Alas, as I write this I’m back at work, sitting at my desk and staring at a “not so bad” stack of work that I thought would be VOLUMES…but in fact, is only a mere pile of a days accumulation. I will be through it today and vacation will be a fading memory. Sad enough now…
Travel back with me to Sunday. My husband and I decided in light of the fact that we hadn’t been going to SLEEP until after 2:00 a.m. each night/am, we would forgo any church visitation and sleep a bit. I slept til 7:30 a.m. and we got up and got around and headed out for the green Chile bagel. As crazy as it sounds, out of all the wonderful food here, this one is not only one that I miss the most, but it is one that evokes the wonderful memories of our lives here.
After breakfast we went to pick up some “Deep Woods Off” to cover ourselves in for the outdoor wedding held at the Botanical Gardens/Aquarium. We had been walking by a new park the night before that sits on a man-made pond/fountain and we were almost eaten alive by mosquitoes! Of course, goof that I am, I had slathered myself that day with Papaya Body Butter and I’m sure I was a sweet treat to the little demons with fangs and wings! My husband slapped my back a few times to which I assured him they were not biting THROUGH my clothing. He felt different, apparently!
We picked up the “Off” and took it back to the hotel and dropped off my now consumed “left-over” breakfast (green chile bagel #2) for return-to-work-Tuesday. The bagel was just as yummy today as it was Sunday, BTW.
We then headed down to Old-Town, the center of old Albuquerque, where all the tourists gather each day and Native American and Hispanic artists are represented, along with some camouflaged, “made in China” items…or turkey-turquoise, as I like to call it.
I picked up even more postcards. We did really well with sending out postcards this year. We sent at least 10 a day to friends, family and unsuspecting acquaintances. I love to send and receive quirky postcards.
We picked up the tacky tourist t-shirts for ourselves and friends. They weren’t even really that tacky, they were fun shirts that were of course…CHEAP, but functional for washing cars or sleeping in or recalling the lazy days of vacation.
We strolled up and down the streets of Old Town and ate at the Church Street Café, which was rumored to have the best fried ice-cream in town…alas, it wasn’t the very best, but the red chile was incredibly well prepared and had, what we guessed to be a hint of chipotle that made it a stand-out among sometimes boring red chile sauces. I had a Pueblo Burger, which was a burger on Indian Fry Bread, with cheese and green chile…it was HUGE but I ate one-third of it and saved the remains for what I figured would be a late dinner.
Old Town is situated around several local museums, one of which has converted a parking lot into a statue garden…so, being the big goofball I am, we had to do some pics with the statues. My husband, who as I’ve shared in the past, has irrevocably grounded his inner-child, had to give the poor guy some ‘release time’ to come out and play with me during these random shots. He finally caved and I saw a bit of younger Paul for a little while. I hope when he completes his Engineering degree in December he won’t be a complete braniac…and he’ll be able to ‘play’ randomly in kpjara fashion!
After a day of strolling, tourist-ing (in our old stomping grounds), and being out beneath a cloudless, azure blue sky, we headed back to the hotel weighted down by gifts aplenty and showered up for the wedding event for the night.
We readied ourselves fairly quickly and headed over to the chapel where we were married (the University chapel on the UNM Campus) and took a picture outside the locked doors. It was such a beautiful chapel. It only held 125 people, so it was crowded that day in September, 1998. It was a beautiful place to get married. The walls inside are surrounded with hand painted pictures of saints and there is a balcony above the entryway door with an old pipe organ, which we did not use for our wedding music. I could still hear the CD version of “Ode to Joy” as I approached the doors. What a wonderful day that was.
We also wanted to photograph a ‘door’ on campus…yes I said a door…it is…WAS a blue door that sat beneath some big old trees and it reminded me of a door to refuge. It is no longer blue, it is white. I took the picture anyway because we’d come all the way around campus and I just had to do it…It reminded me that our lives are often full of many different doors…and in this case, in my absence, one of the doors of my past is gone. It will be a future entry, and titled “The Doors of our Lives” because I was SUCH a ‘Day’s fan about 100 years ago, back during Bo and Hope’s initial courting in the early 80’s.
After this brief visit to campus we headed over to the Botanical Gardens/Aquarium site of the wedding. It was a beautiful evening, about 85 degrees with a light breeze flowing through the courtyards. We met up with some other family arriving and strolled onto the grounds. Having never visited this place, it was a treat to see the foliage and statues and children’s area and flowers abounding. We worked our way back to a site that was akin to some fairy tale. It had vines twisted and rounded forming a ‘cave’ for the seating area and marriage aisle. It had beautiful benches lining the perimeter and so many different plants…it was gorgeous. She didn’t try to “outdo” the beauty with floral arrangements; rather she used the natural surroundings to be her backdrop…good choice.
We were given bubbles upon entry to blow during their departure and of course…I practiced a bit with the bubbles when we were seated…yep, BEFORE the wedding. They worked just fine! And I only got one ‘look’ from my hubby and one aunt. Bah HUMBUG! Hey I wasn’t the only one “testing” my bubbles…
The wedding was of the short “Protestant” type (thank GOD). I love this family but they are almost ALL Catholic and frankly, Catholic weddings are LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! They did a really neat thing after their vows. Instead of having a unity candle, they did communion together (for the 1st time as husband and wife). It was so beautiful. They played music for the congregants…while in the back of the arbor, they took communion together. It did take a little bit of time, which was fine in this beauty, but my husband leaned over and whispered (which translates to mean, spoke a tiny bit quieter, but not quietly enough) and said: “What, are they baking the bread back there?”
To which I burst out in the silent, body-shaking laughter/giggling that is most abhorred in these SERIOUS settings. I mean really people…it’s a wedding, a happy event. It’s not as though it was a funeral…of which I can also get the giggles. I tend to laugh in uncomfortable situations. I’m not the only one. So my husband and I are shaking in our seats and finally calm ourselves. The wedding ended and we headed to ‘reception time’.
The reception was held inside the Aquarium with the dining/dancing area in front of this wall-sized Aquarium with sharks, giant sea turtles and every fish known to man swimming by alongside us. It was PHENOMENAL. I have been to the Aquarium in Baltimore, but never at an event like this and it just added so much to the experience…while giving the children something to entertain themselves with.
We sat outside on a veranda that overlooks a small pond and enjoyed a quieter atmosphere with a smaller group of family members. We rearranged the tables together and just visited throughout the meal. We did go inside to dance a few numbers together and visit with others. Overall it was a beautiful wedding and I’m so thrilled for “little Tree” and her new husband! I wished them both as much happiness as we’ve had in our marriage and told them to remember to keep God at the center and they would remain strong! “A cord of three is not easily broken”, after all!
We went back to Paul’s moms home for a short visit and a final goodbye before going back to the hotel for packing and our last night of vacation. I took the required annual, immediate family picture and we said goodbye with kiss-kiss, hug-hug and out the door.
Stay turned for the final installation of the Vacation: the trip home…