Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Week at the FMCA Rally- Albuquerque, New Mexico

We have had a busy week at the FMCA (Family MotorCoach Association) and did not have internet connection in order to post so I will try to play catch-up.  The rally was held in 3 venues- The Balloon Fiesta Park was the campground area.   The New Mexico Expo (fairgrounds), about 10 miles away was where the seminars and vendors were located.  And evening entertainment for 2 nights was held at a casino a couple miles from the Fiesta Park.  Bus transportation was available but we found it more convenient to take our car.

Monday morning Tom went to the rally’s service center first thing.  First he needed to get Onan service for our generator.  Redland RV service was installing Koni shocks and we were in need of new shocks.  Our motorhome had a couple of areas on the roof that Tom asked Newmar to inspect.  The Onan serviceman  came to the motorhome before noon and assessed the problem and the need of a part, a voltage regulator, that he had to have wait for it to be deliver by Wednesday.  The Redland service people came later in the afternoon and installed the shocks.   Tom and I went to the Expo Center in the afternoon when the demo motorhomes were first put on display.

Tuesday started early for us.  We had prearranged to take a hot air balloon ride so at 6:30am we needed to be at a given area on the Fiesta grounds along with other folks to take the balloon ride. 

From 2010-03-23 Hot Air Balloon Ride
It was a beautiful morning and not as cold as previous mornings.   After getting assembled there were 10 passengers along with the pilot in our basket.  
From 2010-03-23 Hot Air Balloon Ride
Six balloons went up this morning. 
From 2010-03-23 Hot Air Balloon Ride
We drifted in a northerly direction following the Rio Grande River most of the way.  
From 2010-03-23 Hot Air Balloon Ride
After a little more than an hour and about 10 miles away we landed in a vacant lot in a residential area. 
From 2010-03-23 Hot Air Balloon Ride
After returning to the Fiesta grounds we had the champagne toast along with a pastry.  
From 2010-03-23 Hot Air Balloon Ride
Shortly after returning the beautiful morning became cloudy and dreary.  Tom and I went to the Expo Center later in the morning.  We went through the vendor area and we each attended a seminar.  When we returned to the Fiesta park the Onan serviceman was at our motorhome installing the part that had been ordered.   In the evening Tom and I went to the entertainment at the casino.  The entertainment had originally been scheduled to be held at the casino’s amphitheater but was changed to a ballroom within the casino due to the cold weather.  A group called the Pink Flamingo Express that sang and danced was the entertainment.  

Wednesday morning we returned to the Expo Center to attend some seminars.  The weather was cloudy and it became colder and then it began to really snow.  And believe it or not in the afternoon the sun came out and became warm.  When we returned to the Fiesta park we had a note that a Newmar serviceman had been to the motorhome and inspected the roof  and noted a problem with de-lamination that is caused by a leak.   B. J.Thomas, a singer (“Raindrops are Falling on My Head”), was the entertainment for the rally this night.  We, along with Ed and Barb Perry went to the entertainment at the casino and enjoyed the show that B.J. Thomas did.  He sang many of his songs that were popular and made a comment about the weather in this area that we all agreed with- “it’s the only place you can have all 4 seasons in one day.

Thursday we returned to the Expo center for more seminars and a last swing through the vendor area.   Tom and I went to a restaurant Cecilia’s Cafe for lunch.  The food, Nu-Mex, was really good.  The restaurant was a small place with lots of character-it had been featured on the show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”.  It was a real busy place.  We had heard from Linda and Woody Woodruff in the early part of the week that they were going to be in the Albuquerque area  this week and we were going to try to get together for a short visit but since that first contact we had had problems reaching one another.  Today we were able to make contact so we arranged to meet at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in the evening.  So we got Barb and Ed Perry and met Linda and Woody for a nice dinner together.  Linda and Woody are heading on west as we are headed east.   The entertainment for this evening was  a Western singing group and this was held on the Fiesta grounds.  After the entertainment a balloon glow was to be done on the grounds.  There were to be about 8 balloons but it was breezy so only 1 balloon was inflated and put on a glow.

Friday the day of departure from the rally.  We had planned to travel east with the Perry’s.  So about 8:30am Ed and Barb left to have their motorhome weighed and we left the grounds and Albuquerque on !-40.  Shortly after getting out of the Albuquerque city limits,  Ed and Barb passed us and we traveled together to Amarillo, Texas where we are camped for the night.  It was warm today but had gotten very windy this afternoon and colder weather with a possibility of rain or snow tomorrow is predicted.