(→ map)

Oh, how terrible, it's 2.45 a.m. and the alarm clock has no mercy... Yet we were awake relatively fast, and after a quick breakfast followed by a final check to the house nothing stood in the way of having vacation.

The urban railway from Ezelsdorf to Nuremberg was on time (4.35 a.m.), as well as the intercity train to Frankfurt/Main did start as planned. However the train arrived at Frankfurt airport 20 minutes late - but that didn't matter, we still had plenty of time.

Now it was to find the check-in counter of American Airlines. This required a longer walk across the airport, upstairs, downstairs, this way and that way... In favor the check-in itself went quite fast, as well as the boarding, and perfectly on time our plane (a Boeing 767) departed at 10.20 a.m.

After ten loooong hours the plane smoothly touched down on American soil in Dallas/Fort Worth. First we had to pass the US Immigrations. A neverending line at the counters, but it moved forward constantly. Picked up our baggage and checked it in again, crossed the security check - and onwards to the gate.

On the way there - we had more than sufficient time - we bought a bottle of water and the first Starbucks coffee on American ground. Then we've been waiting for the plane arriving at the gate so we could go on board, we eventually were afoot since several hours. Finally the boarding started - but as we reached our seats there even was a flight technician around... After a short time we were told that the departure will be delayed because of a technical anomaly: condensation water leaked out in the cabin, probably from the air condition because of the very high temperatures - but this first had to be checked and confirmed. Well, hopefully... After waiting for some more minutes the relieving announcement came - everything is OK, the reason was confirmed, the plane can depart. So we went on our way to Albuquerque with a 45 minute delay.

There we arrived shortly after 7 p.m. local time at about 90°F. But - what was that? Whilst observing the unloading of the baggage the first raindrops fell from heaven... Well, doesn't matter - leaving the plane, picking up our bags and picking up the rental car. Now we called ours a Chevrolet Impala for the next few weeks - plenty of room for the three of us.

Lastly we had to find our first motel in darkness and rain, but even this was finally done. We were already happy to enter our room, but the first one wasn't the right one... When opening the door we faced enormous heat and wetness - the shower was running with full power and at highest temperature. As emerged later the motel was facing a problem with hot water supply that morning, so the water supply was stopped temporarily - seems that therefore it wasn't noticed when checking the room that the shower was on. So we got another room and could finally get our deserved sleep.