Blue skies and green chile
We've been back for over two weeks, but we didn't get to post about Albuquerque yet. It was a lot of fun to have Simone meet her extended family (five cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and a great-grandma), and to see how much my five nephews and niece have grown. We also ate a year's worth of green chile (we made sure every meal had some variation of it, including the pizza). We went to a restaurant I had never been to in my 22 years of living in Albuquerque, an old institution called the Barelas Coffee House that has had a resurgence in popularity lately. I can't believe I did not go there when I lived there as I thought it was very good. We luckily had very nice people wait on us at each restaurant, as we usually had 14 to 16 people (or more) eat each time we went out together. Of course, six of those people were children who most likely were not eating at the restaurant, so that is a waitstaff nightmare. It all went much smoother than I thought it would.
We also got to see our friends Nick and Amy, and my cousin Mark and his girlfriend Jessica. It was relaxing to spend some time with people who did not have children and have some wine and conversation.
Finally, Kyla got to go up on the world's longest tram for the first time (and so did Simone). It was a very clear and crisp day and there was still snow on the top of the mountain. The view showed me just how much Albuquerque and Rio Rancho have grown over the past several years. The "High Finance" restaurant at the top was just as much of a tourist trap as I remembered, though.
Simone did very well on the flight there (which stopped in Chicago) and back (which stopped in Tampa Bay), which was a nice surprise as we were nervous to do our first flight with her. In one month, she will be off to Edmonton and will be a seasoned international traveler.
We did bring back a couple of pounds of green chile and some Sadie's salsa to Durham, which will probably disappear fast, so we will have to return again soon ...