Tom (not his real name) was never particularly happy living in Herndon, Virginia, so when his spouse was offered a job opportunity in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he encouraged her to take it. He'd been to Albuquerque only once before, in 1980, and only overnight on a 4,000 mile New York-Fort Lauderdale-Sacramento road trip. He'd driven through New Mexico a few times since then, and was always impressed by the natural beauty of the state. Admittedly, though, these glimpses were not much to go on. Tom's spouse had never been to New Mexico; but the job was a good one, and relocation benefits were offered.
Tom had a relative in Los Lunas, which is to the south, but his wife's job was in the north. Most of the people he knew suggested that he look in northeast Albuquerque, or in Rio Rancho, which is a northern suburb in Sandoval County. He and his wife also did some internet research, and came across an article listing the "100 Best Cities to Live in America." Rio Rancho came in at number 56.
Knowing their house-hunting time was limited, Tom's suggestion was to focus exclusively on Rio Rancho. They found a house during their second day of looking, and closed twelve days later. The speed was amazing, and was partly helped by the fact that the house in question was a "spec house" being offered by the builder, D. R. Horton. The story, as best Tom could make it out, was that the house had been built for someone else, but he or she had backed out of the deal, due either to the shakiness in the real estate market or an inability to sell his home. Maybe both. His loss, our gain, Tom thought, as the price had been made quite reasonable.
Overall, Tom likes Rio Rancho. It's an attractive city. with many services, and housing prices are quite reasonable compared to some other metropolitan areas. When you mention New Mexico, you're likely to hear that the people in the state are very nice, and it is quite true. Last Friday, Tom and his wife got their new driver's licenses at the DMV in Rio Rancho, and the folks who took care of them could not have been more pleasant. The same holds true with the people who work at Albertson's, their local supermarket, and just about everywhere else in Rio Rancho.
The city is growing at a phenomenally fast rate, which can put a strain on services. The street where Tom and his spouse live didn't exist a year ago, and is still not on most maps, including Google Maps. And getting things done can take a great deal of patience, as most things are done in New Mexico time, which means s-l-o-w. But, at this point, Tom thinks he made a good choice.
Some helpful links and addresses:
The official Rio Rancho city website.
Pasta House - good Italian food, friendly atmosphere.
Dion's Pizza - you order at the counter, then sit down, then they call you and you pick up your food and eat it at a booth or table. Good food.
Village Inn - Tom sometimes go to breakfast here. Speaking of breakfast, you might want to take a look at our recipe for Huevos Rancheros.
Bank of Albuquerque - There's a branch in Albertson's.
Official State of New Mexico website. Did you know that Billy the Kid spent pretty much his whole life in New Mexico? And have you ever wondered why the Great Seal of the State of New Mexico (below) resembles the seal of the country of Mexico . . ?
© D J McAdam. Please note: all applicable material on this website is protected by law and may not be copied without express written permission.
Home | Book Collecting | Folklore / Myth | Philately | Playing Cards | Literature | Contents