Population = 520,481, latitude 35º6’, longitude 106º37’, elevation 5,335 feet, average January low temperature = 26.1, Average July high temperature = 89, average sunny days = 280, annual snowfall = 26.7”, annual rainfall = 15.3”
Before reaching Albuquerque, we stopped for lunch in Hatch, New Mexico, known as the Chile Capital of the World. Indeed, there were roadside stands advertising all sorts of chiles for sale. Our choice for lunch was a well-known tourist destination called Sparky’s, which served its World Famous Green Chile Burger with a side of pineapple coleslaw or sweet corn with Hatch green chiles and onions. The burgers were delicious and lunch was accompanied with music by a one man band singing and playing his guitar, drums, and harmonica.
We arrived in Albuquerque with a long list of things to do. According to friends who have lived here before, it is great city, filled with lots of interesting things to do and see, a moderate cost of living, and many opportunities for good food and beer. According to our research too, ABQ falls into the right brackets of latitude and elevation that moderate climate, winter and summer. Certainly a city worth looking into. We settled in to our new place, had dinner at Monroe’s Mexican Restaurant, bought a few groceries, and started planning our explorations.
Unfortunately, the next day, Marylu started getting sick. I went shopping again and got some chicken soup and other simple, chicken based foodstuffs for her convalescence. The next day, she felt even worse, so we made a run to the CVS Minute Clinic to see what was up. After the trademark long, sloooow analysis, the Nurse Practitioner declared FLU and prescribed Tamiflu. Then the wait transferred to the pharmacy. Ever wonder why it takes so long to count out pills into a jar? Me too!
(National Geographic Science Photo Library)
Back to the rental house. Marylu gets all tucked into a warm bed for a long nap. I am feeling fine and decided go out for a walk. As it happens, there is a brewery just 6 blocks away, so the laptop and I stroll over there. The patio is warm and sunny and the brown ale is tasting great. I ponder the important issues of the day and think lofty thoughts and write a few well chosen words for posterity.
The next day, Marylu is still very sick, so it is a take-care-of-chores day for me. US Bank has a branch here so I can deposits some checks we have been carrying around for months. Gipsy needs the 60,000 mile maintenance checkup, so I find a dealer way across town. Getting pretty shaggy and decide on getting a haircut. After the long and congested drive home, I am tired and grateful for our quiet little house.
The next day, I wake up in the fog and coughing, drippy nose, aching misery that is the flu. You don’t want to hear about it and I don’t want to dredge it up again. Our exploration of ABQ is over. We spend whole days napping, reading, eating little meals that taste like sawdust. I elected to take the Tylenol Cold and Flu pills, rather than pluck down $135 for Tamiflu. By the end of the week, we have both been through the grinder and feel like it.
Next time we pass this way, we will give Albuquerque another try. Sorry we missed it this time through.
Next up: Durango CO.