Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday, September 12, through Friday, September 23: The Sisterly Road Trip

After Wendy's early morning arrival, Becky and Wendy caught a few more hours of rest.  Then, the road trip began.  The first stop was Monument Valley.

Becky brought her 1/3rd of Richard's ashes on this road trip.  Daughter Donna and son Rick will each get their 1/3rd.  It was Richard's wish for his ashes to be scattered in special places.  He was on the road trip with Becky and Wendy and special places were found --- like Monument Valley.

After a one-night stay in Kayenta, the two sisters visited Four Corners --- on their way to Durango, Colorado.

Signs indicated at Four Corners that it was not allowed to place ashes on this sacred property.  So, Richard remained in the truck for that stop.

The second stop that day was Mesa Verde National Park.  Richard is permanently there now :-)

Our final destination was Durango.  We stayed at a motel rated by Trip Advisor as #2.  Becky and Wendy have never stayed at a Knights Inn.

Wednesday morning, Wendy and Becky walked from the motel to the Durango & Silverton train station.  It was a beautiful walk along the Rio Grande.  We event saw one of the morning trains going up to Silverton.  We'll be on one of those tomorrow!

A British couple walked up to Wendy and Becky and told them about the Wildlife Museum.  It was open only two more days --- as it closes for the season.  The couple thought it was marvelous.  So, Wendy and Becky checked it out!  It was next to the Durango Fish Hatchery.  And, we met volunteer Wildlife Museum docent, Clark.  He was quite a character!

And the museum was very well done!

That night, we had wine and appetizers for dinner at the Derailed Pour House in old town Durango.

Thursday, was the much anticipated train ride on the Durango & Silverton train.  Becky had bought two first class tickets on the train in April.  This was the last car on the train --- with limited guests, complimentary beverages, and a full bar.  Becky and Wendy were pampered royally!

The 50+ mile ride was so beautiful.  Along the Rio Grande River, through many San Juan National Forest trees and gorges.  Becky had brought Richard's ashes.  He was deposited in special places along the way.

Lunch was at the Handlebars Restaurant in Silverton.  It was a gorgeous day in that cute town.  Wendy and Becky walked through the town and caught a Durango & Silverton bus back to Durango.  It was recommended to only take the train one way.  The train takes 3 1/2 hours and the bus only takes 1 1/2 hours.

That night, Wendy and Becky had a lovely dinner at Ken and Sue's in old town.  Becky's mussels were delicious!

Friday was a travel day to Alamosa, Colorado.  The drive went right through Pagosa Springs.  So, Becky and Wendy spent an hour at one of the spas --- the oldest --- Healing Waters Spa.  The water temperature was delightful!  They started outside,

And ended up inside!

Saturday, was the trek to Great Sand Dunes National Park.  It was less than 40 miles outside Alamosa.  Becky brought her National Parks Passport book.  She needed National Park stamp #43!  And, of course, Richard was left there  --- both by the sign and on the dunes.

Sunday was a travel day to Santa Fe.  Becky and Wendy drove through some scenic mountains.  And, they came across another scenic train, the Cumbres & Toltec Train.

Wendy had visited Santa Fe in April.  That was her first time.  The last time Becky had been to Santa Fe was 2009.  She had visited it several times before.  They stayed at a nicely located motel on Cerrillos Road --- Santa Fe Motel and Inn.  It was a short walk from there to the plaza.

Lunch was at the Thunderbird Bar & Grill.  Then, a walk around the plaza.  Wendy suggested that they go to the Loretto Chapel.  There, candles were lit for Richard and for a dear friend, Bev Nickerson, who has cancer.

One of Becky's Los Angeles friends retired last year and moved to Santa Fe.  Becky and Wendy visited Claudette DuBois and her charming Santa Fe home.  They later went to dinner at Del Charro Saloon and Restaurant, a local favorite!

Monday morning, Becky and Wendy walked from their motel to Canyon Road --- where all the art galleries adorn the street.  Wendy had bought a neat painting at one gallery in April --- Contemporary Gallery.  Becky was eying a painting by the same artist.  No way!

