US Land Logs 4, Year 4: Saying Farewell to Ziggy and to Santa Fe
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Weather: Blue Skies, Sunny, Temps in Mid-70’s
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

We are sitting in the airport terminal in Albuquerque waiting for our 10:24 am flight to Denver. From there we fly to Chicago and then on to Providence, Rhode Island where our son-in-law Jed will pick us up at 9:30 this evening. Yesterday was a tough day. Every time we would walk from our casita to Justin and Jo’s I would get teary-eyed thinking about leaving Ziggy, Justin, and Jo. Ziggy was one month-old last Thursday and yesterday he weighed in at 8 pounds 8 ounces. He was so tiny when we arrived but now he is starting to get chubby little cheeks, fingers, and toes. It is going to be very hard to leave him. We hope to see him again before we return to Malaysia in late fall, and in the meantime, we will see him via Skype video and continue to watch him grow. We had an interesting conversation with Jo and her parents last evening about just how huge this country is and how far apart families live from each other. In England where they live, nothing is more than a couple of hours away. Wouldn’t that be wonderful! But here we just have to get on a plane and fly across the country. Of course, while sad to leave Ziggy, we are very excited to be going to Cape Cod to see Sam, Heather, and Jed. And in about five weeks, we will have another grandchild there. And that is very exciting.

The weather in Santa Fe has been spectacular and we are going to miss that as well. Springtime in New England is beautiful, but it won’t be sunny and in the mid-70’s everyday as it is here. So we have lived everyday of the past week to the fullest. We started our week working in the garden. Tuesday night we went out to dinner at the CowGirl restaurant in downtown Santa Fe to say farewell to Jo’s sister Katherine. She flew back to England on Wednesday. Then on Thursday we had a one-month birthday celebration for Ziggy. And Mirabelle came home from the VW shop just in time for the birthday party. On Saturday we rented a car and took Justin, Jo, and Ziggy for a day out in Taos. There is a high road and a low road leading to Taos. The high road has gorgeous mountain scenery and is very green. The low road is the fastest but it winds through dry country that has a very different kind of beauty. The difference in the scenery on the two roads was truly unbelievable. Taos is a tourist town at the base of the highest peaks in the area which also makes it a ski town in the winter. We had a wonderful lunch on the outdoor patio of a restaurant in downtown Taos, wandered though the plaza, and visited the Taos pueblo north of town. On the way home we stopped to see the Santuario de Chimayo. To top off a fantastic day, we had dinner back in Santa Fe at a Thai restaurant. Our waitress was from Krabi, an area of Thailand that we really enjoyed visiting in Windbird. Just talking to her made us homesick for Windbird but we hear from friends that Windbird is doing just fine in our absence.

Sunday was Mother’s Day and Justin, Phil, and Mark prepared a fantastic brunch for us. Justin and Jo gave the grandmothers each a photo of them with Ziggy and each mother was presented with a beautiful rose. We sat and talked and ate for almost three hours, and then later in the evening we had the whole gang over to our casita for a southwest dinner of chili and polenta. Yesterday we packed and did the last little bit of work on Mirabelle and the garden. Then we all went out for sushi. We said our farewells to Jo’s parents after dinner. We have so enjoyed getting to know them and already look forward to the next time we get to see them. We ended our last evening in Santa Fe by being treated to desert at Justin and Jo’s-chocolate brownies fresh out of the oven with raspberries and Rice Dream ice cream. What a treat. We smothered Ziggy with hugs and kisses and said our goodbyes for now to Justin and Jo.

It’s time for take-off, so I’d better send this while I’m still connected to the internet. I’ll post another log when we reach Cape Cod.

Note: Actually I didn’t get to post this log before leaving Albuquerque, so it is being posted a couple of days later. We are now on Cape Cod. Our flights here went without a hitch from Albuquerque to Denver, Denver to Chicago, and Chicago to Providence. Heather, Jed, and Sam are doing great and we are already settled in here. I’ll write a log this weekend to update our activities since arriving here.

090508 New Mexico–Santa Fe Walkabout
090509 New Mexico–Trip to Taos
090510 New Mexico–Mother’s Day
090511 New Mexico–Last Week in Santa Fe
090511 New Mexico–Saying Farewell