We arrived on Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque and set to finding some local food. I had heard that green chile cheeseburgers were one of the specialties of the region. I asked the front desk and the gentleman there said,”I like the ones at Cracker Barrel.”
Now, nothing against the folks at Cracker Barrel, but I did not travel across the United States to have their fine brand of cuisine. We checked with Yelp. It was helpful too. We found a place called Bob’s Burgers. It turns out it is a chain in Albuquerque. It was only a mile from our hotel. The green chile cheeseburger was all it was supposed to be. It was a juicy burger topped with green chile sauce and melted cheddar cheese. The sauce was smooth and very hot. It was held in place by the melted cheese. Ingenious. The meal came with fries and a drink. They were nothing special.
Having a great meal got us ready for the evenings festivities. We were on our way to the annual Balloon Fiesta. We were to go to a local amusement park parking lot where we would catch a bus to the fairgrounds. It was close by so we finished our burgers and made our way to Cliff’s Amusement Park. It was closed for the season so the only folks there were going to see hot-air balloons.
When we arrived at the Balloon Fiesta, the gas balloons were already being inflated. The gas balloons are filled with hydrogen or helium. They are much smaller than the hot-air variety and take much longer to inflate. They were to race that night. The wind was at about 10 mph. This is way to high for balloons to ascend. We strode around checking out the tchotchke shops along the way. We talked to some of the balloonists in the field. They were very friendly and offered advice as to how to watch the balloons go up. None of the hot-air balloonists were inflating their balloons. They didn’t really expect to go up that night. We were disappointed doubly. Not only would we not see them ascend but we would not see the “glow”. The glow is when the balloonists inflate their balloons at night and the gas jets make the interiors of the balloons glow. We did get to see the fireworks show. It was spectacular. Most of the fireworks shows we have seen are about 15-20 minutes long. This one went 45 minutes and was varied in it’s display of colors and images. It was a long afternoon and we were ready to go back to the hotel. We would have to be back at the park at 5:30am. We needed some sleep.