Monday, July 23, 2007

A week in New Mexico

Last year, my mom invited my girl and I to spend a week in New Mexico. My mom’s best friend Sue has a cabin that her family owns in the mountains between Taos and Eagle Nest. Sue’s mother, whom I called Momma Sarah, vacations in New Mexico every summer to escape the Oklahoma heat.

I want to eventually move to the Southwest, so I’m always looking for opportunities to explore that region of the country. I went to Phoenix a few years ago for a journalism convention. It was pretty, but I remember stepping off the airplane at midnight and it was 100 degrees. A hundred degrees at night!

The forecast for Santa Fe and Taos, where we also would be staying, called for cooler temperatures than that, so I was excited. I’d never been to New Mexico, and my vision of the Southwest is based on the movies “Waiting to Exhale” and “Boys on the Side.”

I imagined lovely adobe houses with miles and miles of land, pretty scenery and laid-back people. I got some of that, but I also got carsick from all the winding roads, a broken windshield from flying rocks, locals who look at black people as if they’d only seen them in magazines (one woman called us a novelty) and lots of poverty.