February 3, 2015 | Beginning in 1999, a group of us decided to "go somewhere" for Super Bowl weekend. This year marked the 16th such getaway (if you're doing the math, we missed one year due to a commitment to go to Yellowknife to see the Northern Lights).
Over the years the cast of characters has varied, but the tradition has gone on. The trip this year was a return to the hard-core stalwarts: Bob and Carolyn from Michigan, Jim and Angela from the San Francisco Bay Area, and me.
Jim suggested Albuquerque as this year's destination, and the rest of us said yes without checking the historical weather data. Those of us who thought we were going somewhere warm were sorely disappointed. Jim found a house on AirBnB near Albuquerque Old Town and we engaged it for the weekend.
The house turned out to be comfortable and close to major attractions, some within walking distance. Our only real complaint about the house was that the kitchen was not equipped for serious cooking. This provided a wonderful excuse for trying some of the many fine restaurants in Albuquerque. Rudy's Bar B Q served such succulent meats on Saturday night that we went back on Sunday to get takeout for the Super Bowl. I'm thinking I have a order a jar of their special "Sause," and not the "Sissy Sause" either. And at Sadie's — which is huge — we had to wait for a table, and the wait was worth it! The Sadie's Carne Adovada Enchiladas covered a big platter and were smothered in cheese and chile sauce to die for.
The three museums that we visited were really impressive.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has incredible dinosaur skeletons, and the exhibit on the mating displays of the 39 varieties of Bird of Paradise was riveting. There was also a full-size replica of the Mars Rover, and its camera could be controlled with a joy-stick. By pointing in the right direction, you could broadcast a selfie on the monitor!
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center has wonderful exhibits detailing Pueblo Indian life and the devastation wrought by the successive waves of Spaniards and American settlers who exploited and "civilized" them. On the one hand you could interpret it as a celebration of the fortitude and persistence of a people who preserved much of their way of life despite the obstacles. On the other hand, it is equally powerful as a "hall of shame" for those who treated them so poorly.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History had splendid exhibits detailing the rise of the atomic age, inextricably linked to war and destruction. Full-size models of Little Boy and Fat Man, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively, were awesome reminders.
Old Town Albuquerque was a short walking distance from our house and is, as the name suggests, the Old Town of Albuquerque. Surrounding the town square and the obligatory church are blocks of historic adobe buildings now housing restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums.
Then there was the game.
These getaways have never really been about the football game, rather a good excuse to get together, tell stories, critique the ads, and eat good food. If the game happens to be interesting or exciting, that's a bonus. This year's game was closely-fought and the surprise ending provided ample excitement and fodder for sports commentary until next year's Super Bowl!
Last updated on May 11, 2016