Farewell, Texas! We were finally on our way to New Mexico. It only took about an hour to get to the boarder from Amarillo. It’s amazing how much the scenery changes from state to state. We stopped in at the Visitor’s Center to get some information and, per the recommendation of the front desk clerk, decided to take the scenic route to Santa Fe. The terrain changed from spans of flat land to dry, red canyons and was absolutely stunning to see in person. It was about a 4 hour drive to Santa Fe from the boarder (I’m proud to say that I actually drove that entire distance and it was the most I’ve driven thus far). Fortunately, we had a good bit of fuel in the tank because there was literally nothing for miles and miles other than the amazing scenery. We came up to a small store in the middle of nowhere off of 25 South and decided we’d stop in for a potty break and a small snack. There no other vehicles in sight and I was unsure if it was even open or operating at all. We pulled open the first door then pushed in the second door. We were greeted by a buzzing noise. I immediately shut the door thinking it was an alarm going off. Jason encouraged me to go on in. Apparently, the noise it to signal to the people upstairs to leave their living room, come down the ramp and greet the customers. An older Spanish gentleman with a limp arm and a flannel shirt, cowboy hat and large belt buckle. It looked as if we had stepped into a house/bar/once-was fuel station. To the right were a couple of pool tables and cleaning supplies. To the left there was a bar fully stocked with the following: liquor, bags of chips and popcorn, M&M’s and Bud Light. “What can I do for you, little lady?” he asked. I explained that we were hoping to use the restroom and grab a snack. His little granddaughter in Dora the Explorer pajama’s followed him closely as well as his little dog, Buddy. He encouraged us to stay and have a beer with him. “We can’t, we’re driving into Santa Fe and it’s 11am.” With a thick accent he said, “Oh, come on. One beer ain’t gonna kill ya. Do a shot then…something!” We declined although looking back now we wish we would have. He had a lot of interesting things to say about New Mexico as well as a few theories on how all of the land and property must be owned by “doctors or drug dealers.”
New Mexico is an interesting place to be. Everything is made of adobe – homes, schools, churches, everything – other than mobile homes which are randomly scattered about the land in no particular rhyme or reason. Santa Fe is a busy little city. We stopped at the visitor’s center in town where we met the most interesting person. The attendant’s name was Joe Guthrie. He was tall, black, wide eyed and animated with a big white afro. He was very charismatic and said that the government gave him that job to keep him off welfare after a terrible car incident. He was hilarious. He had homemade cookies with him and offered them to Jason and myself. Actually, he pushed them onto us. Saying “no” wasn’t an option. Jason said that it was the best cookie he’s ever eaten. He loved Joe’s cookie.
We were starting to get really hungry so we stopped in at the Second Street Brewery for lunch and a brew. From there we headed into downtown to walk around for a bit and take a few photographs. Like New Orleans, it’s one of those cities you wish you could spend more time in. On the way out, we stopped at Maria’s Kitchen for a margarita as several of the locals had recommended. Maria’s offers over 150 different tequilas and an entire book of different margaritas! We each had a margarita (which was fantastic…and strong!) while we looked online for accommodations in Albuquerque.
We checked into the Super 8 around 7pm (“I’m not really sure where the ‘Super’ comes in…….or the ‘8’” – Jason). It felt later to me and, as usual, I was showered and asleep within an hour as Jason worked on the blog and probably checking emails and such since he had no one else to talk to. I vaguely remember him asking valid questions such as “Do they have a place we can do laundry here? Is there a fitness center?” I’m not sure if he got an answer. I felt like I was in a coma. In fact, I fell asleep sitting up on the bed trying to fill out postcards. Lame. Anyway, the next morning it was off to Flagstaff, AZ and to hopefully get in a peek at the Grand Canyon in all of its glory.