Yes, we are home- pulled in about 7:00 pm tonight, after 26 hours traveling & only an hour later then scheduled. Because the weather threw a wrench in the travel plans of many people, there were several delays & a rather packed train coming back.
Sorry I wasn't able to check in the past few days. The "Storm of the Decade" hit Albuquerque Thursday evening; in 48 hours, more than 2 feet of snow fell, pretty much shutting down the city. While we had power, the cable went out (therefore, no internet) & the roads were pretty messy. I actually didn't think it was too bad- we were able to get around town without any problems- but I'm a veteran of 10 Kansas winters.
Anyway, the rest of our visit went really well. Wednesday, after Dad headed south to scout out some property (he is considering moving back to NM), Chris, Sam & I drove up to Bandelier National Monument. It is about 2 hours northwest of Albuquerque & is the site of extensive cliff dwellings & remnants of an ancient pueblo. We spent about 4 hours exploring Frijoles Canyon, hiking the trail & climbing up in some of the caves- the guys climbed up a set of ladders that went up more than 140 feet to the Ceremonial Cave, while I stayed at the bottom, taking pictures. We stopped off at Mimi’s Café for soup, salad, & bread to warm up after our long walk & made it an early night.
The rest of the week was spent in Albuquerque, since the weather turned on us. Thursday, we went to the Museum of Natural History, probably the best museum I’ve ever been; it was very well designed, with a great natural flow, & the exhibits are very engaging for all ages. Later, we met up with Dad for a pizza lunch, before he started back to Kansas to try to beat the storm, & then went to the movies. Appropriately, we chose Night at the Museum - very cute- & had the theater to ourselves.
Friday, we went to do some shopping. First we hit the local yarn store, Village Wools, where I spent only 1 1/2 hours & $28.00, & received a very nice compliment on how “my men were so well behaved”! We went to one of the malls to walk around & have lunch at Fuddruckers, then drove over to the University campus to walk around in the snow & take some pictures. The evening was spent at Crystal & Dustin’s home- we made lasagna, drank some wine, shared pictures, & talked until nearly 11:00 pm. We finally got to meet Dustin’s daughter, Marissa, & extracted a promise to come visit us in 2007.
Saturday morning, we checked out of the hotel & went back to Old Town to pick up some souvenirs & a felt hat that Chris had been coveting (I must say, it does look good on him). Crystal & Dustin met us at the car rental place after we returned it, then we all went for lunch before heading to the train station. They waited with us for a while, and then headed on home as the storm finally petered out. Our departure was delayed nearly 2 hours, so I had a last opportunity to get some pictures of the sunset.
It is so nice to be home; the girls are being very clingy, following on my heels, making sure I’m not leaving without them again. Sam went to a friend’s house for an impromptu Welcome Home/New Year’s Eve party & Chris has crawled into bed, since he didn’t sleep very well on the train. I’ve taken a long, hot shower, started doing the laundry, sorted the mail, & cooked myself something to eat- I’m truly tired of restaurant food. Once I finish my half-glass of wine & post the pictures, I will toddle off to bed as well- and wake to a brand new year!