Friday, March 28, 2008

New Mexico

I can only imagine how all 3 of my readers are already mad at me for not posting something in a long while. Don't leave!!!!

The truth is, I went on a vacation to beautifully scenic New Mexico.

Why New Mexico????

Why not!!?

I know the story of a vacation doesn't do the trip much justice if it doesn't include any pictures, but unfortunately, I haven't uploaded them yet..............but I will, so pull that bunch of panties out your butt there, honcho.

But to give a quick rundown - on Saturday we flew from Newark to Dallas/Ft Worth where we connected to our flight right into Albuquerque.

After taking the shuttle to pick up our snazzy electric blue Pontiac G6 rental car (which I hated), we drove up to the incredibly quaint city of Santa Fe.

To our dismay, everything in town closes down at like 9pm for some reason.
Our choices? Hit up the only open bar in town which was a real dive, OR, hit up the rooftop pool and jacuzzi.

Jacuzzi it is!!

We met a few nice southern folk in there who gave us great tips on where to go and what to see while we were in the area. The sky was also unbelievably clear and I've never seen the stars so bright! We also were told that because of the high altitude (Santa Fe is about 7000 ft above sea level) we should drink a lot of water to avoid altitude sickness. Interesting, huh?

So after a while of boiling our buns, we hit the hay.
After a pretty good workout the next morning in the hotel fitness center, we hit up the town plaza where were ran into a hunger strike protest to free Tibet. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of white people there protesting, HOWEVER, all the people actually participating in the no-food part of the hunger strike were of Asian decent.
Oh these white people and how they love to protest..................kinda..............

Anyway, since it was Easter Sunday, again, most of the plaza was closed.

So we started our trek to Chimayo.
Now, this a very very sacred place that THOUSANDS of people make pilgrimages to every year at Easter. Literally, people from all over WALK - some with giant crosses, or on their hands and knees - to Chimayo every year for Good Friday.
Many years ago, as the story goes, there was a remarkable miracle that occurred there and ever since, there has been stories of how the healing power of the dirt has cured people of many diseases and ailments. So needless to say, it was nice to catch the last half of the Easter mass there and then get to walk through the original church and scoop up some of the holy dirt and bring some back.

So after Chimayo, we decided to take the "high road" to Taos - which was where we were staying the next two nights. This route is a lot longer, but much more scenic, and definitely worth it.
Not only that, but its literally a very HIGH road. We were driving over some of the highest mountains I've ever seen and winding down and around and over some more mountains, while the whole time passing cute little rustic villages and old towns along the way.

Once in Taos, we went "downtown" to catch a bite to eat and then checked in to our Bed & Breakfast - one that is unlike any B&B you've ever seen.

We actually had a separate 2-story adobe pueblo house to ourselves!
A huge THANKS to Richard, who runs Casa Gallina and made our stay so wonderful.
Not only did we find intricately prepared hors d’oeuvres, but he also left us a bottle of red wine and fresh eggs that his own hens out back had laid that morning. He also left us freshly baked oatmeal chocolate cookies the next night while we were out. Scrumptious!

Our stay there was perfect, thanks to Richard's keen eye for interior design and warm hospitality. Speaking of warm, there was also an adobe fireplace (called a kiva) that we lit up.
Its such a scenic doors AND out.

So in addition to enjoying the trip for the weather and scenery, there's some more good news.
We hit up the Taos Mountain Casino that Sunday night.
Its pretty small - only 3 blackjack tables - but if you know me, you know I love blackjack!!

To make a long story short, 3 hours later I walked away with $775 in winnings.
Basically - enough to pay for my entire trip AND then some.


Anyway, the next day we hit up Santa Fe again to buy authentic jewelry from the Native Americans in the plaza. This jewelry is 100% handmade by Native Americans from different tribes around the area. We wanted to buy from them instead of the other obviously-not-Native American vendors who try to profit off of setting up stands near the real Native Americans. Its some very beautiful jewelry and crafts, consisting mostly of sterling silver and turquoise mined in and around New Mexico and Texas.

So after some shopping, it was time to drive to Ojo Caliente for our massages!
The cool part?
Aside from getting a relaxing deep tissue massage, this spa is located on a mountain that has several natural hot springs that you can bathe in.
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo relaxing its ridiculous.

I was a little hesitant about the arsenic pool.......................... but I'm still alive, right?

So, that was the bulk of our trip before we came back home.

Oh, did I mention the part about driving almost 30 miles with the gas warning light on, in the dark on a pitch-black road in the middle of nowhere?????
How about the part where we were headed over the 3rd highest bridge in the US??
Oh....I must've forgotten that part...............


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