DAY 13, JUNE 11, 1993
(CHRIS) In the morning (the 11th), Jon got up 1st and called Halyna from the hospital. Then Matt, Sam, and I all went in the bathroom and washed up and brushed our teeth. Sam even shaved and washed his hair in the sink. It was an odd experience, but no one even walked in. Then we drove into Santa Fe, but the parking situation looked pretty grim. Matt, though, found us a nice, free spot just a five minute walk from all the sights. Before departing from the van, we gave a guy's van a big push start in the middle of a busy intersection. We went to the visitor center which hooked us up with a free map and advice of what to see.
First we saw San Miguel Church, the oldest church in the U.S. - 1640 or so by Spanish and Indians. It was cool. Next door, the "oldest house in the U.S." looked stupid and cost to get in, so we skipped it. Then we saw Chapel of Our Lady of Light or Loretto. It was built under Bishop Lamy about 1560ish and run by Loretto nuns. It housed the miraculous staircase which was spiral and went up to the choir loft. It had no supports and was built by a mysterious carpenter out of wood from Palestine after nuns completed a novena to St. Joseph. It was pretty awesome, as was the whole church. The stairs are still in fine condition, but not used by tourists for fear of vandals, etc. But it was used for 100 years. The only bad part is that the church is owned by a hotel and they charge all $1 to see it. But I love it because it was probably the, 1st tangible physical miracle I've seen with my eyes.
The cathedral was OK, down the street. It wasn't great, though, and the sanctuary looked more like a meeting room than an altar of God. The shops were neat, I bought a couple gifts. Soon we realized, though, that there were hundreds of them, all selling the same thing: turquoises Indian jewelry and postcards. We finished our walk through the very pretty city (all adobe and very neat and clean, unlike San Antonio) before 1pm.
We drove to Albuquerque and found a nice little park in a bad part of town next to the zoo (Matt thought the sign said Biological Park!). There we cooked up some spaghetti under the shade of a big tree. The weather was perfect. It was 83 degrees but no humidity so shade is perfect. After we ate a very good meal, Sam played with my camcorder and we wrote some postcards. Then we drove to Old Town Albuquerque which consisted of about 10 billion Indian jewelry stores and one old church. After hitting a thrift store to get Matt clean shirts, we called Rose who got out of work around then, 5:30.
We then drove to their house, a really nice, pink house in a nice suburban neighborhood. It looked small on the outside, but was big inside. They had a pool, hot tub, 5 bedrooms, 10 kids (only 2 still home - Rose and Andrew), and a stocked fridge. For the next 20 hours, Coors and Coke flowed freely. After chatting with Rose and her parents for awhile and opening the package of goodies from Mary Lou, Rose drove us up to Cibola National Forest. We were already a mile high on Alb and now we went up another mile, ears popping. From the ridge on top, you could see all of Alb. and beyond. We hiked along it, and even found some snow. We were a bit cold in our shorts and T-shirts. Rose was an awesome guide and alot of fun. She told us many fun facts like that the Spanish called the area Watermelon Ridge (Sandia Ridge) because it was all green, but had very pink sunsets. We saw the sun set and it was gorgeous. On the way down, all 5 of us blew our noses simultaneously.
Back at their house, we had a joyful reunion with Andrew, returned from delivering pizzas. Then we ate one, chatted with Rose and Mr. Hawley about taxes, etc. Then - THE POOL! Awesome, very warm, plus a hot tub where Sam and Matt left behind their old sunburned skin, still perfectly shaped liked them and emerged fresh and white with their new bodies. We also did different slam dunks off the diving board. It was a blast. Sam was laughing and hiccupping so vigorously at one point that he almost burped for the first time. After that, it was past midnight. We said rosary and hit the hay. Jon and I got the guest room, Matt a cot in the office, and Sam bunked with Andrew.