|Sam, Zach, and Mason|
|Kayla, Mason, and Tyler|
|Tyler and Mason check out the gear|
|Grandma sledding with Mason|
|Sam, Zach, and Devery|
|Me and Zach at Oliver Lee S.P.|
|Making s'mores at Oliver Lee|
|Sam, Kiley, and Devery|
|Tyler and Mason|
|Sam packing up to go to White Sands|
|Getting ready to go to White Sands|
|Maddy guiding Tyler across the road|
|The girls in front of the Swiss Chalet Inn|
|Zach with Tyler|
|At the Swiss Chalet Inn|
|Kristy, Chris, and Kids at White Sands|
|In back of the hotel in/near Ruidoso|
|Toasting marshmallows for s'mores|
Mason taking a tumble at White Sands
Grandma doing a little sledding with Mason
Me taking a sled run on "our" dune
Series of videos that Kristy and Chris shot at White Sands
Our extended family (minus Darren and a couple of sons-in-law) took a weekend trip to southern New Mexico on October 7-9, 2011. This was a trip I'd wanted to do for some time, so I looked forward to it with great anticipation. We camped Friday night at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, located south of Alamogordo, NM, then spent several hours on Saturday at White Sands National Monument, which is west of Alamogordo. Finally, we drove up to Ruidoso, NM (a pretty mountain town that was once the playground of many a Texas oil millionaire) and spent Saturday night in the Swiss Chalet Inn, an older hotel north of town.
I love the Oliver Lee campground and always enjoy staying there. It was windy and thus the tents flapped around all night, impeding everyone's sleep; however, I think we all had a great time camping out otherwise. The conditions at White Sands the next day were perfect -- perfect weather, perfect dune, perfect company, and perfect equipment (fast masonite sleds for the adults and slower plastic sleds for the kids).
Ruidoso was a little disappointing. The rooms at the Swiss Chalet Inn were far better than the online reviews I'd read would suggest, but the indoor pool was out of operation, a severe letdown for the grandchildren. And I became very self-conscious about our having five kids under the age of six, all of whom were excited to be with their cousins, in a hotel that wasn't designed for children. I know the desk clerks caught an earful from various guests about the noise, so if we ever take the whole family back to Ruidoso -- which I doubt, since there just isn't that much for kids to do there, anyway -- we'll plan it out better and get a cabin. The highlight of Ruidoso for me was eating at the Circle J Barbecue on Saturday night, and then at Schlotzky's Deli on Sunday before returning back to Albuquerque.
Overall, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. It was the very sort of trip I'd like to take at least four or five times a year.