The trip to Albuquerque was fun, but too short. We got done most of the necessities of our trip. Some things went into the storage unit, and I took out a few small items that I wanted, we managed a fairly quick exchange of items bought by my daughter when she visited here a few months ago, found small storage boxes for sorting and organizing family photos that AI intend to scan and store on discs, and did a little window shopping in Old Town, reminding each other, "You don't need that."
If you haven't been to Albuquerque, the words "Old Town Plaza" may not mean much. It is what it implies, the original beginnings of the city. It was built in the early to mid 1700's, and a central focal point is the quaint, mission-style, San Felipe de Neri Church. As with most older cities in the Southwest, the church was the central point of the square, rather than city hall, the traditional point of interest on town squares of towns settled first by northern Europeans on the eastern and New England seaboards and spreading into the Midwest. The beautiful little church in on one side of the square, and store fronts, mostly still in the old Southwest style, complete the frame around the park which has a gazebo in the center. It is beautiful, interesting and fun place to visit, stroll, look, read, smell, touch and be drawn into the surrounding atmosphere. Yes, shop, too, but be mindful that as with most tourist traps, it can be expensive. Native Americans from surrounding reservations and representing a variety of tribes, sit in front of some of the restaurants with blankets spread out and their wares, usually jewelry and pottery, in view for your perusal. If you are interested, here is a link where you can learn more: Old Town. Let me opine a bit here. There are many small restaurants in the Plaza area, and I've eaten only at the two major restaurants. As of recent visits, I'm less impressed with them than I was in earlier years, so if you plan to visit Albuquerque, let me know. I'll recommend a very nice place not terribly far from the Plaza where the food is absolutely excellent.
That being said, in the interest of time, we did have lunch at LaHacienda on the Plaza. It was good, just not . . . well, you know. However, washed down with a nice cold Corona (No, Caroline, they did not have Modello Especiale nor Tecaté!!), it was fine. We had a wonderful time with our friends. Robyn was Allan's friend from high school, and Richard was my classmate, as well. So two sets of old high school friends, although years apart in age, and we had a really good time. We laughed and talked for over 2 hours, and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. And I got my first Christmas present! Richard is the kind of person who shops, obviously, long before Christmas, and his place is very small, so he brought it to me! What torture!!
We skipped some errands that weren't pressing and started home. It had rained on us most of the way up in the morning. On the return trip, it wasn't raining, but still mostly cloudy. The clouds were beginning to break up, and I stopped and got some . . . yeah, some pictures!
This is taken along I-25, just Nouth of Socorro. The trees are mostly cottonwoods which flourish along the banks of waterways in the Southwest. This waterway is the Famous Rio Grande. The mountains are, I believe, the Manzano Mountains, one of the extensions of the Rockie Mountain Range. I'm betting some of you didn't know that the Rockies were in New Mexico! When you say Rockies," everyone automatically thinks of Colorado. Nope, we have them here, too.
Basically the same as above, but about 5 miles down the road.
You can see that the clouds were parting over the mountains and allowing the blue sky to show through. Boy, it was pretty!
This one just shows the variance of the clouds. We noticed the contrast between the grey and white, but this took on a different meaning a little farther along our route.
As we turned Southeast off I-25, the sun was getting lower, and the clouds were doing really strange things. This cloud just laid there on the ground for as long as we could see it, approximately 30 minutes. The air was so still that it didn't seem to move. Even the small wisps that usually float around, just seemed to be stuck in place.
In this picture, the white close to the ground is the white cloud is the one in the above picture. But look at the peach and baby blue that was catching the refracting from the setting sun behind us. Those colors were unbelievable!
Another beautiful shot of the colors. I'm telling you that we were in awe. It was hard for me to keep my eyes on the road. I stopped so many times to shot pictures because every mile or so there was a difference!
Back behind us, the sunset was making fiery, bold, dramatic colors. So, you know it . . . I had to stop to turn around and see it. Ooooouuuuu! Ahhhhhhhh!
I wanted to show you the dark bank below those fiery clouds. Isn't that something?
As we were almost past the low-lying cloud, I took one more parting shot. Allan mentioned that this looks like a dragon! Yeah!!
This shot is in between the pastels before us and the fire behind us.
In the field below all this show were horses, just grazing and ignoring everything. Silly animals!! Not watching the sky!
As the last bit of light was close to disappearing, I caught a last tinge of color.
Again, one of the low lying clouds was in front of the mountains.
If you enlarge this one, that little dark cloud up above is almost like a stack of pancakes!
We mad a stop on the way home in San Antonio. No, no! Not Texas! There is one here, too. It is our turnoff point from I-25. While there, I bought a T-shirt. I love it!!
And that's the TRUTH!!!