Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Land of Wedding Enchantment

We finally arrived at Albuquerque to accomplish our foremost purpose for the trip--witnessing a family wedding. My cousin had invited us to visit many times, and we felt the wedding of her daughter would be a great reason to finally take a trip in that direction, and we were glad we made that decision...for lots of reasons. Seeing family that you haven't seen in years, affirming a couple's choice to sanctify their marriage before God and witnesses, enjoying meals together and catching up on the whereabouts and whatabouts of each other's lives: It's all worth the travel.

This sanctuary was a beautiful setting for the wedding, with light pouring in from outside and soft lamps filling in the shadows.

It had been the intention of the church staff to change to banners to red ones--to commemorate Pentecost, rather than Easter--but they waited until after the wedding, making the bride happy since her main color was peach..Here are the bridesmaids and the maid of honor--twin sister to the bride. .

The greenery of the foyer made a great backdrop for pictures. Here, two very lovely ladies take a moment to be photographed together--the bride and her grandmother, my mother's only sister.

Here's the couple, all smiles, as their minister signs the all important document in the background.
 And here, again, at their reception, which was held in the ballroom of the balloon museum. It was a clever idea to hold it there, really, because the guests were given access to the museum and were allowed to roam throughout, looking at exhibits and visiting the gift shop while the wedding party was being photographed.

The museum was constructed to look like a hot air balloon on its side (at the entrance) and later  upright (in the ballroom).

Standing on the balcony gave one the feeling of riding in a basket far above the city.

Inside were fascinating balloon displays and interesting facts about their history. Several varieties were on display. 

It was light enough for my camera to capture a few of the shots from the grand staircase that bore us aloft. Of course the food tasted wonderful, especially since I had stopped counting calories for vacation excuses. We were treated to a variety of foods--from brisket to enchiladas--with all the trimmings.

The next morning was Sunday. Turtle and I found a church near the hotel and enjoyed being anonymous worshipers. Later, we joined my cousin's family for lunch where we got a rare chance to sit and visit for the afternoon. We chatted with the newly married couple, watched the wedding video and posed for a picture in the kitchen.

Turtle and I both admired the neighborhood park--which looks bleak in this picture, but is actually a wonderful maze of hiking trails which ascend and wind around this mountain.
It looks a little more to scale here. We were tempted to take the afternoon climbing, even though the wind was whipping steadily around us, but our time in the Land of Enchantment was running out, so we abandoned the idea. Now I'm wishing we had stayed over another day. I could have clambered all over these rocks with my cousin and her little dog Bailey, and we could have had a good visit before she settled down to putting everything back together from moving her daughter out to an apartment.

I think this is my favorite picture of her neighborhood in Albuquerque. The ground is dry, but just look at that sky--all clouds and shade and fresh-smelling breeze!

We saw rain in the distant hills as we drove out of town, but never felt a drop ourselves.

We ate at this little restaurant along the way home on old Route 66. Across from us sat an odd trio of foreigners who had arrived in this vintage car. One was dressed in what looked like the uniform of a Confederate soldier, another like a cowboy, and the third like a Western rancher.. They spoke English, but their accents were very different from everyone else, and they seemed to be role-playing a part, like actors getting into character before a shooting.

In fact, I questioned my assumption that they were from abroad until I saw the "cowboy" surreptitiously sniff the bottle of Heinz 57 that was on his table, wondering what kind of sauce it was.

Anyway, I'm sure they found New Mexico a great adventure...unless they were from Australia, in which case they probably thought it looked a little like "The Outback"

1 comment:

aftergrace said...

I am so glad you and Turtle were able to come join us for the wedding. Yes, the church was perfect as was the reception.
I really do wish that you could have stayed a day or so longer. Bailey and I would have loved to have you join us on our daily hikes!