Just an FYI from grandma. NM is quite a bit drier than the east coast or the south. Keep the lotion handy, as you should start before getting here and then continue its use.
There will be a possibility of one of your children, and possibly yourself, having troubles with nose bleeds until you all adjust. (simply from the dry atmosphere)
They can say what they want, but California has nothing to compare to our sun. You can easily sunburn within an hour.
Albuquerque is close to the 5000 ft altitude and where you plan to live is over that. So you will also have to adjust to less dense oxygen (you'll adjust, just don't exert yourself until you do) and your cooking habits will change. An egg will boil hard in 10 minutes. Baking recipes have to follow the high altitude instructions.
We have rattle snakes and black widows. Rattle snake warnings are the same as anywhere. The standard practice, concerning black widows is this: never stick your hand in where you can't see. Usually, under the bottom edges of house siding, within the tall cactus plants, piles of wood etc and sometimes right next to your porch. A black widows' web has no pattern (totally helter skelter), so if you see a web that looks like a drunk spider did it, it's probably a black widow. We don't have scorpions.
You are about to enter a whole other world. What you would call spanish food, we call New Mexican. The reason being, it's not the same. We love hot-hot-hot. The choices here, are red or green- chili, that is. Red is usually hotter than green. We will eat green chili on a sandwich, on our eggs and even just as a snack, by itself.
The Mexican (and as a result, the New Mexican) Christmas and New Years tradition is Posole. Pronounced Pa-So-Lay. It is large white corn that is grown for tortilla's but can be soaked and boiled to make a great red chili, pork and corn soup. We love it, here. Menudo is pretty much the same but instead of pork, has cattle intestines and I've never quite gotten around to stepping over that line. yuk
Walmart is alive and well, here. So is Walgreen's and Target. From Tijeras, you have a choice for Walmart. You can go east on I-40 to Edgewood exit or west into the city.
The main threads, through the city are: East to West-Central Ave, Lomas Blvd, I-40,Menaul, Montgomery. North to South- Tramway,Juan Tabo, Wyoming, Louisiana, San Pedro, San Mateo,Carlisle, University-on the east side of the river, and on the west side of the river is Edith, 2nd, 4th, 12th all of which run through the old downtown area. As you go west, you cross the river and then start uphill onto a sandy bluff. Past the river and up on the bluff, running north and south, you will find Coors Blvd, which runs the entire length of the city area, from the south valley, to Corrales (which is on the northern end of Albuquerque on the west side). Coors will then run you into Alameda Rd, which will then take you west up into Rio Rancho. There is the basic layout of the entire city area.
Albuquerque is bordered on the north west side, by Corrales and Rio Rancho. Subdivision names, you will hear often, are 4-hills (on the east and central area of Alb.; Taylor Ranch (on the far west and central); Paradise Hills(also on the far west and central); Academy (north and central). What is referred to as 'the valley', is divided into north valley and south valley. It is the rich bottom land, nearest the river.
There are Indian Pueblo's just north of Alb, just south of Alb, 60 miles west of Alb, as well as many others. The history is that of the Spaniards, the Conquistadors, the Aztec Indians of Mexico, as they traveled north on a well traveled trade trail. Here, the Indians hate any mention of Columbus or the so-called heroic Spaniards, as they were ruthless murderers who thought to govern the Indians.
When I was a child, the Indians still wore the old traditional wear. Today, you can't tell who is who, without some history with the Indians. While most of the Native Americans, still live on the reservations, they also have co-mingled with the city and hold the same jobs you and I would.
Northern NM is the playground for those who love to ski. Southern NM is the hot/dry in the summer and with mild winter's. Where you are from, the beauty is in the buildings, hills and greenery. Here, the beauty is in the shadows of the evening. Beautiful sunsets and hills that change color. Rock and sand formations and a rich Mexican and Indian history.
As you travel around, especially in Santa Fe, you will see doors and windows bordered in an odd turquoise color. It is traditional Mexican and represents 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'. You may also note, on the older buildings, paintings of 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'. Guadalupe pronounced, Gwa-dah-loo-pay. Menaul Blvd is pronounced, Men-all and Carlisle is pronounced, car-lyle.
Albuquerque was first established as a hospital for lung diseases (for the dry air). Then in later years, it was the military base that supported the growth of the city. Half of the Manzano mountains, the mountains on the south side of Tijeras, are about half hollowed out with tunnels. They were built in the 50's to contain the atom bomb components. No cause for alarms, as this is a fact for the past 60 years with no ill affects. If you happen to experience the phenomena of a low humming, coming from the ground, fear not- it's the huge fans, underground, that are used for military purposes.
Living in Tijeras, there may be 2 or 3 days, out of the year when I-40 is closed down for winter storm conditions. The trick is to always be prepared, in the winter, with plenty of food in the pantry and plans for the kids, should you not be able to get home that night. Not really a big deal but can be inconvenient, if you're not prepared.
In my opinion, we have the best of medical professionals in the country. Shopping is amazing and you'll never get around to seeing it all. As a citizen since 1954, I always will suggest a visit to 'Old Town'. Literally a square, built around the original first church of Alb.
NM is a mixture of farming, science and technology. The University of NM owns half of NM.
The 'torrid' areas, where any possible gang activity is anywhere within a 2 mile radius of Central and Coors, on the west side of the city.
Just thought you'd like to know. teehee