Still Enchanted

New Mexico’s State slogan is “The Land of Enchantment”, and The Beloved and I it’s a pretty special place. We have a history there that dates back to the very beginning of our relationship and so it holds a lot of sentimental value for us.

We thought we’d go back often, but in our time at The Aerie, we’ve only returned once for a long weekend. So we were intrigued when my cousin Bob, who is the current Patriarch of House Betz declared that we should have a family reunion in New Mexico (he lives outside Albuquerque) — we’d been gone so much, we wondered if our opinion of New Mexico would change? Would it still hold its charms for us?

That answer is a resounding yes!

Albuquerque from the Sandia Crest

Albuquerque from the Sandia Crest

We spent the first few nights at my cousin’s beautiful house, which sits on the northern slopes of the Sandia Crest along the Turquoise Trail (he has enough room and acreage for all 9 of us that went). Because she lived in Santa Fe, The Beloved and I hadn’t ever spent a lot of time around Albuquerque, but we got out and about, enjoying a switchbacking trip to the top of the Crest (which towers over ABQ) and going to an Albuquerque Isotopes game (remember Los Alamos and Trinity aren’t far from ABQ), where you can get an Atomic Margarita and Indian Taco as readily as a beer and a dog.

IMG_0691

Play Ball!

Speaking of dogs, we got to hang out with my cousin’s sweet whippets. One of them, Ginger Rogers, has even competed at Westminster this past year (she was robbed!). It would have been great to have Penny there with us. There aren’t many times when there are dogs around that are faster than she is. Next time!

Ginger

Ginger

In the middle of our week, we all rented a house on a hill outside of Santa Fe. It was spectacular — 50 acres of land and probably 50-75 miles views in every direction. That made sitting out in the evening with an adult beverage pretty awesome. I was hoping for a thunderstorm to roll through one night, but New Mexico is in the same drought that we are here in Southern California.

Nice View

Nice View

It was great to get back to Santa Fe — and really we could have spent an extra week there seeing which of our favorite spots were still around and gobbling up all the green chiles that we could! We spent one afternoon just walking around the center of town, enjoying the sites in the Plaza, poking into our favorite gallaries.

Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe Plaza

I Wanted To Buy This Pretty Badly

I Wanted To Buy This Pretty Badly

We also really enjoyed the newly-opened New Mexico History Museum, which is behind the Palace of the Governors. They had great exhibits covering the history of New Mexico from Pueblo times, Spanish Colonial times, to the eras of American control, comparing both pre- and post-statehood. Highly recommended.

 

Pueblo Indian Revolt Exhibit

Pueblo Indian Revolt Exhibit

New Mexico History in a Nutshell

New Mexico History in a Nutshell

The Patriarch

The Patriarch

There are some more stories, including The Ballad of Bandelier Dave, but I’ll save that for another post.

Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

 

Sunset Over the Jemez Range

Sunset Over the Jemez Range

Who knows, maybe it won’t be so long before we get back again!

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21 thoughts on “Still Enchanted

    • HC — the indian taco is a fairly large piece of flatbread (sort of like a thick naan) covered in beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, onions, chiles, and tomatoes. You start with a fork until it’s foldable. Bring many napkins.

  1. I haven’t been to many places, but I have been to Albuquerque and Sante Fe.
    I would welcome a chance to return. The area is gorgeous. I’m glad you and The Beloved were able to return.

  2. Steve, you were “gobbling up green chiles” in New Mexico? Either you have a mucous lining made of leather, or you were eating the milder varieties (poblano? Anaheim?). Years ago I had a delicious stuffed pepper at an Albuquerque restaurant (filled with local goat cheese!), but I’m pretty sure it was an Anaheim, judging from the size and its mild heat.

    Your pictures make me envious! I love the evening sunsets out there, though it was almost always a signal to grab a sweater. Desert nights were chilly, if memory serves right.

    • HG — BRING ON THE HOT GREEN CHILES! One of our favorite things is the “burn” of a breakfast with hot green chiles gets when coupled with coffee.

      The days were warm — originally forecast for the mid-80s, but ended up in the 90s. The nights dipped cooler and were breezy, which was great. Nice to throw on an extra layer after a hot day.

  3. Intriguing post, Steve. New Mexico has such diverse terrain. My daughter and her hubby lived in Alamogordo for a time. It was an entirely different experience. Dust storms, scorpions, flash floods. Her pictures looked like scenes from Lawrence of Arabia. Yours look more like scenes from The Milagro Beanfield War. :)

    • Thorsaurus — yes, northern NM is quite different from Alamagordo, though I found that area around White Sands to be beautiful in its own way. I especially like the area up a little higher near Ruidoso.

  4. New Mexico is a place I keep meaning to get to when I go to the US but it just hasn’t happened yet. I love the desert SW part of the US. Tom and I have a three-day pass at Christmas for a little trip together when my Mom will watch the kids. Maybe this is the answer to “Where should we go?”

    • Tracey — I can vouch that Santa Fe is spectacularly beautiful at Christmas time. The air is dry and cold, with occasional frosts (but usually not much snow — too dry). The buildings are decorated by being outlined with luminaria (lights inside brown paper bags) and everyone has bright red chile ristras instead of wreaths. On Christmas Eve, everyone walks Canyon Road and stops to carol and visit, while the businesses put out cider and hot chocolate. HIGHLY recommended!

  5. Gorgeous photo!

    After my time in Arizona, unless it’s largely like the northern 1/3 of AZ, too hot for lupus-girl! I had to hide inside cars of buildings the whole time down south. :(

  6. I love New Mexico! It’s beautiful! Santa Fe has some great Mexican restaurants and art galleries and even a 16th century church (I think).

    We used to go to Glorieta quite a lot with church groups. And we had/have family in Albuquerque.

  7. Pingback: The Adventures of Bandelier Dave | Stevil

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