Friday, August 04, 2006


Day 12 - Thursday - August 3, 2006

0800 - Wow! Felisa let me sleep in today!

0845 - Left Melissa with the kids while I head to Starbucks and to get an oil change. Boy am I going to miss having an extra "adult" around after she goes home tomorrow.

0915 - Oil change is done. And quickly too! Was a little more expensive than I expected it be but such is life. A bonus - the cute young mechanic. Which offsets the higher price a little...

1000 - Finally have all the kids dressed, sunscreened, and loaded into the car. Stroller - check. Extra water - check. Snack box - check. Head over to Elena's to pick up Thomas and Philip for a trip to the zoo.

12:00 pm - leave the Aquarium/Botanic Gardens. Oh, did I say we were going to the zoo? Well apparently, the zoo and the aquarium are not connected. There is a train that goes between them but at this point I am too hot and too hungry and therefore WAY too cranky to wait 20 minutes for a train, then load 5 kids and a double-stroller onto said train. Plus we'd have to wait for the train and repeat the entire scenario when we finish at the zoo and I'm willing to bet I would be even less willing to deal with it then than I am now. So... everyone to the parking lot. We're driving to the zoo!

12:15 pm - But first a visit to the McD's playland two blocks down. I need to eat and I need to eat NOW. And the kids are probably hungry too. Of course, this McD's idea also turns out to be not as good as I had hoped. See email complaint I sent regarding the incident:

The Swing Manager on duty (also running the cash register at the time)
refused to supply complementary water/cups to me for my young
children. I have been away from the southwest for awhile but as I
recall, free water MUST be given to anyone who asks for it anywhere. I
then told her that I would use the water bottles I had brought with me then
and could she just give me two cups. Again she refused. She said
that too many people ordered water and helped themselves to soda at the
self-serve drink station. So I, an honest customer, was punished
because of other peoples' dishonesty. It leaves a very bitter taste in
my mouth for McDonalds now and I will NOT be patronizing any other
McDonalds' establishments during my visit to Albuquerque.

Then to make things better, Philip tried to eat a french fry from the very disgustingly dirty floor. I think I may have surprised him when I reached down under the table to grab his arm and prevent this yucky fry from entering his mouth. In any case, he immediately began screaming for his mommy. Every word I uttered elicited louder cries so I left him to cry it out while I rounded up the other animals, I mean kids. Shoes on, bathroom breaks, etc. Melissa was able to get Philip out so I didn't have to pull him out kicking and screaming after all. We loaded back up in the van. A man in the parking lot wanted to wash my windows. I really hate it when people come up from behind me when I'm getting everyone in and buckled. I gave him a dollar and turned down the window washing. So now, off we go to find the elusive zoo. I head off to where I think it is. A few blocks past the aquarium and I decide to call for help. Ron doesn't answer his phone (turns out he left it in the camera bag which is in the back seat of the van and yet I don't hear it ringing). So I call the number on the back of the zoo pass and ask the nice lady for directions. Melissa checks the map - oh, there it is - several blocks away and on a different page of the map. No wonder we coudn't find it! On the way over I tell the kids that it will be a very short zoo visit today because I am tired and cranky. My poor nephews are going to be having nightmares about Auntie!

2:00 pm - We are halfway done seeing the zoo. I am too hot, too tired, and therefore still VERY cranky so I give the "Pick one animal each to see and we're leaving" speech.

3:45 pm - after meandering through Albuquerque (finding the highway was almost as hard as finding the zoo - Albuquerque could use a little signage work), we finally made it back home. We ran out of water (thanks to the McD's incident) so Melissa and I were very thirsty. Luckily we had enough to fill all the kids' cups for the ride home. Philip and the girls were all sleeping by the time we made it back across town so I dropped Thomas and Philip at their house and took my kids back to the Grandma and Grandpa's house. Felisa woke up when we got back but Bella stayed asleep. I left the kids home with Melissa and went to my favorite thrift shop to relax a little and pretend none of this day ever happened.

5:15 pm - After my much-needed shower, Ron and I head out to dinner at Garduno's with Melissa. We tortured her by not allowing her to order anything that wasn't mexican food. No hamburgers, no plain steak, etc. We want her to get our money's worth out of her southwestern vacation so she had to eat the food at least once! We did our parently duty of hassling her about not liking spicy food and not liking sopapillas (too much like donuts). Alex called during dinner so we bugged her about that too. Ron had 2 margaritas at dinner so he was extra happy and full of fun which gave the hassling that much more umph! I think that if circumstances were different, I would have made Melissa call him back after dinner. But... he was all the way in Germany, where it was already very late, and they hadn't talked yet today. So I let it ride. See what a nice mom I can be... (when I'm not hot, tired, or hungry!)

7:00 pm - Stop by to see Seth and family. Melissa and Ron got to hold him. We had a nice time hanging out.

8:30 pm - Back home. The kids are taking a bath.

9:15 pm - Kids are watching Wallace and Grommit. I picked up a copy of The Were-Rabbit today, or so I thought. It was a used copy and it turns out, a different Wallace and Grommit movie was in the box. So, guess I'll have to take it back sometime next week since we already have that video at home.

9:45 pm - Felisa is still up. Ron is still up. He says, "The movie is too loud. I can't sleep." Melissa is leaving tomorrow. :( I asked Melissa what her favorite parts of the trip were.

  • Being with the kids
  • Royal Gorge
  • Bandelier cliff climbing (the extra trail especially)
And the best comment I got out of her... "One of my top vacations ever" From a teenager. Wow.

9:58 pm - Melissa and Felisa are examining a bug on the kitchen floor. They rescue him and release him outside. My favorite quote from the whole operation is "Apparently he's not dead yet!" It was indeed a very complicated rescue operation involving a cup and a paper towel.

9:59 pm - There is an awesome breeze here this evening. Though it was hot this afternoon, it wasn't oppressive (as it is in the horrible humidity back home). Well, not humid except in the tropical animals building at the zoo - uck! I am becoming very spoiled by the nice weather. It will be hard to return to the dog days of August on the East coast!

10:00 pm - Bug has been returned to the wild. Melissa is measuring Felisa on the yardstick on the wall. 34 inches.

10:01 pm - Do you think Felisa will go to bed if I do? I guess I should quit writing in my blog journal notebook and give it a try.

As a post-script to Melissa's portion of our trip...

What have we learned about Melissa?
  • She doesn't like donuts or potato chips
  • She rubs her nose like Felisa and I do
  • She doesn't like spicy food
  • She talks on the phone/texts alot!
  • She's great to have around!!!

Thanks for coming, Melissa!

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