Checking out the Scene.

Every town around the world has something to offer and it’s your job to get out there and find out what.  Check out the newspapers, listen to the radio, get on the internet and start reading.  Twitter and Facebook are excellent sources to keep up with and find out what’s going on around the city.  And of course, pester people that live there to show you the ropes!  (Thanks Jeremy, Arielle, and D-Ray!)

One thing I have mentioned in previous posts is how close El Paso is to Mexico.  My commute to work every day has changed from a two lane road alongside green pastures and rolling hills into an eight lane highway on the border of Mexico and the US.  I love the exit off of I-10 to the zoo, the options are literally 1. go to mexico and pass border control or 2. road to the zoo.  I can’t stress enough it is very safe in El Paso even right on the border, no need to worry.  I did take a picture exiting I-10:

 Border crossing is about 200 yards from this sign and the entrance to the zoo is about 300 yards. 

On Thursday night we heard on the radio that Fort Bliss, the military base in El Paso, was hosting the Eli Young Band for FREE.  The free concerts are part of their marketing to encourage people to check out the new Freedom Crossing, an area with lots of shops and restaurants on the military base.  To get on the base we only needed our ID and proof of vehicle registration.  The concert venue was sweet: a great stage, grass seating and restaurants all around.

Eli Young Band at Fort Bliss.  Free.

Las Cruces, New Mexico is about 45 minutes away which means the best sopapilla of my life is 45 minutes away.  We knew “Si Senor” would be good when we couldn’t find a parking spot!  The drive up into the mountains was beautiful right at sunset.  It was an impromptu trip, therefore I need some more time to report much on Las Cruces.

 The Franklin Mountains off of I-10 on the way to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

We had the chance to hang out with my friends from graduate school (Jeremy and Arielle) and visited the Ardovinos Desert Crossing (farmers market) and played frisbee golf on the East side of town.  The course may not be the best but it was great for us!  Make sure you get their early because the park is a recreation area used for fiestas.  Every park fiesta must have one of those big blow up jump on things for the kids.  Not easy to throw a frisbee around a fiesta.  The farmers market was small but cute and the stone oven for the restaurant there was Amazing.  Pictures below.

 Ardovinos Desert Crossing Farmers Market.  

The stone oven at Ardovinos.  The materials were shipped in from Italy.  Yes, I would like to try a pizza cooked in this!

Frisbee golf party!

Sunday morning 6:15am alarm = Do not like!  But, well worth it.  When you live in the desert to avoid the heat and baking sun you have to get up early to do anything outside.  A friend and well experienced climber (D-Ray) took us on our first climbing in El Paso.  Sneeds is part of the Franklin Mountain State Park and located about 15 minutes from our house.  The rock is granite and challenging.  David and D-ray easily shimmied up to the top while I enjoyed the birds, lizards and scenery.  We also hiked up to the Aztec caves and saw LOTS of lizards!  It was a short, steep and beautiful hike.  We will definitely do more exploring of the Franklin Mountains.  After the hike we fully enjoyed Torro Burger, a local burger joint with my favorite, sweet potato fries!

Let’s climb!

 Collared lizard.  So cute.
Climb on David. 

The Aztec Caves at the Franklin Mountains State Park. 
Where’s David? 
Guess who?
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