Tag Archives: family friendly

3.1 miles and a turkey dinner later

The weather was absolutely perfect for the 11th annual Turkey Trek!  The sun warmed me up, the skies were clear, and there wasn’t any wind.  Over 1300 runners and walkers particpated this year.  This included the stroller derby contingent, happy walkers, casual runners, and elite racers.  Not to be forgotten are the many race organizers and cheerful supporters.

Alas, the perspective on this photo reveals my start position - pretty much at the back of the pack :)

I think the one mile Fun Run for the kids was conducted twice:  once soon after the 5K was over and then again at the scheduled time of 10:45am.  Other than this little hiccup, the morning appeared to be a success.

Approaching the turnaround at Mountain and 12th Street.

Granted, I’m not responsible for preparing a Thanksgiving feast, but it was still a great way to jumpstart my metabolism for the day.  I must say it was especially fun this year because of so much of my family that paricipated in race:  husband, sisters, nieces, in-laws, and cousins from out of town.  I definitely recommend this for next year!



Picking Pears in San Patricio

For me, wine festivals aren’t much fun when I can’t partake in all the tastings.  So, this weekend I skipped the Bernalillo Wine Festival and headed south to San Patricio, New Mexico (Lincoln County) to my parents’ family “farm” to pick pears with T and my lovely dogs.  The weather was perfect:  overcast, cool, and a little breezy.  Although it’s been dry down south, this area of the state had received some rain lately and everything was green.

The pears in my family’s orchard begin to ripen right about this time of year (late August, early September).  They’re perfect for picking right now and will be ripe enough to eat in a few days.  The apples (old fashioned varieties) will be ready closer to the first weekend of October.  We plan to can most of our harvest and let you know how that goes.

Handy Fruit Picking Basket

There are plenty of Pick-Your-Own Fruit and Vegetable Farms around the state.  Check here, here (La Union Maze), here (Heidi’s Raspberries), and here (Salman Raspberries) for your options.  One such farm is San Patricio Berry Farms.  Their berry season is just about over.  They have Gala and Fugi apples too (which are ripe in early August).

Picking your own fruit and vegetables is rewarding and fun.  Kids love to help and it’s a very relaxing activity for adults.  Plus, you get to see exactly where your food came from and can talk to the farmer about his growing practices.

If you’ve visited such a farm or plan to please tell us about it!


Route 66 Summerfest

what to do . . . what to do . . .

No plans for Saturday yet?  Make your way to Route 66 (Central Ave.) this Saturday, July 23, 2011 from 2pm to 10:30pm for the Route 66 Summerfest.  Central Ave. will close to traffic from Girard all the way to Washington for the New Mexico Jazz Festival on 2 stages, the Arts and Artisans’ Market, the best of local restaurants and street food artisans, a dance party at Desert Fish (Hob Nob), the Show and Shine Car Show (including a neon-lit car parade), Route 66 Cork & Tap, and a Kid Zone.  There will be a TON of entertainment and activities all along Central.

Sadly, this year’s Summerfest doesn’t appear to include the midnight 5k.  I’m bummed about that, but there are plenty of other activities to participate in.  You can still get your “wellness” in by riding your bike to the event and taking advantage of the valet* (or rent a comfy cruiser), trying your hand at the rock climbing wall, and working your walking muscles traveling roughly 3/4 of a mile up and down Central. 

Perhaps the best benefit is stepping out and enjoying all the cool, crazy things the Nob Hill community has to offer.  Some of my favorites are Zinc Wine Bar and BistroTwo Fools Tavern, Ecco Gelato, Masks y Mas, The A Store, Dawg Gone GoodTres Boutique, and The Herb Store.  Get a henna tattoo for $10.  See some magic.  Last year there were also hula hoopers and fire jugglers.

The Kid Zone will have yoga, folk dancing, craft projects, a jump rope team performance (how cute!), and even a play.  (Check the website for a schedule of events.)

Whatever you do, have a wonderful weekend!

*Immanuel Presbyterian Church and Two Wheel Drive Bicycle Shop are organizing a bike valet.  Check out the Nob Hill Mainstreet Program Facebook page for details.


