who would’ve thought…?

Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, 2009

after all these years, i have ended up back in new mexico. what an interesting irony life is. i suppose perhaps the most ironic thing of all is that i could not be happier to be here. enjoying the blue blue sky and the warmth of the desert sun on my face. the sweet lack of humidity. and green chile, oh yes, green chile. there is so much to love about new mexico.

this blog waxes and wanes with me and my incessant travels, so for the time being, it will transform from a china blog to a new mexico one. though perhaps not as exotic to some (and more exotic to others), new mexico in truth offers just as many wacky and interesting topics to muse about as small-town china does. a new chapter in life chronicled by the same ole blog.

for our first weekend back in new mexico, (my new husband!) bill and i, along with jane and dave, went to the albuquerque international balloon fiesta, a topic i’ve covered more than once in writing, most notably in my circumference article about it. we headed out early on the first sunday morning of the fiesta to catch the mass ascension. although it sounds terribly religious, this is quite simply the daily take-off of the balloons each morning, always performed more or less en masse, where vivid colors line the horizon in all directions and break up the dawning blue sky with bright splashes above.

even though this is something that i would recommend any tourist to new mexico to see, i hadn’t actually patronized the balloon fiesta in well more than a decade (driving down 1-25 at 8am to classes at UNM five years ago does not count as patronage). i was surprised with the ease of the park ‘n’ ride, which we did from the cliff’s amusement park lot and how generally easy it was to attend. jane and dave, who have attended this for 8 out of the last 10 years and live almost walking distance to the balloon fiesta park, remarked that the skies seemed relatively sparse compared with recent years – a veritable nod to the economic downturn (which, sadly, we’ve been forced to reckon with now that we are back in the western world again).

the balloon fiesta was a lesson for me that attending tourist spots in my own hometown isn’t as bad as i once thought. in fact, it’s kind of nice. for the foreseeable future, i plan to be nothing but a tourist here, rather than a jaded local, for it is sweeter to appreciate one’s surroundings, no matter how ordinary they may seem over time, than to forget the beauty of the everyday.

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