Friday, October 10, 2008

Our Week in Socorro

Sunday night, after getting into bed and was just about dropping of, the trailer was jostled. Oh my gosh, is someone trying to get in, I thought. After a slight pause, I heard plop, plop, plop, plop running up and down the top of the roof about 4 or 5 times, then whatever it was jumped off. It must have been the neighbor’s cat that had jumped off the garage roof onto the top of the trailer.

Monday morning we took the truck and trailer down to clean the grasshopper parts and butterflies off. It took awhile, but it’s a lot cleaner.

Tuesday, found us at the famous Owl Bar in San Antonio NM for their famous green chili cheeseburgers. The Owl opened it’s doors around 1945, in time to feed the needs of the military and scientists located out at the Trinity Site, just 25 miles east of San Antonio, In fact, my dad had told our son that he remembered going to the Owl Bar a number of times. Since that time the bar was moved from one side of the building to it’s present location and the dining area has expanded. It has some really neat traditions - the original owner’s daughter, Rowena Baca, collects shoulder patches from various law-enforcement individuals who visit there. Also, another tradition, is putting a dollar bill (or higher amount), with your name or whatever you want to put on it, and tacking it to the wall somewhere. Once a year the bills are removed and the money is donated to area charities. The current bar came from the original Hilton Hotel. In the late 1800’s A.H. Hilton moved to San Antonio and opened the Hilton Mercantile Company. It also housed the first Hilton Hotel. Conrad Hilton, the originator of the Hilton Hotels was born here. On the way home, we stopped at my favorite tourist vendor in Socorro, and bought some new house numbers for Jim’s house - ceramic numbers with sunflowers painted on them. Tuesday night we watched the second Presidential Debate. No comment.

Wednesday was Reuben Day. We went to Socorro Springs and had Reuben Sandwiches. I expected a wonderful sandwich and I was somewhat disappointed. Wasn’t the worst, but I kind of expected more flavor. We went to bed a little on the early side as we were to get up around 4 a.m. to head to Albuquerque and spend the day seeing the various activities at the Balloon Fiesta, an annual week-long event held there.

We got up early Thursday morning around 4. I wasn’t feeling the whoopiest, a little bit of a headache; but I didn’t want to spoil the day for the other two so didn’t say anything and take some Tylenol and would make the best of it. Well, it turns out it was just son and I that went as Jim didn’t feel good. I ended up having a really great time with son. We got there in time (well, over an hour’s drive up there to the Park) to see the mornings ascension of the special shapes starting at 7 a.m. Following that are the games that are played which includes dropping a marker as close to the center of a bulls eye as possible by flying low and slow over the target and trying to grab an envelope off a tall pole by flying real close to the pole. In the envelope will be a prize - money, vehicle, etc. There are 4 poles and two were claimed. Today there was $2000 in each envelope. The balloonists have until 10 a.m. to try.

We did not stay for the evening activities of the balloon glow where the balloons are tethered but the burners are turned on - they usually try to do it in time to music so you get a mass look at the shapes at night “glowing”. Instead, we went to Gardunio’s for lunch. I had a smothered shredded beef burrito and it was good and very filling. From there we went to Uptown ABQ, which is a developed “city” shopping area that includes retail shops, restaurants, and apartments surrounding the area. It is really a fascinating area and has lots of major shops to tempt you. We went there only because they have an Apple store and I have never been in one and I wanted to see what one looks like plus all the products at once. I had fun playing with an iPod and an iPhone. Didn’t buy anything. From there we went to Fremont’s Fine Foods (, where they import specialty foods from all over - including my favorite Walker’s Pure Butter Shortbread cookies from Scotland. There are other cookies, biscuits, jams and jellies, teas and coffees too. Again I didn’t buy anything.

For supper, the guys got a pizza from Pizza Hut and I got a salad from McDonald’s, as I wasn’t very hungry, and what was suppose to be a cherry slush from Sonic but ended up being a cherry limeade mixed with diet Sprite or Sierra Mist. I love cherry limeades but not made with diet pop as the artificially sweeteners used in them do not set well with my stomach.

One thing I did at the Balloon Fiesta is buy a generator for my trailer! I have had, in the back of mind, someday of getting one. So I did. No lectures about buying stuff in that kind of environment. I did it and the price was where I’ve seen from national suppliers on the Internet that sell less then the recommended mfg price.

Friday, I woke up around 4 a.m. not feeling very good and it has continued all day. I feel the salad from McDonald’s is the culprit. Son said that Socorro’s fast food places have a bad reputation for not following procedures for food handling, preparation or maintaining proper temperatures. Guess maybe I am a victim. I wasn’t bad enough to be 100% miserable as I did get some work done on the trailer and we went to the grocery store for some things. We also brought home my favorite pizza to bake in the oven at home. Hopefully, that hot green chili will make me feel better.

We are going to start heading home Saturday, if I feel okay. I am just tired and this episode today has wore me down. Jim called his brother in Phoenix tonight for a rain check on a visit. We’ll just take our time going home so as to not push me, in case I have something else. Haven’t decided on direction yet, but it will be eastward and not toward Albuquerque.

As a sad side note, the folks that flew this hot air balloon were involved in a tragic accident today, with the balloon hitting some electric wires, the gondola catching on fire and both men fell to the ground with the copilot being killed and the pilot in serious condition.

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