Visiting Today through Tuesday -- what should we do?

I am in town from Chicago with my daughter. Tomorrow (Monday) we are taking multiple tours throughout the university. We are staying in Nob Hill. Right now we are about to go for breakfast. To give my daughter a true flavor (good and bad) of Albq what should we do and see?

I was thinking today:

  • drive around -- Albq is spread out and Nob Hill/Old Town are just a small taste.
  • take her to one of the trailheads at Sandia
  • Old Town

Going to Monroes for breakfast. Is there a solid college town hang out area for students? Is that the area around Frontier? When I lived here in 1996 I was in graduate school and didn’t really hang out. :slight_smile:

@WayOutWestMom – sorry to tag you!

The weather right now is warm (upper 60s), but occasionally windy so a walk in the open space/foothills/The Bosque may be pretty dusty. (The local joke is we have 2 seasons here: spring windy season and fall windy season.)

Pollen counts are also very high right now–which, if either of you are allergic to juniper/elm/trees, that may be a reason to avoid open space areas.

Monday will be cooler (low 60s) & partly overcast (bummer!) and Tuesday is supposed to be rainy. So it depends on what the weather is doing.

The Sandias are still pretty brown right now if you approach them from the city (western) side. Spring temperatures are here, but it’s still too dry for things to green up. If you want green–try one of the many walking trails along the Bosque (green space with old growth cottonwood trees along the Rio Grande)

Or you might want to drive up to the top The Sandia Crest via Sandia Crest Rd/NM 536. The wind-y, switch-backy road will take you to the top of the 11,000 ft Sandia Crest Peak from the east side of the mountains. Spectacular views! Plus there is a hiking trail along the ridge line above the city. Be prepared for it to be MUCH colder at the top of the mountains. 30 degrees or more. Be sure to bring plenty of water. Altitude + dry air + exertion = dehydration before you’ll even notice.

One more option is to ride the Sandia Peak Tram to the top of the Sandias. $25RT/person. Not for those with a fear of heights. One of longest trams in the world. You can walk along the Crest Trail from the upper tram house, but will need to return to the tram to get off the mountain.

Old town might be good alternative if the weather is not cooperative or it’s really windy. I’d suggest visiting the ABQ Museum of Art & History in Old Town, but the museum isn’t open on Mondays.

WARNING: whatever you plan, do NOT try to get from the east side of the Rio Grande to the west side or vice versa during rush hour. Major gridlock on all 4 bridges. Bump-to-bumper crawl.

Nob Hill is the college hang out area. Try the Flying Star Cafe. Or you could go The Frontier. Both will do, but the coffee and food is better at Flying Star.

Monroe’s is not my favorite for breakfast. I prefer The Range Cafe. There are several locations. The one closest to Nob Hill is on Menaul at Princeton.( Chile isn’t blazing hot so it’s where I always take out of towners. The Huevos Rancheros are killer. Best in Town. D1 and SIL always demand to have their first meal in town at The Range just so they can get the Huevos.

Go to Tia B’s Waffleria for breakfast - you won’t regret it!!! In/near Nob Hill

Old Town is kind of touristy, IMO.

@enginmom4 I’ll be looking forward to your visit report if you end up writing one. :slight_smile:

I’m going to feel like such a dork if we loved it, and then other people are all “This? Really??” Even if your D decides to go elsewhere, I hope it was worthwhile.

Hi everyone! I will update soon! I took all of your collective advice. :slight_smile:

She likely is going to either Iowa State or University of Illinois, but it was a great trip and I was so impressed with the engineering school. More soon!

LOL! After recommending The Range’s huevos rancheros on Sunday I couldn’t stop thinking about them so I took myself out to The Range and had their huevos for lunch yesterday…

BTW, Illinois has a great engineering program. (DH and I are both UIUC alums–and our best man is a chaired professor in the COE. )

We ate breakfast at the Range on Tuesday on Menaul and it was very yummy. I had the Carne Adovada Huevos Rancheros. It was delicious. Thank you for the recommendation!!!

The main issue was the culture/atmosphere difference for my dd and the distance. She loved the food and the geography. She loved the active life style and all the dogs. :slight_smile: We went hiking 4x and she loved the views. We really liked the professors and the supper at the School of Engineering. We met with the heads of the department, we were so impressed.

She is a homebody and she envisions that she will want to come home on more than just the holidays and breaks. She envisions that she will want us to stop by and maybe bring our dogs to visit. I am not so sure she will need/want this once she settles in :slight_smile: but she is right it will be harder for us in NM and since the expiration of the federal law re Sunport, their flights are very expensive from the midwest/east and it is a 21 hour drive one way for us. I also think we may need to get her a car and the cost of the car will negate the savings. She learned while she loved the topography and she loves the culture (we are mexican), she is not a southwest gal (driving time, the spread out aspect of the city, etc.). Finally, UNM is very respected in engineering – super respected, but we spent a lot of time looking at the firms and labs interviewing on campus and it looks like she would likely have to commit to staying in the southwest and west, and she is not ready to do that right now. Once she made this decision and had this feeling, I think her impression re the dorms, campus active social life, and the gyms compared to what she liked at Iowa State and U of I solidified it. But to be fair to UNM, she has grown up in the midwest, grew up visiting UIUC, U of W/Madison, MSU, U of M, U of Iowa, and Iowa State for various things and those universities formed in her what she was looking for.

I feel really sad and conflicted. I loved the professors and the administrators that we met. I think the school would have been great for her. I do think if was a shorter driving distance it would have changed her impression.

