Well, the houseguests I mentioned in my last post here, what seems like forever ago, have now departed back to their homes. It was fun showing them around New Mexico, but, man, I now feel kind of exhausted. I blame the lingering effects of getting up at 3 AM, not once but twice, to make it up to the Balloon Fiesta before dawn. It was very cool to finally go, though. Despite having lived in NM for 25 years, this is the first time I've attended. Well, unless you count that one time in college when we drove up, stood outside the fence, and watched the balloons overhead, but didn't actually go into the park because we were too broke even to want to pay the minimal entrance fee. I will say, though, that while I might just possibly be persuaded to get up in the middle of the night and do it again sometime, I am never, ever going on opening day again. The balloons were great. The crowds were nightmarish. Fortunately, Thursday was much better, and well worth it, even if the Thursday night Glowdeo was cancelled due to winds.
We also, among other places, drove down to Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands. White Sands was a little disappointing this time, I fear, as it was very cloudy, and I hadn't realized just how much a lack of sunlight changes the landscape from blinding otherworldly whiteness to, well, big piles of light-colored sand. Carlsbad, on the other hand, astonishes me every time I go there. This time I was thinking, y'know, maybe I've seen it often enough, maybe it's going to start losing some of its appeal with familiarity. But, nope. It's still just as awe-inspiring the fourth or fifth time, or whatever it is for me now. I suspect I could visit it every day and never get tired of it.