Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday in Old Town

We drove down to Old Town Albuquerque on Black Friday.  Named because it is the biggest shopping day of the year, we found the touristy Old town area to be quite calm and tame.  Seems all the locals head to the mall.  We found some good deals, or rather, Sraddha found some beautiful earrings, and almost purchased a real Navaho rug.  Probably would have but didn't have the measurements for where we would put it.  Just as well.
Amber, the Chihuahua, standing guard
outside of Navajo Code Talker HQ
While walking around the plaza we happened upon a little shop that billed itself as the Albuquerque HQ for the Navajo code talkers.  We were standing outside photographing this little Chihuahua named Amber when one of the original Code Talkers walked out.

Bill Toledo, a Navaho Code Talker, is on the left.
Bill Toledo was 18 when he signed up in the Marines a few months after Pearl Harbor. He is now 87 yrs young.  Bill served in south pacific beginning in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands and all the way to Iwo Jima as a Code talker.  This is where these men used a special code comprised of Navajo words to send message around the battlefront via radio.  The Japanese enemy decoders could never figure out the code.  It is quite a story and as I listened to him talk, I was almost brought to tears.  Humbling experience.

Chile reception
Strolling around the area, I was struck by all the chiles hanging everywhere. Duh.  New Mexico may be the "Land of Enchantment" but it is also the chile capital.

Hot, Hot, Hot
We ate lunch nearby at Garcia's where they make fresh tamales which we both love.  The Veggie chile tamale was a hit with "mild" green chile sauce.  I also had a chile relleno with red sauce which definitely tingled the nerve endings.  Yeeeowww.  Still we returned today for lunch and also bought a dozen frozen tamales for the road.

Painting on wall of Garcia's restaurant in old town.
Oh, yes,  we rode our bike after old town but only a short 10 miles because it was getting dark.
Then today (Saturday) we returned to the area near the botanical gardens and rode the bosque trail a second time for 18 miles, with the last 8 miles against a head wind.  Satisfied by our workout, we journeyed back to have more tamales.
She made me ride the bike again.  3 days in a row now.
Sraddha is up front  and I shot this one-handed with my iPhone
We found a wonderful food co-op named Mantonito where we purchased some great produce, fruit and a local product called Chocolate Hazelnut butter.  Yum.  Had planned to go to the "Lincoln" movie but had forgotten we were in an urban setting where movies on Friday nights sell out early.  We arrived late after getting the bum steer from both our Garmin GPS and iphone maps only to find out that the movie was sold out.  Another day perhaps.

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