The Wandering Wishnies travel blog

Sunset over Silver City with dark foreboding clouds

Our snowy site at Manzano's in Silver City

My Christmas decorations for our first Christmas in the coach


In our ever changing travel style, we've ended up in Silver City, NM for Christmas. That wasn't exactly the plan, but you know with us, plans change frequently. When we first came to New Mexico and found out about all the neat things here, I had planned an itinerary for the month of December that took us around to several locations in this state. But after spending the cold week in Gallup, we started to look at NM a little differently.

I started lopping off destinations as we searched for better weather. After Gallup, then Alamogordo, we eliminated Roswell and headed for the El Paso area as you saw in our last entry. After that, we had planned stops in Elephant Butte, NM for Christmas. And I had found a cool place down the road from there, Faywood Hot Springs, in Dwyer, with hot springs fed pools, some that were clothing optional, that might be neat for New Year's Eve.

But Fred was constantly checking the weather forecasts and whining about the cold. So I agreed to eliminate Elephant Butte, but stuck to Dwyer for the hot springs and no clothes :) Then the day before we were to move, I called the Dwyer place to check availability and costs, and found out they wanted $38 a night because of the hot springs. We were in no mood to spend that kind of money for eight days (which would take us through Christmas). Fred had been lobbying to get the heck out of NM and get into southern Arizona in search of warm weather. I really wanted him to be happy, so I finally gave in.

That night, with a move the next day hanging over our heads, I sat down with the computer and RV directories and tried to plan an itinerary that would get us quickly into AZ. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that such a plan would involve a very long driving day of more than 5 hours, not including a lunch stop, or two driving days with a day or two layover somewhere. That would get us to the Tucson area. I wasn't quite ready for Arizona planning. I've been to Arizona a couple of times in my life, and I think of it as more desert, sand, dirt...in a word--brown.

Fred decided to just abdicate the trip planning to me. That's the way it goes most of the time, and I usually don't mind, being the control freak that I am, I like to be in charge. (That should come as no surprise to those who know me :) But now I started to feel pressured. It's the week before Christmas and I had imagined us in New Mexico, "The Land of Enchantment" (their motto). Now I was under the gun to plan a trip for tomorrow that would involve a lot of driving and moving, ending up in the desert...for Christmas. And all of it for a 10ยบ difference in temperatures. After struggling with it for about an hour, while Fred lay in bed watching TV, I had a meltdown.

At first I angrily confronted Fred with my feelings, but quickly dissolved sobbing into his arms. My gosh, where did that come from? I had no idea all that emotion had been building up inside me, but apparently it had. I think a lot of it has to do with being away from "home" for Christmas. The last time I had been away from Milwaukee for Christmas was 2000, the year my mother died. She died in July, and I decided I wanted to be somewhere else at Christmas so I wouldn't have to think about Christmas traditions without her. So Fred and I went to Washington DC. We had a nice time, even spending Christmas Eve in St. Matthew's Cathedral with the choir singing, and Christmas Eve Mass. It was special.

Subsequently, I've come to think that perhaps that year, I should have been home, with the rest of my family. But you can't live with regrets, and if I've learned anything this year on the road, it is to live in the moment. Right now, though, the moment was telling me emotionally I needed something that would feel familiar for the holidays, and somehow, Arizona was not it. Fred, being the wonderful husband that he is, acquiesced to whatever I wanted and wherever I wanted to go.

I decided we should drive to Silver City, NM to a park that Frommer's designated number 2 on the list of most beautiful RV parks in New Mexico (right behind the expensive Faywood Springs in Dwyer). Even though Frommer's had thrown us with their "most romantic" designation for Bosque Bird Watchers RV Park, I am not ready to give up on their suggestions. So we are here, at Manzano's RV Park in Silver City, NM. It's a very small park with only 20 sites. Most here are seasonals, but it's very well kept. The owners are very nice and the park is really quite beautiful. Nice landscaping with low stone walls, trees, pretty benches, and lots of pots with plants tucked here and there. We have a long pull through, but it has to be the prettiest and most private pull through we've ever had. And the price was really right--$20 per night, or $100 for a week. Yippee!

As soon as we got settled in, Fred jumped on the computer and checked the 10 day weather forecast. Oh great, Fred moaned, snow was predicted for the next day (Monday). I gleefully launched into a chorus of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". Snow in Gallup during the balloon rally was a downer; snow in Silver City for Christmas would be just what I needed. Although the weathermen are frequently wrong, this time they did not let me down. Yesterday morning, we woke to big wet flakes coming down, and it continued for a couple of hours. In fact, at one point we lost our satellite connection because there was so much snow on the dish. I had actually really expected the snow after I had snapped this foreboding sunset the evening before.

I decided it was a good day to stay in my jammies and write a very overdue blog on the petroglyphs and rock paintings. Although I did quickly throw on some jeans and shoes and run outside to get some pictures of the snow and our pretty site.

It was very quiet outside. No one was stirring. Pretty and peaceful. I came back inside and got right back into my jammies for the rest of the day.

I took some indoor pictures of my Christmas decorations, which consist of an elegant tall tree made of red feathers and tiny red balls that my stepdaughter, Mary, gave me before we left Milwaukee in November, and a wreath made of red chili peppers that Fred bought me in Alamogordo.

I finally got around to putting some of my family pictures in some frames that I had and placed them around the coach.

I raised up the window shades so I could watch the snow fall. I watched the birds flit around in the trees, tiny ones, that I hope will frequent our bird feeder soon. By afternoon, the sun came out and by evening, almost all the snow had melted. But guess what, this morning we woke to a new coating of snow from overnight. So it's still pretty and although I don't think it will last until December 25th, I've had my White Christmas.

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