On Saturday, we spent time with Tara's folks visiting our place where we exchanged the gifts between the Illinois residents and went for lunch. The day was foggy but uncharacteristically warm. Originally, we had thought to go to the Kristkindelmarket at Daley Plaza, but given the dampness and our moods, we decided to stay in Bartlett instead.
As a result of the fog, many flights out of O'Hare were canceled and others were delayed.
Overnight, a strong cold front came through. Sunday dawned to very strong winds and blowing snow (if the snow fall had been heavier, it probably would have been considered a blizzard). We made it to church and back with no problems. But, the wind caused flights at O'Hare to be canceled and delayed again.
On Monday the weather was better. Still very cold, but the wind had died down, and there was little snow. However, the news was still reporting delays on flights. However, every check I made on our flight from O'Hare to DFW showed no delay. Briefly, I considered making a reservation at the Hyatt at DFW since I had already determined that we were on the last DFW to ABQ flight that afternoon. However, this didn't happen when I discovered that the Hyatt (actually both Hyatt's) had a 24 hour cancellation policy and I would have had to pay for the room.
All this preparation turned out to be for naught. We got to O'Hare early, got to our gate on time. I got bumped into First Class, allowing another passenger off the standby list, so I didn't feel too bad deserting the rest of my family. We pushed back on time and got into the air quickly. We actually landed at DFW a few minutes early, giving us enough time to get a bottle of water in addition to using the bathroom before we had to board our flight to Albuquerque. On the ORD to DFW flight, they baked chocolate chip cookies, and gave one to the First Class passengers and to the kids. Tara was disappointed that she was the only family member who didn't get one.
Our flight to Albuquerque was smooth and fast. We arrived on time and only had a bit of a wait for our bags (5 total, including a rubbermaid tote). I got on the shuttle to the rental car lot and went into the Avis preferred booth to change the credit card on the account. I then went to the car and found instead of the full sized car I'd requested, a shiny red Mustang. Unfortunately, with all of our bags, I didn't think that there was any way to fit us into the Mustang. I went back and talked to the person inside. He was able to give me the only other car he had, a luxury car -- a Grand Marquis -- which fit us very nicely.
Christmas was hectic with 12 people, including 4 boys (ages 3, 11, 11, and 14). But we had a good time. It wasn't too cold in the morning, but when I took a walk in the afternoon, it was a bit nippy for not having my hat and gloves.
On Monday, Tara's folks started their migration to Arizona for the winter. We had arranged for them to spend Wednesday in Albuquerque and show them around. After confirming that they had arrived safely, we made arrangements to meet them at their hotel and then took them to Old Town for some shopping and browsing. After a couple of hours in Old Town (with Tara and I buying more art that we'd planed) we headed to the Flying Star for lunch, and then back to my parent's house. Derrick was getting tired of shopping, so we needed a break. As it turned out this break lasted the rest of the day.
After dropping Tara's folks back at their hotel, Tara and I did some driving around. We first looked at Nob Hill briefly seeing if we could spot a store that sells toy robots. Then we looked for dinner. My skills as an almost native guide kept failing me, however, possibly due to hunger and tiredness. Instead of just heading straight for the 66 diner, I went to the new outdoor mall in uptown where we didn't find the kind of restaurant we were looking for. I then started working my way north and west, but skipped going to the Range and Little Anita's on Menual near University. We finally ended up on North Fourth where we found a restaurant I'd never heard of, but looked good -- the Calico Cafe. It was very good, very friendly. As we were leaving, we got a final sigh that it was the place we should of stopped. The party that came in just before we left was made up of 4 Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies.
Yesterday we spent the morning hanging around my parent's house. In the afternoon we met my younger sister, her son and her son's father (which is the best description of the relationship at this point) at the Albuquerque Museum and toured the exhibit of Egyptian art from the British Museum. After that we did a bit more looking around Old Town and then headed back home.
We are here through the Friday after New Years so we'll have a bit more time to spend touring and with family (and anyone else we happen to run into). We may try to head to Santa Fe some day if the weather is nice. Today the weather is Chicago-like, so we are going to more museum's and some of us may go to an indoor rock climbing gym.