The weather finally warmed up from winter conditions. However, spring also brings in wind and rain. If you have been in New Mexico for a long time, then you are already aware that spring can be bizarre. One day you can get a sunburn, with temperatures in the 80s, and the next your putting your winter coat back on.

The shift makes this travel feature more fun, but also harder to decide which destinations we should hit because the weather is so shifty. Wildlife West Park has a kite-flying festival every year and encourages folks to embrace the wind.

I know that we travelled there already, but once the weather warms up the park has a lot of activity, and it’s a fun place to visit again and again. The wind festival is my favorite event and I share the sentiment that its better to embrace the wind than be upset by it. We have a collection of kites shared by my family and we go fly them every year. I started thinking about how despite the fact that we attend every year, it would make a great destination for the travel feature—plus Dustin and I both love flying kites and fly ours frequently, in spring, at our neighborhood park.

Wildlife West Nature Park is right off of Interstate 40—you can see the property from the freeway, and any person driving past on the first weekend of May can see the kites flying. To participate, you don’t have to own a kite and it’s a free event. You can buy one there or find someone nice to hang out with and take turns.

Because we didn’t have to spend any of our $50 budget on gas and because we couldn’t locate our second kite, we decided to buy a kite. It cost $18 for a brand new one that was ready to fly—and next year it will sport The Independent’s name after I paint it on.

In addition to being able to get a kite for a great price Wildlife West usually has food trucks on the premises during the festival.

This year Big B’s Grub Shack was there. I was excited to try it as I had recently written about them in a different feature for the newspaper. We were able to get a filling lunch that was delicious for $17, which included drinks and dessert. If you see that food truck around town, stop and get some grub. It’s fresh, the chile is local and has a good bite, and the sopaipillas are some of the best I’ve had that weren’t cooked by my grandma.

As usual, I had Dustin calculate our budget and we came in this week easily under budget at $35 total. We spent a couple of hours flying kites after we gorged ourselves. It was simple old-fashioned fun, which is what I live for.

Close to Home is a twice-monthly feature. We travel about an hour from Edgewood with a budget of $50. Do you have suggestions for interesting places to visit? Contact