Albuquerque Journals

Hot Air Balloons in New Mexico

An October 2002 trip to Albuquerque by BurliBear

Glowing Elephant Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico More Photos
Quote: Hot Air Balloon Spectacular and more. We spent 10 days here and saw many balloons and visited lots of nice quilt shops.

Hot Air Balloons in New Mexico

Overview

Glowing Elephant Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is the greatest. 100s of balloons and the ability to be right in the midst of them. The people who fly them are some of the friendliest people in the world. In addition, there are six quilt shops in Albuquerque, five of which are really nice. A very nice zoo, aquarium, and botantical garden are here as well as Old Town Albuquerque for some different shopping.Quick Tips: Bring some good walking shoes as the balloon fiesta itself will require quite a bit of walking and time just standing and watching.Best Way To Get Around: Driving is the only way to go in Albuquerque. The town is a sprawling metropolitan area, but we've always found plenty of par...Read More

La Quinta Inn Albuquerque Northwest

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Hotel | "Baymont Inns & Suites"

La Quinta Inn Albuquerque Northwest Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
The room was very nice. We had a king size bed which left room for a couple of nice chairs, a desk and chair, and room to move around in. Our room was on the third floor in the northwest quadrant, and we could see the hot air balloons and fireworks from our room. Because it was the first weekend in Albuquerque, we also attended a Square Dance weekend. We don't go to the balloon launch field on Saturday or Sunday morning. One of the local TV stations televise the balloon fiesta and they would show certain balloons launching and we would look out our window and they would just be clearing the tree and building tops. This motel advertises that it is about two miles from the launch field, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

La Quinta Inn Albuquerque Northwest
7439 PAN AMERICAN FRWY NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
505-345-7500

Taco Cabana

Restaurant

Quote:
Disappointing.

Being visitors to the area, we thought we were going to a Mexican Restaurant. Instead it turned out to be a serve yourself, fast food type of restaurant.

Our time was short that night, so we stayed and ate. The food was quite good. A step above a Taco Bell.

They have a salsa bar where you can add whatever you like to your food. These were open serving dishes, not prepackaged.

I would go back, but would go knowing what I was getting into.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Taco Cabana
6500 San Mateo Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
505/821-0203

Taste of China

Restaurant

Quote:
A Chinese Buffet. A nice selection to pick from on the buffet. The selections were fresh unlike some buffets where they sometimes appear to have sat there for hours.

To us, the food was basically tasteless and bland. Cashew Chicken tasted like Sweet and Sour Chicken tasted like Sesame Chicken tasted like...you get the picture, I'm sure.

Would not go back.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Taste of China
4605 San Mateo Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
(505) 880-8889

Quote:
I really enjoyed this restaurant. We had not been to a Zio's before and would definitely consider going back after our experience at this one. A nice variety of Italian dishes on the menu. My wife and I both had their spaghetti with meat sauce. I always tend to order this the first time I go to any Italian restaurant as it gives me a good overall impression of the restaurant. If the spaghetti is cooked right and the sauce is tasty, then I find that on subsequent visits, trying other dishes, they will also be well prepared. We have discovered that we have a Zio's not too far from us at home and I plan on us going some night and giving them a try. Meanwhile, the one in Albuquer...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Zio's Italian Kitchen
10041 Coors Blvd NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87114
505/792-9222

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

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Attraction | "Hot Air Balloon Fiesta"

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
AWESOME! Everyone sees hot air balloons in the skies from time to time, but there is not experience like being right there as they are filled and launched except - Staying after the launch on weekdays to watch them manuever across the launch field competing for prizes or - Maybe being there in the evening when the balloons are filled and stood up but notlaunched. Instead the flame runs into the balloon and is altered slightly and they light up like giant light bulbs or - Unless you actually go for a ride in one. This year, 2002, Friday morning was the absolute best day that we've ever had at the fiesta. The winds were virtually non-existent so the balloo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Balloon Fiesta Park
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113
(505) 821-1000

Rio Grande Zoological Park

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Attraction | "Rio Grande Zoo"

Rio Grande Zoological Park Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
A very nice zoo. Most of the exhibits are both animal and visitor friendly, meaning the exhibits are well maintained for the comfort of the animals and are not closed in with wires and bars to hamper viewing and taking pictures by the visitor. This zoo is well laid out for walking and viewing, and not feeling, so that you walk forever without seeing anything. A very nice exhibit of two koalas is a high light of the day. They are inside a bright building and you are in the building with them, but you can't get to them and they can't get to you. We were there within a half hour of the zoo's opening and both koalas were awake and for koalas, active. A keeper was in there part of the time ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Rio Grande Zoological Park
903 Tenth St Southwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
+1 505 764 6200

Albuquerque Aquarium Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
A small but nicely kept up aquarium. The whole place was very clean and the exhibits were well maintained and the glass was clean so you could see.

As I said to start, this was a small aquarium and we were through the whole thing in less than an hour.

At $4.50, it was not too badly priced, but we are members of our local zoos. Friends of the Zoo and the Aquarium are reciprocal, so the admission was free for us. Also, there is a special one day admission pass for the Rio Grande Zoo, the Aquarium, and the Botantical Gardens, which saves a few dollars and while all are very nice, you can do all three in a day without rushing.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Albuquerque Aquarium
2601 Central Ave Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
+1 505 764 6200

Rio Grande Botanic Garden

Attraction | "Rio Grande Biotanic Garden"

Rio Grande Botanic Garden Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
A nicely maintained botanical garden specializing in plants and fauna native to New Mexico. You walk through at your own pace and take whatever time you want to look at the various exhibits. There is an indoor building for the cactus, which probably wouldn't survive in Albuquerque as well as they do in the more arid and warmer areas of New Mexico. For the kids, the Children's Fantasy Garden offers oversized exhibits as mentioned in the Most Fun for Kids area. Actually as adults, we enjoyed this exhibit also. Cost wise, this can be very economical if you belong to your local Friends of the Zoo as it is reciprocal with most of them. Plus, a one day pass for the Rio Grande Zoo, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Rio Grande Botanic Garden
2601 Central Ave Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
+1 505 764 6200

Quilt Shops

Attraction

Quote:
There are six quilt shops in Albuquerque and this year (2002), starting on October third, the day we arrived in Albuquerque, they had their first annual Quilt Shop Hop.

Needless to say that being avid quilters we added the Quilt Shop Hop to our itinerary and visited all six of them. For a review of the individual shops, please see my journal, "Quilters Travels".

Five of the six shops are very nice and we did manage to purchase fabric, books, and patterns from all.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 24, 2002

Quilt Shops
Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico