Monday, May 10, 2010

Land of Sunshine and Turquoise Skies

Patricia reminded me of Mesilla, NM today. And since we've had overcast, gloomy, threatening-to-rain weather here today in the land of green grass in east-central Iowa, I figured I'd reminisce a little about my time in Mesilla and all the sunshine the southwest gets.

There's a small sense of saudade today, but it's not too noticeable, and not too uncomfortable or sad. Why? I dunno. Maybe it's because it's gloomy out, and not that golden sunlight at sunset that always seems to make me miss my family, New Mexico, the Southwest - that sunlight I always associate with homesickness. 

Anyway . . . I can't remember the first time I went to Old Mesilla; it had to have been with my grandparents.

I do, however, remember visiting Mesilla a few times when I was old enough to remember (in high school and college) - once with my grandparents, U.H., maybe my parents and siblings . . . another time with my grandparents, NanĂ¡, and her grandson. I'm pretty sure there were other times with my grandparents and NanĂ¡, again, and Aunt Lily.

They always liked going to the Double Eagle restaurant for lunch, but on occasion, I got them to go to La Posta for lunch, instead. Probably because there was too long a wait at the Double Eagle.

Then there was the first time with Andrew, when we were stationed in the Greater Boston area, and had visited my grandparents in El Paso for Easter. Andrew and I wanted to take my grandparents, but they insisted they were going to stay home and take a nap. So Andrew and I went by ourselves.

I remember taking our time browsing around, checking out the Basilica of San Albino, looking through the little stores around the plaza, getting a treat from Stahmanns Pecans (and some to take back to Oma and Sir Rafa), and getting some wine from a local winery (I think it was a margarita-flavored wine).

After that first trip Andrew and I took at Easter, we ended up going each year at Easter time - while we were stationed in the Boston area before Livie was born, that is.

Here are just a few photos from our April 2004 trip:

Andrew's in front of the Basilica of San Albino.

Andrew's in the plaza, next to the sign telling of Mesilla's history.

Here he is, posing in the plaza.

Here's Mesilla's post office.

And again, here is the Basilica of San Albino.

And then when we were stationed in Alamogordo, NM, we were so close, that there was no reason not to visit. But Andrew was deployed the first few months Livie and I were there, and I wasn't in the mood to take a baby to Mesilla by myself. 

So I used the time Andrew was deployed to take Livie to El Paso so she could visit her bisabuelos - her great-grandparents.

But the last weekend the three of us spent in New Mexico before moving to Iowa (August 2007) - we spent a lot of time in Mesilla and El Paso. It was so hot. Wow, was it ever hot. And I'm certainly glad there was very little humidity!

There was some sort of arts festival going on around the plaza. I'd ended up buying a couple artsy photos (one of Mesilla and one of Tucson) before we headed indoors to eat lunch at La Posta. The restaurant's cool air was refreshing. But Livie's face remained flushed for most of the day!

We're checking out San Albino.

We're taking a photo opportunity in the plaza.

We're waiting for lunch at La Posta.

Liv loved the parrots they had in there, as well as the fish tank.

Of course, the lights on the trees were a big hit with her, too.

I don't remember exactly where in Mesilla this photo was taken.I'm thinking it's outside near La Posta.

Lounging in the guest bedroom at Oma's house, we're cooling off from our adventure in Mesilla. Yes, I had to change Livie's outfit for one reason or another.

I'm glad I can say that Livie has been to Mesilla, though she was too little to remember. Maybe one day we'll get there again. Because I was enchanted by the Land of Enchantment, and to some extent, so was Andrew. It would be nice to give Livie the opportunity to love the land that I feel is "home" - the Southwest.

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