Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End, and a Beginning

Hi Cindy,

Hope you had a Merry Christmas! We went up to DH's parents in Cottonwood. I got off at 12:30 last Wednesday and then headed to Scottsdale to pickup BIL. After trying to set up his new printer we headed back down to our house to pack the truck. DH didn't get off work until the regular time, 4:30. His bosses are scrooges. Traffic on the drive was pretty light. We got up there in less than 2 hours.

Christmas day was cold and rainy and we didn't hardly even go out of the house. DH's parents aren't in to the whole gift thing so we didn't really have gifts to open. We did get his brother an IPod Shuffle. He's really excited about it but his computer is so old and slow that he's coming down tomorrow to set it up. We had snow flurries on Friday which was a lot of fun. Actually it was more snow clumps, kinda like hail but out of snow. We went over to see DH's grandmother on Friday. She is 95 and still hanging on. She is very frail and doesn't get out of her room much but is still pretty with it mentally.

On Saturday was the big grand opening of the light rail in the valley. We've had to deal with the construction for the last 3 years. I've tracked down these pictures since I don't have any of my own. This first one is right outside my office.

The crowds for the grand opening were pretty ridiculous. They're giving free rides through today and it has been jam packed. They estimate 100,000 people rode on Saturday, 50K on Sunday and the last 2 days have been just as packed after the morning commute.

DH and I took the train into work yesterday. We have a bus that runs just down the street from us so we take that to downtown Tempe. From there we catch the train to Phoenix. DH has to transfer in downtown Phoenix but it goes right past my building with a stop less than a block away. Morning wasn't too bad but going home was jammed.

DH met me downtown and by the time he got on we were basically sardines. We did stop in on Mill in Tempe to have dinner before catching the bus back home. It takes slightly longer but once the tourists clear out it should be pretty nice. The train runs on street level and goes with traffic so they don't stop the cross-traffic when the train comes through.

Since it's been free the last several days everyone around the valley, plus all the visitors in for the holidays and the two bowl games, are trying it out. There were whole families riding it from one end to the other. The line is 20 miles long, the longest in the country to open at once. The ride is smooth and quicker than the bus line that previously paralleled it.

There were celebrations all along the route on Saturday and Tempe's ended with fireworks over the lake just after sunset. I'll keep you posted how it goes for commuting after all the tourists are gone.

Happy New Year!



Cindy said...

Your light rail even made the paper here, looks nifty. We've had every kind of weather here (some of it net even winter) but are enjoying the holiday break anyway!

Alene said...

At least we had sense enough not to try it last weekend. Tuesday was bad enough and about as packed as the one picture taken through the door.

We're both off today but DH didn't take leave for tomorrow (not that he could get it) so we stayed home. Had a couple of martinis and listened to the distant fireworks up at the big celebration at Town Lake, and the ones the neighbors decided to shoot off. At least most of the neighbor ones sounded like fire crackers. Hopefully nothing else. Occasionally we will hear gunfire from Phoenix about 1.5 miles to the west.

A full decade ago at our old house we had a neighbor walk down the alley with a semi-automatic firing in the air. It took several tries before we could even get through to 911. The next year, going into Y2K, we stayed at a hotel so we wouldn't have to deal with it and then a couple of months later we moved into this house.