Catching up, as we have had very little opportunity to blog. I haven't had a real Internet connection in a couple of days, and Steph has only been able to connect by cell phone/Bluetooth.
The Sky Watch party was a lot of fun. We got to see people I've known for a number of years and meet new people, too. Karen Talley showed us her beautiful new limited edition platinum gray and maroon convertible (complete with stuffed dancing dachshund).
I also ran into Joe, who used to own Firebug. After the first R2K, I drove to Tucson for a few days to visit friends before driving home. On the way home, I stopped on a whim at a Route 66 museum in Elk City, OK. As I drove into the parking lot, I noticed a red NB parked there, and as I parked next to it, I realized that I knew the NB -- it was Firebug, and I'd talked to Joe and his ex-wife for quite a while. I caught up with them on my way through the museum, and they told me that they'd been traveling through Colorado for a few days before returning home to Texas. Over the next year or so, Firebug developed engine problems, and VW ended up buying him back from Joe to investigate what was wrong. Joe no longer had a Bug, and we missed him in Roswell. At the Sky Watch party a few years later, Joe walked up to me and asked if I remembered him. I did, and he said that he missed having a Beetle so much that he came to Roswell. Joe went out and purchased a dark blue TDI upon his return from that trip, and it's a really pretty car. He's added subtle dark blue flames and a bunch of sirens and sound effects for his job as a firefighter. Joe grew up in the Indianapolis area, and we're going to have dinner the next time he comes back to visit family.
The food at the Sky Watch party was good this year (for anyone keeping track, potato salad, chips, baked beans, Polish sausage, hot dogs, and barbecued beef sandwiches were served). A mariachi band from the local mariachi school played as we ate, and we made our way outside to light up our cars for the Pod Glow cruise. Some of Phoebe's glow sticks were old and didn't work, but we had enough that I could wind them through both of her front wheels and put them around her mirrors and antenna. At the deglowing spot, John started tinkering with Phoebe's engine and deduced that her check engine light is indeed a mass air flow sensor, so I called the dealer in Albuquerque on Saturday morning and they set aside one for me to pick up when we stop there tomorrow. I also talked to Rich from Colorado, who has a raised off-road yellow TDI (and used to have the same wheels I do). His NB has extra bumpers; they're very cool, and I got some ideas from him about how to implement my dad's bumper idea for Phoebe, which will look quite a bit different from his but will probably be attached the same way.
Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and watched a couple of episodes of Futurama (including "Roswell That Ends Well") with Britt, Marie, Lisa, and Jason.
On Saturday morning, we drove over to the convention center and set Phoebe up for the car show. She looked pretty good despite being a little streaky from her wash the day before. We created an aliens versus dinosaurs war on the dashboard (no winner has been declared yet) and had an inflatable alien in the back seat. Jason counted 59 cars, which is fewer than in previous years, but the creativity of the owners and variety in the cars is still there. I'm having a lot of trouble with my Flickr uploads right now, but I'll get all my photos up eventually.
After the car show was the parade. I'm always surprised at how many people from Roswell come to see it. Our section of the parade engaged in a little precision Beetle driving (such as doing the wave with an entire line of cars), and we circled the route twice before going back to the motel to rest. We ate at Farley's, which we think might be a chain. The food was good, but it was very loud.
At night we attended a drive-in movie (Herbie the Love Bug) in the convention center parking lot. It was projected on an inflatable screen, which was really neat. We also saw the Car Crazy episode from last year about the Roswell2K show.
This morning we did a bunch of laundry before heading out for the rally. (I should mention that Jerry forgot that his clothes were in the washer -- it was obvious that they were his because his shirt with a patch of his car on it was on top -- and I was kind enough to dry them for him, so I know what kind of underwear he wears, and I can be bribed for the information.) A road rally, for those who haven't been on one, is a kind of scavenger hunt on wheels. You receive a sheet with questions interspersed with directions, and the idea is to answer the questions about various signs and attractions while following the directions correctly. Steph and I won first place in the quiz portion! This rally also compared the distance you drove with the distance the directions actually covered, and we didn't even come close in that portion -- we backtracked for almost 10 miles of the 14.6-mile route -- but we were happy that we'd answered so many of the questions correctly. They were tricky.
Tonight we joined the Head Alien for dinner at a Chinese buffet, and now we're at McDonald's because they have wireless. We leave for Albuquerque at 8 am tomorrow.