Sunday, May 6, 2012

2011 May 4

Things have been going along pretty good. We enjoyed our time in New Mexico, especially their state parks and how affordable and nice they are. We've met lots of very nice, friendly people. 

As we left Coronado Campground, in Bernalillo, NM, we drove practically next door to the gas station to fill up before journeying down the road. The gas was only $3.61 per gallon, and we weren't sure we'd see it that cheap again as we motored west. At the gas station, we met a long haul driver from Kentucky, who had recently hauled a load of steel from PA to CA, and was headed back home. While at the gas station, I noticed a Native Plant Store  almost next door. I moseyed over there in search of a couple of  pots for my Dracena Margenata and my Christmas Cactus which are pot-bound and desperately need new homes. I also figured I could get a small bag of potting soil there.

The young man running the store was very helpful and even though they didn't usually sell pots, he found a couple that would work for me. The potting soil, though, seemed like a pretty big bag, but was only about seven pounds, so I took that as well. While inside, paying for my purchase, I met Austin. He and I had quite an interesting conversation, especially considering that he is a high school student. He was well spoken, interesting, interested, and part Native. He shared some information with me about local culture which I greatly appreciated. I was sorry to have to leave.

When we left the Plant Store we headed out to get my hair cut. We've been on the road since December and my only hair cut, was in Florida, at Rambler's Rest. This time, I went online, looking for someone local. I was rewarded by finding Lucinda Martinez, of Lucinda's Hair Salon in Rio Rancho. There were five reviews online and all of them were excellent. When I called, I specifically asked for a Friday morning appointment and was promptly scheduled for 11:30am. When I arrived, the first thing I was grateful for, was the huge parking lot - plenty of room for our 30 footer. Then I met Lucinda's daughter, who turned out to be very nice and was impressed by our humble Class C . When I met Lucinda, I was thrilled! She took her time, looked over my hair, along with asking questions about how it grows and how I might like it cut. She was a consummate professional. In addition, she was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. She shared photos of her family and we discussed various state parks in the area. She mentioned that when I called, she had just had a cancellation which was why she was able to accommodate me, because normally she's booked about two weeks out. How serendipitous! I was sorry I couldn't also get highlights done by her! By the time I left her salon, I felt as though I had made my first New Mexican friend.

Along our way to Interstate 40, we decided to stop at an Albertson's to pick up a few groceries. I was so happy to be in a real grocery store, as opposed to yet another Super Walmart! We managed to get what we needed, as well as what we wanted and had a wonderful conversation with the check out clerk, too. We continue to be impressed with the friendliness of all the locals we've come in contact with.

We then, turned our attention to the remainder of our relatively short drive to Acoma, NM and Sky City Casino and RV Park. Raymond had been chomping at the bit to go to a casino, since we started seeing them regularly along the highway. Some RVing friends from Facebook, had mentioned Sky City as a nice place with relatively inexpensive camping hook ups, as well as, decent food. The Casino was a bonus for Raymond. 

We stayed two nights, and the cost was only $17 per night, as we also had a Good Sam discount. Let me just say, that we are not really what anyone would call gamblers. I am no fan of casinos. It seems to me, that it is a complete waste of time and money. Ray is a fan only,in as far as, he hopes to have some fun and never walks into those places with more than he could afford to lose. I am pretty sure that we are not the casinos target clientele.

Turns out, we are the folks who help keep casinos in business, though. On our first evening at the RV campground, Ray was itching to get to the casino. I was not. So he went off by himself, with instructions to bring home a box full of money. His allowance to himself for gambling was $60. Sadly, he returned home much too quickly after having blown his money, and had only  $0.06 left. That would've been O.K. if he had enjoyed himself, but he was exceedingly unhappy, as well. I made us dinner and we planned the remainder of our trip up to the Grand Canyon.

The next day was spent doing mundane tasks, paying bills, balancing the check book, making phone calls, and finalizing reservations along the way to Grand Canyon National Park, and our route to the same. In late afternoon, Raymond started asking if I wanted to go to the casino. Since I still had my gambling allowance of $20, I acquiesced and off we went to the casino. 

As I mentioned, I am not a big fan of these places and that was reinforced by walking through the door and being sensorily assaulted by the lack of light and the intensity of sound! Raymond is a fan of poker type machines, so we finally located a couple of vacant ones in an area away from the ceiling speakers. At first, we each played our own machine. Then, we found it was more fun if we played together on the same machine. Again, not what the casino has in mind, I'm sure. We managed to spend about two hours playing and laughing and in that time, lost $15 of my $20, but we had fun together and I guess that's all that really matters. And, hopefully, Ray has had his fill of the casino experience for at ;east another year.

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