There is an ongoing joke amongst New Mexicans. Well, it is not really even a joke. But it can be heard in any number of different ways. But they often go something like this:
New Mexico? Isn’t that south of the border?
You’re from New Mexico? Can I see your green card (or visa)? (Seriously! I was asked that growing up!)
New Mexico is an amazing state that is, in fact, part of the United States of America. Since 1912. You can find it between Texas and Arizona. It is an amazing state and I am proud of having grown up there. I am thankful that I can travel home (my parents still live there) several times a year. It is always beautiful. It is always peaceful. It is always relaxing. There is just something different about New Mexico. It is enchanting. Thus it’s nickname: Land of Enchantment.
When you are looking around, you will see amazing vistas. Mountains, plains, lakes, rivers, trees, grass, mesas, plateaus. It is all there. One of my favorite views is sitting on the porch at my parents house, a glass of iced tea in hand, no bugs bothering me, staring out at the mountains in the distance. Peaceful. Another favorite: driving across the plains but surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. It is just so beautiful.
I could talk forever about why I love New Mexico. But, you might quit reading. I’d rather you keep reading and find something interesting to do to help you find some of the enchantment that New Mexico holds.
Tradition is huge in New Mexico, especially this time of year. Last year we shared with you all some of our traditions, including luminarias and bizcochitos. Other traditions that you could study include any of the puebloan Indian tribes and their dances. Las Posadas is a tradition among many of the Spanish speaking people worth a study. It is fun and interesting. We read “The Night of Las Posadas” by Tomie dePaola every year and enjoy it each time.
There are tons of amazing foods from New Mexico. Christmas enchiladas make my mouth water just thinking about them. They aren’t really anything fancy but we call them Christmas enchiladas when we would like to have enchiladas served with both red AND green chili sauce. YUM! Anything made with chilis is good, if you ask me. I shared a recipe with you for Green Chili Goat Cheese Burritos. It isn’t a traditional recipe but it is one that is very New Mexican. Bizcochitos are a cookie that is traditionally made a Christmas time but, really, is good any day of the year. (You can find a picture of us making these cookies in the post E is for Enchantment.)
We took the girls on a New Mexico vacation last year where we did some learning. We visited Carlsbad Caverns. We went to White Sands. We saw The Last Escape of Billy the Kid and walked through Lincoln. We studied the desert, its animals, and its plants. I shared a post with you about the vacation books that I made for the girls. It included lots of links and information so you can make your own or use the links to learn more about New Mexico.
Other posts I have shared about New Mexico:
Vacation 2013 – New Mexico Desert – A synopsis of our vacation time in New Mexico.
Carlsbad Caverns – A beautiful place to visit with unique opportunities. From the amazing underground cavern to the mass exodus of bats at sunset, this is a stop that is worth making.
Smokey Bear – This is a must-stop place in my opinion. Of course, I grew up with Smokey so he is very closely associated with New Mexico for me.
E is for Enchantment – This is a book about New Mexico and I shared some ideas about things to do with the book. It has some little known information about New Mexico. It is not your typical ABC Book.
I hope you have found something fun and new to study about New Mexico. Thanks for stopping by as part of Learning through the 50 States, a link up hosted by AdenaF.com