P is for Petroglyph National Monument @AprilA2Z #AtoZChallenge

Picture from WikipediaPetroglyph National Monument falls under the National Park Service, and stretches along Albuquerque, New Mexico's west mesa. As the NPS website says, "Petroglyph National Monument protects on of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved into volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers."There's a visitor's center, but there aren't any petroglyph viewing areas there, so you'll have to go to the trails, which you can hike.There are three trails where you can see petroglyphs and one without any. It's very neat to be able to be up close and personal with such vivid history.xoxo Sarah...
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M is for Museum (Nuclear Science & History) #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History (yes, I'm aware it technically starts with N, but I'm taking liberties here) is located in Albuquerque, and is a great way to spend some time.Lovely day to get your science on! #ABQ #albuquerque #newmexicoA photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on Apr 2, 2016 at 4:13pm PDT We've gone once so far and we had a great time. It's easy to get to, has plenty of parking, and, best of all, is very interesting.When we visited, there was a Modern Marvels from the History Channel show that they broadcast in the little theater. It was about 45 minutes long, and gave a great history of the Manhattan Project and nuclear science in general. It was worth watching before we went and explored the rest of the museum because we found we recognized names, locations, and dates from the show as we walked around.The museum itself isn't huge, but it's laid out...
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L is for La Luz Trail #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Picture from WikipediaThe La Luz Trail is an approximately 8 mile hiking trail that leads from the base of the Sandia Mountains to Sandia Crest.It's a strenuous trail and folks attempting it should be in appropriate physical condition. Be sure to leave enough time to do the loop (or take the tram down), bring plenty of water and snacks, and to wear proper gear.It offers lovely views of Albuquerque and the surrounding area.No, we haven't done the trail yet, but it's on our list of things to explore!xoxo Sarah...
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J is for Jackrabbit #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

New Mexico has a variety of interesting wildlife in general, including Black-Tailed Jackrabbits which inhabit a good portion of the state.Picture from WikipediaEven stranger, though, is that New Mexico--the southern bit, anyway--is home to jaguars. They're extremely rare, but they are listed as a native species.So, of all the interesting things that can kill you on your outdoor explorations--snakes, falling, etc.--fierce felines are also on the list. They're not common, though, because most of New Mexico is dry and desert-y, and jaguars prefer places with trees. So just watch out for the mountain lions and you'll be all set.xoxo Sarah...
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I is for Isotopes Baseball #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

One nice thing about Albuquerque is that they have a Minor League Baseball team! The Isotopes are part of the Pacific Coast League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.Albuquerque Isotopes logo from WikipediaAlbuquerque and New Mexico is often associated with nuclear research and technology (Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos, and the Manhattan Project), the name is very appropriate. And the Isotopes do have an interesting connection with The Simpsons television show.They play at Isotopes Park, and in 2016 they have their home opener on Friday, April 15th.While not being huge baseball fans (it's a snoozer to watch on TV, in my opinion), the Isotopes games are a lot of fun to go to. There's a good variety of food to eat, and they have some fun giveaways and theme nights.xoxo Sarah...
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H is for Hatch Chiles #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

If you talk to anyone who's lived in New Mexico, the chile season (which runs each fall) begins and ends with Hatch.Hatch is an area (the Hatch Valley, and the village of Hatch) that grows New Mexico green chile (no, they're not jalapenos--they're their own thing, and a specific type, of which there are several varieties).The green chiles are sharper in flavor and have more front heat, while the ripe red ones tend to have a more complex flavor and less front heat but more back heat.In the late summer and early fall, the chile harvest begins. You'll start to see crates of Hatch chiles showing up in grocery stores, and there will be chile roasting areas, too, where if you get a certain amount, you can get them roasted for free.If you can't get to New Mexico to get some fresh roasted chile or to the Hatch Chile Festival in early September, Hatch does sell it online.Picture from Hatch Chile...
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G is for Gambling #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

Casinos aren't uncommon in New Mexico, and, like many in the U.S., a good number are run by Native Americans on their lands.There are a few in Albuquerque itself, but a good number are outside of the cities on the Pueblos. Santa Fe has quite a few nearby as well.As with most casinos, you'll encounter plenty of gambling but also buffets, restaurants, and shows. If you're looking for something a little different, or to see a concert, they might be a good bet.xoxo Sarah...
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F is for 505 #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

New Mexico actually has two area codes: 575 and 505.The 505 dates back to being one of the original area codes established in 1947.Due to the demand for new numbers, the 575 was created in 2007. It actually covers more of the state, but the areas with higher populations are still under 505.Still, the state had one area code for so long that "The 505" is considered a slang term for New Mexico.Picture from Wikipediaxoxo Sarah...
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E is for Enchantment #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

New Mexico has a pretty fabulous nickname: Land of Enchantment. Surprisingly, it only became the official nickname in 1999.What makes the nickname so great is that it encompasses so much of the state's history and landscape. Not only does New Mexico have stunning views (enchanting, perhaps?), but it was inhabited by indigenous peoples for a long time before Europeans explored the New World.The gorgeous scenery combined with the rich history of many peoples combines to make a truly enchanting place.Gorgeous morning! #nofilterneeded #nofilter #albuquerque #abq #sandia #sandiamountains #newmexicoA photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:52am PST xoxo Sarah...
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B is for Breaking Bad #AtoZChallenge #BreakingBad @AprilA2Z @BreakingBad_AMC

Breaking Bad is, probably, and I'm not exaggerating, one of the best-written television shows I've seen in a long time. I almost did an "Awesome Writing in Media" feature on it, but figured I could do this first.Full disclosure--hubs and I didn't watch it when it aired; we binged on it from start to finish over a period of a couple weeks recently. Thank you, Netflix.Because when we moved to Albuquerque, most of the time the first question out of someone's mouth was, "Have you seen Breaking Bad?" So it was mandatory viewing. "Yeah, bitch!" as Jesse Pinkman would say.Even only having been sort-of familiar with the city (we've lived in New Mexico since last summer), it was evident that the location was its own character on the show. No, it didn't overshadow Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, but the city shone in its own way. I'm one of those people who Googles stuff about shows afterward--trivia, filming locations, etc.--and...
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