Saturday, March 20, 2010

Of zombie cows, rainbows, and a glorious thing called "vacation"

It's taken me longer than expected to put this post up, sorry. (Someone really needs to do something about whatever scientific fluke causes three days out of the office to somehow equal, like, seventeen days' worth of work before you begin to feel caught up again.) In any case, and without further ado, I give you a brief highlights reel from VACATION:

Mountains = not in NYC anymore

Nope, not Brooklyn, either. Not even close.

A million gorgeous miles away, in fact!
(That's Abiquiu Lake)

Travel Companion and I had a fairly singular goal: to escape the dreary February-ness of our respective locales, run away to somewhere entirely different, and be inspired for a few days. Abiquiu, New Mexico--famous for inspiring much of Georgia O'Keefe's artwork--was the exactly what we'd hoped for. (Abiquiu is about 50 miles north of Santa Fe, and about 60 miles west of Taos, which means that both learningtoread and christinetripp had awfully close guesses. I'll be emailing both of you about your promised prizes, and thanks to all who played along and suggested a locale.)

Want to see some more gorgeousness?

They called it a casita, but this "little house" was approx 200 (okay, 5, but still!) times bigger than my apartment!

Mountains in the front yard!! They delighted me all
over again every morning when I woke up & rediscovered them.

Oh this? Just the side view from the casita--starring
the bee-yoo-tiful (if still half-frozen) Chames River.

It's impossible, really, to do a place like this justice in words, so I'll just sum it up in with a Nature count (hey, when you live in a city of concrete like NYC, Nature becomes a delightful novelty) and let you imagine the rest:

Nature Count:
Prairie dogs seen scurrying into holes: 2 (so cute!!)
Stars in the night sky: Approximately a bazillion, all of them gorgeous.
Hours spent staring at stars: Many. (What is it about stars that moves us so deeply?)
Shooting stars seen: 1, and it was oh-so-perfect.
Coyotes heard howling from the mountains at night: Loved 'em, but decided it was better not to know how many there were out there, thanks.
"Cow crossing" warning signs seen: 1 approximately every 1/2 mile, for many, many miles.

Actual cows seen, crossing or otherwise: None. Nada. Zip.
Zombie cow theories resulting from mismatch: 1, fairly half-baked.
Spontaneous side trip that may or may not have been to a local brewery (but that had nothing to do with zombie cow theories, I swear!): 1.
Picture-perfect vacation ending (i.e. rainbow over the mountains as my flight departed): 1. Ain't it gorgeous?

Inner Dixie Chick satisfied: 1, most definitely.
(You know you want to sing along!)

Where should I go the next time I run away from NYC? All suggestions happily accepted in the comments!


  1. Last summer I took visiting friends from Poland on a week and a half drive from Texas to Grand Junction, CO (have family there) then over to Moab, Utah (beautiful Arch country), south to Canyonlands, over to Glen Canyon, then Zion Canyon, and in between we hit Lake Powell. Zion Canyon was the most amazing thing ever, and by the time we got to the Grand Canyon, it looked pretty pathetic next to Zion and Canyonlands. From the Grand Canyon we headed to Las Vegas for two days, then the two day drive home to Texas. The actual best part of the trip was Moab to Zion National Park, of which took about three days to see. I've been everywhere in the U.S. except a few states (Virginia and surrounding) and to Western Europe in my many years of travel, and this was some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen, and all in Utah. I strongly suggest it for anyone who loves the outdoors.

  2. The high desert of Central Oregon can't be matched.

  3. Molly Molly Molly, that's a girl after my own heart right there. I have stared at that same New Mexico sky and listened to that Dixie Chick song more often than I care to admit.

    That particular place moved me so very much that it's the setting for my current WIP. I was a camp counselor there for all my college years, and some day when I'm all retired and living the good life... I'll spend many a summer there.

    The camp I actually worked at had several cabins that actually belonged to Georgia O'Keefe at one time. We all imagined cleaning up and finding some hidden work of hers trapped away in a wall, but it never happened.

    Man, I want to go back there so bad right now! I'm totally jealous of you today!

  4. New Mexico!--where I lived for many, many years. I was just thinking about Abiquiu this weekend, as a matter of fact. It is beautiful there, isn't it?

    So where should you go next? The Black Hills of South Dakota! There's even a mystery spot. (I'm a sucker for mystery spots.) Lots to see and do there, and it's beautiful beyond belief.

    Welcome back!

  5. Montana!! In the summer it truly is heaven. Plus more mountains and TONS of wildlife. :)

  6. Being an Arizona native, I'd highly recommend Sedona Arizona. It is one of the prettiest places in Arizona, and being that you're from NYC, it would seem like you're visiting a different planet.

  7. I thought the DC's would be singing "the world is alive, with the sound of musice" there for a minute:)
    Wow, wow, I won (techincally tied, great enough for me:)
    How cool. Cooler yet is a vacation in what looks like a beautiful spot.

  8. Oh, suggestions for running away again? Montreal is lovely but for a "close to the real thing" experience, Quebec City. If one can not afford or book the time off for Paris, this is a darn close second (but you have to go in Spring or Summer, ooooo it's cold other wise) Carriage tours through the old City's cobblestone streets and amazing cafe's and bistro's (food, my favorite part always)

  9. Thanks for all the fab travel suggestions, folks! I want to go to all those places NOW!

    And Christine, I sent an email to the email address listed on your website asking for a mailing address to send your prize to--did you get it?