(We hit Moab tonight and it’s cold as hell here too, so we got a hotel instead of camping. A hotel that has WiFi. So you may just get caught up on some of our trip a bit earlier than expected).
March 24-25, 2007
Bryan and I did the Grand Canyon in the summer of 1993. Actually, we drove around the country bound and determined to find a place to live other than Maryland. We found a place to live in Denver, but also found an area of the country that touched our souls. The southwest.
We stopped in many places that we fell in love with, such as Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since it started as an artist’s colony, what’s not to love? OK, OK, I must admit that while I adore the Southwest, its landscape, its adobe architecture, its culture… I am just not a big fan to southwestern art. There. I said it. But, Santa Fe has so many freaking galleries, there is totally something for everyone. Of course, we didn’t feel that spending Declan’s college fund on art was wise at this juncture… so window shopping ruled the day.
Our 7-hour drive from Denver was fairly uneventful but we got in pretty late in the day – so our hotel directed us to a wonderful New Mexican restaurant. I thought this would be a treat from Bryan since I get to eat New Mexican often (because I come to Albuquerque frequently for business, and I politely smile as my clients give me food that makes my face melt off). But the place in Santa Fe was wonderful – built in the old, old train Santa Fe railroad line station, Tomasita’s Cafe had huge warning signs for the tourist about their chili being HOT. So I ordered it on the side and it was wonderfully flavorful (when you only added a speck of it to a stuffed sopaipilla). And Bryan enjoyed getting some real New Mexican cooking, since Denver is surprisingly light on such things.
In the morning, I took off on a walking tour around the galleries and neighborhoods to take photos of Santa Fe, my faves of which are below. It was a glorious day and I had a blast. The boys played in the famous Plaza and then I met up with them for a lazy lunch.
We headed out from Santa Fe, passed Albuquerque, waved to my colleagues there as we zoomed past the city, headed west on Route 40 and promptly got stuck in the biggest traffic jam I have ever seen. We sat on that highway for 3 hours. But it wasn’t just sitting, which would have enabled a nap, or cards, or jumping jacks, something. It was crawling. For 3 hours. It sucked.
Of course, my ever-cheerful husband said, “At least I am with my 2 favorite people in the world!” Yeah, whatever.
We finally pulled into our campsite in Holbrook, Arizona, after 10pm with a very, very, very over-tired and wound-up 4-year old and a very, very over-cranky and wound-down 36-year old on our hands. And we still had to pitch a tent.
The plan was for Declan and I to sleep in the back of the Element (with it’s lovely removable seats) but the air didn’t really feel that cold. Famous last words. I shivered myself awake about 3 hours later. Declan was sleeping like a zombie (and who wants to wake a zombie?), so I threw my 20-below sleeping bag over him and climbed into the truck and turned on the damn heat! What a miserable night. I was up every hour turning on the truck to get warm and hoping I didn’t kill my family with the carbon monoxide fumes.
But. Morning finally came. And apparently Declan slept great because he was the absolute definition of a spaz. And so, we were off to the Petrified Forest to look at awesome fossilized trees.
What could be better than that?
Although I did fall off the caffeine wagon and got myself some Diet Coke.
Highlights from Santa Fe, New Mexico:
(Click on any image to see it larger. Although not my usual ginormous size. Didn’t feel like battling that demon from a hotel internet connection! …Enjoy!)