I'm not sure where to start. Should I talk about the aborted landing on arrival at the airport in Albuquerque first or should I give details about the unique wildlife serenade at our motel. Do you want to know how long it took to get home when our flight was rerouted because of thunder storms or perhaps you are interested in how many people were visiting Santa Fe on the busiest weekend of the year. . . or maybe you don't want to know anything at all.
I knew our college scouting trip to Santa Fe wasn't getting off to a great start when our plane started to heave on take off from Portland. Thankfully I had taken a pill for motion sickness, an affliction I've had since childhood, but Rebecca, never having been sick before, didn't. By the time we bounced into Salt Lake it was too late. There is nothing worse than being dizzy while trapped on an airplane. Our hopes for a better flight to Albuquerque were dashed when the pilot announced, "a little turbulence" could be expected. The final blow was an aborted landing at our destination due to wind shear on the runway. I thought Rebecca might break out the window and jump. Luckily we were not sitting in an exit row with a tempting handle to pull.
Still in shock from being bounced like a cork on a stormy sea, we arrived at the car rental desk and were met with, "wouldn't you like to upgrade for just $10 a day," "the insurance you bought online is from a third (irresponsible) party so we would suggest ours at $19.95 per day," "you don't want to be caught with an empty tank fee - for $$s you can return the car empty." JUST GIVE ME THE KEYS AND LET ME OUT OF HERE!!
Finally, safely in our uninsured car, I shifted into "drive" and pulled out on the highway. . . but no, wait a minute, this can't be "drive" the engine is racing. A quick exit and test of the automatic gear shift in a parking lot resulted in the real "drive" and we were off again on our way to Santa Fe. . . in rush hour traffic.
When Rebecca started to notice charming adobe houses tucked among the sage and scrub trees, we knew we were close to our destination. What we didn't expect was a spider web of six lane roads after exiting the freeway. Left turns at 5:30 pm were life threatening. I haven't seen so many cars since I last visited LA.
After a hair raising series of wrong turns, we pulled into the parking lot of our "home away from home" the 1950s vintage Silver Saddle faux adobe motel. It proved to be a somewhat funky yet clean and friendly place. One quirky feature we noticed soon after settling into our room was a tropical bird call accompanied by a distinctive "hee haw". Much to the chagrin of the motel owner, the Jacalope Trading Store next door keeps a peacock "looking for love" along with an exceedingly vocal donkey.
On the recommendation of the desk clerk, we dined at the Castro Cafe across the street. Opening the door of the inauspicious building revealed a colorful and pleasant interior packed with locals enjoying the popular New Mexico cuisine. The homemade Sangria and a tasty dinner calmed our nerves. We knew we had found our way to Santa Fe.