Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas

My dreams of a white Christmas have come true. Today we drove up the snow-capped mountains of New Mexico to experience what yuletide carols describe as "winter wonderland." We were all wrapped up like burritos, my family and I. The sun was up and fiercely glaring, but you couln't really feel the heat. The air was biting cold. We hopped into our rented van with Uncle Fred behind the wheel, and drove off to New Mexico. We made a stop at the White Sands Park. Yup, you guessed it right. White sands everywhere - fine and powdery - like the ones you can find in our pristine Philippine beaches. The only difference was this place in New Mexico wasn't a beach. It was the desert. After a quick picnic lunch, we were ready to see some snow. My folks and I have never seen real snow before. So we were all very excited.

We could see the mountains from several miles away, their tops covered with snow. The drive up was truly scenic. We passed by pine trees, tall and majestic, with dustings of snow on the branches. Unfortunately, I couldn't take a good picture because we were moving fast. The best I could do was to take all the view in and etch it on my memory. It was all so beautiful. I felt like we were running through a forest of Christmas trees!

We made a stop at the entrance of the Lincoln National Forest, just before entering the tunnel. There was a cliff overlooking the rocks and the trees down below. Our Uncle Fred held our arms tight as we tried to look down the cliff. We took a couple more photos and off we went higher up the snowy mountain. Our second stop was at a park where people sat on rubber tires and glided down the snowy slopes. The view from there was breathtaking. Pine trees all over, and so much snow! My sisters and I showered each other with snow, and the little flakes felt cool and tingly as they landed on my cheeks and on the bridge of my nose. It was such a wonderful experience.

Plus, we were given a treat! We actually spotted deer! Uncle Fred said he had been up the mountains lots of times before but never saw deer. It was everyone's first time. I guess we brought Uncle Fred some good luck. We stopped by the road and took photos. We weren't allowed to go near them so our cameras had to do that for us.

We would've stayed for hours if only we stood the freezing temperature. But it was more than regular Filipino first-timers could handle. I wanted to make angels, but it was just too cold and I could barely feel my toes. We ran back to the van after a few minutes, to the warm sanctuary of a heater. But we had a lot of fun. A White Christmas experience that I'll never forget, that's for sure.

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