Saturday, May 6, 2017: Day Fifteen

Saturday, May 6, 2017: Santa Fe is a really cool city. From the adobe structures to the art culture to the food, I’d say we did Santa Fe right.

We started the day by grabbing coffee at Iconik Coffee, which is located in an industrial-style building. I ordered a horchata latte, which, to my surprise, came with a horchata-flavored shortbread cookie.

After coffee, we took off for downtown Santa Fe. We started the day by checking out a few notable churches. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was the first stop, a beautiful church in the heart of Santa Fe. Next, we visited Loretto Chapel, which is known for its “miracle staircase.” When the church was being built, it lacked a staircase that would lead to the choir loft. It was common at the time for ladders to be used for access to the lofts, but the Sisters at the church prayed for a structure to added to the church, particularly because their habits made it difficult for them to climb the ladder to the choir loft. After nine dedicated days of praying, a stranger appeared and constructed the staircase. The Sisters believed the staircase to have been built by St. Joseph, however, the carpenter who built the staircase was gone before he was identified. Another miraculous note is that the spiral staircase was not supported (however, it has been reinforced in more recent years).

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Miracle Staircase at Loretto Chapel
Before grabbing lunch, we stopped by the oldest church structure in the U.S. (built 1610) and the oldest home in the U.S. (built 1645).

Because we missed out of Cinco de Mayo, we decided to indulge in some of New Mexico’s finest food and beverage for lunch. We ate at The Shed, which came highly recommended on FourSquare, Yelp, and our shuttle driver. I stuffed my face with blue corn enchiladas and a blood orange margarita. Three sips into the margarita, I was reminded that Santa Fe is at an even higher altitude than Denver. So, one was definitely enough.

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Blue corn enchilada in red sauce and a blood orange margarita at The Shed
After lunch, we decided it was important that we walk for a long while. The Cross of the Martyrs is located on a hill that overlooks downtown Santa Fe and is home to a large cross that memorializes the 21 friars who lost their lives when the Pueblos fought the Spanish in 1680.

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Cross of the Mayrters
Following our hike to the cross, we walked down to Canyon Road, which is basically a long stretch of art galleries. We decided to pursue the art of chocolate and visit a chocolatier called Kakawa Chocolate House. We sampled their hot chocolate elixirs [So. Good.] and purchased a few chocolates, a rose caramel, a mescal truffle, and a horchata truffle.

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We spent the remainder of our afternoon wandering in and out of shops in downtown Santa Fe before grabbing dinner, once again stuffing our faces, at Casa Chimayo. Guys, the red sauce on my chili rellano had my eyes sweating.

We called it a night after grabbing one more Seis de Mayo margarita. Even with all the food I consumed today, the altitude still made the beverage more potent than expected. However, it was a delicious way to end our day in Santa Fe.

Friday, May 5, 2017: Day Fourteen

Friday, May 5, 2017: Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Before you get too excited about me being in the Southwest for Cinco de Mayo, let me go ahead and disappoint you. We were on the road until 11pm and now we’re exhausted. We did grab a Mexican dinner in Albuquerque at a restaurant called Frontier, where I chowed down on an enchilada and Nathan enjoyed nachos. More importantly, we left with a frontier sweet roll for the road, which we both discovered is basically a fresh, warm, extra large honeybun. Alas, not a single margarita was had. We’ll probably need to make up for that on Seis de Mayo while we’re in Santa Fe.

We left Phoenix around 10am after grabbing a bagel from Einstein Bros. Knowing our trip to Santa Fe was going to be a long one, we planned a few stops along the way.

We started by taking a bit of a detour. Nathan plugged in his phone and queued the soundtrack for this excursion, “Take It Easy” by the Eagles. I’m sure you’ve guessed it because below is a picture of me “…Standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona…” Sure enough, there was a girl and a flatbed Ford. Winslow may not have much, but it definitely has this street corner.

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Not too much further down I-40 (Route 66), we entered the Petrified Forest. Since we bought an annual pass to the National Parks for this trip, we decided to add another park to our list. We were in a bit of a hurry, but we made a couple of stops within the park to check out the fossilized wood, some petroglyphs, and see the original Route 66.

After a quick trip through the Petrified Forest, we made our way to Albuquerque. This took us longer than anticipated after we hit a long stretch of traffic that set us about an hour behind our intended schedule. This was the first real block of traffic we’ve hit on this trip.

We arrived in Albuquerque for dinner around 10pm and finally made it to Santa Fe by 11pm. We have yet to actually see much of New Mexico in daylight, however, I did see a man wearing a Heisenberg-style hat minutes after crossing the New Mexico state line, and moments later saw a very familiar looking RV that made Nathan and I both raise our eyebrows. Friends, I do believe some folks are still breaking bad around here.

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 We love our National Parks!