Sunday, July 2, 2017

Grants: New Mexico Mining Museum

On a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 is losing an arm in a freak accident in a cave and 10 is suddenly growing wings, the New Mexico Mining Museum in Grants, NM ranks a 8 in our book.

This museum was  so much more fun than could have anticipated probably because of the miner guide, Jack Farley. He, himself, worked in a mine in Grants, NM, so his stories made the whole experience seem so much more real. The tour began with a video about the history of mining on the ground level. Following this, the tour group was lowered via an elevator into a mine simulation below the museum.

Mr. Farley showed us some of the equipment they would use to carry the uranium deposits which were mined, as shown above. Below is an example of the columns they would leave up to hold the ceilings inside the cave. In some areas, wooden beams would also be placed as an added measure of safety. 

Below is a device which pulses fast and deep to reach deeper into the earth. They would be able to test what came up to see where they should continue mining.

Mr. Farley said that he's found many treasures mining deep in the earth. He's found dinosaur bones, pockets of gold, and even mysteries such as this sphere below. When we visited, they were making plans to take this sphere to New Mexico Tech to get it x-rayed and to see what might be inside.

Mr. Farley became a safety coordinator for his mine and they won many awards for going vast periods of time with no injuries at all. Below is one such medal. He recounted a funny story of one inspector arriving to check on the safety of the mine. While there, the inspector sprained his ankle and everyone present became extremely upset because they wouldn't receive their bonus because of his injury.

This is a tool sitting outside the museum. It was used to dig huge holes deep into the earth. Standing beside it, you can't help but have a sense of wonder as to the magnitude of the mines which were created.

As we concluded our tour, Mr. Farley handed each of us all a beautiful stone which was gold in color. He wanted us to be able to joke that we had found gold in the mine. It was this kind of attention to details which made the entire experience extremely memorable. We would definitely come back to visit such a wonderful museum. It is only a few hours outside of Albuquerque as well!

The tour is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Definitely worth it!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Here is an index of the places we've been to help you navigate.  We one day hope to have most if not all states listed with fun activities.

**NOTE: options without a link are posts we have visited and plan on writing about in the future!




  • Coconino National Forest: Lake Mary
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Williams: Bearizona Wildlife Park



New Mexico:
  • Acoma Pueblo
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  • Rama: El Morro National Monument
  • Rio Rancho: Blades
  • Rio Rancho: Hot Tamales
  • Rio Rancho: Tenpins & More
  • Zuni Pueblo


Orlando: Medieval Times

On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is being trampled by a horse and 10 is getting to time travel back to a castle in the Medieval Era, the Medieval Times Dinner and Live Show in Orlando, Florida was definitely a 10/10.

The first thing to know is that there are several packages to choose from for this show. We, of course, chose the King's Royalty Package and for us it was worth it. If you are on a tight budget the cheapest ticket option isn't a bad option at all; none of the seats are bad and you all still get the same food and show. The higher the package option you choose, the more perks you get including VIP seating on the front row, a King's Ralley Towel and cheering banner that you get to take home, a framed group photo per person, priority castle access, et cetera.

 Arrive plenty early. Doors open 75 minutes prior to the show times. If you arrive early enough, you get to witness the fanfare trumpets and the welcome of the King. If you buy the VIP pass, you get the skip the line and enter right away. You will have plenty of time to wander around the castle and view all the items on display for sale including princess gear, beverages, and even swords. In this area of the castle, a few children are knighted before the show as well. I assume these children are brought fourth because it is their birthday. The Medieval Times in Florida is special because it was the built in the US. Because of that, it is the only one to have a special twelfth century village built right next to the castle. This village is open 1 hour before each show time and entrance is free with an admission ticket. Though the village is modernly built, the doors, wooden windows, furniture, and most of the other objects found therein are 100% original, some of them dating back 800 years. The village includes a metal smithy workshop, a basket weaving shop, and even a dungeon featuring quite a few items that used to be used for torture at that time. 

When it come closer to the time for the show, make sure you make your way back into the castle. If you have the King's VIP Royalty Pass, you will be seated before others. Though the whole spectacle up to this point has been phenomenal, this is the moment when you really start getting excited. You are seated in a section of 1 of 6 colors. This color is the color of the knight you cheer for throughout the night. When everyone from your section is seated, you all practice a mighty cheer for your knight, the Yellow Knight, in my case. After this, you all practice booing all those sitting on the opposite side of the stadium from you. When everyone finishes that, the food begins to arrive and the show begins. 

The food in itself was extremely delicious. You are served four courses including garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, and a pastry. Be aware, the chicken they give you seems like the majority of a chicken which takes up the whole plate. Make sure you come with an appetite! This food is of the highest quality and is served very hot. The tomato bisque soup was to die for and will leave you ready for the rest. The herb-basted potato was likewise extremely delicious and is worth a special mention. It would be very difficult to leave with any amount of hunger! There are also vegetarian meals available upon request. Also note that eating utensils didn't exist in the 12th century, so you will be eating everything with your hands!

Last but not least, the show is of the highest quality caliber. I have previously been to dinner shows where a scene plays out and then there is a break while you eat one course and these are in turn alternated until the grand finale. Medieval Times didn't pause at all. It was non-stop action, competition, and ultimately a romantic show for the two full hours from the beginning until the end. There are beautiful horses who show off their years of training majestically, there is a falconer, and there are medieval tournament style games including jousting and sword fighting. The knights train tirelessly and each night they compete with everything they have. 

Between the lights, the music, and the drama of fighting for the hand of the princess, this show is everything I hoped it would be. I don't give 10s out very lightly, but this show absolutely merited it. I would recommend this dinner and show to everyone I know as something they must attend at least once in their lifetime!!

Cost: General Admission starts at $62.95 and goes up from there to $84.95 for the King's Royalty package. Children 12 and under are $36.95. Though this is the price, from what I have seen, they are constantly running deals on their website and also running email promotions. So if you are wanting to find cheaper tickets, they are available if you search for them! Here is the website you would go to if you want to learn more.