Saturday, February 26, 2022

New Mexico day 1: Albuquerque to Santa Fe

Slept well, then up early to walk to the rental car office, about half a mile away. We picked up our car -- slightly challenging, Gold Canopy had no cars in it, so we had to go into the office and were told to pick up a particular car that was so new, it still had bits of the shipping plastic wrap on it... and 2 miles on the odometer. 

We went back to the hotel, picked up our bags, and hit the road. We drove across Albuquerque, loving how quiet and empty the streets were. It was only later that we realized it was super early on a Saturday, so most people weren't up and around yet!

First stop: the spaceship house, which is actually the home and studio of architect Bart Prince

Then, on our way out of town, we diverted to a stretch of classic Route 66 that was renovated a few years back as a "Musical Highway". The signs are gone now -- and it's gone a little out of tune, but we drove over the special rumble strips, thought it wasn't working, and then, UNMISTAKABLY, heard a snippet of "America the Beautiful". So nice. 

(Note, this is not my video)

Amusingly, finding this video led me down a "musical highway" rabbit hole. There are lots of them, including one on a highway up to Mt. Fuji that we must have driven on. 

Anyway, we then headed north on the "Turquoise Trail" -- a nice, two-lane highway. We stopped in adorable Madrid to stretch our legs and visit ... CONNIE'S PHOTO PARK. 

We wandered around, taking lots of silly photos... because WE LOVE A PHOTO OP. 

Then back in the car, where we skirted the edge of Santa Fe and headed out to Pecos National Historical Park. Our main aim was to stretch our legs, not thinking that the reconstructed kivas and pueblo mission church ruins would be particularly interesting. But it was beautiful and quiet and -- despite being very, very cold -- made for a great couple of hours.

Then we headed back to Santa Fe to find our AirBnB... though en route we stopped for BEYOND CHICKEN AT KFC... which gave me childhood flashbacks of the flavor of the breading and the way the boxes open...

The review? Well... meh. I mean, I'm thrilled when fast food companies add a meatless option to their menus. And they tasted a lot like I vaguely remembered KFC tasting. Would I eat them again? Probably not, but only because I don't eat much fast food. Now, extra crispy? Maybe...

Then it was into the South Capitol neighborhood of Santa Fe to scope our our gorgeous AirBnB. We were still a couple of hours early, so we parked in the quiet neighborhood and walked downtown. Hello, ristras!

We explored a little, nosed around some shops, and just enjoyed the city. Then back up the hill to check in to our gorgeous AirBnB. Seriously, I have nothing but great things to say about this location!

Great house, very comfortable, and full of beautiful local art. A real treat. 

After settling in, we eventually decided to go out in search of dinner, despite the bitter cold. Dinner was ... just okay (perhaps my fault for ordering an "interesting" margarita when what I should have ordered was their house standard!)... and given the cold I was just glad to get home and into a hot bath. 

**A quick note about this post -- I'm catching up with my New Mexico memories and backdating blog posts to each day.

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