I’m back in Texas finally! Our team spent a hectic last couple days when one of our members, Maurice, became ill. He had to be hospitalized for dehydration and we spent our last evening with him in the hospital. We’re not sure what happened but he suspects it was food poisoning. I won’t mention the last place we had a meal, but suffice to say it was the only restaurant on the reservation. For the most part, it was a food wasteland in Ruidoso, New Mexico and it shouldn’t have been. Just a few hours away in Santa Fe is some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, but Ruidoso is strictly for the tourists/skiers who must be satisfied with quantity, not quality. We had a pretty decent meal at The Great Wall, a Chinese & Sushi place, except for one diner. He made the mistake of ordering Kung Pao Chicken but got Kung Pao peanuts. When he complained the owner told him the traditional method of preparing this dish was to use 6 ounces of chicken but truthfully I think he got about 3 ounces. She gave us a certificate for a few appetizer but we won’t be back. The Log Cabin and Cornerstone Cafe were good breakfast/brunch choices but no dinner places were as good. And I don’t miss the Inn of the Mountain Gods buffet!!! It was so good to get back to Texas and a smoke free home. By the second week of our deployment the inn was crowded with New Years skiers and gamblers and the smoke level went say up. Even though I had a smoke “free” room and the entire floor was supposed to be smoke free it wasn’t. People smoked in the hall and the smoke from the casino infiltrated the ventilation system. On the way home we stopped at Sushi Axiom and I had some outstanding sushi, stopped at Central Market, my favorite grocery store of all time, and picked up some flank steak, peppers and onions, tortillas, and avocados for dinner. We were going to have my youngest son’s family over to celebrate Christmas and I didn’t want to have another dinner out or even have a take out meal. I marinated the flank steak in a fusion sauce (soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup), made some guacamole, and my son grilled all the peppers, onions, and meat. We had an excellent dinner and the best part was being with my family again.
Julia, Kari, Maurice, and Guy
Back to work tomorrow after being gone since mid-December. I miss my new friends, Maurice and Kari, and my old friend Guy. We spent so much time together we couldn’t help but get close.