Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chronicles of A Left Turn at Albuquerque, continued

We tried to put the miles behind us as much as possible and did not stop unless we needed gas. The traffic cooperated for the most part and we only passed one major accident. Also, at the US Border Patrol stop that we stopped everyone, there was little traffic and once glance at Grace's
Midwestern light hair and blue eyes and we were waved through.

I tried to stay square with Grace and promptly pay for my half of the gas as soon as she bought it. Only once or twice did I not have the exact amount to give her, and I made up for it right away at the next stop. I needed to do that so I could keep on top of the money thoroughly. Every penny is so precious these days, if I had anything left over it would be for groceries when I got home.

The conversation eventually turned, as such conversations on road trips always do, to dinner. I mentioned that pretty much every chain restaurant, from burger joints on up, has salad, but that the mid range sit-down-and-order chains have nicer ones, so we stopped at one of those.

The place also had a vegetarian "burger" on the menu that was black bean based, I think. I know, cooked, and beans, and steamed veggies on the side. I ordered it anyway, along with a house salad, and ate everything but the bun the "burger" came on. I knew when I came on this trip that there was no real way to stay totally raw, but I ate a lot of salad when I could get it, and low temp dried trail mix, and fresh fruit I had brought and that I bought when I had the opportunity.

We arrived in Albuquerque as the daylight faded and promptly passed our exit talking. Turned around, got back on the interstate, got off at the correct exit, and found that there are 5 hotels in a row right where we were staying, with 3 of them owned by the same company, one of which was the one we were staying at. It took me turning around and coming back to it to figure out which side street to enter to get into the right driveway, but once I learned the lesson, I hoped it would stick.

When I was a child, the family would sit in the car while dad checked in to the hotel/motel/inn/whatever they term it, so I was more than willing to sit with the vehicle while Grace did the same. After all, it was her free points we were using to stay here. If not for that, I would not have been at such a nice place. Funny thing is, she was staying on points and they were giving her points for the stay! She remarked that she traveled so much with work that she could never use up all of her points, and this confirmed that it was probably an accurate assessment.

We unloaded onto a bellhop's cart and parked, and got to our suite. Very nice indeed. Separate bedroom for Grace, a couch just long enough for a short person like me to not need to unfold it, and a real kitchenette that could be used to make real meals. I drank my coconut water/greens/supplement mixture, and we called to tell Pickles we were in the area.

At first we figured we would go visit with her for a while that evening, since we had driven so far to see her and the others who could come, we might as well go "see" them. A quick talk with Lades, one of the other people we were meeting up with, and we changed plans. After all, her
place was remote, it was now after dark, not much to see of farm area after dark, we were tired from the drive, etc.

We decided that meeting up with the group at the Rio Grande Nature Center the next morning would be a better idea, and Pickles gave me directions. She would be the one at the poetry/art booth the next day for the 10AM-2PM shift. It was a work opportunity that had come up for her after she invited us to visit that weekend, with a person she was attempting to cultivate as a regular client, so she could not pass it up. She had run a shift that day as well, with Lades and Script for company. The whole thing may sound a bit scattered, but meeting up as a couple of us here, a few others there, actually did work out well.

So that is how, instead, Grace and I went to a local grocery store, right up the street. It reminded me of a mom and pop store around the house from my neighborhood, except that they had prepacked salads and a pack of organic spinach for me to add to it, for the next day's lunch.
I also stocked up on more bananas and made sure I put the fresh fruit out on the counter where either Grace or I could grab what we wanted whenever we wanted it, just as I do for the family when I am at home.

When Grace pulled out the iron (ack! my allergy! did I mention I am allergic to ironing!), I felt guilty enough to use it on my blouse. I didn't do a very thorough job, but when to I ever, seeing as I tend to get hives just looking at those weird shaped boards and demonic little appliances.

After the long day of driving, I did not object to turning in at a decent hour. For me, that meant simply grabbing a pillow and blanket from the closet, cleaning up and wrapping up in my huge robe, and crashing on the couch until 5AM local time.

Today is:

American Touch Tag Day

Bearing of Green Branches -- Ancient Athenian Calendar

Day of the Navy, Peru

Feast of St. Bridget, Sweden

Fire Prevention Day

National Depression Screening Day

National Dessert Day

National Fluffernutter Day

Sergeant Alvin C. York Day

St. Demetrius' Day (patron of Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia)

St. Pelagia's Day (patron of actresses)

St. Thais' Day (patron of fallen women)

St. Triduana's Day (patron against eye disease)

Vanderbilt Cup Day

Walk to School Day

World Lions Service Day/World Sight Day

Birthdays Today:

Matt Damon, 1970
Stephanie Zimbalist, 1956
Sigourney Weaver, 1949
Chevy Chase, 1943
R. L. Stine, 1943
Paul Hogan, 1939
Rona Barrett, 1936
Juan Peron, 1895
Eddie Rickenbacker, 1890
Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro, 1676

Today in History:

Constantine, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, defeats Licinius, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, at the Battle of Cibalae, 314
Great standing on the Ugra river, a standoff between the forces of Akhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia, which resulted in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and eventual disintegration of the Horde, 1480
The supernova "Kepler's Nova" is first sighted, 1604
The Massachusetts Bay Colony forms its first government, 1633
First recorded eruption of Galunggung (volcano of West Java, Indonesia) sends boiling sludge into the valley (this volcano would later erupt at such a time as to cause passenger jets to be damaged and forced into emergency landings), 1822
The first Hawai'ian constitution is proclaimed, 1840
The telegraph line from LA to SF opens, 1860

A gas explosion causes the Peshtigo Fire, in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, which killed between 1,200 and 2,500 people and consumed the entire town of Peshtigo and surrounding forests and several other villages -- the deadliest fire in American history, it covered 1.5 million acres, and occured on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire, 1871

The Great Chicago Fire, which consumed 4 square miles, killed 200, and destroyed the original Emancipation Proclamation, began, 1871

The first women's prison run by women opens at the Indiana Reformatory Institute, 1873
Dow Jones begins reporting an average of selected industrial stocks, 1896

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