Alien Abduction…..Really? Again?

IMG_7057

Aliens!!!

Day 120     October 7, 2014

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico  to  Sedona, Arizona

Although the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta would continue through the week, this would be our last morning at the festival. We grabbed a couple of breakfast burritos from one of the vendors, and hung out to watch the balloon skills competition.

Early morning balloons...

Early morning balloons…

Balloons & more balloons

Balloons & more balloons

Mark & balloons

Mark & balloons

IMG_7039

Funny balloons

Fiona (the Space Shuttle) & balloons

Fiona (the Space Shuttle) & balloons

Airstreams & balloons

Airstreams & balloons

Another one bites the dust...

Another one bites the dust…

One of many specialty balloons

One of many specialty balloons

IMG_7051

Crowd control

Crowd control

Lining up to watch the skills competition

Lining up to watch the skills competition

IMG_7059 IMG_7063 IMG_7061

IMG_7067

By 11:00 we were on the road, once again heading west towards home. We made a quick stop for lunch at Hotel el Rancho, in Gallup, New Mexico, and then, back on the road.

Gallup, NM

Gallup, NM

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

The main drag in Gallup

The main drag in Gallup

Cool road side stuff....

Cool road side stuff….

 

More cool road side stuff....

More cool road side stuff….

Just moments before crossing the Arizona state line, we lost our FM radio reception to pure static. This left us in a bit of a panic, as we tried to ascertain whether or not we’d lost seven minutes of time. Not knowing whether or not we’d experienced time loss, left us also not knowing whether or not we’d been abducted by aliens. Too much X-Files?? Maybe!

IMG_7057

Was it an alien abduction, or just a hoax?! We’ll never know.

Arizona!

Arizona!

Arizona...very friendly place...welcoming us twice!

Arizona…very friendly place…welcoming us twice!

Instagram art. Making art out of nothing.

Instagram art. Me, making photo art out of nothing.

If you need knives, I guess this is the place...

If you need knives, I guess this is the place…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We missed the exit for Winslow, Arizona, so you’ll be spared from the usual corny photo and references to the old Eagles song (“….standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…yada yada…blah blah blah…”).

Before dark, we arrived in Sedona, Arizona, which was a good thing, ‘cause we got to see the beautiful red rocky peaks that surround Sedona. Pretty spectacular! We checked into Rancho Sedona RV Park. Exploration would have to wait until morning!

On the road

Almost in Sedona….

First glimpse of red rocks....

First glimpse of red rocks….

Just gettin' in to Sedona

Just gettin’ in to Sedona

Very red......

Very red……

Very cool......

Very cool……

Very beautiful....

Very beautiful….

Advertisements

Caution: Low Flying Wizards!!

and more.....

Balloons & Airstreams…the perfect combo!

Day 119       October 6, 2014

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The hot air balloons launched early, sans the pre-flight flyover by those loud freakin’ airplanes. But this morning, there’d be a different kind of excitement. The winds must have not been up to snuff, and many of the balloons had a difficult time gaining much altitude.

@ 5:45 am

@ 5:45 am

There goes the fire hydrant balloon!

There goes the fire hydrant balloon!

and more.....

and more…..

More balloons & Airstreams!

More balloons & Airstreams!

Balloons & Airstreams! Beautiful!

Balloons & Airstreams! Beautiful!

Fun!!

Fun!!

We watched from the Space Shuttle as one after another low flying balloon passed overhead. It became quite obvious that the big wizard balloon was gonna be a casualty. From where we were, it looked like the wizard might come crashing down on some of the trailers, and a bunch of us went running towards it to see where it would “land.” Luckily, the balloon did make it safely past the trailers, and put down in some scrub just on the other side of the fence….and, just next to another balloon that had also had altitude issues! This day was turning out to be such good fun!!

Uh-oh!! The wizard is looking kind of low!

Uh-oh!! The wizard is looking kind of low!

Dax and Trixie guard the Space Shuttle from the balloon invasion!

Dax and Trixie guard the Space Shuttle from the balloon invasion!

We completed the day with a visit to the very cool Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, and with happy hour and hanging out with our fellow Airstreamers.

Afternoon visit to the balloon museum

Afternoon visit to the balloon museum

Airstreamers are nice people, and proud people, which meant we got to tour a couple of our neighbor’s really nice Airstream trailers. It’s funny ‘cause, we kind of have space envy when we see these nice wide and long trailers. But then we also have lots of trailer peeps that want to see our rig, and have envy over the ease and convenience of traveling in the Space Shuttle. Either way, it’s great fun to see what everyone’s got and to swap stories!

And Then….A Dog Parade Broke Out!!!

Evening Glow. The tethered balloons fired up at night.

Evening Glow. The tethered balloons fired up at night.

Day 118           October 5, 2014

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sleep. Wake up. Watch hot air balloons. Repeat. Day #2 of low flying airplanes at 4:30 am, followed by hot air balloons…..or NOT!!

It’d been determined (by those silly airplanes) that the winds weren’t appropriate for the balloons to take off. Instead, the balloons were inflated, but remained tethered to the ground. Still, it was fun to walk amongst all of the balloons on display.

In the afternoon, we drove into Old Town Albuquerque to have a look around and get a bite to eat. Old Town was uber touristy, but we didn’t care. As long as I can get some decent Mexican food and ice-cream, I’m a happy camper.

