What’s your SPF?

El Paso is the fourth sunniest city in the country, according to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Wall Street Journal reported that information recently in an article about good places for spring break, noting that El Paso averages 3,715 hours of sunshine per year.

The WSJ recommends visiting Franklin Mountains State Park, saying it’s where you can commune with cacti, hummingbirds, coyotes and mountain lions. We would add rattle snakes.

The other sunny cities in the top five are Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, and Apalachicola, Florida.

T or C secrets

The Journal article includes Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, as one of several “secret, sun-soaked getaways.” For another kind of soaking, it suggests visiting one of the village’s thermal baths. There are also hiking trails and some art galleries to enjoy.

Or book yourself into the Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa, one of four Ted Turner Reserves in New Mexico. Guests can visit the 156,000-acre Ladder Ranch or the 362,885-acre Armendaris Ranch. Both offer safari-style game drives and encounters with bison, burrowing owls, roadrunners and endangered tortoises.

Pie news

It looks like three locally owned Village Inns will be getting makeovers and rebranding. Expect to see the locations, owned by Mike Verlander and Verlander Enterprises, do business under the appetizing name of Butter Smith Kitchen and Pies.

And it appears that you’ll be able to imbibe with your pie, since the company has applied for liquor licenses.

The restaurants are located at 1331 N. Zaragoza, 4757 Hondo Pass and 7801 N. Mesa. Verlander Enterprises also owns the Corner Bakery Cafés in El Paso.

Take a seat

The work of an artist who was born in El Paso is on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, known as MCA Denver. The interactive installation by UTEP grad Jamie Carrejo is called “Waiting,” and that’s exactly what visitors do.

They enter a large, open gallery, outfitted with two chairs, some plants and colorful wallpaper. As the Denver Post reports, “Museum visitors are invited to sit, listen to some elevator music, and simply wait a while.”

Sort of like what we’ve been doing for the last year, waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to be over.


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