Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tarantella23 and the Great NM Adventure! Part 1 of...6? Yeah, cuz I can!

Aloha.  Which is not what you say when you go to New Mexico, but I didn't ask you, and you didn't ask me.

Herein lies the chronicles of my recent escape to the desert!  It's just like the Harry Potter series! Feelings! Plants with feelings! Many stories! 6 Parts! Except...maybe...not exactly like it.  Cuz aren't there technically 7 parts to Harry Potter? I lose count.

Anywho. You knew I went, and I have been editing photos and preparing to post, but...being fabulous at getting immediately busy and then catching plane ick a week later than expected.  But here I am.  This was an insanely long intro that says nothing at all. I'm really, really bad at intros.  Hey look a plane!

As bad as the flight home from CO was the last time I flew, I was looking forward to flying again.  No accounting for the weather, y'know?  I left Milwaukee at "Oh-God-Whyyyy"-o-clock.  Which in real time is a 3:30 wake up call, a 4:10 shuttle, and generally hating everything, including ducks (which for the record I do not hate, just happened to have set my phone's alarm for a duck sound. I love ducks. Ducks are nice.)

On the first flight, I was luckily able to sleep.  I had my music on and the only time I woke up aside from towards the end there when I took that picture was when the music stopped.  Right before I got to Albuquerque I got nervous, but mostly just due to hoping the trip went right and having had plane trouble on the way out. The captain cheerfully announced that there was something wrong with the main engine that powers the plane but we'd call maintenance and be off shortly.  It was too early to share his cheerful confidence, especially when main engines were involved.  But hey, I'm here posting right? He was right.

Arriving in Albuquerque was nice for tons of reasons, but one thing that strikes me every time I'm there is that as airports go, it's the most chill one I've been to.  Nothing's a big hassle, there's actually some interesting museum-like display cases with turquoise and pottery and stuff, and it's pretty quick to get through security and get your luggage and stuff. But mostly, I saw the Sandias break through the clouds, and I knew soon I'd be on the ground back where I wanted to be. That gave sleepy me watery eyes. You know, cuz dust.

Kija picked me up from the airport, and she had already (because she's smart, this is our place, and because of the awesome quotient) planned on a stop here.  This a gem. A hidden gem.  Very hidden, very overlooked. It's this tiny, TINY hole-in-the-wall place in a strip mall in Albuquerque.  One lady (yes, the Burrito Lady) and possibly one other person are all that work there at one time.  There's 3 tables and barely room for the third.  It's in between a pet store with tacky metal lizards on the roof and a Circle K. It's the best ever. Her chile will melt your face. And for like, 3 bucks.  She remembers her regulars- even the expats like me.  And she can cook like nobody's business. You have to wait for a while, but it is WORTH the wait. As Alton Brown always says...your patience will be rewarded. 

Here's what I'm telling you. Find her.  "If you like it hot" is her tagline...and she doesn't pull punches.  Which is awesome, because there were no punches I wanted pulled. I wanted to dive back into the deliciousness that is green chile.  Especially green chile breakfast burritos. *sigh* If home could have a taste...and I guess it can...this would be that.

Kija and I had agreed to do a day of shopping together.  See, the wonderful thing about Kija and I is we can be girls. It's no fault of anyone else, but I had far more male friends than female friends when I lived in New Mexico, so she was always the one to go do things like paint nails and shop and talk about boys with. Pillow fights, blah blah blah. Whatever "being a girl" means that day. This day it meant looking around in Nob Hill at quirky stores, like the one that sells this box set, jewelry stores, and expensive home decor stores.

Oh yes. And we may have been nearby to a Breaking Bad filming location in Albuquerque, and I may or may not have fangirled out and taken some pictures of it.  Because man! It's THE CAR WASH.  THE car wash. That one.  And I love love love that show.

Please pay no attention to my actual toes.  This is to show you the pretty sandals I bought while out with Kija, not to show you that I clearly hadn't painted my toenails in forever.  I can justify this purchase because 1)pretty 2) my ballet flats had split in half at security in Milwaukee. Insole was now sometimes outsole. 3) I'm on vacation, duh.

This is Bella. :)  She's the new girl.  By virtue of having been born not that long ago.  I hereby issue this apology to Bella.  Sorry kiddo, that I used you as an excuse to go sit on a couch.  See...around the time I found those sandals, the wakeup call had started to take its toll.  I asked Kija, Bella's mommy, if she was tired and had to go down for a nap. Y'know, cuz....babies.  But Bella is a super laid back child and was strolling along just fine, and probably could have for a few hours more. Luckily, she let me use her as an excuse and we were off to Kija's.

This is Kija's.  Lovely place way out in Albuquerque. :)  We got the tour and I gotta say, Kija, you've got a great place. With quite the backyard view. 

It was hazy so it's kinda hard to tell, but let me tell you, my dear was pretty excellent. The Sandias are right.there, and you can look over the roofs of all the houses and watch whole neighborhoods. 

I do things fairly backwards, but there's a reason.  This is Kija. And Bella, of course!  I'm really glad I got to see Kija again on this trip.  It's always good to have a gal pal, no matter how many good guy friends you's just not the same without a girlfriend to talk to, laugh with, cry green chile with.  Kija, you are a wonderful lady with a lovely daughter.  I'm really grateful you're my friend. It's awesome to meet up after at least a whole year and feel like nothing's changed at all.  I wish we lived closer, and you really *really* gotta come out to Chicago!!

We had a nice pepperoni and green chile pizza dinner with Kija, Bella, David, and the ever illustrious Lewis, who had arrived from San Marcial to pick me up and take me on what would be a great many days of excellent adventures.  It was great just talking and catching up.  We left shortly after dinner to make the trip down to Socorro.  I was mostly incoherent at this point, so I don't think there's really any pictures or stories. I remember we got gas in Los Lunas and it felt like we'd be on the road for a really, really long time. :)

Still, it was nice. I got some one on one time with a great friend all that day, and Lewis was the same much.  We decided we'd camp that night in Water Canyon, something that's familiar and fun to me, and we stopped off at Smith's to get some breakfast supplies.  We put up the tent, (and I assisted, because tadaaa! Even when half dead! Though I dunno how *much* I assisted) and had a nice conversation before I fell dead, dead asleep.

Even with the overtiredness...the trip started in a pretty excellent way. And it was only the beginning.

No comments: