Toward the end of 2014, my husband and I decided that one of our resolutions for 2015 was to travel more. Take some mini-vacays to keep our sanity between the everyday stresses of jobs and life. Instead of planning for one major trip a year, why not take some extended weekends every now and then? I’m game.
New Mexico in April — yep, sounds great. Although the hubs had driven through a long time ago on a road trip, I’d never been before and the thought of exploring in the mountains and desert while relaxing and eating our way through Santa Fe sounded like the ultimate weekend getaway.
Thankfully, some friends had some recommendations to share (thanks Jamie!) and that coupled with our own research led to the most perfect weekend with my better half.
Day 1 was spent driving around the town, chowing on the ever-so-famous green chile cheeseburgers at Santa Fe Bite, checking in for a few hours at Ten Thousand Waves and a phenomenal dinner at Izanami. If you make your way to Santa Fe, I highly recommend taking time for Ten Thousand Waves. It’s a Japanese spa and because it’s way up in the mountains with next-to-no cell service, you are forced to relax and disconnect — and it’s glorious! We opted for a private shoji and it was just incredible. It even started snowing while we were soaking our toes in the hot bath! It’s a must.
The next day, we planned a little hiking at Bandelier National Monument. After a beautiful drive into the mountains, we arrived at the park and spent several hours exploring and hiking our way to the top of the ruins. Many breathtaking views and a few steep staircases later, we were spent and ready for some lunch at Gabriel’s, which was on our way back to town. Now if you’ve done your research on Santa Fe, this place comes up often with raving reviews. I have to admit that as a Texan with access to some of the best Tex-Mex known to man, this wasn’t necessarily the BEST meal I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong — it was good — but not the holy guacamole kind of good. We window shopped for the rest of the day, napped and had dinner al fresco at a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint with twinkle lights, decent wine and crazy combo pizzas. It was perfect.
Day 3 was supposed to be our WOW day… but sadly a storm rolled through (a snow storm in April… so weird) and our hot air balloon in Taos was cancelled. Naturally, that was after we woke up at 4 am to drive 1.5 hours to get there, of course. Thankfully the storm didn’t hit until we made our way back to Santa Fe. The scenery on the drive back was out of a storybook and we watched the sun rise over the mountains. We didn’t get to check anything off the bucket list but it was certainly a close second.
Once we made it back to town, it was full-on snowing outside. Nevermind that it had been 75 and sunny the day before. New Mexico, you confuse me. So we had a lazy Sunday and napped, sipped on hot tea and stayed cozy inside for a few hours. I can’t say I hated it. We decided to check-in at Hotel St. Francis, one of the city’s most historic hotels for the night — a magical place that rounded out our trip beautifully. Once the weather cleared, we walked to dinner for date night at Joseph’s, where we treated ourselves to a multi-course meal and toasted to our trip.
On our final day in Santa Fe, we enjoyed breakfast at Cafe Pasqual’s (this place is the real deal, y’all) and walked around town for a few hours soaking it all in. Also, did you know that Nambe was founded in New Mexico? It’s true! We may have come home with a few pretty pieces… and for half the price!
And then just like that, vacation came to a close… but not before a Breaking Bad selfie at Walt’s house in Albuquerque!