Saturday, July 23, 2016

Harrell House Bug Museum and Abiquiu Lake

When you've spent the first five years of your marriage in college, two babies, a new job, a lay-off and job hunting again there isn't much time for vacation. And while vacations aren't necessary, they are awfully fun once in a while. With a new job starting in August and time off until then, Blair and I decided to take the boys on a trip to the mountains (of course). I love love going up into the mountains. They soothe the soul, melt away anxiety and stress and, with their magnitude, put everything little thing into perspective - plus its usually 20 to 30 degrees cooler in the summer which can't be beat! 

We took a four hour road trip up to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, stopping in Santa Fe for lunch and too splash around at Abiquiu Lake. The original plan had been to tour the carved sandstone cave in Abiquiu and see the Georgia O'Keefe museum and Ghost Ranch, but the cave requires reservations. Instead we hopped online while eating lunch to find something the boys would enjoy and discovered the Harrell House Bug Museum in Santa Fe. Now, as any mom of boys knows, this was sure to be a hit. 

Do note that the museum isn't in a traditional stand-alone building, you will find the Harrell House inside the Devargas Shopping Center and there is no sign on the outside - at least on the side we parked on. Admission is quite cheap at $6 for adults and 12 and under are $4 and two and under are free. 

Once inside you will be given a mini flashlight (much to the delight of Jack) to help you see in some of the dark cages where the tarantulas are. Did I mention that there are a huge variety of tarantulas? Because there is. One of the biggest collections I've ever seen. Including the one that is known for eating birds because it is so big. *shudder* as in nearly 10 inches across. *shudder* - so fair warning - if you really are an arachnophobe don't scroll down because I have pictures. You will also find lizards, fish and other live bugs as well as an impressive collection of mounted insects. Another aspect that we enjoyed was that the cages start at ground level and there are sturdy step stools so that toddlers like Jack can see more on their own. I think this little (and it is little, guys) museum is a great place for field trips for public or home schooled families or 4-Hers.

Because I am really trying to fit one day of vacation per post here is our stop at Abiquiu Lake. It was hot and the kids weren't napping when we came over a rise and saw the lake. Blair isn't a super fan of wading around so I took the boys to play and he took pictures - which worked out lovely because we've both been trying to get me in more photos. When you are the photographer it is easy to always be behind the lens. 

We splashed, I walked Zane around, Jack insisted on 'helping' when he wasn't tossing rocks and looking for shells. As I was getting shoes back on Jack decided to "rock climb" up the side of the inlet we were at - he was very proud of conquering it. Also? Red sunglasses on a two year old? Killer man, killer. All in all it was a great start to our family vacation.

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