Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Fall Break, Parte Tres

Our day in Santa Fe was, well, perfect (minus the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum being closed for new exhibit instillation). We took the High Road into Santa Fe, explored the historic Plaza, took the Low Road to Taos, and had our usual Sunday Chili for dinner. We had gorgeous views, yummy food, fun shops, great conversations with locals, and only one fight (it was bound to happen at some point). That means the day was a complete success!

I LOVED our Airbnb we stayed at. It was at the base of the mountains, in a semi-secluded area which made star gazing wonderful. The inside was decorated beautifully and the beds were beyond comfortable. I've never been on a vacation where I played hard AND got at least ten hours of sleep every night. It was magnificent!

The High Road To Taos (actually to Santa Fe, but this is the offical name of the road) had wonderful views and windy roads. It was really interesting to see the landscape go from snow capped mountains, to mesas, to desert. New Mexico has a little bit of everything.

We came around a bend and this was the view we were greeted with. Even the minis were in awe.

We happened to find free street parking within walking distance to Santa Fe Plaza. We had a wonderful time shopping the vendors and the art shops. We also toured the New Mexico Museum of Art, saw the oldest church and the oldest house in US. Cool stuff on this Sunday.

Our one purchase from the street market was a chili pepper ornament for our Christmas tree. I somehow avoided spending too much money on jewelry and paintings.

Outside the Palace of the Governors.

The minis favorite art shop.

These pictures were very powerful. Overall, there were some really neat exhibits.

One of their only successful trips to a museum. They're typically not museum kids (unless it's all hands on, of course), but they did great at the Art Museum. I have a feeling it had to do with someone other than Mom and Dad being with them.

We had to go in search of a Starbucks so I could get our New Mexico Been There mug. Luckily there was one in the plaza district just a few blocks from the Mexican restaurant we ate lunch at (no pictures of lunch because we were too focused on eating, but it was excellent). 

Our last stops were to the oldest church and oldest house in the US. The minis got into a fight in front of the church, there were tears (not from me), there was some threatening through gritted teeth (that was me), and a friend who casually walked away from our circus train wreck. I mean, I guess we were overdue for a vacation meltdown and of course it had to happen in a busy area. I would expect nothing less.

The Low Road To Taos was just as gorgeous as the High Road but with views of the Rio Grande Gorge. Impressive rock formations and so many businesses dotted the route. I wish we had stopped at a few, but time (and hungry children) didn't allow for this as it was nearing end of business days on Sunday. The views were enough to make this route memorable and remarkable for us.

One of the funniest moments of our drive back home was me whining that I wanted to hike those rock formations (as I pointed off to the west of us). I talked about it so much that my friend looked it up on her phone (just to see if there were any quick hiking trails) and her reply was, "um, back there is Bandelier. We're hiking there tomorrow already." I had to wait a day, but I did get my wish! However, one thing we did notice, is that a lot of the cool rock formations and landmarks actually sit on private land, so much of it isn't open to the public unfortunately.

The minis insisted on keeping our Chili Sunday's going, but this time Deanna took over the chili making. It cooked all day long in the slow cooker and was absolutely delicious! First time all fall that I haven't had to cook a chili! From there things went downhill for me. I got the stomach flu all night, but the minis got a pillow fight and star gazing. They'll tell you it was the best night ever. I was miserable on the other hand.

We picked up plenty of souvenirs this trip! One of them being a sling shot for the oldest mini.

Me driving is a "thing" in our household. The minis always insist on "dad driving always." They have literally been in tears if I'm the one behind the wheel, but they're also totally fine with me driving when it's just them and me. They were perfectly fine with Mom driving and not Dad. I still don't understand this "thing" because as soon as we got back home, Dad had to drive.

Santa Fe was beautiful, full of history and culture, and had so much to do that we barely scratched the surface. There are plenty of outdoor activities and beautiful hikes within an hour or two drive of the state's capital. After two full days of exploring, I would definitely go back to the area in a heartbeat. Especially now as I sit here in a deep freeze in Iowa, dreaming about the warmth of New Mexico!