Back to the Basics: Picnic in the Park

I remember the days when my family, relatives, and friends would gather at a local park for hours to celebrate a birthday or the end of a soccer season.  Parents would bring grills, coolers, tables, blankets, and soccer balls.  It’s been some time since I’ve been to a park bbq.  It seems most gatherings happen in someone’s home or backyard.  Don’t get me wrong – this is nice and convenient, but it’s just not as carefree as a park.  At a park, kids can run around with reckless abandon and everything is casual including how long to stay, what to bring, who to bring, etc.  With this in mind, we decided to bring our friends and family together for a classic picnic at Harnett Park in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque.

Entertainment included 2 bag toss games, a funky oversized frisbee, playground, oversize jump rope, and kickball. 

Everyone brought food to share and had a relaxing time.

When is the last time you kicked back in a park?

Thousands Ran for the Zoo!

Despite unusually cold temps and that ubiquitous spring wind, thousands attended the Run for the Zoo on Sunday.  T and I ran the 10K.  As we waited for the gun, T turned to me and in a serious tone said, “This is what we’ve been training for all week.”  I reminded him it was more like 2 weeks. Questions about training aside, we met our goal and finished in just under an hour.

The route was all paved and sights included a couple of friendly zoo elephants and the lovely Tingley ponds. Understandably, many opted not to drag their families out into the cold.  No worries, NM has many more races this season.  Check out NM Sports Online and Active.com.



Run for the Zoo: 5K and 10K

I finally convinced T to sign up for a couple of races this year!  First up is the Run for the Zoo 10K on May 1st.
Goals: Back when we signed up, we thought we’d like to finish in 55 to 60 minutes. Ha! We are now sheepishly aiming for 65 mintues – see “preparation” for the explanation.
Preparation (or lack thereof): T spins 1-3x /week for 30-60 minutes. I spin and cross train about 3x /week. We’re not totally out of shape, but we’re hardly in top form. We started our training a little late, as in we started running 2 weeks before the race. Ever sign up for a race with good intentions and then not really train for it? Our first run was 30 min. at a 10:15 min/mile pace around the open space loop at USS Bullhead park. According to MapMyRun.com the loop is .98 miles.  If you can run 30 minutes you can run 60, right?  Here’s hoping we can get our act together this week!
Note:  Run for the Zoo has a 1 mile Fun Run that is perfect for little ones.  With all the people, the excitement of a start line, and supporters cheering along the route kids love it!

5K’s are more my pace.  I ran my first 5K in November for the Albuquerque Turkey Trek.  I only trained for two weeks prior to the race and my goal was to finish in 45 minutes.  Don’t laugh! (I did meet my goal.) I’m not a runner in any sense of the word.  I get bored, it’s hard and I’m always waiting for the ‘runner’s high’ that so many of you talk about.  I have yet to feel it and I have serious doubts that it exists.  Running and I don’t get along unless it’s me chasing after a soccer ball, but I have made a pledge this year to run a few 5k races.  This was one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  Not to mention, it’s something that my husband enjoys.  I figure that if he plays soccer with me year round I could at the very least run a few races with him.   I just don’t think I was made for running.  So far I have run in 2 races this year and I have hated every minute of them.  I have tried to stay motivated to do it but if another activity comes up like soccer, biking or kayaking I would rather do that.  Do any of you have any ideas for me?  It’s just so dang hard!


Easter Happenings

Easter is so much more fun with kiddos!  Having an only child is a bit challenging when it comes to holidays.  Easter being one of those, we get him out to socialize with others in our community.  On Saturday we went to the Los Ranchos Easter Egg Hunt at Hartnett Park.  We rode our bikes because the park is just down the road and I don’t have to worry about getting there early to find a parking spot.  The hunt started at 10 a.m. sharp and was over five minutes later.  5,000 eggs don’t go very far when there are hundreds of kids out on the park!  Overall, it was a good time and good practice for Easter Sunday.  Sunday we celebrated Easter with our family and my son had a great time playing with his cousins,  hunting for eggs, eating candy, and flying kites.  What a fun weekend!

Confetti eggs are best when served as a surpise! You can see they leave just the tiniest bit of confetti in your hair.  The marshmallow guns were a blast, if not a little slobbery sometimes – gross I know, but worth the fun!  (The plastic egg/prize exchange worked out wonderfully too.  What’s better than cousins and farting silly putty?)

We hope you had a beautiful weekend!  Check in tomorrow to see what we’re up to next . . .


