|Albuquerque's characteristic rock & rough plant landscaping with the Sandia mountains on the distant horizon.|
Tonight we finally made it to our vacation! We'd been attempting since January 30th to depart Seattle, our layover between Alaska & a winter hiking destination, but my stress & strain caused health problems delayed us these 11 days. At last, here we are!
There's nothing quite like deprivation to nurture appreciation. In my particular case, 8 days of nausea & vomiting has made me all the more grateful for foods that nourish me & stay down! And being unable to travel made me jubilant when we successfully left the ground in Seattle earlier today. We enjoyed a two hour layover at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, during which I lounged on the carpet near a display Audi and we drank copious amounts of water, understanding anew how fortunate we are with our direct-from-faucet water quality in Seward. At the end of two hours, we obediently boarded our next flight, bound for Albuquerque and congratulated ourselves for getting one step closer to getting on the trail.
Touchdown in Albuquerque came with extra excitement due to 30 mph cross winds. The pilot had cautioned us that we might not be able to land and that the plan B was to take us to San Diego. Fortunately, he landed the plane successfully and we were on the ground, bags in hand by 8:15pm. Even so, the City busses were finished for the day. We could have taken a taxi, or some version there of, but I was eager to walk, and we were prepared to do so, as our luggage was backpacks.
Outdoors, the temperature was a luxurious 60 degrees, as later related to us by a bank thermostat. We walked out of the airport complex and through the suburban developments surrounding it. We jaunted past restaurants and car repair stores, through underpasses and amidst eye watering winds. It was glorious. The joy of walking filled my spirit. I felt alive again, something I desperately needed to recover my usual enthusiasm. Being bed and house bound had taught me anew how fortunate I am to have an amazing husband and caring family and friends. It also stifled my spirit, because I love to be going, moving, doing.
About 2.5 miles into our 5 mile walk to our lodgings, we stumbled upon the perfect restaurant for us. We stowed our backpacks and ordered a hearty meal of pozole stew and Al pastor burrito. The items came with unlimited trips to the salsa bar and we partook heartily of radishes, green salsa, pickled carrots and sliced jalapenos. The winter Olympic figure skaters entertained us while we ate our fill. Afterwards, we walked on through urban Albuquerque and I felt at peace, content to be on the trail, moving forward. How fortunate we are!