We are in the midst of fall in New Hampshire! That means foliage, apple products, ice cream while it’s available, visits to Amphora Fine Greek Dining and of course lots of family and friends.
I’ve got SO MANY posts for you, but life has been super busy and I needed a little break from blogging.
Suffice to say, summer was amazing overall and we are excited to be back in New Hampshire for a few months.
Here are a few photos from recent adventures to tide you over.
Thanks for stopping by!
Well, we’ve been parked in Denver for the last three weeks, and as usual for Colorado, we loved it!
Though I was traveling most of the time, we had a great time, enjoying an awesome park with four lakes next to our campground, performing at Your Mom’s House and the All Terrain Yoga at the Boulder Farmer’s Market and visiting new and favorite spots for ice cream, gluten-free treats and hard cider as well as open mics.
The only bummer in the area was that Ross’ favorite bar is desperately raising money to stay in business. We love you, Dungeons and Drafts!
We also got to catch up with my friend from high school, Melanie.
Here are a few highlights from our time!
We recently attended the Senior Olympics in Albuquerque as part of an epic week with family. It was an incredible gift (literally), staying in a nice hotel, spending time with family and getting to see Ross’ dad compete in the Senior Olympics!
Ross’ dad arrived on Tuesday, my birthday. After he checked in with Ross (while I switched all of our belongings with Ross’ dad because we’d been given the wrong rooms!), and after I got my free Starbucks birthday item, we all went out for a celebratory birthday dinner at El Cotorro. Craft tacos, my first ceviche and craft ice cream – perfect meal, right? We also got incredible margaritas – seriously, they might be my favorite I’ve had! Both the tacos and ice cream were outstanding, and this was our first glimpse at a neighborhood we are now seriously considering a move to in the future.
On Wednesday, Ross, Stephen (Ross’ dad) and I all took a trip to Sky City, the ancestral home of a Pueblo Indian tribe and now a museum and cultural center. It was one of those experiences that you’ll truly never forget. All of the people were warm and welcoming, and we learned so much about a culture we’d known so little about. Ross also got his first frybread (and a tasty stew) in the cafe here. Later that evening, we got to watch Stephen represent NH in the Parade of Athletes – very fun, though the sound was atrocious!
Thursday was practice day for Stephen, was competing in bare bow, recurve archery. I got some work done during the day, taught a lesson and said hi to Ross’ mom Robin before all of met up with Ross’ aunt and uncle for dinner at Pueblo Harvest. Again, we had a stellar meal here, and they accommodated gluten-free really well. After we returned to El Cotorro for ice cream.
Friday was the first of two days of competition for Stephen. Besides a break for me to go home and work for a client, we spent most of the day under a canopy on a blanket in the grass. After that, we went out to Restoration Pizza. Ross and I split an incredible salad and got a gluten-free pizza (and he shared with family too) and I think I got a hard cider and most of the family went with beer. (Later we grabbed frozen custard at Freddy’s.) Another delicious spot, thanks Ross for the recommendation!
Saturday was the final day of the competition. Ross and I picked up a few food items to share and joined everyone for another day, followed by the awards ceremony for archery. Stephen placed fifth! We are so proud of all he’s accomplished in less than two years participating in the sport.
After a long day, we refreshed at the hotel before going to Sixty-Six Acres for outstanding veggie appetizers and, for me, shrimp and grits! We had tasty desserts too. Amazing meal and drinks. I had Palomas. Such a treat!
Sunday Robin has to leave, but Ross spent the day at the zoo with everyone else while I worked. I did manage a quick nature walk. They had a great visit, and after we all met up at a tasty Mexican restaurant for dinner, drinks and dessert.
Monday it was just three of us remaining, so Ross hung out with Dad and I until late afternoon, when we all took a gondola ride to the top of Sandia Peak before Mexican at their restaurant on-site.
Tuesday I took Stephen to the airport, packed us up and treated myself to Tia Blue’s for amazing blue corn waffles and Mexican veggies. After we checked out, Ross and I spent more time falling in love with Nob Hill, a sweet vintage-y hipster area in ABQ that we can’t get enough of. Finally I got more ice cream at El Cotorro and we headed home.
This may not have been a vacation for me, but it was the closest I’d had in a long time. We were so spoiled by family and truly loved getting to see everyone. Let’s do it again sometime!
Hope you enjoyed my diary of our week. Have an amazing week yourself!
Mountainair, New Mexico is really on the map for two reasons – the Sunflower Festival, which is an annual event in late August, and the Salinas Pueblo National Monument. The monument is unique in that it actually consists of three different ruins sites in addition to the Visitor’s Center, which is located downtown.
Ross and I had originally hoped to visit all the sites in one day. That’s absolutely possible, but we’d recommend you begin very early (think 8 or 9 am) and pack a lunch (all sites have nice picnic areas). We got a later start, so we managed 3 of the 4 locations in a day before the heat got to us.
On a subsequent afternoon, I visited the remaining location.
These ruins are really quite incredible. Do consider paying a couple of dollars for a visitor’s guide – otherwise it’s free to visit. The descriptions of the different rooms will really mean more with the guide and enhance your understanding of the history.
All sites have restrooms and a visitor’s center (though that has limited hours), and theoretically they all have water as well, but at least one wasn’t operational when I was there, so be sure to pack your own water just in case. The sites are quite spread out, so you will probably need water for each site.
