Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Mexico Vacation, Day Three--Trolleys and Balloons

Today was another scorcher, so we followed the same strategy as yesterday. Outdoors in the morning, indoors in the afternoon. Using this plan, in the morning we explored Old Town Plaza of Albuquerque. This area is just like it sounds-- it is where the city was founded in1706 with 15 families and a church. The original church collapsed during a rainy summer in 1792 (that's what happens when you build things out of adobe = mud) and was rebuilt the next year. That church is still standing and in use today. It welcomes tourists, so we took advantage of their hospitality and explored their sanctuary and courtyards. The rest of Old Town is full of shops featuring mostly native arts and crafts that we wandered among. However, the best thing we happened upon was a trolley tour of Old Town and downtown Albuquerque. It was run by a couple of young men who created this tour company a few years ago just out of college. They gave a fun tour going off the beaten path a few times. We really enjoyed ourselves and it didn't hurt that the trolly was open air and a nice breeze was blowing as we rode along. Did I mention it was a scorcher today?

In the afternoon during the even hotter part of the day, we visited the balloon museum. Albuquerque is famous for the balloon festival they host every October, so not surprisingly they have built a museum to go with this worldwide interest. It was a well done museum where I learned that the first balloon flight was in 1783 in France and was witnessed by Ben Franklin. I didn't know balloon flight had been around that long. But perhaps what impressed us the most was the roadrunner we saw in the parking lot. Neither Ward or I ever remember seeing a roadrunner except in cartoons. (But no signs of a coyote.)

Until next time, here are a few pictures from today.

San Felipe de Neri Church or in other words, The Church in Old Town.

Our trolley had the distinction of being the only trolley in the world with stucco on it.

One of the sights on our tour along Route 66--the Frontier restaurant. This restaurant has been featured on the Food Channel several times for its good, affordable food and unique Western atmosphere. It's an Albuquerque landmark and where we had breakfast.

A model of the Hindenburg at the balloon museum.

The roadrunner was running from shade spot to shade spot in the very hot parking lot.