Monday, June 23, 2014

New Mexico

I always thought New Mexico sounded like a really neat state.  It has such unique culture, and the weather is so warm and dry.  Our neighbor in Okinawa was from Albuquerque and always raved about how wonderful it was there.  I was fascinated with the thought of visiting after all his talk.  We were eager add it to our list on our cross country trip.  

We arrived around 4pm, and had enough time to swim in the hotel pool before getting ready to explore Old Town and have dinner with our travel companion, A.  It was a beautiful town, and we couldn't wait to explore it.  
 Unfortunately, since it was a sunday, most places were closed.  But we headed out into town just the same towards a restaurant we found on yelp called Backstreet Grill.  It was way back behind all the other stores, but we learned quickly that we found a gem of a restaurant. Just a look at the drink menu, and the atmosphere proved that to us! 
That is my pear margarita.  It was wonderful
They even had someone playing some wonderful music on the guitar.  Z Step even tipped him.  
We were very indecisive on what to order.  Everything was so fresh and sounded so good!  We ended up ordering Tableside Guacamole, where they brought the ingredients to the table and mashed it all together for us.  It included pineapple pico de gallo, which really added a nice and fresh flavor to the mix.  It hit the spot perfectly for us all.  D Step got duck burritos, which sounded so different, but were wonderful.  A and I both ordered tequila lime marinated shrimp tacos with pineapple.  It was all amazing.  We didn't have a single complaint.  Our server was friendly, and we had a great experience.  
After our meal, we perused the streets and spotted some couples dancing on a Gazebo.  A lot of people retire here because of the climate.  We eventually went into the only store that was open on a sunday, a souvenir shop that had all kinds of unique things.  
Because everyone needs a sombrero 5 times the size of their head!  
The next morning we had a quick breakfast and said goodbye to A before she hit the road to Vegas.  We packed up, and headed out to the mountains, where we were able to take a tram up to the top and see the entire city.  It took us 10000 feet in elevation.  It was absolutely beautiful, and nice and cool at the top.  
Before going up, and on the way up!

At the top
At the top with our boys!
We went for a little hike at the top.  People hike up to the top all the time.  I hope to someday do that. It would be a great hike!  
Beautiful sights on our short hike!

My favorite boys

Z Step was showing me what way to go!  E Step was running up and down a small hill
We made our way down to the bottom again, and spotted some more beauty at the bottom.  
That house looked really neat.  

After we left, we headed to the hotel, ate, had a short nap, and then headed to the pool again.  The boys love swimming, and they need some fun thrown into our trips.  We headed back into old town in the evening to have dinner and walk around.  More stores were open this time, but it looks like everything closes at 6 around there.  We wish we had known.  
After our dinner the night before, we knew we had to return to the same restaurant for dinner.  We debated a place with a tree growing in it, but had read the food wasn't great.  It was a no brainer to return to the Backstreet Grill.  We ordered the Guacamole again, and changed our orders up a bit.  D Step got a duck taco this time, and I got a shrimp, cucumber, pineapple, avocado mixture in lime juice.  Again, the food was out of this world.  Our server was once again nice, and her husband and family were from Connecticut.  What a small world!  

Z Step showing me his silly faces!  I loved all the turquoise around there
We walked around some shops again, and I was able to find myself a beautiful turquoise necklace.  I had always wanted a truly authentic piece of turquoise, and I found a beautiful one.  I didn't know there were so many different kinds of turquoise.  The men in the store even pointed out some very rare pieces, but they were a bit out of the budget.  I settled on something about 2 1/2 inches big, with a unique shape to it.  I look forward to wearing it soon!  

We were sad to say goodbye to New Mexico, and hope to return again.  It was a perfect stop along our way.  We hope to return in October next year for the Hot Air Balloon Festival!  

We will be driving to Flagstaff, AZ tomorrow, and are excited about the next part of our journey!