Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Stop on the "U.S. City Tour" - Albuquerque

One of my best friends is also my coworker, Katherine. She loves to travel like I do. Unfortunately since we work together, and are each other's back-up, we can't take time off together. We both had a bunch of cities that we've been wanting to see but hadn't made an effort to see, so we decided that this year we'd take as many weekend trips we could afford, we call it the "U.S. City Tour."

Our first stop was Albuquerque, NM.

We decided to take a hot air balloon ride after my cousin, Liz, promised it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and was worth the price. She was so right! We had to be at the lift-off site by 7am, so it was an early morning for us. The sun was bright, but it was freezing! It was mid 30's and I was afraid the gloves and scarf weren't going to be enough once we got up in the sky. Luckily there was no breeze up there, but my toes did get really cold. The hardest part about experience was climbing, literally, in and out of the basket. We went up pretty high, I think 1800 feet was the highest point, but not once did I feel scared or nervous. Probably because the lift off was so seemless, and I trusted the pilot who had been piloting balloons for 13 years. Even our landing was without drama.

When the "flight" was over, we headed off for breakfast and Old Town for shopping. We did enough shopping to help boost the economy! We wanted to go to dinner that night but we were starting to fade by 6pm so we picked up a bottle of wine, ordered pizza to our hotel room, watched TV and crashed out. On Sunday we headed to the Turquoise Trail towards Madrid (where Wild Hogs was filmed) and Santa Fe.

I read the map wrong and took us 40 miles in the wrong direction, so when we got to Madrid and did some walking, shopping and eating, we ran out of time and couldn't continue onto Santa Fe like we planned.

Or so we thought. When we arrived at the airport, we were told our flight was delayed 3 hours and wouldn't be arriving until 10pm. We totally could have finished our drive to Santa Fe!! After a 4 hour wait at the airport, we finally boarded the plane and arrived in Dallas at 12:45. By the time more taxi's arrived at the airport, I got to my place at 1:30 am., completely exhausted but grateful that we made it home safely.

At this point we don't know when our next trip will be, everything depends on whether the union employees at work go on strike or not.


The Quijano's said...

How exciting! Looks like a great experined. Elliott is looking at this and keeps saying "Ah Ball"

Christy said...

That looks so fun! I'm so jealous...I want to tour the US! :) Let me know when you stop in Vegas..
Great pictures!!

Stephen Baird said...

very cool layout and i really like your photos.