Monday, August 13, 2007

First Day in the Mountains

(The following is Lizard Eater’s log of her Trout Lodge vacation. Like watching your neighbor’s slides, much of it will only be interesting to us. Feel free to skip and come back to my blog at a later time.)

We are at our cabin, located in the Pecos Canyon of NM. It is only 1 ½ hours away from my parents little house in Edgewood, but it seems another world away. Rather than desert, we are up in the mountains. I am sitting outside our cabin and nature is very loud. We are just a few steps away from the Pecos river and can hear its quiet rush over the rocks. There is a hummingbird feeder on our porch and there seem to be about 10 hummers jockeying for a turn at it. The buzzing vroom vroom is not unlike a pack of miniature motorcycles. They’re pretty macho, too. Diminutive Hell’s Angels.

The Husband got into town on Saturday and we spent yesterday en famille in Albuquerque, watching the Zuni dancers at the Pueblo Cultural Center and going shopping for our week’s groceries. I had discovered online that Alb has a Trader Joe’s, a mythical land that I’ve heard rhapsodies about, but that doesn’t exist in my part of the country. Love it. Much cheaper than Whole Foods (where we also went, for a loaf of seeduction and some non-HCF sodas). We loaded up on non-trans chips and peanut butter, all kinds of fruit, and several bizarre sounding cheeses. And lots of limes and agave nectar for Perfect Margaritas.

After getting here, we drove up to the “general store” which apparently means that it is a store in only the general sense of the word. Very grateful that we loaded up on groceries, including 2 gallons of milk, before we left. But it was big enough to have what we needed – 2 fishing licenses and some salmon eggs.

Okay, so let me describe where we’re staying. I am thrilled with it. I had found it via the Internet, so who knew what we’d be getting? But it’s lovely. It used to be part of a private fishing lodge back in the 50’s. It has enough character that you can imagine it back in time, but has been kept up enough to be comfortable. They’ve got a guestbook where people have signed gushing phrases about how wonderful this place is and how they want to come again and again. Apparently this a popular place for family reunions. Because the cabin is dated – in a good way – I told The Husband that I expect to go down the path and find Patrick Swayze and some guy with a watermelon. He didn’t immediately get the reference … not being a female who came of age in the 80s.

I’m sitting right now on a flagstone patio. The porch has a load of firewood, should it get cool enough to use in one of the 2 fireplaces. The porch also has a porch swing, one of those simple pleasures that everyone loves. Everyone except my mother. They make her seasick. But I digress.

Inside is a lovely little living room, nice-sized eating room, full kitchen, 2 baths, 1 bedroom for us and 1 bedroom that can hold all four kids. Little Warrior says that she’ll stay there, too, but I am not holding out that hope.

The whole cabin is comfortable, charming, all those things you want in a vacation spot. The living room is filled with board games, books and magazines dating back to the 90s. Aren’t those the best, when you’re on vacation? No mention of current world events to distract you.

The is also a satellite tv, but we’ve already made it clear that its off-limits. Maybe a little in the evening, after it’s dark. Maybe.

No internet, no cell phones. There’s a phone, but no one knows the number, so we’re safe.

From where I sit, I am looking at the side of the mountain on the other side of the Pecos. Over my shoulder, across my shoulder, is more mountain, covered in ginormous pine trees.

The two girls are exploring the cabin and all around it. The Husband is reading Lustbader’s The Testament, sitting across from me and looks more relaxed than I’ve seen him in a long time. The Boy is walking around the property with Little Warrior and trying to convince her to go play something inside with him. He wants to earn some money for a video game, and we’ve told him that if he’ll watch her for a solid hour, we’ll pay him $5.00. Hmm. That’s probably an inflated price, considering we’re here, but we were desperate for a little “non-responsible” time. Those of you with children, you understand.

Isn’t the first day of vacation the best? From where I sit, the week stretches forever. No need to hurry, we can do it tomorrow. No messes we need to clean up, nothing we need to keep track of so packing isn’t so horrible. No need to feel sad at leaving, because today, right now, we’ll never have to leave. It’s 500 days away, our departure, not 5.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some Hell’s Angels to watch.

7:05 pm
There is a wooden dock built over part of the river here, with an iron table and chairs. We went out at about 5:15, which was a half hour too early – quite hot and bright. But at 5:45 the sun went behind the mountain and it was perfect.
Dinner: goats-milk brie, smoked jack, and caramelized onion English cheddar with chianti salami, double-devon cream butter and French and seeduction bread. To drink: apple cider for the kids and 3 buck chuck Chardonnay for the parents. (Quite good, the wine. I was impressed.) Dessert: coco-hazelnut spread on French bread.

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