A Day of Exploration

We had devoted a majority of Tuesday, August 7th, to exploring Bandelier National Monument. My hubby and I had been there three years ago, and we had really enjoyed it. We knew this exploration trip would be different, since we had kiddos with us, but we were still excited to go.


After a lovely breakfast, we headed out. Bandelier isn’t too far from Santa Fe, so it didn’t take us long to arrive at our destination. Once there, we got Claire strapped into her stroller and we were ready to roll!


Claire is ready to roll!




The weather was perfect. The skies were a crisp blue, and the few clouds that dotted the sky were so white. It wasn’t too hot, and with no humidity, it was quite pleasant. We explored some of the dwellings on the main level, and when we got to our first non-stroller-friendly spot, I offered to watch the girls while the others visited the cliff dwellings. Because I’d seen this section before, and since the girls were so happy in their strollers, we thought that was the best option.




While the boys did more exploring, Linda came back to check on us. We got the girls out of their strollers, and they had a blast playing in the sand. Claire loved it, but decided after a while that she liked having her hands clean, too.

Fun in the sand… All clean…



The boys joined us, and we made our way farther into the park. When we came to the next non-stroller-friendly part, Chris stayed with the girls, and Cameron and Linda joined Daddy, Claire and I on our trek to see Long House. Cameron and Chris had walky-talkies, so they were able to communicate with each other about what was happening on each end. As we made our way back, we met another group of people. The man said, “Oh, are you guys the people on the other end of the walky-talky?” We told he we were, and he thought that was a great idea. He asked if the girls were twins, and we told him they weren’t. (They are only two-weeks apart, and with their hats on they look very similar, it’s no wonder that was assumed…) When we got back to Chris, he told us that the girls had been just fine. Claire had greeted everyone as they came down the path and started to ascend the steps. “Hi! Hi! Hi!” she’d say. Such a polite little greeter.


Because Chris wanted to see Long House, my hubby went back up with him, and Cameron led the rest of us back toward the visitor center. We found a nice, big shade tree and waited for the guys to join us. Because she’d been such a good girl in the stroller, we let Claire run walk all the way back to the visitor center. Once again, we’d had a fabulous time exploring Bandelier.


Cliff Dwelling




Somehow, we’d totally lost track of time, and it was well after the typical lunch-time. Luckily, we’d eaten a late and large breakfast. We drove into Los Alamos and found a Subway restaurant. Purely by chance, we also found a free science museum. The Bradbury Science Museum had free admission, so we decided to check it out after lunch.


From what I saw of it, it looked really cool. Claire was quite a handful in the museum. She didn’t act out or make a lot of noise, but she was only happy “exploring” at top speed. I tried to hand her off three times to Daddy, but he was too engrossed in the displays to really understand what I needed. Claire was tugging on my arm to GO-GO-GO!, and I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I just decided to handle her myself. By the time we got to the TechLab Discovery Room, the prefect place if you’re four to six years older than Claire, there was just too much for her to “discover.” Rather than reach the point of meltdown, I scooped her up and took her outside. After a while, the rest of the crew joined us.


As we’re all piling into the car and getting everyone settled, my hubby says to me, “Wow. That was really cool! What did you think?”


“Yeah, I’m sure the museum was really cool. I’d like to see it sometime.” 😉


After I was able to relax for a bit in the car and have a Diet Coke, my mood improved. The views of the landscape on the way from Los Alamos back to Santa Fe were just magical. Overall, we had a successful day of exploration.

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