Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Day in Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Plaza
Albuquerque, NM 87104
GPS: 35.096107, -106.669954

La Placita Dining Rooms
206 San Felipe St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
GPS: 35.096010, -106.669230
Phone: 505-247-2204

The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
2000 Mountain Rd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
GPS: 35.097625, -106.668367
Phone: 505-242-4600

After breakfast, we all piled into Diane's car to go to Old Town Plaza for sightseeing and shopping. Diane served as tour guide; Michelle, Tricia, and Ava plunged into shopping; and I stayed out of the way.

Tricia, Ava, Diane, Michelle ready to pounce on Old Town

About 11AM, we went to the Gazebo in the center of the Plaza to meet Betty Jane and Ernie Dorko. Betty Jane is the sister of Tricia's Mother–In–Law (Barb). I have no idea what the correct term is for that. The Dorkos live in Albuquerque and Tricia and Ava (us too) have never met them. So it was resolved that Tricia would contact them while in Albuquerque and get together for some kind of meeting. That meeting turned out to be a date for lunch today. Betty Jane had been described as looking almost exactly like Barb. So at the appointed time, we hung around the Gezebo looking for someone "looking like Barb". That was quick and easy. They arrived on time and Betty Jane was very easy to spot.

By the way, the Gazebo marks the Skirmish of Albuquerque a small engagement of the American Civil War in April 1862 between General Henry Hopkins Sibley's Army of New Mexico and a Union Army under Edward R. S. Canby.

After introductory pleasantries, it was decided that lunch would be at La Placita Dining Rooms.

La Placita Dining Rooms is noted for its New Mexico cuisine and for its distinct indoor patio (its placita). The restaurant’s main dining area features a tree that has stood there for many decades and reaches up through the roof.

Built sometime before 1880, this building was originally known as Casa Armijo. It was build by El Colorado Don Juan Armijo and Maestas, who later sold it to Ambrosio Armijo. The house was constructed in a classic plaza style, which worked well as a defense against raiding nomadic Native Americans.

La Placita Dining Rooms opened its doors in 1935 and has been serving New Mexican-styled Mexican food ever since.

After lunch we walked the short distance to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. One of the city's top attractions, the Museum of Art and History offers a wealth of cultural and historical artifacts and works of art. From the ancient to post-modern, the Albuquerque Museum has long been a must-see showcase in Old Town.

Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

Too many exhibits to capture in pictures in one day.

Just three of so many

"Only in Albuquerque" features a greatly expanded story of the city from before written history to the present, set in an engaging, fun, and interactive atmosphere. The story is told through four galleries entitled: "Spirited", "Courageous", "Resourceful", "Innovative"; all connecting to a central gallery entitled "Our Land".

"Only In Albuquerque" occupies five galleries

Some call it bonding, I call it haming.

Especially impressive, to me at least, was the collection of statuary outside the museum. We posed Ava with much of it.

We all enjoyed the afternoon at the museum. Ava, Tricia, and Michelle had a bonding experience. Diane is a museum member, so this was old hat for her. She is rightly proud of the museum and got a kick out of watching us.

Betty Jane and Ernie are frequent visitors. They had a good time too – really.

Every place we visit seems to leave us with "We want more". Albuquerque is no exception.
Albuquerque's one-of-a-kind Southwestern culture is in everything around you, from the quaint shops, Pueblo- and Spanish-inspired architecture and world-famous cuisine, to the music and art. In every way possible, the past seamlessly weaves through the fabric of present-day Albuquerque, making it a truly culturally rich American destination. Authentic Albuquerque

Our thanks to Diane Wege for a great visit.

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