Las Cruces: The Beginning

Matthew and I are safely nestled back in our home after a wonderful, whir-wind stay in Las Cruces with his parents. It was the first time I was able to meet his family  and I had a wonderful time while I was there. We had a terrible flight in and arrived 2 hours later than anticipated on Wednesday evening. Thursday we drove out to a Ranch his mother (an incredible interior designer) is working on and made a small detour at City of Rocks. Some of the rocks in the 'city' reached over 40 feet tall and they have been around since a volcanic eruption 35 million years ago!

Fossils and artifacts found at the city show that it was inhabited by Mimbreno Indians between 750-1250 AD. We didn't come across any arrowheads ourselves but I did almost get knocked off a rock from a gust of wind.

That evening we ate at De La Vega's Pecan Grill & Brewery. It was one of the best meals I've had in years. The restaurant was beautiful and food and service were impeccable.

{Image Source}

We started off with a sampling of every beer they brew in-house. The winner was their Pecan Beer which is a combination of their Amber Ale mixed with natural pecan oils. I'm not a huge beer drinker and I couldn't stop 'tasting' Matt's! He had his first lava burger and I devoured their stuffed squash.

Friday morning Matt and I woke up early at hit the trails before 7 a.m. We hiked the 3 mile loop through Bar Canyon in the Organ Mountains and an additional 3 back to the house after (his Dad drove us up since the gates were still closed that early). It has been years since I've hiked through a mountain and I was pleasantly surprised to find I wasn't winded or unable to do as much as I had hoped since we were so elevated.

The first wildlife we saw were Ants. Yep, just ants! They were so cute and hard-working though!

We didn't know what was on the trail aside from some beautiful scenery so I squealed from excitement when we came across this abandoned rock house. Abandoned houses = one of my favorite things ever.

On the way out we did come across our first snake. I was walking ahead and not paying attention to the ground when Matt suddenly pulled me back from behind. I looked down and saw why and did that quick 'jump/run/hop' away thing. Matt threw rocks at it to try to get it to move off the trail but it wouldn't budge so we finally walked around it.

Appropriately timed, after the hike his Mother and I went and had massages while the boys went and saw the latest Batman movie. I've never had a professional massage before so I was excited to see what it was like. I've been having so many back issues lately this couldn't have come at a better time. The back held up fine while I was in New Mexico but the massage definitely helped get out some tension I always hold in my shoulders and neck. I stopped in their bathroom before the appointment and laughed at this sign:

They also had a wonderful old resident dog there to keep you company as you waited. His name was Grandpa. He drooled a lot.

Dinner that evening was some out-of-this-world Mexican food courtesy of a woman Matt's mother knows. Cheese enchiladas, Mexican Rice and Beans ... we couldn't have made a trip to Las Cruces without eating some homemade Mexican food!

I'll post the rest of our vacation photos tomorrow. We did another hike up to an abandoned sanatorium, cooked Thai food for the parentals, stopped by White Sands (where my Grandfather worked in the 60's!) and had a pot-luck dinner on Sunday with family friends. Unfortunately, I came home with either a cold or strep throat (trying to wait until tomorrow to go to the clinic) but at least his parents sent me home with enough craft books to keep me comfortably distracted from my sicky feelings today!

See Part Two Here!