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When You’ve Got Only Five Days with your Grandkids in Northern New Mexico…

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What to do? What to do when the grandkids come visit? Maybe a better question would be: what not to do? There are so many great attractions in this area, it would take years to do everything, and then new things keep popping up. And it’s always fun to repeat the good stuff. Here’s what these two grandparents came up with.


Day 1: Mallette Park in Red River
Rock climbing (not a scraped knee in sight), basketball (boys against girls, acting silly on the outdoor park stage, and there was cheerleading, singing, storytelling). After leaving the park, first stop: The Candy Crate. So much candy, but can you guess what those kids bought? Fried worms. (Whose grandkids are these?) Oh well. More shopping followed: T-shirts, stuffed animals, magnets in a bag. Do we REALLY need all this?


Day 2: Rafting on the Rio Grande
We love New Wave Rafting Company! Great guides, good equipment, and small groups. One of the highlights was the otter sighting. Otters are my granddaughter’s favorite animal, so you can imagine how excited she got. Over-the-moon, for sure. The raft adventure was a success. No one fell out of the boat, no one got sunburned (well, maybe a little), and everyone was still smiling at the end. We ate lunch at the Pilar Yacht Club. Perfect cozy little place—outside seating and good food. Back to the condo in Red River for a delightful swim in the heated pool at the Caribel Condo.


Day 3: Santa Fe

Grandparents opted to shop while the daughter and the kids checked out Meow Wolf. (The grandparents had gone there several years ago with the grandkids: lots of flashing lights, dark corridors, and unusual exhibits. The grandparents could hardly stand upright after that experience, so they left it to the younger crowd.) The daughter and grandkids loved it. Lunch at Chick-fil-A… then on to Santa Fe Plaza. Lots of people, and fun to walk around. The granddaughter had a particular item that she was looking for and lo and behold, it was found—funny how it’s always the very last shop before we leave! Back to the condo and some late evening fishing. Caught six fish and grandmother cleaned them in the dark. Rainbow trout and French Fries for dinner. YUM!


Day 4: Vistas de Questa Trail
This trail is the grandparents’ favorite. Great views, with half of it in the cool forest, and it’s long enough, about two miles up and two miles down. Grandson whined a little on the way up the mountain, and granddaughter did her share of whining on the way down the mountain, so it all evened out. Phew! We made a quick stop at the Questa Library. Granddaughter loves that place, and seeing the new addition was a treat.


Day 5: Red River
Summer tubing, Pioneer Flyer (seated zipline), and Hidden Treasure Aerial Park. The grandparents passed on the tubing, but grandmother stepped up to the plate and did the Pioneer Flyer and the Hidden Treasure Aerial Park. She didn’t quite make it to the third level, but loved the zip line. A huge clap of thunder followed by a very nearby bolt of lightning cleared the Aerial Park like rats on a sinking ship. Daughter and granddaughter were on the third level. Very scary. Thankfully, everyone was good.


Day 6: Albuquerque Airport
Early flight to Austin, Texas. Grandparents took a very long nap.

Author

  • Vanette Harris lives and works (and volunteers for the Questa del Rio News) in northern New Mexico for the summer. She and her husband, David work part-time at the Caribel Condos in Red River. They live in their 1977 Airstream at the Gonzales RV Park in Questa. This “grandparent” story was written after enjoying a hike with her grandchildren in Austin, Texas.

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