The Visitor’s Center is very well done, with a great introductory video (less than twenty minutes I believe) as well as a beautiful exhibit with an overview of the three sites and a great gift shop. We highly recommend you start your visit here. There’s also a market with a deli and a restaurant downtown if you need a bite to eat, and it’s a beautiful little area with great galleries.
There is a long, flat and beautiful (and hot!) walking trail around the cathedral and other ruins here. There are some more modern ruins in the mix too, from the late 19th century I believe.
Here is where the Inquisition was stationed in the area – yikes, I know! The ruins are most intact here and the acoustics are amazing. There’s also a nice flat walking trail and what looked like a wonderful, though buggy, hiking trail for further exploration.
This site seemed to be the center of commerce in the area. It’s an absolutely gorgeous walk, and I was really overcome with visions of what it used to be. The location is amazing, and it was once a three story village sometimes hosting thousands including their visitors! This was the only location without a full-time clergy on site.
I hope this inspires you to visit as well! It’s only about 90 minutes from Albuquerque, depending on which site you’re going to. Well worth a day of adventuring, and if you’d rather take your time, Turner Inn has very affordable and nice motel rooms with a kitchen or kitchenette of some sort. We can also recommend all the local food, but especially the restaurant in Willard if it’s open – outstanding, affordable and so knowledgeable about gluten-free, even offering a dedicated fryer.
Thanks for reading! Have you ever visited ruins before?
During our recent visits to Santa Fe and Taos we stayed in Las Vegas, New Mexico. During our stay, we played music at the KOA and dodged a lot of thunderstorms and high winds.
In the midst of lots of work, we made time for a bit of exploring, and I’m glad we did. Here are three places we can recommend in Las Vegas (the first one, not the famous one):
Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge – I enjoyed the lovely almost loop/easy walk for learning about wildlife and admiring it. There are some nice lookout spots and a bigger hike too. A gorgeous spot I definitely recommend! Plus, it’s free.
Las Vegas Museum – I look forward to returning here for the Rough Rider exhibits. Looks super cool!
Storrie Lake State Park – Super beautiful. An affordable escape. Don’t miss at least a drive by.
Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day!
I have so much to catch you all up on…
But suffice to say that we’ve left our campground and are now on our way to Colorado.
In the last few weeks, we’ve watched the Senior Olympics, eaten far too much delicious food and fallen in love with a new city.
We are hot and tired and happy and blessed.
More to follow; but here are a few photos to tide you over. Have an amazing week, and thanks for reading!
Ross and I celebrated my birthday early with tea at St. James Tea Room in Albuquerque, NM. We enjoyed an absolutely incredible experience during our visit.
They do monthly themes, and for the month of June, Alice in Wonderland is their theme. This means they had absolutely stunning details throughout our intimate room and in the whole building to enjoy.
We took advantage of the opportunity to dress up, and I was in heaven with their gluten-free menu, which perfectly duplicates their original. Gluten-free croissants, flatbreads, cookies and scones – sign me up!
The tea comes in three courses with the food and each flavor was delicious. I went herbal; Ross went traditional.
Here are some photos from our amazing day!
We recently spent about a week and a half in the Santa Fe area. We were mainly parked in Las Vegas, New Mexico, which is less than an hour’s drive to Santa Fe. Though our schedule didn’t allow a ton of free time (we had multiple gigs in Taos as well as three campground concerts in Las Vegas), we can highly recommend a couple of stops that we absolutely loved in Santa Fe.
We met up with a full-time RVer friend and her husband – we’d never met them in person before, so it was really exciting to connect! Turns out we got along really well, enjoying their sense of humor and all of us enjoying the incredible meal at Jambo Cafe, an African-Caribbean restaurant in town.
They hit the road a few months ahead of us and are now on the hunt for a place to live in the Southwest. It was fun to hear about their house-hunting, their business ventures and their travel across the country. Perhaps most surprising for me was hearing how challenging they find it to work when the other person is driving the RV – it makes me feel like we aren’t missing out as much driving side by side.
Their menu offered fabulous vegetarian and gluten-free options, including a couple of desserts. We all really enjoyed it, and we look forward to connecting again when our paths cross. Best of luck to you both in your search!
Later in the week, we returned to Santa Fe for a day. Destination: Meow Wolf!
Meow Wolf is an absolutely immersive art installation with a level of detail that we’ve never experienced before. You enter The House of Eternal Return and it’s very much a choose-your-own adventure as you wander at will. If you pay attention, you’ll slowly be able to piece together the mystery of a family living there, using documents, TV and other video footage, art, photos and much more.
And if you aren’t paying that much attention, it’s still an incredible spectacle.
We got in line a bit before our ticket time of 12:00 p.m. (after sharing some awesome gluten-free tacos from the food truck outside) and we weren’t leaving the gift shop until about 6:15 p.m. It was an absolutely astounding experience, perfect to mark our five year wedding anniversary, and we picked up a few items to read and enhance the experience at the gift shop, which we’ve since been pouring over.
We don’t want to give it all away, but suffice to say, it’s one of our favorite things that we’ve ever experienced together. I was so immersed that I went without food or water the entire time we were there!
Here are some more photos of our time together.
Ooh, and one more thing – we both had our first tarot card readings! They were free. The theme of mine was needing to let go of some things to allow the change and success that’s coming in, and to know that networking is good, but not everyone has useful or helpful advice. Ross was told to follow his passion and that’s where the money will be. Fun stuff, and just luck of the draw that we stumbled into it.