Allyson is our official Operations Manager and a Tour Guide for Team Trolley!
Becoming Part of the Team:
It must've been fate that Allyson joined Team Trolley this season. She'd wanted to moonlight as a Trolley tour guide for years because it looked like so much fun, but the timing was never right. Life took her to the east coast for a few years, and when she returned, the stars aligned! Allyson is now our Operations Manager, and it's the perfect fit for her talents. Her background is in zoology (go ahead, ask her about elephants!), and she'd worked as an educator/curator at zoos, aquariums and gardens for 14 years. That experience gave her the flexibility, enthusiasm, and love of people that make for a great tour guide (our riders rave about her!). And of course, Allyson's management background helps with the behind-the-scenes logistics.
You CAN Go Home Again:
Allyson was born and raised in ABQ, and even stayed here for college. Go Lobos! She never thought she would leave, but cupid struck and she fell madly in love with an Air Force man! Soon she was packing her things (and her hairy dogs and coolers full of green chile) and heading to southeastern Virginia. She lived there for three years before her husband was transferred to... wait for it... Albuquerque! Again! An Air Force miracle! Coming home to her family, wide open spaces, no humidity, and chile on everything made her happier than she could imagine. Allyson says, "You truly know how much you love something when it's gone, so every day I try to remind myself how lucky I am to be home. Now, if only there were crab cakes in ABQ..."
Why She Loves Being on Team Trolley:
Simply put -- love and happiness! Allyson loves how happy people are to be on the Trolley. She also loves changing people's impressions of Albuquerque, like when locals say that they found new pride in their city because of our tours. Another perk -- learning about small business from the Trolley Guys (after 14 years with the government and non-profits, this is a whole new world!).She loves that things are growing and changing all the time.
Allyson Wears Many Hats:
Besides being a tour guide, Allyson is the Operations Manager, which means she has very good coordination skills! Among her behind-the-scenes tasks: writing on our web sites, doing research, working on new projects and developing employee materials. She also assists with Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk tours as needed. Can you say "busy"?
Special Moments on the Trolley:
Allyson loves it when people laugh on the Trolley. Seriously, it makes her day. Oh, and she also loves how people gasp when they see the castle downtown. (It is quite the wow factor!)
Strange Moments on the Trolley:
One time, an Albucreepy tour-goer claimed a ghost pinched her hiney! But, Allyson's very favorite moment of all time was when two little kids danced in the aisle while driving on Route 66.(All together now -- awwwww!)
Why Allyson loves Albuquerque:
Well, her family is here, and that's the best thing. She also loves that she can get to a mountain, river, or volcano within just a few minutes (we ARE a little spoiled out here when it comes to nature!). Allyson loves how diverse the city is, yet how friendly everyone is to each other. And of course -- the food. Sopaipillas... Yum!
Red or Green?
Red chile is her number one comfort food. It makes her happy to eat it, especially on her Dad's homemade enchiladas and sopaipillas (Hey Allyson's Dad -- when are you having Team Trolley over for dinner?) or a Golden Pride carne adovada burrito. It makes her happier than chocolate! (Now that's a big statement!)
Life Away from the Trolley:
Allyson loves being outside and surrounded by nature. Her family has a cabin in northern NM, which is where she goes when she wants to get away. She'll hike, soak her feet in a mountain stream, birdwatch, and just enjoy the calm (sounds kinda perfect, doesn't it?) If she can't get there, she goes to the Bosque instead. Plus, Allyson volunteers for the Rio Grande Nature Center because she loves teaching kids about animals (remember that zoology background?) She also loves to travel, and to cook (and eat!).
Surprising Fact -- She's a Real Life Bear Grylls
Allyson got charged by a bear once, but she scared it away. It turns out, she can be terrifying when she needs to be!