Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SNOW! .... Rain, Rain ... and Rain

I'm exhausted!

My sister came to Albuquerque (she flew into the teeny-tiny airport) last Wednesday night. We went immediately to the delicious but rather ghetto Frontier so that I could throw her head-first into New Mexican cuisine (carne adovada burrito and green chile stew).

Because I had to work, she pretty much stayed in my apartment, watching random movies on my DVR and getting some work done. On Thursday night, we went to Sadie's, another great New Mexican place that is not, perhaps, the classiest. (Their website is just horrible.) More delicious carne adovada, plus the sister's first taste of sopaipillas, a very New Mexican thing to eat.

When we left Sadie's, the rather pounding rain had turned into beautiful, fluffy, lovely, delicious snow!

It was beautiful! And also very cold and wet, which no one ever tells you about, annoyingly. We had a very "white Christmas" moment, listening to Christmas music in the cozy-warm car while driving cautiously through the flurry.

No one ever mentions how quiet snow is, either. Rain comes down pretty loudly, banging into the car with a rattle, making its presence known. Snow lands gently and hugs the car with nary a sound, making it seem happy and fun. I loved it!

Of course, no snow lasts forever. There was a tiny little flurry in the morning, but it had pretty much melted away. I couldn't even call into work and skip out due to a snow day. I was dejected.

I got out of work on Friday at about 9:00 or so, late enough that it was already frigid and pitch black outside. No snowflakes in sight. I was exhausted from the working and the stressing (Fridays feel like the last chance to get things done, last chance to squeeze everything in).

My sister (who had flown out to road trip with me) and I had decided that in order to surprise our parents, we would get to LA on Saturday night, Sunday morning at the latest. It's a rough drive in the winter, because the usual route I take (the 40) is about 3 - 4 hours shorter than the longer but warmer (i.e. less frozen) route that I took this time (the 10).

We drove south for a few hours on Friday night, arriving around 2:00 a.m. in Las Cruces. I was wiped out, but still didn't sleep until 4:00 or so. (Checking in was an insanely long ordeal- people that work night shifts need to be better prepared for things to happen.)

The next morning saw us checking out around 10:00 and heading west. It got warmer and warmer and warmer, eventually hitting the high 60's! I was delighted and confused, all at once. It was nice to not shiver, but it was odd to actually feel hot. I had to wear sunglasses for the first time in ages.

Since we'd already had a white Christmas in the snow, we stopped in Tucson and had a hot Christmas with tamales, a traditional Christmas food in Mexico and some South American countries. We stopped by the Tucson Tamale Company, where the tamales were stupendous, the salsa delicious, and the sides a little lackluster. I had a Santa Fe (pork, green chile sauce, and cheese) and a JoJo (very spicy, apparently, with chipotle beef, jalapeno masa, and cheese). I expected to really love the JoJo, since I love spicy, but I actually liked the Santa Fe much more. It was porky, with a really nice green chile, and melted, delicious cheese.

I want another tamale now. I shouldn't have written about them.

So we got the east coast snowy Christmas out of the way, the southwest tamale Christmas done, complete with hot weather, and headed to our Korean church Christmas.

As soon as we got into California, the rain began. The unending, pounding rain. What is going on here?? It's been raining non-stop the entire time I've been home, and I don't appreciate or know how to deal with this amount of water.

We had our Korean church Christmas on Sunday, regardless of the rain, and it was a rousing success. I feel sufficiently full of holiday cheer now (though I went Christmas shopping yesterday and my goodwill toward mankind vanished).

Last night (this whole week, actually) is baking night at Chez Sister, a.k.a. Chez Butter, and I helped with a couple types of cookies after my exhausting shopping expeditions. I rolled, filled, and washed dishes, then fell into bed so tired that I didn't even need to read for a while to try to get sleepy. It was delightful.

Woke up to more rain. Sigh.

I am so ready for the rain and the working to be over. I don't mind rain as much when I don't have to work, and I can observe it while cozy at home. Working until Thursday, then off to my parents' where they and my sister's bunnies are holed up, so we can all eat and drink and be merry until we're puking up sparkles.