May 2023 in review

My monthly series

Camping near the Rio Grande river.


This is the seventh post in my Month in review series.

My girlfriend and I were really into maximizing Summers in Montreal, and this continues to be the case in Santa Fe. This post features hikes, camping, parties, tourism and cooking. Get ready for more of that next month too!

The theme for this month is: abundance.

Grafana Labs update

I got promoted to Senior Solutions Architect!

In January 2022, I wrote a blog post about becoming a Solutions Architect. I still love this job very much. I’m probably going to write a follow-up blog post about my experiences and what I learned since that time, now that I feel more comfortable and validated in this role.

I also went on a business trip of a few days in New York City to visit a customer’s offices with other Grafana Labs people. We had a multi-teams, 30-people, all-day meeting doing architecture reviews and discussing issues in a very collaborative way. I’m very proud of being part of this team.

Month activities

May was eventful and we were away from home a lot, so I have many pictures 🙂 I also feel like I have to provide a little paragraph for the main activities we did this month.

Solo backpacking. I walked about 1.5 hours on trails, then another 1.5 hours off trail in the Santa Fe National Forest wilderness. I had a hard time finding a suitable camping site because the terrain was mountainous and the flattest spot I found was still slightly sloped. I need to get better at identifying potential camping zones from topographic maps. My shelter was comfortable and kept me warm through a cold night 🌕🏕️. It felt great to be isolated and self-sufficient. I experienced just the right balance of challenge and reward.

Camping in Orilla Verde Recreational Area. We went camping with friends along the Rio Grande river. It’s the first time I saw the Rio Grande. It’s a fast river with rapids and it stirs up lots of sand an mud, so it’s not very translucent. The camping area is in a scenic valley surrounded by high mountains. Friends had inflatable kayaks and we rafted down a portion of the river. The water was cold but it was so fun and exciting!

Farm party in Albuquerque. Friends of a friend threw an open-house potlock party at their farm in Albuquerque. At first it was a weird environment for us to walk into because we are city people, and this seemed very random, wild and strange. There were goats and chickens 🐐🐔, that was amusing! Then our friends arrived, and we met new people. We played games, ate food and drank wine. We’re getting used to this kind of fun.

ReUnite: Welcome to the Mycoverse 🍄. This was a beautiful dance and circus performance by local performers, including our friends. The focus of the narrative was on the ongoing detrimental influence of Western colonialism on the world, with a special emphasis on Indigenous people and communities, and nuclear colonialism in New Mexico.

Kimchi making party 🥬. Kimchi is traditional Korean salted and fermented cabbage with other vegetables and spices. We love adding kimchi to our meals, but we usually buy it in stores. We hosted a kimchi making party where friends and neighbours came together to learn how to prepare kimchi, and each went back home with their batch. Kimchi can be consumed right away, but its taste will evolve over weeks and months.

Trip to New York :cityscape_at_dusk:. This was a business trip, but I want to share a specific personal experience. I ate ramen at Ichiran 🍜, on a recommendation by my girlfriend. This restaurant only serves one type of ramen. Noodles are made to order. They put extreme attention to detail in their craft, the flavors were amazing and complex! Seating is individual booths to provide a solo experience focused on enjoyment of the food. I think it was a really memorable and fine dining experience. My girlfriend has the best recommendations ❤️✨!

Yves and Chantale’s visit to Santa Fe. Along their three month camping trip across North America, my cousin and his partner stopped in Santa Fe for three days. We had dinners, drinks, walks around the town, sunsets and discussions. Thanks for visiting :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: See you next time :waving_hand:!

Trip to Taos. Taos is a small touristic town 1.5 hours North East of Santa Fe. My girlfriend and I drove there for a leisurely visit and stayed one night in a hotel :automobile:. It’s a really nice place to spend time at. There are cafés, restaurants, shops, a historic plaza area. There is also the historic Taos Pueblo which we visited. It’s an archeological site, but Taos people still live there and visitors can access a part of the pueblo, take a guided tour, buy food and crafts made by locals.

So, with all of that being said, here are 96 pictures summarizing how I spent this month :grinning_face_with_sweat:

Movie of the month

While walking in Taos in a courtyard between shops, We saw this strange flying creature. It is the size of a hummingbird, and moves like a hummingbird. However, some features are not bird-like. It had antennae, and I didn’t see feathers on the body. Feathers don’t usually make a striped body like that. The “beak” was also too long and narrow to be a beak. It was more like the proboscis of a butterfly.

So I googled “insect that looks like a hummingbird” and found out about the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth! Moths are usually nocturnal but this one is diurnal and is often mistaken as a hummingbird. Nature is awesome.

Month favorites

  • One night solo backpacking in Santa Fe National Forest.
  • Dinner date at Geronimo.
  • Camping in Orilla Verde Recreation Area and kayaking on Rio Grande with a group of friends.
  • Farm party in Albuquerque where we met new friends.
  • ReUnite: Welcome to the Mycoverse dance performance at WiseFools, featuring our dancing friends from Albuquerque.
  • We hosted a kimchi making party at home.
  • Work trip to NYC.
    • Ate ramen at Ichiran.
    • I loved my hotel room workstation.
    • Breakfast at Little Collins.
    • Cocktail at Death & Co.
    • 3-team 30-people all-day architecture review meeting with another vendor at a common customer’s offices.
  • Flowers, insects and animals in Santa Fe.
    • Moths keep popping up in the house. I have to catch 2-3 of them every night and release them outside.
    • Outside, there are lots of birds, insects, lizards.
    • We’re trying to get hummingbirds to feed in our backyard.
  • 3-day visit of my trailer-camping cousin and partner from Boucherville, Quebec.
    • Sunset viewing on the Cross of the Martyrs hill.
    • Walk on West Alameda Street along the Santa Fe River.
    • Chatting, drinking wine and eating cheese at their camping trailer.
  • Attended Radiant Tarot belly dance performance featuring dancers from the dance studio Riya attends.
  • Day hike with friends along Tesuque Creek from Big Tesuque campground to Tesuque Peak.
  • Road trip to Taos with Riya.
    • Morning coffee at The Coffee Apothecary.
    • Shopping in little stores, buying shirts and crafts.
    • Visit at the historic Taos Pueblo.
    • Walk at sunset.
    • Eating at Antonio’s with a new friend who lives in Taos and Santa Fe.
    • The scenery on the road trip.
  • The pool is open at our condo community.

Goals for June

  • Some visits to Albuquerque are planned.
  • Four day camping trip with friends at Elephant Bute Lake.
  • Take it easy, work on personal and relationship growth.
  • Pool parties.
Alexandre de Verteuil
Alexandre de Verteuil
Senior Solutions Architect

I teach people how to see the matrix metrics.
Monkeys and sunsets make me happy.