Yes, I am back in the saddle again. It was at about this time last Thursday, 6:30ish, that we were into New Mexico with Albuquerque and dinner the next goal. Albuquerque is always so beautiful to see coming over the hills with the setting sun shining on it -- and this time there was a thunderstorm and a beautiful rainbow in the distance to make the picture even lovelier. Having said that, we generalky hate driving in Albuquerque, but I won't go into the difficulty we had getting to the restaurant. We ended up eating in a 1950s-syle sort of diner with a big owl on it, appropriately named "The Owl Cafe. (Go ahead, do a Google search and you will find a picture). It was very noisy from sound echoing off the walls and unpleasantly remined us of the miserable atmosphere at the Circus Circus restaurant we ate at during the "Las Vegas leg" of the trip. The Owl Cafe had some really cool old music on the juke box. I selected two songs for a quarter, but could barely hear either one of them on the speakers. The specialty of the house was a hamburger with green chili sauce. We both ordered it, but I got almost no chili and R’s was drenched with it. Seems to be the story of my life. It happens with depressing frequency that whenever we go out to eat, Richard ends up getting a really good meal but mine ends up being "not quite right."
The trip home was very different than the trip out. Going was fun – Route 400 across Kansas was delightful. I got a “sense of place” for the area in Colorado where my mother grew up on a small ranch. And we saw breathtaking scenery on I 70 leaving Denver – Glenwood Canyon was just beautiful, and the Rocky Mountains were---high!
But the trip home? Exhausting and irritating. About every 20 miles or so on I 40 there was some sort of road construction, and we felt like cattle being shunted through the chutes at the sale barn. It was very frustrating because just as it seemed we were making progress, here came another “reduced speed ahead, fines doubled in construction zone" sign. After our experience in Arizona several years ago getting zapped with a $250 fine in a construction zone (I did get to stand on a corner in Winslow Arizona, though) we take no chances.
I was very surprised that we made it home by 8 pm, but that was because we did not stop for dinner. By this point we were very tired of eating out and we had food in the cooler to eat.And what did we find when we came home? Well, terrible mess in the refrigerator. Before we left, I had unplugged the refrigerator, cleaned it and the freezer thoroughly, and left the doors open. Unfortunately, R shut the doors as he went from room to room around the house with his checklist because they were blocking the door to his office. I forgot to open the doors again before we left. We discussed briefly calling N and having him go in the house and open frig doors, but we decided against it, and that was a big mistake. I suspected the refrigerator would be in bad shape by the time we got back, and I was not disappointed. The insides were covered in mold (mildew?) whatever it was. I had enough bleach to get started, but R had to go to the store to get more. I spent at least an hour recleaning every surface of the refrigerator. I now have a extremely clean refrigerator.