Friday morning it was time to say goodbye to Phoenix and head off to El Paso, TX. As usual, through ticketing and airport security in about 20 minutes, and the flight itself was only 53 minutes. Nothing to report there other than I spent the flight reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows since I had not read it again after reading it the first time two summers ago when it came out.
I got to El Paso and waited for KS to arrive. She picked me up and we headed off to her parents house first, where I met her mom and her step-dad, along with their dog Uggie (sp?). We had dinner at Kiki's Restaurant, where I had some awesome green chili chicken enchiladas. Ah, hatch green chile, how I have missed thee for the last three years. We then headed back to KS's place in Las Cruces, NM.
I gotta say that KS's place is awesome in where it is located. There are people who may bitch and say it is out in the boonies, but it really isn't that far outside of downtown Cruces. As I did on Friday night, we sat outside and watched the moon rise over the Organ mountains with a bit of cloud cover. It was quiet and warm with a bit of breeze outside, and the view was just beautiful. I once said before I left for DC that I would love to buy a plot of land down in New Mexico and eventually build a retirement home (or vacation home). I had sort of put that idea aside because I was convinced that maybe I had romanticized things out in New Mexico a bit too much, but after what I saw, I still want to do it. If you ever visit New Mexico and see a sight like that, you'll understand.
I got to meet the "infamous" Maya, who is KS's dachshund. She was such a little sweetheart to me, and very energetic as well. She loves having her toys thrown for her to chase, and could probably do that for hours if you let her. Once she has her toy though, she will not let go very easily. There is a picture of me picking her up off the ground while playing tug of war with her to get the toy back. Just beware that she does show her love for you by trying to lick your face and ears off ;-) She was definitely loving having her uncle Mangi over this weekend.
Over a few beers that evening, KS and I watched Moonstruck, which is a favorite movie of ours. We're also such dorks we were giggling the whole way through, and tweeting favorite quotes. Of course, not entirely knowing that Twitter was blocking SMS tweets at that moment, it was rather interesting to see all of our quoting go through on Sunday morning, including some tweets that were also supposed to go to Facebook, and showed up at the complete and utter wrong time. Anyway, so we finished the movie before heading off to bed.
The next morning, KS and I got up and took Maya on a walk before also going on a 1 mile run. The knee brace I had purchased came in handy as I had no pain, however, I do not want to become dependent on it. We came back and got our things together before driving up to White Sands National Monument since I had never been there.
White Sands was a lot of fun, besides the usual hiking activities, there is also the opportunity to go and slide down the dunes. We originally tried using some cardboard as a makeshift sled, but gravity was just not overcoming friction and so we went back to the visitors center and rented one of the saucer sleds to use. There is video of me sliding down the dunes in various ways of course. I went forwards, I went backwards, I went kneeling, I went laying down. I find that it worked best to lay down on the sled as much as possible. Unfortunately for me, I screwed up my camera out there because sand got into the it and jammed the parts that let the lens move back and forth. I'm hoping that if I can take it apart I can clean the sand out and get it working again. I'd rather not have to replace my camera because it is a Sony and they're the only freaking company that uses the memory stick for a memory card. I have no other devices that use a memory stick at this point so they'll pretty much be dead unless I buy another Sony.
Anyway, so we spent the afternoon going down the dunes and occasionally taking breaks as well because it was freaking hot out there. Between the two of us, we killed a bottle of Gatorade each, and 3 liters of water. However, it was a lot of fun and I am glad we got to do it.