he's eating in the car (too much to look at), so he doesn't eat as thoroughly as he does in calmer settings. This could be the reason for the seemingly constant hunger. I strapped him on and we ventured up and down the ladders that led to the Pueblo dwellings until it started to thunderstorm. Oops! We forgot the rain gear. Living in St. Louis put us out of practice for hiking. Whatever happened to the "be prepared" hikers. We had a baby, that's what!
We experienced out first meal eaten in shifts on Sunday night. We tried to have dinner at the Pink Adobe, a Santa Fe landmark. Alex started feeling gassy or something, and we took turns walking up and down the sidewalks while the other was eating. This crying and screaming continued for the next couple of hours. Our first major crying jag as parents. We took turns walking up and down the outdoor hallways of the motel. I'm sure people wondered what the wails outside their windows were all about. I finally got him calmed down enough to eat. This seemed to help, and we had a very peaceful night. Alex sleeping in the Pack-and-Play; parents sleeping in the bed. Hooray!
Last stop, Taos. We remembered a restaurant that had excellent green chile from our last visit. Turns out the Ogilvies is much more bucolic for young married kids in a convertible, than for new parents with stroller in tow. The green chile somehow seemed more decadent when it could be savored. But Alex had had enough with restaurant eating. True to form for the growth spurt, he got hungry just as the entrees came. We once again took shifts and the meal ended with me nursing Alex standing up in a bathroom stall. Things were going swimmingly (no pun intended) until the men's room next door flooded. My flip-flopped feet were suddenly covered in blue toilet water and men with mops were mobbing the ladies room. So much for feeding the kid there.
All in all, the trip was a wonderful adventure and a comedy of errors. We had some truly enjoyable moments in the galleries on both days. Maybe the boy's going to be an art lover. He was very calm during our gallery explorations. And we had some learning experiences that gave me some insight for our next trip. Never change a diaper on the Tech Lab road in Los Alamos. Security and police vehicles flock your way pretty quickly curious about your unexpected stop! A full diaper does not make for a national security breach, but you could have fooled them.