Thursday, January 08, 2009

an albuquerque christmas

being that this was our first christmas in albuquerque, we experienced some new traditions that we didn't have in oregon.


first of all, the best part of living in albuquerque ,and the main reason we moved here, is that we have family close by. mitch's sister lives just on the other side of the city and his grandma lives less than a mile away. plus, his parents drove back from their snow birding in arizona. not only do we have all of his family here, my parent's flew out from california to be with us! we LOVE having family with us during the holidays!


the week before the parents came, mona, mitch's sister, and wes, her husband, invited us to go experience the "river of lights". it's a botanical garden that they cover with lights for the christmas season. it was a cold night, so we bundled the girls up and headed out.


it was gorgeous and the girls loved it! here are some of the pictures that i got while there:

puffer  puffedup

geese  giraffe




there is one section where you go "underground" and are smaller than an ant. the girls loved this section because everything was so big! here are some pictures of them exploring:

ant nani  ant lala

the girls riding on the back of an ant.



in the garden climbing on a potato with their cousin logan (she is 2 months younger than kale'a).


the girls got pretty cold, so we took them into the arboretum where it was warm and had some green hot chocolate, christmas goodies and watched a light display:

getting warm

it was a very fun and successful christmas outing which i am sure will be a christmas tradition from now on!


once my parents arrived, my mom was determined to see a luminaries display. for those of you that are not familiar with what that is, it is a gorgeous display of candles in paper bags. here in albuquerque many families will put these luminaries out in place of, or in addition to the traditional christmas lights on their houses and along the sidewalks and walkways! it is really beautiful and like nothing i had ever seen before!


so, christmas eve we loaded up the car in search of a luminaries neighborhood. after a bit of driving and not exactly knowing where to go, we found a neighborhood that was covered in luminaries. it was very hard to get non-blurry photos because we were driving and it was hard to not get camera shake in a car full of people. plus i was hanging out of the car window trying to get the shots! but here are the best ones that i was able to get:

luminarias with blue

luminaria front yard


this is my best picture of what a luminary is (a paper sack with sand and a candle in the bottom):



there was also about 5 different hot air balloons at the park just next to the neighborhood. the balloons would be dark and then they would light up in a burst of flames to keep the balloons filled with hot air. it was truly beautiful:



thanks mom for insisting that we go see the luminaries! they really were breathtaking! although, the girls were not quite as impressed. kale'a kept asking, "where are the lights? when are we going to get out?" maybe next year she will appreciate it a bit more!


these are two albuquerque traditions that we will definitely continue while we are living here!


Kristi said...

What a fun new tradition! I love the colors and how "non-commercial" it seems. It's like light art! I'm glad you got to see your family too. Way to go Jill for knowing about the luminiaries.

ashley said...

those luminaries are awesome!

calibosmom said...

Very cool! I guess you have to get creative when you don't have snow.

jessica said...

I love the luminaries...I have never heard of using them as a Christmas decoration. They would never work out here...

Looks like you had a great holiday.

jessica said...

Oh and I need your address so I can send you your winnings! You can e-mail me... aricta at webband dot com.

Melissa-Mc said...

Those are fun new Christmas traditions.

Sarah said...

Those luminaries are very pretty!

Bridget said...

How fun! The pictures were beautiful!

tutu lady said...

That we a fun night. Next time Santa Fe - here we come.

Danielle said...

I love the luminaires. They are sooo pretty. They do that in South Carolina throughout entire neighborhoods. Christmas is so much fun with family.

Darilyn said...

Those are gorgeous pictures. The luminaries are beautiful.

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, my goodness!! Those lights are so beautiful!! I adore luminaries. (even though they make me nervous that my kids will accidentally knock them over). Your photography is amazing :)

Katie Smith said...

Those are great pictures Mahina! Looks like you guys had a great Christmas with family.

Oh, and're not huge at all in your prego pics! You look great. I didn't realize that we are so close on our due dates. People keep asking for pics of the twin belly and I just can't bring myself to do it.

Sara said...

I loved this post! We were in Albuquerque for a family Christmas a few years ago and we took our kids to the River of Lights too. They loved it and they still talk about it! And I have memories as a kid folding down the tops of those brown paper bags and putting in the sand and candles. We used to make our brothers go out to light them though. Maybe next year, we'll do some here in TX!

Nikki said...

Albuquerque has it's own charm--especially at Christmas with the luminarios. My kids would love that botanical park--we'll have to try that out when we go down there some time.