New Mexico

Last weekend I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico for my friend Rachel’s wedding! It was so fun, mostly because almost all of my friends from college were able to go too. Our official five-year Colby reunion was actually the weekend before, but in my opinion, this mini-reunion in the southwest was way better! The six of us have been friends since our freshmen year when Colby decided to put us in one of the worst dorms on campus. We made the best of it though, and even became known as “the Drummond girls” (after the name of our dorm).

Five years ago at our Colby graduation

Five years ago at our Colby graduation

Five years later and now two of us are married and one friend is about to give birth to her first son/daughter at the end of July! Even though so many things have happened to all of us in the past five years, it was so easy and natural to fall back into the old swing of things, laugh at our old jokes and feel genuinely comfortable around each other.

And now, in Albuquerque!

And now, in Albuquerque!

Anyway, on to New Mexico. It was hot and dry, as expected, but neither as hot or dry as I was expecting. I think the highest it got was 91, and given that it was 95 and humid here in NC right before I left, 91 was just fine. The landscape was beautiful, but what really impressed me were the skies. It’s amazing how much sky you can see out there.

Panoramic view of Albuquerque from the Petroglyphs National Park

Panoramic view of Albuquerque from the Petroglyphs National Park

The altitude was also a factor. Turns out Denver isn’t the only mile-high city; Albuquerque sits at around 5200 feet and Santa Fe (where we went on Sunday) is even higher. After walking around Santa Fe all morning and drinking an entire water bottle I was feeling kind of funky. But as soon as we ate lunch and I proceeded to drink three giant glasses of ice water, all was better.

Downtown Santa Fe had almost all adobe buildings.

Downtown Santa Fe had almost all adobe buildings.

Speaking of food, we ate a lot of “New Mexican” food, which is similar to Tex-Mex but with lots of green chili (what New Mexico is famous for) and fry bread, which is like friend dough. I had a fry bread taco which was super gluttonous but delicious.

Fry Bread Taco--don't worry, I only ate half!

Fry Bread Taco–don’t worry, I only ate half!

All in all, it was a great trip, both because I got to see my friends and celebrate Rachel’s wedding (which was simple and beautiful and almost perfect) and I got to visit a place I’d never been to before.

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Rachel getting married!

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Grateful

I’m especially grateful for a few things this year. Even though it will be my first Thanksgiving in the U.S. for a long time, I’m not having a traditional celebration, and I’m actually kind of relieved. Why? Because I have a 30 page research paper to write that is due in less than two weeks and if I had gone home, I probably wouldn’t be able to get it done. So I’m looking forward to spending the day tomorrow with my cousin and her husband and then having three solid days to work on the paper.

My cousin and I at her Hawaiian-themed birthday party

Speaking of my cousin and her family, I’m very thankful for them this year. They have made the transition to living in Raleigh so much easier by welcoming me into their family. Here’s to more bike rides, games of Ticket to Ride, wish lanterns and face painting.

My family at my sister’s graduation 2 1/2 years ago. I think we need some updated family photos!

I’m so grateful to have the love and support of my mom, dad, sister and brother. I’ve come to realize that not everyone has such a great network of people rooting for them, and for that I am and will be eternally thankful. I’m also thankful for my extended family. You’re all pretty great too. 🙂

I’m thankful for my friends. Even though most of you are pretty far away, I’m grateful for our Skype conversations, phone calls, e-mails, letters and blog posts. You all make me smile every single day!

I’m also thankful for the new friends I’ve made at NC State. You all make doing this Masters thing just a little easier. 🙂

And finally, a list of random things I’m grateful for:

  • My computer, and that it hasn’t died. Hang in there just a few more weeks, please!
  • That Barack Obama won the election.
  • My dishwasher.

And last but certainly not least, Charlie Sylvester.

Charlie baby! So cute.

Oh, and one last and very important thing. I’m so happy, grateful and excited to be going home on December 8th for almost a full month! I think this will be the longest time I’ve spent in New England in a really long time. You may not hear much from me until then, but just trust that I’m furiously working on that darn paper and then studying. I’ll be back with more updates during vacation. For now, Happy Thanksgiving!