Monday, November 2, 2009


Halloween, my favorite holiday, ever! The fun of dressing up, plus the joy of candy? What could be better? Right off, let me say that Angelique took the cake for best costume, as a dark cloud with a silver lining, as well as a shiny lightning bolt:

I went as "stripes," although I allowed people to say "zebra" if they were conceptually challenged.

We started off at Lovely Day, where there were several cool costumes to see. I don't know this girl, but she had a great thing going on, with a mask and antlers? antennae? That's Sameer next to her, dressed in scrubs.

Here's a group shot, so you can see everyone's costume. Monica is a gypsy (doing a booming business with the palm reading), Cara is a 60's airline stewardess, Angelique as the dark cloud, John is the killing moon (hiding his bloody machete for some reason), and Francis and Sandy as cat burglars.

After swinging by Andrew's fabulous party for a bit, we headed over to the party at the Angel Orensanz Center for a party.

Boy George was there.
As well as a couple of flamingos.

And cats...

and, something else...

and dancing!!

There was a fight right outside, that I kind of got caught in the middle of. Alas, I was too busy dodging blows (successfully, I might add) to take pictures. Ah, good times with good friends!

And strangers.

Day Six

The next day, we toured the famous Caverns at Carlsbad National Park. The entrance to the Caverns looks like...a giant hole in the earth.

And you walk down into it.

And you keep walking until you can't see any more. Then you keep walking. Seriously, though, you go 750 feet down. It's a mile long trail, but it didn't seem all that steep. The cave is 56° year round, which can feel nice in the middle of August in New Mexico. The rock formations are amazingly varied. And they all have evocative names that I can no longer match up with what I took a picture of. Still, here they are

After spending the morning and early afternoon in the cave, the bright, sunny, New Mexican day was a relief. Cloudless and blue, and, of course, hot.

We drove a couple of hours west into the Sacramento Mountains to a tiny town called Cloudcroft and found the Cloudcroft hostel. The scenery outside the car window changed dramatically from the ocher colored desert to lush green pine forests, in just a couple of hours. The air even felt less dry, and as the afternoon lengthened, we were shocked to see mist rising from the mountains. Cloudcroft (allegedly 9,000 feet above stress level, if the website is to be believed) was pretty adorable, but we left the exploring for the next day. We spent a quiet evening talking with the hostel's owner, John, as the sun set behind the mountains of the Lincoln National Forest.