What Makes a Vacation Extraordinary?

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Child’s twined sandal on display in the museum at Aztec Ruins National Park – Part of the migratory way of life, the Pueblo people built this place for prayers and to perform ceremonies (October 4, 2015, photo by Magnolia)
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Supernova at Chaco Culture National Historic Park – Part of Penasco Blanco Trail is a 5.8 miles round trip hike to view this pictograph. Bonus, dog on a leash is allowed on this backcountry hiking trail (October 6, 2015, photo by Magnolia)
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Taos Pueblo is a living World Heritage Site – the people of the Red Willows tribe still call this home after more than 1,000 years (October 8, 2015, photo by Magnolia)

What makes a vacation extraordinary? Oddly enough, it was not about the three world heritage sites in New Mexico that I visited, but the simple acts of kindness people have shown me along the way. Here are some examples: (1) My car window got stuck during my roadster’s arduous drive to Chaco canyon. My camping neighbors helped me yank it up because the rain was coming. A lot of people commented how happy they were to see that it was fixed. (2) After 2 miles of hiking, I saw a gentleman and his wife coming back from the trail towards me. I asked him if I were near. He gave me a detailed instruction about the trail and pointed where the supernova pictograph is located. The thunder clouds above made the decision for me to only go as far as the pictograph and not all the way to the ruins. I got to see the pictograph only after we crossed a flooded ditch. If that gentleman did not stop to give me directions, I would not have made the courage to go beyond the ditch. (3) I jotted down restaurants to visit that allow dogs on the patio. The best one was the La Cueva Cafe in Taos. A lady brought water for me and my dog as soon as we sat down. The waiter brought the extra rice I ordered for my dog in a to-go container, so my pouch can lick it all up easily. Come to think of it, I don’t think he charged me for it. Now for the best coffee in town goes to Elevation Coffee Shoppe. The coffee is fantastic and the owner is clearly a dog lover with his stash of dog treats to pamper the real customers. Need I say more?

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Rio Grande Bridge in Taos, NM
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Rafting Rio Grande with Los Rios River Runner
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