Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dawn Patrol

Dawn patrol is the small group of hot air balloons who go up before light (5:30a?) at the Albuquerque Ballooon Fiesta. They measure the airspeeds at different elevations and each balloon is visible only when they light the burner. We did not go out to look for Dawn Patrol while in Albuq. But we did get up before dawn three times. The first time launch was scotched by winds. We found out one block before turning into the Balloon park where we would have been charged for parking. Instead we veered south and went to The Frontier for breakfast. It is a greasy spoon across from the Univ of New Mexico and is not much changed over the past 25 years. The website is much more sedate than the restaurant which is big and has a fast moving line and is covered with punchy art pieces. If you go for hash browns with cheese and green chile or something else equally good for your arteries, be sure and look for the Kachinas In Space painting in the first back room. We got our food and watched the line grow, I was not the only one to realize that the Frontier would be a good destination at 7am on a Saturday. I love the sound of that restaurant when it's crowded, it's almost as good as bowling alley ambience.

We gave up on balloons for the next morning. The forecast was dodgy and winds were blowing that night. The nine of us noodled around and had a good time and didn't set our clocks for o'dark hundred. But in the morning Nod was up early hearing the sound of helicopters. Fearing to wake the grumpy householder he went out to the car to listen to radio news. Balloons were on! with just a slight delay that allowed us to get dressed and eat something and go. We ziggied over to the park and ambled our way onto the launch field. We saw Vader and goldfish and zebras, oh my. It was a big slice of beautiful. I will throw the photos in here to show ya.

It was a good visit with my mom who is looking and feeling stronger than I have seen her for a couple of years. She got rid of Tycho the psycho poodle and is happy with her two old dogs and a 2 year old curly coated retriever, Sizzle. Sizzle is taking to the obedience work briskly and that's what's needed. Mom is going to get her remaining leg veins laser zapped next month and after that heals up I think she'll be even more unstoppable. It was overwhelming for her to have all nine people in the house for the weekend. She relaxed more after Nod and my brother's family got on their way. We were treated to one diva tantrum at a restaurant she took us all out to. I won't mention the name because it served perfectly fine NM food and the service was just spotty. But Ga. took it personally and spoke to the manager and got the gratuity refunded and so on. Our outing to The Range Cafe in Bernalillo was much more satisfying for all concerned. Nod even got a slice of key lime pie he had been jonesing for. Go there if you can!

I enjoyed having the girls with me for a week. It made my mother's house lively and not as quiet as when it is just me and her. We explored the mall (thumbs down!) and a secret west side viewing park to watch the balloons for free (it was a pretty view but the balloons were itty and too far away since the box (ABQ's magical wind pattern that makes a rectangle) was working and they didn't come west) and a beauty parlor (thumbs up!), my current favorite book store, and the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology on UNM campus (I loved it and the kids were convinced once we got there).  And we went out again to the launch field to watch the special shape rodeo, all the wacky shaped balloons. It was breezy and I was convinced that they would not fly. But they were inflating a bunch and it was pretty to wander around and lookylou. To my surprise at 7:45 the firefighter shaped balloon went up with the American flag and the anthem was sung. They were off! It was a stronger wind than the first day we went so when they launched they zoomed to the south. Colors! Motion! Eye filling goodness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, baby!

I'm jealous you got to see the Balloon Fiesta, but how awesome was that?? I just missed you--I'm going this weekend to babysit Lily while my brother flies to LA for a course. Sounds like you are TX bound for Xmas? One of these days we will intersect, and as always, if you ever want to sneak away for some girl-on-girl time with your S.I.S., come here! In 2 weeks, I will be done with my many-houred job and either unemployed or working a regular 40 hr. kind of gig, so should be SOOOO able to entertain you thoroughly.

Thinking of you, and love you madly,
The Danish