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High altitude, shiny cars.

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Jul. 15th, 2008 | 04:14 pm
mood: annoyedannoyed

And loooots of children.

St. Bernadette is our acting cultural ambassador when Bill Richardson is away.

Ugh, I just lost the entry about my trip I'd been writing for the last two hours. If you ever need to know how to make the AutoSave Draft feature work against you rather than for you, let me know. In the meantime, I'll be rewriting the whole damn thing. >:( I'll fill that in here when I have a chance, but here are some photos in the meantime:

Update at 5:03 p.m.: I rewrote the whole blasted thing in an hour. Gah.

I thought I was being clever by not leaving for this trip until 6:00 p.m., but it was honestly more exhausting than it was worth. After almost a full day of work on Friday, I headed to the airport, parked OJ while talking to Momma about logistics, and then waited at the packed gate with A&W food for our NW A320 to be deboarded and the flood of unaccompanied minors to be signed over to their camp counselors and parents. We boarded and took off for MSP. I was scheduled for a 90-minute layover there, but a giant storm landed soon after we did and cleared the ramp, so I ended up having dinner and watching the crazy lightning storm and sideways rain. Our GA very graciously answered lots of questions about layoffs from bored and curious passengers, then we finally got on board and left, arriving in ABQ about an hour late at 11:50 p.m. I headed for the shuttle, took it to the remote consolidated hoo-ha rental car center (I paid $ to build this ridic superfluous thing every time I flew through here why?), picked up a Hyundai Elantra, and set out for the Doubletree.

Vigas in the ABQ rental car center ceiling

Doubletree warm chocolate chip cookie of the recent past

After taking on the Friday night one-way streets that were full of cops pulling people over, my room was very comfy and I slept well. I woke up sort of late on Saturday morning and immediately abandoned my plans to visit the workout room, then got dressed and packed up and headed for the other side of town.

View from my 14th floor room. The only notable thing is the old Albuquerque High School, way off to the right beyond the convention center.

Other direction

I-25-I-40 interchange. That stupid white bar code on the dashboard messed up my driving photos. >:(

My first stop was Target to get a soda and a wedding card, and I managed to arrive at the church 10 minutes early, which was miraculous and also a good thing because the wedding unexpectedly started right on time. It was sort of fun to be in a Catholic Church for the first time in over a year, but the padre was sort of scary with all of his proclamations about people who are "out to destroy marriage." If I'd had a pastor like him growing up I probably would have been turned off by the church even earlier. He was also not very enthusiastic about having cameras in the church, so I didn't get any photos.

The church

Stuccoed flying buttresses? In my local parish?

Following the ceremony there were over two hours until the start of the reception, so I grabbed some Sonic food and drove around Albuquerque for a while. I was surprised at my ability to navigate despite having moved away four years ago and the continuing crazy growth around there. Anyway, if you've been reading this journal for more than a few minutes, you know that I'm a huge Albuquerque booster, but I definitely agree with the criticisms that it looks like nothing more than a huge grid of streets that residents spend all of their time traversing, with little attention paid to the fabulous natural surroundings.

Driving 'round the Foothills. $1M+ trophy home peeking out over the trees.

The strip malls of Albuquerque.


I eventually made my way to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center for the reception and was able to talk to Antonio and Mikela briefly while the wedding party waited for their cue to officially enter. I then retreated into one of the museum's many courtyards to call Mom and Dad about logistics before going back in to join the dinner line for a quick dessert. I also chatted with the couple again while they were trying to eat; they're going to Hawaii on Tuesday! Jealous. Finally I grabbed a pecan bar (there was a huge dinner spread but I wasn't terribly interested in it) and set off to return the rental car. I'm hoping that I'll be able to hang out with Antonio the next time I visit, but he was obvs a little busy this time.

The wedding party. My only photo of them.

After surrendering my powder blue Hyundai, I took the shuttle back to the airport while watching planes land and then Mom, Dad, and Earl picked me up at the curb and we set off for dinner at ... Applebee's. I wasn't too enthusiastic about their restaurant choice, but the food was actually decent. We were seated near this table of 9 children, whose parents were at an adjacent table and would occasionally shout over at the kids when their fights over mozzarella sticks turned particularly ugly. Despite that, it was fun to catch up with family for a while, and then we retreated for home with giant plastic boxes of leftovers.

Sunset pit stop on I-25.

I'd thought that Sunday was going to be an uneventful day for GRE studying, but it ended up quite social. Not long after a late light breakfast, I went with Mom and Dad to a barbecue at the Jaramillos' house, for their granddaughter's 1st birthday. We drove up and grabbed the last available space in the driveway while this tiny kid was trying to maneuver his 4-wheeler between the cars. Hilarity ensued:

Kid: My 4-wheeler don't have reverse!
Dad: Neither does my car!
Kid: ...

Nevertheless, Dad pushed the kid out with his bare hands and we went around to the backyard for the BBQ. I thought it was going to be a little awkward because I didn't know anybody there, but I did enjoy myself. We ate hot dogs and chicken from the giant pile of food, drank punch, watched all the kids play with a giant piece of rope and get cake in their hair, and I had a long conversation about Mrs. Jaramillo about NC (she was there in February en route to Danville, VA).

Following that, our next stop was the Fulgenzis' house to return Crock Pots and share mitote, not that I knew who they were talking about. We ate sherbet and were introduced to their son and their next-door neighbor, and it was just a general parade of people and kind of fun. Eventually we came back home, and I was consigned to eat our Applebee's leftovers and study for the GRE.

Cake and children.

The birthday girl, Marivela, getting cake.

This rope entertained them for hours. I'm totally investing in a length when I have kids.

I'll continue there next time!

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Comments {2}

Urban Rebel

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from: urbanrebel
date: Jul. 16th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)

"whose parents were at an adjacent table and would occasionally shout over at the kids when their fights over mozzarella sticks turned particularly ugly"

LOL. I know I don't comment much, but your posts still make me smile. :-)

I got so sick of weddings after everyone I knew started getting married that just looking at the picture of the reception made me cringe a little. I mean, you want to be supportive for your close friends and family, but pretty soon it was someone from work, then someone from work's son or daughter, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend's stepmother's cousin twice removed who you met once at a funeral and you don't know why they invited you unless they still need a blender or a toaster. You start going to the mailbox dreading seeing another envelope with the address hand written in calligraphy because you know what it means. After shopping for yet another wedding gift (an expensive you've now had to factor into your monthly budget just to be prepared) and finding that perfect card that says you know they'll always be together and madly in love when statistics say they have a 50/50 shot, you get to spend another precious weekend day off all dressed up dancing with someone's aunt Florence who keeps asking why you're not married yet.

(Disclaimer: The above opinion on weddings was written in what the author hopes will be recognized at an attempt at humor through sarcasm and exaggeration. I really don't mind weddings themselves and would like to perform more ceremonies, but the multi-hour receptions are what I could gladly do without.) ;-)

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from: silverthief2
date: Jul. 16th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I'm only going to weddings of close friends or family, and only if I'm given plenty of advance notice to make travel plans. I can't count how many weddings of cousins and other various relatives that I've just skipped.

And I'm only giving gift cards or cash as gifts; it's way easier. :)

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