Sunday, November 7, 2010

My weekend at YALSA in Albequerque

Before I tell you about my weekend, let me tell you a few things about me:
1.  I have a rule when traveling, I try to never eat where I can eat at home. 
2.  I have never ridden a bus as public transportation.
3.  I am not a big fan of crowds or chaos, controlled or not.

Keep these things in mind as I tell you my story.

I arrived at the Albequerque airport, picked up my luggage and headed out to find a cab with no problems.  This was a very good sign!  The cab brought me to my hotel and I checked in and headed up to my room.  Very nice room....that faced the freeway, not the mountains.  The gentleman that checked me in called this the "city view"!

I then headed out to find a restaurant for lunch.  I am just across the street from a mall.  The problem with this is that there are many chain restaurants but not much of anything else.  I did finally find a restaurant that I had not heard of and had lunch, again no problems.  It was beautiful outside so the walking was very nice. 

I returned to the hotel, layed down for my daily catnap...only to wake up with terrible allergies...darn that nice walk!  I should also let you know that my insurance company decided on Friday that they would not longer pay for my Allegra-D and Singulair...thanks Obama!  So, at this point I am without anything other than those wonderful OTC meds!  By this point my eyes are itching, my nose is running, the top of my mouth is burning and I can't stop sneezing!  I can't possibly go down to the HH like this, so I decide to call for room, not here!  I walk down to the restaurant and order a soup and salad hoping that this may help.  The French Onion soup and Caesar salad was delicious, but I think all the patrons around me were afraid to eat while I was there with all of my orifices leaking as they were!  I take two Benadryll and lay back down.  Take two more four hours later and finally stop sneezing long enough to sleep. 

Day 2--
I still am not feeling well, so I decide that sitting in sessions will never work.  So, I go down around 10 AM and ask for a cab to take me to Old Town, this is a shopping area that was the original downtown area for Albequerque.  The lady at the front desk tells me I could take the bus as it was much cheaper.  I must say, I like taking subways, but buses are another issue all together.  The concierge was nice enough to walk outside with me and show me where the bus picks up and let the bus driver know where I wanted to go once the bus arrived.  Remember...this was PUBLIC transportation.  All I will say as to not offend anyone is that the public that rides the bus in Albequerque is interesting to say the least.  It is amazing how many lonely, old men want to talk to you on the bus!  I was polite and friendly, but not even my sneezing deterred these people!  Forty-five minutes later, I finally reached my destination.  Thankfully, there was a CVS at the bus stop so I headed in to immediately pick up some Claritin.  Thankfully, this had some effect.

I head over to Old Town...nothing like a little shopping to make anyone feel better!  I always buy two things when traveling, a book about the area and a Christmas ornament. 
But first I wanted green chilis, on anything!  If you have never had Green Chili stew, I highly recommend it.  But I wanted something more substantial after soup and salad the night before.  So, I headed to a Mexican restaurant for lunch.  The Mexican food at Las Haciendas was delicious and I was full and now ready to shop!  The little area was very nice and the shops were full of Indian pottery and such.  I hit a few stores, bought my wares and headed back to the hotel.  Oh, what I forgot to mention was that the main thoroughfare through Albequerque is the old Route 66, so I actually did enjoy the view, despite the fact that I was hit on by every old man on the bus!!  As I headed back to the hotel, another elderly man found his way next to me.  He made small talk and bless his heart, he smelled like a distillery. He did thank me for my company as he got off the bus!!  Public transportation is quite interesting!!

Ok, now for the chaos.  I knew that we would receive a bag with a "limited number of signed books" but really had no idea what that meant.  So, minutes before entering the book signing room, we are each given five tickets to choose five books to have signed.  Enter room to several hundred librarians running around trying to find the author of choice.  Me....first line I see to get out of the chaos.  Luckily, my first line was a good choice.  I quickly figure out they are not taking the, shame on me!  I go from line to line picking up books and getting them signed.  Being in line means being out of the chaos! 

I have my goods, I am happy so I head to the room to drop off the books and get ready to head to the Pueblo Indian Museum .  This was a great museum, but did not take long to get through.  Back to hotel, off to bed, off to the mall the next day and then back home.  Still not feeling well! 

I did not sit in on as many sessions as I thought I would but I did get my free books and some shopping done so overall I would call it a successful weekend.

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