Thursday morning, I woke very early, something around 4:00 with a horrendous headache. I was really groggy, but I managed to get up and took some Tylenol, and tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. Then after a while, I realized I was terribly congested, too. I took some allergy medication, and after about 30 more minutes, I could breathe well, and the headache was subsiding, but now I couldn’t go to sleep.
I had stayed up till about midnight finishing up laundry and some other things, and by waking early like this, I was a zombie. What a way to start the trip. So I made coffee and began packing. There was very little to do. Everything was ready to go in the bag, and it only took a few minutes. I showered, and it helped a little, then coffee helped some more, but I was just not running on all cylinders. I didn’t want to get on the road in that condition, so I just laid around for a while, slurping more coffee, and trying very hard to get my ducks in order.
I finally got out the door at about 10:30. Yeah, 10:30! Sheesh. But I felt good enough by this time, and was ready to drive. Doesn’t sound like much of a great time, does it? Buuuuuut .......
Jim had said that we weren’t going to be doing much, so we planned to cook. Strange plans? Maybe, but Jim had run across some recipes he wanted to try, so it sounded like fun.
Thursday evening we took it easy, dinner and stayed in with a couple glasses of wine. We both read and just relaxed. It was just what I needed.
Friday morning, we just kinda putzed around in the morning until it was time to make a run to the airport to pick up Jim’s nephew at the airport. I like this young man. He is a real sweetheart, so it wasn’t a chore. We talked in the car, then visited a while at home, too. Afterward, Jim and I went to retrieve his pickup which was in the shop.
Next we were off to his grandson’s flag football game. I always enjoy watching kids play ball. They have such a fierce attitude about their games! Unfortunately his team lost. While we were there, however, I met a ton of extended family members. Jim’s son-in-law’s family was all in town to celebrate his father’s 70th birthday, so I met brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews galore. Lots of people to talk to, and it was fun. It got pretty hot, though, and you know I don’t do heat well. It wasn’t awful, but I was glad to get out of it after the game (which was fortunately not long. We went to the house and cooled off for a while.
We went out to dinner. Jim chose a Mexican restaurant and I enjoyed the food a lot. I suggested we go home and look at the recipes to see if we needed anything from the store, but Jim wanted to go to a movie. We saw “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Good movie!
As we were leaving the theater, we walked past a restaurant where a band was playing and the music sounded good. Jim suggested we have a drink and listen to the music for a while. I haven’t been out to listen to a live band in a long time, and it sounded fun. We had a lot of fun! The band was really good, playing music from the ‘60s through the ‘80s with a few ‘50s and a few more current, too. Interesting band, too. An Asian, an African-American, a Mexican, and a Caucasian. Great musicians! It was fun that on their breaks, they mixed with the crowd, going around to tables and chatting. Not only that, but during one break, while canned music was played, some people started doing a line dance. The band joined in and then our waitress did, too! It was fun watching them. I don’t do line dancing. Nuh-uh.
Jim noticed the ethnic mix in the place. Most couples were biracial of every combination you can imagine. I noticed that there were just a handful of “kids,” people under 40; the great majority of the patrons were 50s, 60s and 70s, and almost everyone danced, at least occasionally. One couple was so much fun to watch, because they had fun with every single dance. They were very good, used mostly simply steps, but added something (a skip, a turn, a dip) often, and both just laughed and enjoyed every moment of it! We also enjoyed that people just got up and danced, partners or not. It was a very relaxed, fun attitude. Jim and I even danced! Yes, we did! And we didn’t do half bad for people who had not danced together before. And we closed the place down! Yep, we stayed there for at least three hours!
While we were at dinner my friend from Hawaii called, and I told him I’d call him back. When we got home, it was around 1:30, but I called Dell anyway, since it was early enough in HI, as he stays up late also. We chatted a little while, as he was a bit frustrated about some health issues. I think it helped him to be able to talk about it.
