Page Updated 09/23/16

Sept. 11 — 16, 2017
Albuquerque Reunion Information


by Sally Metzger

We are doing it a little different this time around and will be staying five (5) nights rather than the usual four — Monday thru Friday at 2600 Louisiana Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico. We, my daughter, Kristi, and I just returned from New Mexico on 9/20 and are very excited about our reunion next year. Their phone number: 800-252-7772 / 505-881-0000. Their site is Sheraton ABQ Uptown should you want to check them out.

After spending a week there I came away very impressed with the cleanliness of the city; add to that the friendly, co-operative atmosphere and the huge variety of things to see and do and it appears we have a big winner coming up in 2017.

There is certainly more possibilities than we will have time for during the reunion so I encourage you to come early or stay late if it is possible. Following is a list of the interesting things we managed to do on our trip there.

OLD TOWN — the name speaks for itself. There is a great tour on a trolley that lasts about one-and-a-half hours @9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and is excellent for an overview of the whole general area. Upon returning from the tour, the immediate area is full of shops and restaurants and deserves a walk through; plus a lovely old church and a park that often has musicians on hand.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND HISTORY — a must see. It tells the story of the Atomic Age from early conception, the Manhattan Project and the cold war up to today's peaceful uses of nuclear technology. They also have some planes on sight for viewing. Neither Kristi nor I are big on museums, but both of us found this one quite fascinating.

SANDIA PEAK AERIAL TRAM — Travel up the mountain to 10,378 feet on a tram that is 2.7 miles long. Quite a view — and the local advice is to go up late afternoon to see the view and then watch the sunset and catch the city lights before coming down. It required a comfy jacket as the temperatures are about 20 degrees lower than in the city and the wind is quite brisk. But it is a unique experience. Unfortunately, the restaurant on top of the mountain is being razed in a couple of months and rebuilt; but it won't be opening until Nov. or Dec. of 2017. However, there is a restaurant at the Tran take-off area so all is not lost in the food department.

NEW MEXICO VETERANS' MEMORIAL — This memorial has a couple of very unique features. It is a one-hour walking tour with tributes to veterans from WW2 through the War on Terrorism. It is beautifully laid out and, with the aid of a guide, very informative. Most moving to us was a wall of actual "letters to home", written by WW2, the Viet Nam War and Korea veterans. The actual handwriting from the serviceman is etched into the wall. Also etched there are a couple of Western Union telegraphs informing families that their loved one is either deceased or missing in action. It is very emotional and an excellent tribute to our servicemen.

PETROGLYPH NATIONAL MONUMENT — A local said "there's nothing out there" but we found that not to be the case. Upon arrival, the short movie is an excellent way to understand how the Albuquerque area came into being from the volcanic beginnings. There are three areas to walk that are filled with petroglyphs - literally thousands of them — etched upon the huge boulders that cover the area. The meaning of many of the symbols are lost to time, but just imagining how and when they got there is awesome.

DUELING PIANOS — This particular form of entertainment was part of our Pensacola reunion many years ago and our own Pete Wasmund has been asking for it ever since. Well, we found it at the UPTOWN FUNK club only a couple of blocks from our hotel. Unfortunately, we were never able to hear the piano music but I spoke with the manager. The best time for us to enjoy it will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday or Thursday evening. We did hear the early vocalist with his guitar and it was lovely.

CORONADO HISTORIC SITE — this site dates back to Coronado on his expedition into the area in 1540 and is likened in importance to Jamestown, VA. There was excavation of a Pueblo village and found in a kiva (1935) were hundreds of figures painted on the walls. They were able to come up with a process to preserve these paintings and some are there for viewing, along with reproductions by a Pueblo artist. This site is in Bernalillo, NM, but it is an easy drive and worth the trip.

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE - yes, we did it and we're glad we did. Surprisingly, it was not at all scary! They say you get about an hour in the air and that depends on weather, wind conditions, etc. and we lucked out with an hour-and-twenty minutes in the air and went 42 mph for a second in a wind gust. We travelled just over 5 miles and it was euphoric just gliding along. Two negatives are the price and the hour you have to get up. They mostly fly in the a.m. and can't go up until official sunrise. So they pick you up at 5:00 to 6 a.m. so there is time to help get the balloon aired up and ready to lift off as early as possible to enjoy the sunrise. If you are interested in my planning a trip in an air balloon please e-mail me at because I will not arrange it unless I know we have a group — however small — that is interested.

So, as you can see, there are lots of options for trips I will arrange and trips you might want to do on your own time. In future Trackers I will go into more detail and let you know what will be available in the group as a whole. Any input from you as to your interests would be appreciated. In the meantime, mark your calendars and plan on attending. Albuquerque is a amazing city. Also, beginning the first of October, the Sheraton will be on board and set up to accept reservations. As usual, let them know you are with the VW-1 All Hands Alumni Association and your price will be $ 109.00 per night, including a daily buffet breakfast (Tues. thru Sat. only). So let's all meet in New Mexico September 11 -16, 2017 at the Sheraton and party!!!

YEA, VW-1 All Hands Alumni Association

Sally Metzger


Additional information about this reunion will be posted on this page as the planning for this reunion progresses over the next several months.