Trip Start Jul 03, 2009
45Trip End Aug 16, 2009
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At least morning came fast. Dean—our hot air balloon pilot and chauffeur—picked us up at 5:30 to take us on a flight over the city. Joe even helped inflate the balloon, as he could easily use his debate and MBA skills to direct a great mass of hot air. We hopped in our wicker basket (really) along with our companions—a family of three, Dean, and two “balloon summer interns.” Our passengers were the fascinating sort of folks that really only seem interesting to New Yorkers: two former military, all salt of the earth.
The ride itself was beautiful, save for the occasional loss of hair from the burners
Next on the agenda was the National Atomic Museum, an oddly assembled mix of atomic paraphernalia, historical artifacts, and science exhibits (among them, Nazi china made by Rosenthal, several pop-art posters of Albert Einstein, a tin of bomb shelter survival crackers, several actual airplanes (none of which carried atomic weapons), and an exhibit on renewable energy. The best part was the giant periodic table which reminded both of us of our the start of our courtship during Junior-year Chemistry.
On to the Sandia Peak tram, a 15-minute vertiginous trip rising 3000 feet to the top of the Sandia Mountains. After spending 10 minutes at the peak, Maribeth decided we’d had enough outdoor hiking for the day. Rather, it was time for a massive plate of food. Fortunately, in America, these are somewhat easy to come by. We ate at a local favorite—Sadie’s—and the portion sizes left us astounded. Joe’s cheesy, beefy, beany potato platter was, in the words of Maribeth, “up to my chin.” Time to get our bloated bellies out of town.