Sunday, June 10, 2007

If It's Sunday This Must be Albuquerque

Day 10: 404 Miles
Total: 4,224 Miles

I had a nice chat with the owner of the Grand Canyon Hotel this morning. When she and her husband purchased the hotel, it had been closed for 35 years. Needless to say it required some serious renovation, which they are still in the process of doing. Still, it's a very nice hotel and I enjoyed the ambiance greatly. She also told me that this hotel is the oldest in the entire state of Arizona.

I wound up leaving at about 8:00am, but took my time through several cities. I stopped off in Flagstaff to wander around a bit, and I really liked the place. It seems like it attracts a wide range of people, with Route 66ers being just a small part. I saw lots of boats, bikes and just people in general. The city is very historic and there are lots of shops, restaurants and just a lot of energy in general. I took a few shots including the converted train station and the historic hotel below.

The scenery gets to be really amazing as you approach New Mexico. The first picture below is a few miles from the border, and the second one is right on the Arizona - New Mexico border. Between Grants and Albuquerque was a stretch of Route 66 with unbelievable scenery at a place called "Dead Man's Curve." It was so unbelievable that I became so enthralled that I forgot to take any pictures. I think the name comes from people not paying attention to their driving and ultimately missing the curve. The curve itself isn't that tricky if you're actually watching where you're going.

Since I took my time and since I lost an hour moving to Mountain Daylight Time, I didn't arrive in Albuquerque until about 5:00pm. I'm staying at the Monterey Non-Smokers Motel. When I arrived and inquired about room availability, I was told by the man behind the counter in a thick German accent, "I have one if you are a non-smoker!" I assured him I was, and I must have an honest face since he gave me a room key. I then went out and bought a carton of Lucky Strikes and a case of cheap beer for tonight.

The room is great. It cost me $50, and even Sue would be happy here. I'll let you know come morning, but this might be the best value I have ever come across in a motel/hotel room. And to think it's only $12 more than the place I stayed in Stanton, Missouri.

The motel is just a few blocks from Old Town, a nice touristy historic part of Albuquerque. I had a good Mexican meal there and took a few photos.

These last two pictures below are for my brother-in-law Paul. But I have to share the story of how they came to be with everyone else. Sue and Paul's parents moved a lot. We even nicknamed them "The Boomerang Family" because they moved back and forth between Las Vegas and Michigan every six months or so. When Sue, Paul and their other siblings were kids, the family moved several times within two adjacent Detroit suburbs - Southfield and Oak Park. But finally, the family decided to have a new home built in Albuquerque, New Mexico in an area called Rio Rancho Estates.

They made all of their moving plans, had going-away parties and finally the time came to pack up their belongings and say farewell to Michigan. They climbed into their car and spent three weeks meandering toward their "final" destination. Final, in this case, meaning nine days. That's how long they lived in their new house! Sue's mom was not always easy to please, and after the fourth or fifth day she decided she had enough of the house and Albuquerque. It took another few days to pack everything up and move back to Michigan.

So their vacation lasted longer than the time they actually spent living in Albuquerque. Which is good for a couple of reasons. First, I would never have met Sue if they had stayed in Albuquerque, and second, the story supplies me with never ending amusement. Come to think of it, I've almost spent more time in this city than Sue did when she "lived" here.

So here you go Paul. It's now the city of Rio Rancho (the "Estates" is long gone). Here is 1609 Grande Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, NM.


1 comment:

Paul G said...


I love the pics of our old house - thanks! And I hope you enjoyed the Mexican food in Old Town - fond memories for me. I do remember the Albuquerque move story just a bit differently, though. You got it all right except I remember the reason we moved back was my Dad wasn't too pleased with it and missed the old familiar stuff in Detroit. Anyway, thanks for the memories!