Saturday, July 26, 2014

Southwest Trip: Arizona, New Mexico | Carlsbad Caverns, Albuquerque, White Sands, Flagstaff and other stuff

Elk greeted us outside Flagstaff, Arizona after we drove through the night on old Route 66.

Jason and Jackson playing at the Lowell Observatory Scientific Preserve.

Jackson views the sun through a special telescope.

Jackson had his own hotel keycard and unlocking the door was his number-one favorite activity in ABQ.

J&J check out the hotel atrium.

The Rattlesnake Museum was a great kid-friendly stop in Old Town Albuquerque.

Selfie at Farm & Table restaurant in ABQ.

You probably saw this on Instagram or Facebook already, but this is me and my mom at Antiques Roadshow, which was our motivation for going on this trip in the first place. Our tickets were free, our junk was mostly worthless, and we had a great time!

This is so my favorite photo of the trip. These are the "famous" painted burros of Carrizozo, N.M. This one is outside the visitors' center on the edge of the town. Jackson is screaming "TOO HOT!!" It just cracks me up, and it's beautiful, and it's real.

My mom and posed in front of the world's largest pistachio, as you do.

Driving through the southwest for days on end looks like this.

The White Sands National Monument Visitor Center had some nice wildlife, just attached to the building: cliff swallows, a little bat (see above) and some huge moths.

Sand-sledding at White Sands was scary and fun.
White Sands sledding.

More White Sands sledding.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park was our big destination after White Sands. Perfect for little guys. Very contained, educational, straightforward, not too dangerous etc. Worth the drive. 

Andrew watched Jason while my mom, Jackson and I did the walk around the "Big Room." Jackson wanted to get the Bottomless Pit, which he totally achieved!

Batman in a cave full of bats!

Jason in the Visitors Center cafe.

Jackson earned a Junior Ranger badge with help from his grandma. I totally and completely cried at his swearing-in ceremony. We will do the Junior Ranger program at NPS attractions in the future. So great!


Bat Flight Amphitheater by day. At sundown there was a lightning-and-thunderstorm evacuation that kept us from watching the bat flight from this spot, but we saw plenty by walking backwards up from the amphitheater to the parking lot so we could flee to safety. 

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