A year late, but hey, better late than never, right? Where did we leave off? Oh right, Nashville, TN and Little Rock Arkansas with a quick drive through TX. One may ask why did we skip a quarter of America and went basically straight from Nashville, TN to New Mexico with only overnight stays next to the highway? To be answered in future posts . . .
Since we were already in the first week of October and still had to see New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, we decided to skip through a few states. As expected, the road through TX is as painful and boring as one would imagine and it seemed never ending.
However, by the first week of October 2015, we did make it to Carlsbad, NM. The reason for this stop? Kieran really wanted to check out the caves at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Beneath the surface, there are more than 119 known caves – all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes. One can even take tours through the caves and do some hiking, but as previous posts would indicate, we arrived there right as the last tour took off – oops. We debated for about 10 minutes if we should stay overnight in Carlsbad so we can check out the caves the following morning, but decided against it as the closest hotel was 30 minutes away and was a tourist trap of a rip off. However, the area and the national park did seem very impressive and at some point will have to be checked out. Even President Obama made it out there this year!
So, who was the culprit of our late arrival to the park? Kieran’s stomach! Due to hunger, we stopped at Danny’s place for a little BBQ. As we were here on a Sunday, we saw many families coming in from church for a nice big lunch. There are very few food options in this area, so if you are in town, check this place out.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
That same day after our failed trip to the caves, we decided to keep moving forward and drove all the way to Albuquerque for an overnight stay. The next morning, feeling refreshed, we checked out some of the fun sites that the town had to offer.
What to Do:
Old Town: super cute, authentic and packed with little shops filled with traditional souvenirs. The town is tiny – a small square which we walked in about 20 minutes and is packed with tourists. Is it worth a walk around? Sure!
The real reason why we stopped in Albuquerque (besides the need for sleep) was because one of our favorite TV shows, Breaking Bad, was based out of Albuquerque.
So, the first stop was the famous car wash ***spoiler alert*** which Walter White opened to hide the money he made selling meth.
Here is our beautiful rental post a meth filled wash!
The next stop was Walter White’s house where he lived with his family. As you can see, the garage is open and the owner is sitting inside the garage literally barking at people who stop to take a picture. Did she not get the memo that she sold her soul to the tourist devil when she decided to have her house be part of the #1 show? That Mercedez in the garage did NOT pay for itself! But I get it, I would guess it can get pretty annoying when people throw pizza on the roof of your house all day, every day.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
After the day in Albuquerque, we drove to Santa Fe, which is about a 1 hour drive north where we rented an airbnb for a few days so we could slow down, blog and figure out the next steps.
and of course, there was a dog to play with!
What to do:
The old town in Santa Fe is much calmer and cuter than the one in Albuquerque; so, when making a decision as to which one to choose, go for Santa Fe! Did you know that Santa Fe is located at 7,200 ft (2,194 m) above sea level which makes it the highest state capital in US? Nope? Neither did Kieran or I, because if we knew, we would have been better prepared when altitude sickness hit Kieran for the next few days. Ouch!
A bit of old town loveliness . . .
Where to Eat
El parasol: this is a delicious Mexican fast food chain and it is YUMMY! Do it!
Tune-up Cafe: a nice little spot with a great outdoor patio and lovely service.
Counter Culture: This is the spot where I spent most of the time researching and blogging while Kieran was recovering from altitude sickness. It’s a lovely spot with great food, breakfast served around the clock and good internet.
Taos, New Mexico
On our way out of NM and into Colorado, we made a stop in Taos, NM; population at about 5,500. It’s tiny, adorable and worth a drive through the following:
San Francisco De Asisi Church: a really beautiful and unique church which was very photogenic!
Right after church, we made a quick lunch stop at Ranchos Plaza Grill and boy was it YUMMMMMMYYYY?!
Next stop – Colorado (10 months into travel, we are getting closer and closer to home)! Yikes!