Leaving New Mexico

After visiting the Acoma Sky City, we went back to Albuquerque. With a heavy heart I packed up the Aveo. I was sad about leaving my Aunt, but she was coming to Michigan two weeks after. I was much more sad that this was my last full day in New Mexico. Even though we were heading home, and we were near the last miles of our journey, I was determined to make the most of the return. We would spend that night with John-Dad, and get up early the next morning to drive to Missouri to visit my sister. after a couple of days with her, it was off to Illinois for more relatives.


We headed east on I-40 to Santa Rosa, then south to Fort Sumner. Instead of going straight to Clovis, we took a detour to Portales. My Mom and my Aunt were raised in Portales, and my grandparents were buried in the Portales Cemetery. We stopped and dropped off some flowers at Grandma and Grandpa’s headstone.

The Sandias and Albuquerque, sadly in my rear view mirror.


My Grandma passed on in 1992. She had a heart attack and died in my Grandpa’s arms. He loved her so much, that he died less than two years later. I think he died of a broken heart.

After a quiet night at John-Dad’s we got up early and left. Clovis is just a few miles from the Texas state line, so before I was ready, we had left New Mexico. I was sad, and already thinking of my next visit to the Land of Enchantment.

West Texas ( not the town of West, TX) is the beef capital of the world, and man, you can smell it!  Driving through Hereford, Texas, there are cows and cows as far as the eye can see. I remember while driving with John-Dad in Clovis, we drove past a stockyard. The Boy wrinkled his nose at the stink. John-Dad told him “That’s the smell of money, son!”  There must have been a lot of money here in Hereford!

This giant cowboy is outside of Amarillo,TX. When I was little, we’d visit my great-grandma in Amarillo. When I saw this big guy, I knew we were close. I was thrilled to see he was still there.

We drove through Amarillo, and finally into Oklahoma. At around 8:30 that night, we pulled into Pleasant Hills, just south of Kansas City, Missouri. After a long, boring drive we met my Sister, her husband, and her son. Yet another Nephew for me, and a cousin for the Boy! My newly acquainted Nephew had just turned three that very day.

The next day, we went to Kansas City to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I never knew Kansas City had such an impressive art collection!

IMG_0970 IMG_0975 IMG_0990IMG_0998

After a much too quick tour of the museum, we went to the Kansas City zoo. We walked and walked, and as the day wore on, it got hotter and hotter, with the humidity rising with the heat. Already there was something I missed about New Mexico; there’s no humidity. The only animal that seemed happy was the newly born giraffe. We found out later that was his first day out.

My nephew checking out the Lions. This was an air-conditioned room. It felt so nice!
Baby giraffe, on her first outdoor excursion!
Watch out, son!!






  1. What a great journey, and what a great memory of the giant cowboy! There’s something special about revisiting places from childhood, and amazing how firmly etched some memories become.

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