Saturday we got a slow start. No kidding! We were both tired! We just lazed around the house, having coffee and reading. Then we set off for a Little League tackle football game for Jim’s other grandson. I enjoyed it again, and met a few more family members who had arrived. Unfortunately, this game was lost as well. The boys just weren’t having a good weekend! And it was hot again, of course! Gah, Upper 90s just suck!
Back home again to cool off. I was so hot I almost took a shower, but I didn’t want to go through the whole make up and hair thing, so I took a “sponge bath,” changed clothes, and I felt much better. Jim had bought me an A of U t-shirt, and I wore it for the evening game at the stadium. Can you tell that family likes sports? Uh, yeah!
Now, for this part of the weekend, Jim just had to get out the Corvette. I mean, you don’t go to a U of A game in anything less than the best! Or so I’m told! ;D We drove to a house near the stadium that a group of them fixed up specifically for a “tailgate party house.” OMG. You can’t believe the O of A/Wildcats stuff in the house! We had hotdogs provided by a special hotdog place, and they were really good. Beer was abundant, and since we walked just a couple blocks to the stadium, it was OK to enjoy it.
The game was exasperating. Arizona won, but both teams played badly, IMO. But “our” team pulled it out in the last moments of play, so everyone could leave pretty happy. Back to the party house for dessert and to wait for the crowds around the stadium to clear out. At home again, Jim and I were both exhausted and went directly to bed. Well, sorta. Jim was sleeping on the couch, so he watched the delayed broadcast of the game! I, the smart one, went to bed and went to sleep!
Sunday found us both very, very tired. Jim because he watch the entire game before he finally went to sleep, me because it was just all catching up with me. I showered, which helped a little, but when I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t believe how tired I looked! I let Jim sleep until the last minute and woke him to get ready. We were at a birthday brunch by 9:15, had a superb meal, and visited with yet MORE of the extended family! I’ll never remember all the new names I met this weekend! Fortunately, only a few of them live in AZ, and even fewer do I expect to encounter again. Nevertheless, it was fun to meet all these folks, visit with them, and commune in the best way .... over yummy food.
By about noon, the group was beginning to disperse. Jim and I told everyone goodbye and headed home. BTW, I noticed his daughter looked as tired as we did, and she said she was. It was a heck of a few days for us all!
As I was packing to come home, I realized I took no pictures. No, seriously, zero! Can you believe it? I had so much fun I didn’t even think of taking pictures! But I’ll placate you with these:
|Every time I go to Tucson, I pass this sign and it surprises me every single one. When you think of "Continental Divide," are you like me and think of 10,000 or 14,000 fee in elevation? There is actually one other place that is lower. A place names Columbus, New Mexico is a few miles south of this and the CD elevation there is 3900.|
|Straight ahead, east. See those little peaks up there? Waaaaay off!|
|To the south.|
|This angle is to the north. You can barely see mountains off in the distance.|
|IT HAD SNOWED! Yes, in September, in the desert!|
|Can you believe it???? Significant amounts!!! the ground is covered!|
|OK, OK. I lied. That is white sand at the road passing White Sands National Monument and White Sands Missile Range.|
Anyway, this stop on the return trip I expected to be brief. Usually all they ask is "US citizen?" and after a brief glance inside the cab, wave me on. This guy continued with: Where was I traveling to? Where have I been? How long was I gone? Business or pleasure? What was under my hanging clothes in the back (my small suitcase)? At this point I asked if he would like me to open the door and the suitcase for him, and he said no and waved me on.Wow! I was beginning to doubt myself!
As I left Alamogordo a half hour later, I saw the beautiful colors in the west sky. And you know, I had to stop for a few shots of this ....
And this was just a random and solitary mount I passed on the way. It is obviously a volcano core, and it stands alone in the middle of many square miles of flatland, and I thought it was interesting.
I'm home. It's good to be home. I had a wonderful time, and I'm looking forward to another visit, but it's always good to be home again, snuggling with the pups!