Easter Candy Alternatives

There are so many glorious reasons to love Easter, but one problem is all that flippin’ sugar.  It’s a well known fact that on Easter a single child can consume 100 pounds of sugar.  (In my youth, it was the one day when candy and soda flowed freely; it fueled our epic orchard Easter egg hunts and hours on the trampoline afterward.)  If you don’t have an orchard and trampoline to burn off all that sugar or if you prefer fewer sugar crash-induced  trantrums and less worrying about cavities, here are some alternatives:

Exhibit One:  Confetti-Filled Eggs (a long-standing Sanchez Family tradition)
Consume many omelets for months leading up to Easter or make a dozen angel food cakes the week before (poke a button-sized hole in egg to shake out contents), rinse and dry, dye, let dry, fill halfway with confetti, tape or glue shut with tissue paper, hide said eggs, find them, crack them on unsuspecting children’s and adults’ heads alike, erupt in laughter. (Time crunched? Pick up a few dozen from Wal-Mart.)

Exhibit Two:  Reusable Plastic Eggs Exchanged for Prizes (my sister Olivia is trying this out for the first time this year so we’ll let you know how it goes)
Buy (and keep for next year) plastic eggs, hide said eggs, have children find them, set up table for children to exchange eggs for small prizes like noisy putty, slap bracelets, bouncy balls, etc., revel in self-satisfaction as kids play.  (Or type out silly “fortunes” and jokes and stuff them into the eggs.)  I say collect some of those crazy prizes and reuse them next year.  Seriously, I’d love to see any of the littlest kids remember that they already played with them.

Exhibit Three:  Marshmallow Guns (a Suarez Family tradition)
Construct marshmallow guns using PVC (look here and here), strategically distribute said guns, load with mini marshmallows, shoot each other (but careful not to poke out an eye), pretend to be mad when you’re hit, get even, then everybody laughs.

Exhibit Four:  Camouflage Plastic Eggs!
That’s right, they are camouflaged to look  like rocks, grass, and other natural surroundings.  This is the perfect remedy for making the hunt a little harder if your children are getting older.   This year my son is into Legos, so we have filled them with Lego figurines,  dollar bills and left over change.  I try not to buy candy because Grandma and Grandpa give him his fill of it and our Dentist (my brother in law won’t be to happy with me).  These are also very durable and re-usable.  This is the second year we will have used them.

What candy alternatives do you use?

Happy Easter!



Looking for another day to use your children’s Easter baskets?  I have found some community events around town that offer some fun Easter happenings on Saturday, April 23.  

Rio Rancho Egg hunt (Free)

Where: Haynes Park, 2006 Grande Blvd., across form Intel on 528.
When: 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 2

Community Easter Egg Hunt Rio Rancho (Proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence.)
When: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturday, April 23
Where: King Park in Northern Meadows, 3601 King Blvd. NE, Rio Rancho
What: Food, games, bouncers, the Easter bunny and an egg hunt.

Lobo Letterman Easter Egg hunt (Free)
The UNM Student Lettermen will have their annual Easter egg hunt at the campus duckpond.
When: 9 a.m. Saturday, April 23
Where: UNM Duck Pond

Los Ranchos Egg Hunt (Free) 

When:  10 a.m.  Saturday, April 23

Where:  Hartnett Park (The corner of Rio Grande and Chavez Road)

Recycled Art = Fun, Fun, Fun

On Saturday we ventured over to the Open Space off Coors between Paseo Del Norte and Montano for the third annual Recycled Art Fair.  There were plenty of cars upon our arrival and not to mention a few of you rode your bikes.

The surroundings were gorgeous and the people were friendly just like I had anticipated.  There was plenty of recycled art to be found here.  There were paintings that had been painted on kitchen cabinets, found canvas, plywood and other found objects.

 There were interesting solar lights  and fun whimsical metal dragon flies, insects and birds.  The beautiful handmade furniture pieces made from reclaimed wood were amongst my favorite.  This event was very kid friendly, with a lot of activities for children to make their own recycled art pieces.

Wildlife Tree Trunk Carving

There were also demonstrations about composting and recycling.  It was very educational and I think there was a little something for everyone at  the art fair.  The Open Space building is fairly new and the atmosphere overlooks pastures and the Bosque.  If you haven’t been there yet go and take a look.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!