Hello campers.....yes here it is Part Three of the adventure.
Friday morning comes and we are off to IAH for the 11:25 AM flight to ELP. An older ExpressJet E145 operated as UA Express is taking me and the wife westbound at 36,000' for a smooth early arrival into ELP. We grab the rental car and head to the store to pick up some odds and ends for dinner with my Sister, Brother-In-Law, their Son and his Wife along with their two little tots at the Sis place in North ELP.
What a wonderful view they have of Franklin Mountains to the west and with ELP being squeezed between the Mexico border and White Sands Missile Range not much room for airplanes to leave contrails as they go east/west overhead.
We are having grilled Chicken and guess who was doing the grilling.....yep sports fan, yours truly. Even on an unfamiliar grill I managed to not ruin the food so it was a success.
Saturday morning it was up early and Sis wanted to take us into the mountains so it is off to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Let me see, three states and some 2,500 miles in about 42 hours okay why not. The drive is about 90 miles with some beautiful mountain views before arriving into the tiny town.
White Sands in the distances, not cloud cover.
A hole in the mountains before we get to Cloudcroft.
Cute quaint little town, but snow oh wait it is still winter!!
After lunch at Cloud Cafe and some shopping for wind chimes we are off to Ruidoso, New Mexico, as we'd never been near the ski town. Way to many vehicles in front, but love that sky.
After a quick local brew it was back to ELP and a night around the fire pit talking and sharing in family time. Shame I was the one driving as there are great sights along the way.
Sunday morning was just enjoying some fruit and talking a long walk around the neighborhood before we all went to lunch on the way to the airport. We said our goodbye's at off the wife and I went to the airport to turn the car in and followed by another successful trip through Security Pre-Check. Our little E145 showed up early and we got to leave 10 minutes early for our flight homeward. Nice seats in Row 18 on the two side, sure hope we beat the rain into IAH that is preceding another cold front.
Another early evening arrival from the west with the sun shining off the window, gosh I love flying even in RJ's.
Couldn't have asked for a better flight, should have had some turbulence yet had none. The Flight Attendant Garrett was professional, funny, very much a pleasure to talk with and a joy. I learned once again that by simply being polite and friendly you can go far. No longer are we in the lofty ratified are of UA MileagePlus 1K status, but even as a Gold we were treated like a King and Queen on this flight particularly just because we were friendly and thanked him for keeping us safe on our flight. He comped us a glass of wine when he did not have any reason to other than just being a good guy and enjoying his job. So BRAVO Garrett and stay just the way you are.
Our landing so smooth we hardly knew we were on the ground. A short taxi for an early arrival to the gate and I can't wait to get home to OUR bed.
It was a fun exciting week for me and then weekend for the wife. I consider us quite lucky that on the five UA and UA Express flights I had this past week everyone was either early or spot on time........so maybe things are looking up at UA.
Thank you for coming along across the west and please share your trips with us all. It makes Insiders a great place to gain insights on places you may never dream of going like Cloudcroft, New Mexico!!!
No matter how you slice it, I love flying too. And you are so right about being polite and friendly, even for just making the world a slightly better place for all.
How 'bout that lovely little Cloudcroft? I felt the same way when my cousins took me to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA two weekends ago. Never even heard of it. It was pretty cool!
Okay, so what's next?
I completely agree with the both of you.
Flying is an amazing thing to do, whether a hundred times a year, or five times a year. It constantly blows my mind that I can sit comfortably (or relatively comfortably ) in a chair, at thirty to forty thousand feet, screaming across the skies to wherever it is a need to go.
Additionally, it just doesn't make sense to conduct one's self in any way other than polite and friendly. At least, that's my take!