March 16, Texas to New Mexico

Our second month in Houston was just as pleasant as the first. The weather wasn't always the best, but the company of family and friends always makes up for it. We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by checking out a nearby state park that we had not visited before and going out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Baytown. We made another trip to the zoo with Jonny and also one to the Butterfly Center. We enjoyed both, especially watching Jonny have fun. We got to visit with Sarah several times too. She is so busy with her restaurant work that we are happy for whatever time she can give us.

Jonny at Butterfly Center

Jonny brushing goats at Petting Zoo

Shannon and Dresden came to town to help celebrate Jonny's third birthday on March 2nd. We had the actual party on the third at my sister Nancy's home. Rebecca had invited cousins Lucas and Destiny and a friend's daughter, Emily. We had expected another two cousins but they didn't make it. Rebecca had requested a moonwalk "bouncy house" for the kids to play in. I hadn't thought much of the idea but we got one and it was well worth it. The kids who came and Jonny spent all their time bouncing around in it. Riley and Drez spent a lot of time in it too, playing with the kids and supervising. The kids also enjoyed the piñata that Nancy provided, though it took an adult, Lucas' mom Lesly, to break it. Emily cried when it broke--she was very cute. We bought Jonny a small bicycle with training wheels which he is learning to ride, but his favorite toy was a magnetic sketch pad that Shannon & Drez got for him. It was a fun day.

Jonny & Shannon on March 2

Drez, Rebecca & Tony watching Jonny blow out candles

Grammy & Grandma listening to Jonny;
Lucas & Emily getting ready for piñata

Jonny taking a swing at piñata

We left the very next day and drove to Austin visiting, with our family there. We did some birding with Richard and Bev, visited Leslie and kids, and had dinner out with Lloyd and Ferrell. We aways have an enjoyable time in Austin.

Richard, Beverly, Ferrell, Lloyd & Margie

Leslie's kids: Charlie, Ben, Zazie & Abi

We then went west making a stop in San Saba to visit my cousin Sharon and her husband Doug. We had a pleasant visit with them and Doug's sister, Janine, who was visiting. Sharon took us over to a new nature park along the San Saba River with lots of walking trails--it's very beautiful and will be a great spot for birds in Spring.

Margie & Sharon at Mill Creek in San Saba River Nature Park

We then spent a night in the Davis Mountains State Park and one in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Temperatures were near freezing in both parks and a cloud was sitting on top of us in the Guadalupes. At Davis Mountains SP there were lots of birds to be seen but the Montezuma Quail was still a no show for us. The park rangers said the quail had been coming into the park regularly until the last couple of days when the winds had been bad. Just our luck, always a day late! Visibility was so bad in the Guadalupes that we didn't even try to look for birds, so we just pushed on into New Mexico. There we found beautiful weather--cold nights and clear cool days--perfect. We had a good birding day in Bosque del Apache NWR before going on to Albuquerque and checking into our RV park. Shannon and Drez had us and Jenny over for dinner on Monday--homemade pizza, yummy! This weekend, we plan to drive up to the top of the Sandias to see if any Rosy Finch are still there. At Bosque del Apache, the Sandhill Cranes and most of the Snow Geese had already headed north.

We found a dollar theater not too far away that was showing the latest Sherlock Holmes movie, which we had missed at Christmas when it first came out. So Monday we went to see it. We had just walked in the door, handing in our tickets, when one of the popcorn machines caught on fire and started billowing smoke out into the lobby. We went on into our theater thinking it was no big deal, but after about 20 minutes an usher came in and said we could get a refund, but had to leave now while the fire department got the smoke cleared out. We went back the next day, got in free, and saw the movie--couldn't tell there had been a problem at all. Such excitement!

My granddaughter Alyssa will be visiting Shannon during the first part of April and we look forward to seeing her. This will be during her Spring Break from school and while her brother Justin is making his school trip to Washington, D.C. We will be staying here until around April 10.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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