albuquerque

As I near my one year anniversary of living in Washington D.C., I am still astounded that I live here.  I was watching the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon yesterday on TV, and I realized that the ceremony was taking place a mere 10 minute drive away from my apartment.  I walked by the White House every Wednesday on my way to kickball, rarely giving it a second thought but knowing now that the President must have been in there at least one of the times.  Also, perhaps less impressive, I was watching the TV show Bones the other day, which is set in DC, and when Zooey Deschanel’s sister said that someone was murdered in ——- U Street club, I became inordinately excited because I had been there.  Man, is this city important. 

Anyways, I am also in awe of the fact that upon accepting a job offer last June, as I awoke from a nap the day we left for a week of shame at Myrtle Beach, I essentially cemented my employment for the rest of my career.  I have a great job, ripe with opportunities, and everyone knows the government never fires anyone.  Yay.  So, as Year One of being gainfully employed approaches, I feel pretty lucky to be where I am.   

I am rambling.  I was hoping to gradually and eloquently turn the conversation toward my recent business trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, but I am failing.  (My original plan had been to talk about how lucky I am to have been chosen to travel three times in my first year, but I realize three times is not actually that much, and I have lots of photos to share, so I’m going to pick up the pace here.) 

I spent the last week in Albuquerque for some work meetings, which I was excited about because I’d never been to New Mexico and was looking forward to checking it off my list.  (Spoiler Alert: New Mexico is nothing to get excited about.  Sorry, Albuquerquians.)  I was with coworker Suzannah and boss Sara, so “us girls” made sure to cram as much sightseeing and Mexican food into the trip as possible. 

On Wednesday, we went to Albuquerque’s “Old Town,” a small square of town four blocks long by five blocks wide.  I knew ahead of time that the turquoise jewelry and southwestern art was not my style, but I was still hoping to find a little souvenier of some sort for myself or a friend.  I found nothing, and Old Town was tiny and dead.  I much prefer downtowns or Old Towns that are actually part of the city and not so much tourist attractions; Albuquerque was shutting down at 4:30 as the flow of tourists slowed to a trickle.  It was evident that locals would never step foot in the Old Town area, a fact that I did not like. 

"street" vendors

the church, founded in early 1700

We stayed for about an hour, and no purchases were made.  The night ended with a dinner at Chili’s, including my all-time favorite Quesadilla Explosion Salad and an attractive waiter. 

But don’t worry bloggies–Thursday was much better.  Using some advice from a coworker who stayed back in DC, we had booked reservations for dinner at a swanky restaurant at the top of the local “mountain,” Sandia Peak.  Access to the restaurant was by tram, a great way to see all that Albuquerque had to offer.  We gamely showed up to the tramway after a long day of meetings, and purchased our $15 tickets. 

welcome sign

our tiny, all-glass tram car


suzannah & me, pre lift-off


The nifty little car was all glass, allowing for some spectacular views.  The ride was fairly long, fifteen minutes at least, and was slightly unnerving when you looked down.  The landscape on the mountain was stunning in a desert-y, brown way, and the views over the city was equally beautiful.  Compared to smoggy, humid Washington, the air in New Mexico is clear and crisp, and made for great photos.

the start of the ascent

beautiful landscape


cliffs


more cliffs


so many cliffs!


almost to the top


looking back down the mountain


me at the top!

start of the sunset


a lovely sunset

the ride back down

Aren’t these pictures amazing?  The tram ride made me crave one of those really nice cameras that would capture all the details, but never discredit the iPhone!  I made sure to text the picture of me at the top to my mom, and then we headed back to the hotel. 

I found Albuquerque to be completely average.  It felt like a huge suburb to me, even more so than DC does.  Aside for the landscape, I felt there was very little in Albuquerque worth writing home about.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it, but I would never make it a destination for myself or anyone else.  I would have liked to have been there for the hot air balloon festival extravaganza, but I can’t win ’em all.  (I would say “Next time!” but we all know there won’t be one.  Hopefully.)  I was out of the office for a week, and didn’t have to spend any of my own money during the trip, so overall I’m very happy to have gone.  The End.

In other news, I read Tina Fey’s book Bossypants and freaking LOVED it.  She is hilarious.  Go buy it or ask for mine.

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