Jan 21, 2018

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

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I'm trying to rack my brain when Truth or Consequences, New Mexico became an annual trip? I know I wanted a place to get away from the cold and rejuvenate. It was around my birthday 3 years ago, Dori's coworker was telling her about the "Ted Turner" hotel in Truth or Consequences and that there were natural hot springs that didn't smell like sulfur. Dori knows I enjoy soaking in hot springs from my experience at my french grandma's town in Luchon, France. The french swear by the healing powers of natural springs. But Truth or Consequences? All I could think about was a Forensic Files episode I'd seen once about this serial killer who lived there- a park ranger named David Ray, who had an actual "torture chamber trailer" out in the desert, brutally killing as many as 60 women. Needless to say, I was a little hesitant about this odd-sounding town. 

We decided to go anyway, our curiosity peaking after learning about the Spaceport just 20 miles away- the first of it's kind for commercial space travel in the entire world! Richard Branson will be launching flights through Virgin Galactic once operational. We stayed at Ted Turner's Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa. If you don't know who Ted Turner is, he's an american media mogul, philanthropist, and founder of cable news CNN. He was married to actress Jane Fonda. It was a beautiful luxurious hotel, and the hot springs were indeed magical. The town itself was weird, old, eclectic, and wide open scraggly cacti and desert palms. The following year, when Dori asked what I wanted for my birthday, I said without hesitation that I'd like to go back to Truth or Consequences. This time we stayed at Blackstone Hotsprings. This was perfect for our budget and we just fell in love with the charm of this little hotel. Some rooms have their own hot springs bath in them! So cool! Also on this second trek, we saw a brewery being built and a few new stores popping up. As we scoped out this town we realized what a little gem. An artist community, lgbt friendly, tours to the spaceport, warm weather, hikes, the town of Hatch nearby (world famous hatch green chiles!), and affordable hot springs; I'm starting to dig this place. 

Our 3rd trek this year to Truth or Consequences was as magical as ever. We stayed at the Blackstone Hotsprings again and this time had a hot spring tub in our room! Blackstone Hotsprings hotels have themed rooms and we ended up with the Roy Rogers room. We have yet to get the Golden Girls room, but it's on our bucket-list. The brewery was finally open, "Truth or Consequences Brewing Co" so we walked over from our hotel, right across the street. The bartender was super friendly and gave us the history of the brewery and how she ended up there. The owners of the T or C Brewery are a husband & wife team hailing from the world of IT in Seattle and found refuge in the remote high desert by happenstance. I'm so glad they did! The beer is excellent. Dori is thrilled about this new brewery, especially the logo being an astronaut. Next year, we're touring the Spaceport

Truth or Consequences is not a place people seem to seek out. It's a place you end up for a reason or another, yet once there, you take a little piece with you, and for the right person you'll keep coming back. It's the type of place that makes you feel warm & cozy and a little wild and free. Even if a bad seed tormented its population, the good energy has long since flushed it out. Natives used to come and soak their battle wounds in those springs. I feel the same way after a year of work- I need to soak my battle wounds too. It's the perfect combo for us- Dori loves sci-fi and beer, and I love hot springs, hikes, and art. It's a small community in the middle of the desert but if you're the creative type who likes things a little offbeat, it's a strange paradise. 

 Another reason I love New Mexico!



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                                                              Blackstone Hotsprings


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shards shard sharding....

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Oct 1, 2017

Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

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 Where do I start when words can't describe a place? I only have feelings of an introvert, deep inside, somewhere far away, a place like Iceland that feels like home.

 Pictures still burn in my mind of this other worldly land. Single box homes sprinkled along the moon-like shore. An Island that has everything going for it and everything going against it. The Land of Fire and Ice, the land of extremes. The land of beautiful people, fat cats, and active volcanos. The sheer survival and stubbornness of the people is like the landscape itself, and has touched my heart.

 Although only there for a short visit, Iceland dominates my thoughts and dreams. My experience there has planted a political seed, a dream for a world that could possibly be. One with renewable energy, fresh water, fair economics, and respect for the environment. Where a place like Iceland could inspire the entire planet to feel like home.



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Iceland - airport bathrooms

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Reykjavik, city capital

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Iceland has already had a lesbian president. No issues.

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Blue Lagoon -geothermal spa in a lava field

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        No need to buy bottled water. Icelandic water is not polluted and filtered by lava rocks.

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About 85% of total primary energy supply in Iceland is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources. 


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I want one of these sweaters!

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The quiet Island of Iceland has been overwhelmed with tourism lately. 

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Showing off some of my viking dna. 

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Sep 4, 2017

Sutherland Farms in Aztec, New Mexico

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It's that time of year when green chile from Hatch, New Mexico makes its way into our northern New Mexican supermarkets. As hatch chile continues to become more and more popular around the country, competition between growers becomes a friendly but serious sport. After all, New Mexico is the 'Chile Capital of the World', as our license plates proudly state. 

I had heard from some locals that the chile at Sutherland Farms was a little better than Hatch. I thought to myself - that's impossible! I finally made the trip to Sutherland Farms to see what the fuss was about. The season for fresh roasted green chiles is quick, so you want to jump on it. It's way better in taste than getting frozen green chile from the supermarkets. 

So yesterday, we drove to Sutherland Farms to pick ourselves a bushel of roasted green chile. You can order mild, hot, or extra hot. Dori likes it extra hot. The grounds are charming, and the staff friendly. The roasted green chile is more expensive here, but since it's local we don't mind. Our bushel of green chiles lasts almost a year. We literally just finished our last ziplock bag of the old batch the same day we went for the new bushel.

We made ourselves some veggie burgers with the new Sutherland green chiles on top. French fries and a Marble IPA. It doesn't get more New Mexican than that! The verdict, Dori says it's better than Hatch. It was so hot for me that I couldn't make a good analysis. It was more like jalapenos. Green chile is very specific even if I only have Hatch to compare it to. After they sit a while and have been frozen, I'll come back to revisit the flavor.  


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Dori is happy to have her bushel of green chile


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I might have taken the New Mexican theme too far in this picture. Happy Labor Day!