Another former LA friend of Becky's --- Gloria Gordon --- moved to Santa Fe eleven years ago.  Becky and Wendy had a lovely lunch with Gloria and her husband, David King, at the courtyard restaurant, La Casa Sena.

A real treat later in the day, was a reunion with Jeff and MJ Rankin.  Jeff and MJ are very high level executive recruiters.  They moved to Santa Fe years ago --- from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  MJ represented Becky in an executive search in Santa Barbara 25+ years ago.  Jeff and MJ live on a majestic, gated estate.

Jeff hosted Becky and Wendy at his favorite table at Osteria, a great Italian restaurant!  What a fun time!

Tuesday morning, Becky and Wendy had the usual breakfast in the motel's courtyard.  Then, they walked to see the New Mexico's State Capitol, the "Roundhouse."  Richard was left in the beautiful rotunda, by a lovely planted tree.

Wendy wanted to buy new wind chimes for her home.  The motel general manager recommended a nearby shop.  On the way, Becky and Wendy came across a neat organic street market --- and Wendy bought a wind chime at the shop.

Wendy arranged 90 minute massages for her and Becky at a spa called Absolute Nirvana.  Wendy found this spa when she was in Santa Fe five months ago.  Both massage ladies were excellent!

Dinner the last night in Santa Fe was Happy Hour at Terra Cotta Wine Bistro. Nice!

Wednesday, September 21, was check-out day at the Santa Fe Motel and Inn.  It was a pleasure staying there.

It was going to be a short trip to Albuquerque, so Becky and Wendy filled up the day with a visit to Los Alamos and the Bradbury Science Museum.  Both had never been there!  Can you say "the Manhattan Project"!?!?

Both Gloria Gordon and Jeff Rankin shared with Becky and Wendy the exciting new art exhibit in Santa Fe, Meow Wolf.  So, it was something they wanted to see.  So, a detour and 1 1/2 hours, was a fun time at Meow Wolf. It is an interactive, funky "Alice in Wonderland" exhibit in a former bowling alley.

The two sisters enjoyed it!

Becky and Wendy arrived at the Sandia Peak Inn at about 3:00pm.  The parking lot of the motel was set up for a movie filming!  It was challenging finding a place to park Becky's big truck.  Because of the late night filming, the motel manager upgraded Becky and Wendy to a suite --- farthest away from the shoot.

Dinner was in downtown Albuquerque at a restaurant inside the Hotel Andaluz, MAS Tapas.  Amazing, Becky and Wendy had tapas!

Thursday, Becky and Wendy checked out of the motel and drove to the Sandia Peak Tramway.  This was always on Becky's bucket list.  They arrived early, and were in the second tram, Flight #02.  The tram heads up to Sandia Peak, at 10,378 feet.

Richard also road up to Sandia Peak in Becky's purse.  And, he now is there forever.

Becky has been thinking about subsequent road trips with the dogs, in the large 5th wheel.  She is starting to think that maybe it would be easier if the 5th wheel were exchanged for a smaller trailer.  So, as Becky and Wendy were leaving Albuquerque, they stopped at an RV dealership, La Mesa RV.  They met with salesman Basil and walked through a number of smaller 5th wheels and 28-29 foot trailers.

It was an interesting visit to contemplate a new RV direction.

Becky and Wendy arrived in Gallup, New Mexico, in the early afternoon.  They checked into the Sleep Inn Motel and went to a local market to secure items for a picnic dinner in their room.

Friday is the last day of this road trip.  In Holbrook, Becky took the exit for Petrified Forest National Park.  It was not on the original itinerary, but so easy to take this 23 mile detour.  And, another place for Richard to be placed!

You can't go past Winslow, Arizona, without stopping "on the corner" and visiting the historic La Posada Hotel.

Ramsey, Libby, and Kelsey spent the past twelve nights at Cinder Hills Kennel in Flagstaff.  They were picked up at 1PM.  They had a great stay, as always!

While in Flagstaff, various errands were made, including dropping off Richard's photo at FedEx to create a poster for the October 29's Celebration of Life in Los Angeles.  And, Becky and Wendy stopped by Oregano's for the favorite Pablo Picasso salad.  The "vacation hold" mail was picked up at the Williams Post Office.  The dogs were happy to be home and the salad was delicious!

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