Beautiful old church in Old Town

Beautiful old church in Old Town

We found some cool, fun, old architecture around Albuquerque

We found some cool, fun, old architecture around Albuquerque

The highlight of the day was really one of my own creations. I’d convinced the powers that be (the organizers of the Airstream rally, and it didn’t take much convincing) that we Airstreamers should have a dog parade while we were at the Balloon Fiesta. And so, on this day, at 4:00 in the afternoon, all of us dog lovers and our fun-loving doggies, gathered in order to parade around amongst the Airstream trailers and motorhomes.

The fantastic, fabulous, fun-filled doggie parade!!!

The fantastic, fabulous, fun-filled doggie parade!!!

A grand time was had by all. Some of the doggies were dressed up, and some weren’t. Some pups and their people were dog parade first timers, and I was happy and proud to introduce these people to the world of dog parades. Others of us (mostly Californians) were seasoned dog parade participants.

Dax. Post-dog parade. Dirty and downright dog-tired.

Dax. Post-dog parade. Dirty and downright dog-tired.

The parade was a big hit, and I’m happy to say that there’s been talk of making it an annual event for the Airstream rally at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! Thank you very much, me!

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow. The tethered balloons fired up at night.

Evening Glow.

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Hot Air Balloons and Airstreams…Oh My!!!!

IMG_6927

Morning balloon launch @ Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Day 117         October 4, 2014 

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico

We’d planned to wake up early to watch the 6:30 am Mass Ascension of the hot air balloons. We knew that, prior to the hot air balloons launching in the mornings, small planes were first sent up to test the winds. We just didn’t know that that happened at 4:30 am….right above us! And so, impossible as it was to sleep through the roaring noise, we woke up at 4:30 am.

It was unbelievably cold that early in the morning, but we managed to get out of bed, bundle up, and eventually, walk down to the balloon launching field. We hung out for quite a while and watched as one after another hot air balloon left the ground.

Early morning launch

Early morning launch

Balloons and Airstreams

Balloons and Airstreams

IMG_6892

IMG_6897 IMG_6911 IMG_6909 IMG_6899

IMG_6911

IMG_6934 IMG_6932 IMG_6929 IMG_6927 IMG_6925 IMG_6917

When I’d lost feeling in my fingers and toes, due to the cold weather, we headed back to the Space Shuttle to thaw out. Mark made espresso coffees for us and for our next door neighbors, Nancy and Jess, as we warmed up and watched the balloons flying right overhead. It was a pretty magical sight!

IMG_6945 IMG_6943 IMG_6941

Day #1 of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta was turning out to be quite spectacular!

IMG_6950

Evening Glow. Tethered balloons light up….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6956

Evening Glow

IMG_6960

Evening Glow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_6954

Evening Glow

IMG_6966

And fireworks to end each day!

I “Heart” Shiny Trailers!!!

Following behind one of many shiny trailers

On the way to the Fiesta grounds. Following behind one of many shiny trailers

Day 116        October 3, 2014

Albuquerque, New Mexico

First thing in the morning, we lined up with all the other Airstreams, to caravan into the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta grounds. That in itself, was super fun! Shiny trailer after shiny trailer, parading down the highway, and finally coming to a halt in our designated area next to the balloon launching field.

Morning line-up to start the caravan to the Fiesta grounds

Morning line-up to start the caravan to the Fiesta grounds

Following behind one of many shiny trailers

Following behind one of many shiny trailers

Fiona, in her designated spot for the next 5 days

Fiona, in her designated spot for the next 5 days

There wasn’t a whole lot going on in the afternoon, so after getting all settled in our spot, Mark and I took a bike ride to…well…to somewhere. I don’t really know where we were. We just followed the bike path along the aqueduct, and meandered around until we found a proper coffee shop.

We found a nice coffee shop.....

We found a nice coffee shop…..

And found some nice stout at the coffee shop!

And found some nice stout at the coffee shop!

I love a beer that gives you instructions on what time of day to drink which beverages....

I love a beer that gives you instructions on what time of day to drink which beverages….

The evening was spent hanging out with the other ‘streamers, and making new friends. The crazy fun wouldn’t begin until the morning!

The Well-Connected Travelers…Nothing Like A Good Foodie Hook-Up!!

or...for Nancy & Mark's Space Shuttle

or…for Nancy & Mark’s Space Shuttle

Day 115           October 2, 2014

Santa Fe  to  Albuquerque

Our friends, brother/sister combo, Scott and Piper, own Back Road Pizza in Santa Fe, so that was our main destination for the day. We were treated like royalty. We were given the primo parking spot right out front, and then we feasted on some pretty awesome pizzas!

The infamous & delicious Backroads Pizza!!

The infamous & delicious Back Road Pizza!!

or...for Nancy & Mark's Space Shuttle

or…for Nancy & Mark’s Space Shuttle

Before we left the Santa Fe area, we went to see Las Campanas. Las Campanas is a huge golf/spa/housing resort outside of town. Mark had worked on this project many years ago, and had made a couple trips here while the the project was under construction.

The golf club @ Las Campanas

The golf club @ Las Campanas

The golf club @ Las Campanas

The golf club @ Las Campanas

The golf club @ Las Campanas

The golf club @ Las Campanas

@ the spa @ Las Campanas

@ the spa @ Las Campanas

I love concrete floors!

I love concrete floors!

Gigantic chandelier

Gigantic chandelier in dining room foyer

Beautiful view surrounding Las Campanas

Beautiful view surrounding Las Campanas

After our pizza feast, and architectural pilgrimage, we had only a short drive to get to Albuquerque, where we’d reserved a spot at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with the Airstream club. The festival didn’t start until the next day, and our meet-up spot for this night, was at the Enchanted Trails RV Park. We were thrilled to arrive in the evening and to find shiny Airstream trailers everywhere throughout the park! This was gonna be a fun time!!