Friday, August 12, 2016

Our Days in Albuquerque

Trudy called to say she lost an earring and would we look around.  We checked inside fruitlessly but promised to check outside in the morning.  After a good night's rest Ted said he was going out to look.  I told him to say our prayer outside and I would pray it inside.  He seemed to walk back in immediately with it in hand.  He found it in the gravel in front of the RV.  Eileen dropped the green train to her Mexican Train set in the gravel.  We looked high and low for two days.  Finally I said my prayer and the thought popped into my head.  There are a few dark rocks in the red ones.  Maybe it is there and we are overlooking it.  Sure enough I scanned that area and there was the dark green train.  St. Anthony strikes again!  God is good.

We took our time packing up because we didn't want to arrive too early in Albuquerque.  It is hard to "wait around" for someone to leave when you are close to 60 feet long.  We arrived in extreme heat compared to where we had been and ran into a problem immediately.  Our leveling/landing gear did not want to work.  Ted said he thought it was a battery issue and a call to the factory agreed.  Somewhere in the  trailer something is draining the battery.  We are on our third set in 2.5 years.  We believe it is the inverter for the refrigerator or the leveling gear.  Ted put the battery charger on the first battery and then the second.  It took awhile but eventually he was able to level the trailer and I was no longer walking uphill or down.  We may be heading to Indiana next June to finally get this fixed.  The big question is why the truck battery didn't keep the trailer batteries charged.  Good news though is that the slides worked OK!

I fixed dinner and we ate inside.  Later we went next door for our game of Mexican Train.  While we were playing a couple headed toward us asking "What are the Rogers doing in Albuquerque?"  It was Jerry and Cynthia who are Texas Boomers and live across the highway from us.  They are heading home from a 4 month trip to Alaska.  Today I learned a niece and nephew are visiting Albuquerque now too.  I don't know where they are exactly so I am not sure if we will see them or not.

This park provides a continental breakfast each morning so today we went over to eat.  It was very nice.  I had made reservations for the Albuquerque Trolley at 11:00 am so after a bit we headed to the hotel where it would depart.

We had a delightful, enthusiastic and energetic tour guide.  I liked that the driver was not given those duties.  Driving is serious and needs their undivided attention on busy city streets.

First we visited Old Town.  Then on to the museum district, an upscale neighborhood used in many movies, Nob Hill, the university and sports venues, Route 66, Edo (east downtown), downtown, the zoo, aquarium, Tingley beach and botanic gardens.

I didn't take many photos because we were being shown areas so we could return to see whatever interested us, but the Space Ship House of architect Bart Prince was unusual and I knew we would not see it again.

Next door he constructed this house for his art collection and his two daschunds.  Since his house is round he had no walls to hang the art on.  Couple of lucky dogs living amongst that art.

I wish I had a pad and pencil because there was so much of interest and I couldn't retain it all.  We all could not even agree on the restaurant that was on Man vs. Food but finally found it, Frontier.  We had lunch and it was okay but nothing spectacular; however, it is an Albuquerque icon.

It was really hot today and we came home about 4:00.  Eileen and Tom went to a local RV dealer while we just cooled off.  Early in the evening we invited Jerry and Cynthia to join us for Mexican Train.  Ted won.  I had one hand with no starter and had no plays at all before Ted went out.  I made him count all my tiles which totaled over 200.  I had almost every 11 in the set!  I just can't get a decent hand.

Kara messaged me the next morning to see if I was awake.  I told her I was and she called.  Her hernia surgery is scheduled for 10/19 and I will be flying to Michigan for two weeks to help out with the kids.  Since last December we have spent 3 months in Mission, two trips to FL, one to MI, one to Chicago, 2.5 weeks in Great Britain, two months on the road now and now two more weeks in MI plus Christmas back in MI followed by Mission again starting in January!  Our house is becoming a costly storage unit that we check on occasionally.

In the morning we went to enjoy the continental breakfast again.  While there I received a text from Steve and Jamie who said they would join us on Sunday.  We were riding the tram up the Sandia Mountain and would eat at the High Finance restaurant over 10,000 feet high.

We needed toothpaste and distilled water for Ted's CPAP so we all went to Walmart.  When we got back we went to the RV dealer across the street.  They were having an open house with lunch so we availed ourselves of the second free meal of the day.  Tom wanted to see the new Discover and we just looked.  Motor homes are beautiful but I never see one that fits what I would want.  The LR is the most problematic.  I would want at least one recliner and a regular size couch placed for easy TV watching.  I do not want the dining table in the LR, I do not want the fireplace in the dining area behind the table.  The bathrooms and bedroom are usually okay but none have the large walk in closet I have now.  The salesman was focusing on Tom so we got a free pass.

We came home and both of us took a nap before leaving for church.  We attended St. Philip Neri Church that is 310 years old and is located in the square of Old Town  I loved the priest and spoke briefly to him afterwards.  He has just recently been assigned there.

Cynthia and Jerry were joining us for dinner and a concert and were waiting outside for us.  We chose to go to the Cafe Behind the Church, recommended by many.  It was a beautiful restaurant.  We had a large round table for six and enjoyed the food, drinks and ambience immensely. 

 At 7:00 there was a concert in the square.    We read the sign as Rockabilly Elvis singer.  However, it was Elvis karaoke the night before and just Rockabilly Saturday night!   It was a mostly Spanish singing Columbian man and his wife.  They weren't bad but we didn't recognize any of the music or understand any lyrics regardless of language.  We stayed until a bit after 8 and then came home.

Sunday we went to the Pueblo Cultural Center to see Indian dances and visit the museum.  We were really disappointed.  Both male dances were very overweight and being shirtless was not a pleasant sight.  Also, the dance was primarily stomping in time with a drum.  

We were expecting beautiful costumes and explanation of the dance but that didn't happen.  We did learn a lot of disturbing things the government did to them including taking their children away to boarding school which caused them to lose their language, culture and customs.  Teddy Roosevelt claimed Taos Lake as a part of a national park thus removing an important water source from them.  It was not until 2013 that it was returned to them.  If anyone deserves reparations it is Native Americans.

We then met nephew Steve and his wife Jamie at the Sandia Tram.  We took it up the mountain and ate at the restaurant at the top.  I have never paid so much for such lousy food in my life.  Their $9 bowl of French onion soup appeared to be Campbell's beef broth with a small slice of bread topped with a slice of mozzarella on top.  Not broiled or anything.  Just the bread floating with unmelted cheese.  Our chicken Parmesan was pieces of frozen chicken patties with linguine topped with barely warm sauce not even as good as Prego, no salad, no breadbasket, no nothing!  These entrées were $24 each.  Then it took her four tries to get the three checks correct.  We finally paid for Tom's more expensive stew rather than Ted's overpriced onion soup just to get out of there.

But we enjoyed visiting with Steve and Jamie and then went to Baskin Robbins since Steve commented he has never eaten at a restaurant that didn't ask if you wanted dessert.  Here are a few photos of our tram ride up the mountain.

Starting up the canyon.

Looking down into the valley.

Just as the sun started to set before we headed back down.

The sign saying how high we were.

You win a few, you lose a few.  No matter if you win or lose, the most important thing in life is to enjoy what you have. 

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