River of Lights ABQ (and a Date Night OOPS)

SN and I have lived in New Mexico many years, but had never visited (or wanted to visit) the River of Lights event that is held during the holidays every year at the botanical garden. At $12 per person, the tickets seemed too expensive, especially as I'd seen the remnants of the exhibits during the day while there during the spring. Yes, I thought the dozen or so scraps that were scattered around represented the entire thing. But guess what?

The River of Lights at the ABQ BioPark is HUGE. We spent more than an hour there last night and could probably have stayed even longer. We're old though (and pitifully out of shape for our 30s) and our legs were tired from walking so much. I forgot how enormous the Albuquerque botanical gardens is.

A quick story before I get to the photos - we nearly missed the River of Lights last night. The weather was perfect, around 40 degrees with no wind or rain, and I was certain the crowd would increase by Thursday night, when Winter Break begins for Albuquerque students. SN and I agreed to meet at Gardunos for happy hour (they have a great happy hour with free food on weekdays until 6 pm, BTW) and carpool to the event afterward. I received an email from him at lunch confirming that he would be leaving work right at 5 pm and would race me to the restaurant. We're competitive like that.

I dashed out my office door at 5 on the dot and magically hit only green lights, despite it being rush hour. Seated by 5:05 pm and with no SN in sight, I was victorious. I sipped a happy hour beer and dined on complimentary ribs and enchiladas while watching the door for him to arrive.

I finished my ribs and enchiladas.

I finished my beer.

I finished an entire basket of chips and two bowls of salsa.

Where the heck was my SN?? The waiter brought my bill and I apologized for hogging the table. It was 6 pm. I walked across the parking lot to browse the housewares at Dillards, super ticked off. My plan was to simply go home afterward, where I assumed SN had already gone. How dare he say he'd race me and then forget to show up.

But there his car was, parked right in front of Gardunos when I returned from the store. Had he actually gone in? I stomped inside.

He was sitting at our usual table with a glass of water for each of us. "I beat you," he declared triumphantly.

"You missed happy hour altogether," I pointed out.

"So did you. They'll still give you the discount on beer though," he said. "I asked. They just don't have the free food anymore. Order a drink."

I threw my hands in the air. "I've already had a drink! And food! And waited forever and paid my bill and left and gone shopping and returned!"

He honestly thought he had won, arriving after 6 for our 5 pm date because he got stuck on the phone at work and didn't think anything of it. That SN of mine. I could just kill him sometimes. But I love him. And then my waiter from before sees that I've returned and smiles and waves at me from across the room. Momentarily forgetting that I'm full of rage, I smile and wave back. And then SN convinces me that we should still go to the River of Lights even though I'm in no mood. And sure enough it makes everything better.

He really is ridiculous, that SN of mine.

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