@WayOutWestMom I am a UIUC double alum. :slight_smile: 1994 for undergrad and 2001 for law school. :slight_smile: Are you originally from Illinois?


Neither of us are from Illinois. Although I was born in the Midwest, I grew up in the East. DH was born in the East, but spent his summers working on his uncle’s farm in very, very rural NE Missouri. UIUC-- Me: MA Class 1978; DH: PhD Class of 1980

I completely understand where your D is coming from. I moved to ABQ in late August 1980. I had never been to New Mexico or anywhere in the Southwest before. I cried several times that first week because ABQ was so dry and brown and hot and ugly. It was so different than the wide green cornfields of central Illinois. New Mexico was a major culture shock for me,.

P.S. Where did you go hiking? Do you make it across the Rio Grande to visit the Petrogyphs? Very different terrain than either the Bosque or the Sandias.

@enginmom4 - wow, your post resonated with me so much! We are in PA and we are seeking much merit for D19. (Not engineering though - theater). But she is also a homebody, and said as much when we toured Florida State on spring break: that it was too far. And it’s only about 15 hours from home.

She doesn’t even want to go out to UNM at this point, and I’m so bummed, because I really think she’s missing a great opportunity. But it’s not my life, and I can’t live it for her.

@enginmom4 I’m so glad it was a good trip. :slight_smile: I hear you about distance. UNM is a 10 hour drive for us, so one long day. Not nearly as far as you’d be coming. Distance was a factor for S, too, but that broke in favor of UNM since his number two was Texas Tech in Lubbock, which is double the drive.

Re: car vs. cost - Is there a chance you’d be getting her a car anyway, no matter where she goes?

It sounds like she has good options no matter what she picks, and I’m happy for her wherever she ends up. :slight_smile:

@DiotimaDM the question re the car is a good one. We likely will not unless our natural course is to get a new car in a few years and we just give her the old one. But if we did that, it would more be to get her to drive home on her own. LOL. :slight_smile: Which would not be a thing if we were separated by 21 hours. Our old car wouldn’t even make it there to leave with her. Thank you for your support! When we were out there I thought of you and the difference in coming from Cali v. Chicago. Its a huge difference.

@Gatormama I am with you on a wonderful opportunity and not taking advantage of it. I fell in love with the program on Monday – I had already loved Albq and new I would like it again.

Oh my goodness! Today UNM sent more aid my dd’s way such that it is a complete full ride (including room and board), there is money for books and transportation. Not sure if this is making it harder for my dd, it is making it harder for me.

@enginmom4 Wow, congratulations! Before I say this next bit, I want to re-state that I support you and your D no matter where she decides to go.

That said, here goes…

As a junior in high school, I left the country to go to Brazil as an exchange student. After that, I did a year of college in my home state of Michigan, but then I transferred and finished my undergrad in Tennessee. I went to grad school in CA.

Being that far away from home was terrifying at first. I was even kind of miserable for the first 6-8 weeks. After that, I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world. I grew more than I would have, and in so many different ways than I would have, if I’d stayed closer to home. There was a broadening of horizons that I think I’d have missed out on if I’d stayed in Michigan, even at a great school.

After an initial adjustment period, it might be the same for your D.

The full ride means you might be able to afford to fly D home for Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks. It means a car is maybe not such a big deal. It means you might be able to fly to visit her for a long weekend.

One of the reasons I’m pleased about UNM for my S is that I think he will grow in much the same way, namely more and differently than if he’d stayed closer to home.

It’s worth some careful thought.

@enginmom4 Nice! I’m curious, did your daughter get one of Regents or NMF package?

I have a full ride at UNM, although since I live just outside ABQ and at least one member of my family has been commuting to UNM for the past 13 years (siblings and parent with little overlap), I don’t have the same issue with coming home.

@CharlotteLetter she had originally received the Amigo scholarship. She doesn’t have the unweighted GPA to get Regents and she is not a NMF. She has a high weighted GPA that is on a 4.0, but it is just a letter offering her an additional amount of money that is in excess of what our costs would be. It is a letter from the director of financial aid and it is post-dated after our meetings with the heads of engineering. It isn’t a scholarship listed on their website. She is a great engineering candidate, she has being doing a mentorship for two years with an engineering program, has taken really tough math, science, and engineering classes for four years at her high school and has a strong ACT and SAT. But anyway, I think it is inspired b/c engineering wants her, they could see she was torn and they knew she was considering Iowa State and University of Illinois for engineering. The offer is only for one year, but to us that is still significant (b/c she would have Amigo for the remaining 3 years).

@DiotimaDM - great points, I truly appreciate you expressing them. I agree, I am swayed. I lived in Albq in 1996 and wasn’t happy. I transferred to Indiana University for my M.A. and finished there. But I have always regretted leaving. My daughter came to Albq expecting to love it and didn’t. I came to Albq expecting to not love it – and I fell in love with the engineering school. I love the people running it, the students, and the professors. My dd loved the professors but wasn’t crazy about the older age of the student body (lots of older men, lol – and we did not see one teen girl in the engineering program). I have tried to explain to her that this could be even just one year, one year where she gives it a chance and she could transfer out. Hopefully she sees the wisdom in this.

I also feel emotionally pulled by the people I met and the fact that they want her. Glad my dd doesn’t have this baggage. :wink:

I’m an idiot. It wasn’t as much as I had thought. It was more money and it was significant, but we would still pay room and board. LOL – sorry.

Nice that they offered, but yeah, it makes a difference, and it especially makes a difference vs. when I misread and thought they gave her a four year full ride!