Santa Fe, New Mexico

We decided to stay up in Santa Fe instead of Albuquerque because we had always heard that it was a great town filled with Art and food. We were on our way through the southwest to Texas but we managed to hit Santa Fe on a weekend. So we got to pack in a lot of food and adventure in to a short time. I would have to say, they weren’t wrong, this place is awesome.

Trailer Ranch RV Park

IMAG4190.jpgNice private park. There’s a full trailer park behind where the RVs park that caters to seniors. So they kind of run the whole thing like that. They’re more strict on quiet hours and when they say they close at 5, they mean it. We ran into traffic after Albuquerque and they suggested that we stay at a Walmart for the night if we were going to make it there after 5. After some pleading they said that they would be there to guide us into a spot, something that by this point I am capable of doing by myself. But they were really nice about it and in the end we had a very enjoyable stay at the part, without further incident. The park has a lot of shade trees and is very dog friendly. What we’ve learned traveling around to different parks is that the ones that enforce the rules, while annoying in some cases, tend to be more enoyable in the long run to the short term guests.

Cowgirl BBQ

Our first night out in Santa Fe we tried this place. It’s got a comfortable upscale vibe but is still frequented by tourists and bikers alike. We sat outside in the patio and had a great meal. The service was a little slow, but I think that might be cultural in the area. Great meal, great location.

Tune-Up Cafe

We ended up going to a lot of restaurants on the ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ list. We didn’t mean to really, I personally can’t stand his personality, but he does go to a lot of good places. This place was highly rated on Foursquare, so we gave it a try for lunch one day. We sat outside and really enjoyed the southwest down home cooking. It’s hard to have a bad meal in Santa Fe.

Chuck’s Nuts

IMAG4199.jpgWe didn’t so much “go” here as we almost broke in, and then were given a private tour by Chuck himself. We didn’t realize that this location wasn’t open when we pulled into the parking lot. The door seemed locked, but I really just wanted a picture of the sign. While I was doing that a worker came outside and told us that they were closed for ‘production’ that day and if we wanted coffee we could go across town to their other location. But when we said that we were just looking for a gift, he asked Chuck himself to take care of us. We talked to him for about 10 minutes about our lives, his business, and the surrounding area. We left with a few samples of chocolate and some peanut brittle for friends. Another quirky Santa Fe experience.

San Francisco Street Bar & Grill

IMAG4194.jpgIMAG4196.jpgWe realized that we hadn’t really been ‘Downtown’ so even though we were tired we tried to get out. But we didn’t count on all the stores being closed so early on a Saturday. So while we were doing some window shopping we heard music coming from the upper level of a building. We eventually found the entrance tucked into an alcove and went upstairs. We sat at the bar drinking local beers while a band played. It saved our evening and was a perfect find.

Jambo Cafe

IMAG4198.jpgAnother ‘DDD’ and Foursquare pick. It’s African cuisine in the Southwest. It’s a great place and I’m pretty sure we were waited on by the owner/chef. He was very soft spoken but confident in his food. The atmosphere was a mix of traditional African with southwest homeyness. The curry sauce with the plantains was a revelation.  We had yet another great dinner in Santa Fe

Counter Culture

Breakfast isn’t usually the meal we splurge on (time wise), but this place is worth a special trip. Its a bit like an upscale Panera Bread, but if it was located in your friend’s mom’s kitchen. The relationship between the customers and the workers is so close you almost want to step behind the counter and work a shift for them. Or maybe we were just in a good mood. The portions were also excellent.

Blue Corn Cafe

Brewery and cafe. Probably the most upscale in terms of location and complex menu. Its a hard balance to try to make southwestern food upscale. It mostly comes down to increasing the quality of ingredients (which doesn’t always work) and presentation. The beers were by far the best in the area. I had a really interesting Imperial Gose and while it wasn’t mind-blowing, I liked it a lot.

Bandelier National Monument

IMAG4252.jpgIMAG4218.jpgAnother one of those parks in the southwest that you’re not sure what you’re in for in the beginning. Its in situated in a valley surrounded by limestone walls the landscape itself is beautiful, the limestone is windswept and water eroded. There are lots of opportunities for great pictures, then you add the ruins of an ancient civilization and the experience is off the charts. It’s kind of amazing that they allow you to climb up into some of the cliff dwellings, but I guess they assume that if it’s made it 10000 years then it’s OK if we get our shoes into it.

We were trying to walk the whole trail before a storm came in, we almost made it halfway when the heavy rain started. We just made it up to the top of the last ladder to Alcove house when it really started raining. We sat there with a couple of other tourist and just enjoyed the storm in almost silence. It was a nice break.

Arroyo Chamizo disc golf course

IMAG4261.jpgKind of  a confusing course. I had Laurel drop me off after we spent the morning hiking at Bandelier. I thought it would take a few hours. The whole course it situated in a small low valley that contains a dry(for now) river bed. It’s between some industrial buildings and a neighborhood. I finally found the Course sign, but it did not contain a map. Some of the tee boxes were right on the bike path, they were marked by metal poles that told you which type of tee you were on. It took me about 10 minutes of searching to realize that on the first tee I was supposed to throw OVER the creek. After that it got a little easier, the holes themselves were almost all obscured by large scrub brush. They tried to help by attaching long white poles to the top so that you could see them from far away, but it wasn’t always obvoius which pole to throw at. But overall it’s a good longer course, with a few great holes. Also a few opportunities to lose discs in a backyard .

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