cat-travel

River of Lights

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

I love looking at Christmas lights. There is just something so magical about all the glowing, brightly colored lights that shine in the brisk winter night air, taking it all in, breathing out puffs of white air, and sipping hot cocoa. We were so excited to check out the dazzling displays of thousands of twinkling lights for the River of Lights holiday show at Albuquerque’s Botanic Gardens.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

We’ve got a holiday lights show at our Botanical Gardens back home as well, and I grew up going to the massive Callaway Gardens light show at Christmas, but this was my first walk-through holiday lights experience.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

I had too much fun snapping photos and wandering through the cozy twinkling paths.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

It was also a great place to play with bokeh! For these I just switched my lens to manual focus and twirled the focus ring on the lens until I got something I liked. I usually didn’t have to take the picture much of out focus at all — too much blurriness created one massive light blob!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

So snuggle up, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy these festive holiday lights with me. :)

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Dancing penguins!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

These guys made some fun bokeh. If you’re wondering about my settings for these nighttime shots, you can click on any photo to see the camera, lens, and settings I used. You’ll notice most of these have a pretty slow shutter speed, usually around 1/25 to 1/30. I handheld the camera for all the photos here, but I have a pretty steady hand. This shutter speed might be too slow if you have a shaky hand! :)

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Who wants to take a ride on Mater down Route 66??

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Loved this dinosaur! He was trying to get us with his moving arms and jaws. :)

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Colorful trees and benches to stop and watch the lights.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Beautiful garden archway.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

You could also get married in the wedding bell chapel! Well, I don’t know about for real, but it sure was pretty.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

I loved these rainbow lights.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

And spiral trees!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

This tree was raining chilly, twinkling icicles.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The giant musical display was gorgeous!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cute little rooster! I love roosters and chickens, I’ve always wanted a french country style kitchen decorated with the cute little roosters and chickens.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

There was a pond in the middle of the gardens, and I loved the light displays on the water.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The colorful reflections were so beautiful.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Near the end, we came across these toy soldiers…

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

They were guarding the castle from the dragon!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

We had to take a peek inside the mysterious toy soldier castle.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

How fun and spooky were these glimmering castle corridors?

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Disco ball room!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The last room in the castle was the courtyard, a maze of dazzling rainbow lights as far as the eye could see. I think I could’ve stayed here all night!

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

On our last night in Albuquerque, we also made our way over to the the Plaza Don Luis in Old Town to check out the giant Christmas tree.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The square was so beautiful all decorated for Christmas.

Holiday River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico

You wanna know something cool about this tree? It’s actually not one giant tree… It’s 135 regular-sized trees hanging horizontally to form one massive Christmas tree! How awesome is that??

Stayed tuned for more fun things we found in Albuquerque. I cannot wait to show you the ranch where we stayed! Have a wonderful, beautiful, merry, merry Christmas!