Tuesday night we expected to see Aaron and Snow pull up to the house, sometime after nine or ten o’clock. Marci was especially anxious to have them here, and we tried to keep her mind occupied by playing a couple hands of Canasta. Finally, though, since both Dan and I had to go to work the next morning, we said our good-nights, leaving Marci up to wait for the “kids.”
Sometime around 12:30 a.m., she got a phone call from Aaron, saying that they were only an hour or so from Albuquerque, but too tired to go any further. So they stopped and spent the night in the tiny town of Grants, NM. They planned to arrive in Albuquerque sometime before noon on Wednesday.
Marci called me at work on Wednesday, around 12:00 noon, to say that they had finally arrived, were hungry, and were heading to Chili’s for lunch. I told her I was about to leave work, and would meet them there.
We all pulled into the parking lot at about the same time. I had no problem spotting them – Aaron, our tall, handsome young nephew; his mom, Marci - also very tall and red-headed; and Snow, a petite, fashion-conscious young lady with beautiful, long, shiny, dark hair. Tiny as Snow is, she amazed me by putting down a full rack of her favorites - baby-back ribs - for lunch. Afterward, we headed to the mall; shopping is another of Snow’s favorites.
I enjoyed, immensely, watching how Marci and Snow, during our shopping expedition, began bonding as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. After learning that Marci was looking for a pair of casual slacks, Snow was intent upon helping her find the perfect combination of pants and top. She encouraged Marci to try on lots of outfits, pushing Marci just a little outside of her comfort zone, but they were both having a lot of fun. In the end, Marci bought a pair of pants, but no top.
From the mall, we headed back to the house. Dan was home by then, and it was his turn to get to see Aaron, again, after his four-year absence from the States; and to meet Snow. Tim came over a little after 6:00, and we all six went out to dinner at El Pinto, one of Albuquerque’s historic and well-loved Mexican restaurants. It was Snow’s first experience with Mexican food (other than, I guess, a Taco Bell taco), and she didn’t find it to her liking. It wasn’t spicy enough, she said! She did enjoy the tortilla chips and salsa, and the sopapillas, though.
There were three talented mariachi musicians strolling around El Pinto, entertaining the diners. I tipped them off to the fact that we had “newly weds” at our table, and they came to serenade them with a love song. (The truth is that Aaron and Snow have been married nearly a year, now, but it is the first time the family has known them as a couple, so I consider them still newly weds.)
Back at home, after dinner, Dan and Aaron found a common interest in the world of computers, while Marci, Tim, Snow and I visited in the family room. Snow and Aaron presented us with a gift of a beautiful Japanese Chokin plate that they bought during their layover in Tokyo. (Thank you, again, Snow and Aaron!)This morning Dan and I left for work at our usual early hour, while the others caught a few more winks, in bed. At about 8:30, though, I received a call from Marci, saying they were heading out the door for the ten-hour drive home, to Prosper, Texas. It was a short visit, but one we'll always remember fondly.