Rain and Wine: Two of My Favorite Things (But Not Necessarily Rain IN Wine)

(This was written this morning, but I ran out of time to spell check and edit before having to head inside….And I was waiting on a few pictures (ahem, Aaron).  So, just pretend that you were reading this 5 hours ago for optimum effect!)

I am currently sitting outside in the perfect, cool, overcast early morning doing my blog catch up.  We had another fantastic, slow drizzle last night, so everything smells dewy and rainy (try topping that scent description, Pottery Barn!).  Add the yummy chai flavored coffee that I discovered at Trader Joe’s, and you get an Amy who has no desire to head inside to get ready for work.  I wonder if I could work from home today…

*Also, just a point of clarification.  When I said my long run this weekend was within my goal pace, I definitely did not mean that I ran it at my marathon goal pace.  I ran it at my long run goal pace which right now is between 1 minute and 90 seconds slower than my marathon pace (by the end I want it to be between 30 seconds and 1 minute slower).  This is the first long run of marathon training that I’ve actually hit those numbers, so I’m really excited, however I’m not quite cool enough to be running 14 miles at an 8 minute mile pace without actually being in a race situation.

This past weekend we headed up to Santa Fe for the Santa Fe Wine Festival.  If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of wine.  We have two local wine festivals that we go to every year.  The New Mexico Wine Festival is the next town over from Albuquerque during Labor Day weekend, and is the largest in the state.

But our favorite is the Santa Fe Wine Festival held over 4th of July weekend.  It is much smaller, but the lines are shorter, and the servers are usually actually the vinters as opposed to help hired off craigslist who wouldn’t know a dry red vs. a sweet red if it bit them in the face.  I wish I was kidding.  New Mexico is actually the oldest wine region in the country. Before Napa, little monks were growing and fermenting here way back in the early 1600’s.  Most wineries here still are family owned and have that “quaint” feeling as opposed to the ones in Napa that herd you in on guided tours (not that I’m complaining…I love Napa and Sonoma.  I’ll hang out at the Chandon complex anyday!).

I wrote an extensive post with lots of pictures of both the Santa Fe Wine Festival and the living history museum that hosts it last year, so I didn’t feel the need to go picture crazy this year.  We also didn’t buy any bottles since we’re still working on the 4 cases we bid on during the silent auction last month.

{We were pretty “wined” out, so we got glasses of bubbly}

After the wine festival, we were hungry, so we headed to a microbrewery near our house to get some grub.  The ladies next to us asked the server which beer was closest to Bud Light.  In a microbrewery.  Now, as far as running goes, I am 100% supportive of everyone and the journey they are on.  Fast, slow, short races, ultra distances, whatever.  I am excited for each and every one of you and where you are at.  But, if you ask for something that tastes like Bud Light at a microbrewery, oh my goodness I will go beer snob on you.  Might as well go to a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and ask for the thing on the menu that tastes most like a Big Mac (This may not be the best comparison…I’ve never actually been to a Wolfgang Puck  restaurant.  For all I know, they could offer something that tastes like a Big Mac).

I let out my rage on Facebook (which in retrospect, wasn’t the most classy thing I could have done, but at least people agreed with me!). For the record, if Bud Light is your drink of choice, more power to you.  I myself was a fan in college.  But maybe don’t advertise it at a place where someone has made it their life’s work produce something much better…and maybe try some of the good stuff every once in awhile.

Later, that same lady said something about the lack of domestics on the beer list.  Because beer brewed in the next room definitely isn’t domestic.

We took a picture of them, but I decided that it probably was a good idea not to post it lest they be part of the mafia.

SIGH. I’m fun to be around, I promise.

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Last night Aaron and I suited up and took Giuseppe for a run/walk in the rain.  I knew I wanted to vary it up a bit yesterday after all the running I did this weekend, so we walked around the neighborhood, let the puppy splash in the puddles, then found our way to the park to jog around the perimeter before heading back home.  Aaron splurged on some of that K-T tape because he’s willing to try just about anything right now to get back in the running game (you should see the arsenal of homeopathic products he’s been putting on his foot).  It is supposed to stay on for 4 days (good, since it is pretty pricey), and we definitely put it to the test by running around in the rain!  It might not help, but at least it stayed sticky.  Jogging on the grass also seemed to be more comfortable for his foot than jogging on the pavement.

We were soaked! You can see the one little dry spot on Aaron.

Eventually, we think we’d like to settle down somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.  Even though I LOVE my sunshine and warm weather, I’ve been really craving a rainy climate lately.  I think becoming a runner has made me appreciate cooler/less barren desert places. And I get really jealous anytime one of you posts pictures of your green, lake/beach side runs.  Anyone want to give us jobs in Portland or Seattle?

I finished out the remaining .8 miles of the 3 on the treadmill which actually worked out pretty well.  I got a good combination of walking, running, and splashing into my workout!

It looks like we have one more day of rain before the temps start heating up and drying out again.  But this Tuesday morning has been perfect.

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Happy Birthday, New Mexico!

Today is New Mexico’s 100th Birthday.

{Incidentally, this right here is my 100th blog post…guess which I’m more excited about}

Way back in 1912, President William Howard Taft made New Mexico a state (yes, we ARE a state of this here United States, all of you naysayers). 

New Mexico Magazine

We are the 47th state, so…we were kind of late to the party.  But, hey, we’re here now and we’ve produced such valuable exports as Demi Moore, Neil Patrick Harris, Freddie Prince Jr., Minka Kelly, Brian Urlacher, and Janet Napolitano (who went to my high school!).

In order to celebrate, we’ve been asked to honk our horns for 30 seconds at 11:35 a.m., which apparently is the time that the official statehood confirmation occurred.  I probably won’t participate in this celebratory measure, and in fact I may even hide and cover my ears. But I WILL tip my Green Chile Beer Glass to the effort.

So, Happy Birthday, New Mexico, home of green chile, the World’s largest Balloon Fiesta, White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, Santa Fe, Microsoft (HA! Bet you didn’t know that, did you?), Pueblos, Roswell Aliens, luminarias, Navajo Code Talkers, Gallup (of the Route 66 song fame), “Western” style, Tony Hillerman’s novels, Dennis Hopper’s Grave, Breaking Bad, The Manhattan Project, the first wine in North America, and the miraculous El Santuario de Chimayo Shrine.

You don’t look a day over…well…you’re looking good!

nps.gov

newmexico.org

newmexico.orgnewmexico.org

Tailgating, Santa Fe Opera Style

As fore mentioned, my family is a little crazy about the opera

After seeing productions of Tosca and Madame Butterfly, I have a particular fondness for Puccini.  About 10 years ago I was a die-hard Rent fan, and I can still belt out almost every song on the soundtrack (Would you light my candle?), and get excited every time I see Idina Menzel on TV.  But, despite all this, I had managed to go almost 27 years never seeing what is one of the most famous of all operas, La Boheme.  I knew the basic storyline because of Rent, I know most of the music (Musetta’s Waltz = happiness), and thanks to Moonstruck, I hold the belief that this particular opera holds a special power over the people who see it.  

On Friday, I was finally able to experience La Boheme for myself at the Santa Fe Opera.  As much as I don’t LOVE Santa Fe like the rest of the world, I will say that the opera house is stunning with its outdoor theater concept and AMAZING view.  The productions themselves tend to be pretty world-class although I sometimes take objection with their set design.  All in all, it is a treat to be able to go to a show there every year.  Santa Fe’s La Boheme didn’t disappoint.  Even though I would have been ok if Mimi’s death scene was a little shorter, it was a perfect production. 

Not the best picture, but the view from the balcony

Again, not the best picture, but the Santa Fe Opera House from outside

Another unique aspect to the Santa Fe opera is the tradition of the pre-show tailgate.  Much like Seasoned football fans, seasoned Santa Fe Opera-goers have tailgate parties in the parking lot before the show.  Obviously, however,  this isn’t your typical Bud Light and burgers tailgate. 

Tailgaters

New Mexico sunset

I think every security guard needs a scooter

With no dinner plans, Aaron and I decided to try out this tailgating tradition. Turns out Aaron is great at picnic planning. We had sangria, a deli meat selection , a cheese selection, hummas, pita chips, apples, and bruchetta to munch on while enjoying the beautiful northern New Mexico sunset. Thanks to our friends at Trader Joe’s the meal was perfectly pre-packaged and very inexpensive. But even at that, our tailgate didn’t compete with some of the tables we saw complete with table clothes and flower vases. Maybe next year!

Well stocked cooler

Cheese!

 

Our humble table setting

Wine, History, Friends, Family and No Fireworks Whatsoever

Northern New Mexico Landscape

Well, the glorious 3-day weekend is officially over and dead,  and (thankfully) the work week is already half way done, but I’m just now downloading pictures and sitting down at the computer to think about it.   Because we were off in Jamaica for Memorial Day weekend, this is really the first 3 days that we’ve had at home since February, so we had a nice relaxing weekend.

We started off on Saturday by heading up to Santa Fe.  Because our puppy is still too little to be left alone for long periods of time, we left Giuseppe with his new friend Romeo (and I use the term “friend” rather loosely since apparently they had half an hour of friend time and about 5 of unfriend time).  Romeo is the new dog recently adopted by my parents and sisters.  He is a Peka-tzu  and he isn’t used to such white furball bundles of energy.  I think Giuseppe’s playful attitude may have been too much for poor Romeo to handle as evidenced by his mid-play asthma attack.  Giuseppe is having another Romeo playdate tomorrow which will hopefully go better.

While Giuseppe was hanging out with my family, Aaron and I drove up to the Santa Fe Wine Festival.  We almost always go to the Labor Day New Mexico Wine Festival but we don’t usually make it out to this one because it is smaller and in a big dirt area, not to mention that Santa Fe wine people tend to be a bit pretentious (think Fraiser, but more hippy).   

Aaron purchasing a bottle that will soon break through the bottom of the bag and shatter...

Aaron and I take our wine festivals pretty seriously. We normally take notes and hold up the tasting line to talk to the staff about their selections, and then we buy a lot of bottles.

 

The festival was held at Ranchos de las Golandrinas which is a “living history” museum showcasing everyday life on the 1800’s New Mexican frontier. American Girl Josephina’s world is actually based on this museum. Neither Aaron nor I have been since elementary school, so we took a walk around. The docents weren’t out, so we didn’t really learn anything, but the old buildings are always fun to look at.

 

Of course 4th of July was on Monday. Because fireworks and extreme drought conditions don’t mix and similarly because fireworks and timid baby puppies don’t mix, we didn’t partake in the usually festivities, but we did take a cue from our Jamaican vacation and drink some “American flag” drinks (equal parts daiquiri and pina colada mix, dark rum to top it off, and a splash of blue Curacao).

 

As is the case after any 3 day weekend, returning back to work yesterday was slightly painful, especially because I will be going crazy until next Thursday when the job fair I am organizing is over. But, I did get one last “weekend moment” last night when I got to hang out with friend Ariela and her husband James. Ariela and I were friends in high school, but she has since moved to Portland and only comes back home on occasion. Always nice to see old friends and to see that they are happy and doing well.