Outta Texas and on to Santa Fe, NM

Today’s entry written, at least partially, by the lovely Alaina Hendrickson:
Hey everyone! I thought I’d give you a little flavor of our dinner at the Black Eyed Pea Restaurant in Dallas, TX. You may not find this that amusing, but keep in mind that this was obviously our waiter’s first week or so and that he would make me look like a professional.
Waiter: Your wrap with a side of black eyed peas, sir.
Dad: So, how many black eyed peas are there? (As in, “how many of these restaurants are there?”)
Alaina: [Thinking to herself] Well there are four if you count Fergie…
Waiter: Uh… what?
Dad: How many restaurants are there?
Waiter: Um… I really don’t know.
Dad: [Jokingly sarcastic] What, did you think I was asking how many black eyed peas were in my bowl? Let’s start counting!
The next morning, after leaving our KOA “kampground” and 100° weather, we drove 640 miles to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was our longest driving day (10.5 hours), but all of us are getting used to sitting for a while, and our butts have overcome the numbness involved. After driving through hundreds of miles of flat desert and short bushes, we finally reached the rolling hills of New Mexico. We had been driving for two hours or so when Dad suddenly realized that we had almost an empty tank of gas. We also realized that we were officially in the middle of absolute nowhere. We were driving on a back road with a shack here and there, in order to avoid the construction on the highway we were supposed to have taken. You can’t begin to imagine the stress level in our car. Every time we’d reach the top of a hill and see no gas station in sight, dad would let out with some vocabulary that I probably can’t share on the blog. Maia definitely learned some new words that day. Finally, when the gas gauge was dangerously close to zero (and it had started pouring, of course) we saw a gas station. The mood of the car was dramatically uplifted. It was like we had been wandering in the desert for weeks and had finally found a spring. When we stepped out of the car, though, we were in for a rude surprise. The temperature was 40 degrees colder than it was in Texas that morning. I’m sure we all looked incredibly stupid at we shivered our way into the gas station to use their bathroom. Trust me. We needed it after that wonderful experience.
[Alaina went to bed, so I'm taking over]
I’m writing this at a picnic table, under a street light at the Los Rancheros de Santa Fe campground. The moths are becoming somewhat tiresome, and it’s actually a bit chilly. This is “monsoon season” here, which basically means a thunderstorm or two every day. Today we woke to a nifty one, complete with torrential downpour. And our second was out at Rancho de las Golondrinas, a site recreating 18th and 19th century life in New Mexico.
Santa Fe is completely lovely, as we remembered it. Everything is built in adobe or to look like it, even the Walmart. Everyone’s houses are two stories or less and are buried in the trees, so it really doesn’t look like a city at all.
Last night we ate dinner at Maria’s, which is a locals place in between the main boutique district and the shopping malls. The carnes adovada was completely rocking! A killer concoction of barbequed pork with a chili sauce easily the most potent I’ve ever had, delicious. And they make the strongest margaritas around!
Today we spent shopping in the main plaza around the Palace of the Govenors, especially the Native American market on the ground in front of the palace. These are lovely soft spoken people, who make beautiful things that they are justifiably very proud of. They really want to get to know you, have you touch the pieces, and try them on.
As the afternoon thunderstorm rolled in over the city, we headed out to Rancho de las Golondrinas for a wine festival featuring the many, and quite notable, local vineyards. It was a little weird with all these people tottering about holding little souvenir wine glasses, all getting a bit pie-eyed on the good wine, heat, sun and high altitude. There is also a nice historical aspect to the Rancho, and when the storm finally hit we were out at the other end of 200 acres, taking in their working grist mill. Walking back to the car in the mud was no fun, but then it was off to dinner. This time we found a new place, north of Santa Fe, called Gabriel’s. One of their trademarks is guacamole made fresh at your table. Although it’s a fairly pricey appetizer, you can’t beat it. Maia practically licked the bowl clean.
Given that she’s the youngest, Maia is perhaps more menu challenged than the rest of us, but she’s really been game to try new things on this trip. Tonight was her first go at “roll your own” chicken fajitas. I showed her how to put together the first one, and then she was off.
Although we’ve eaten out every night so far on this trip, we promise that we’ll be doing our own cooking at the Grand Canyon at least. That’s because we suspect that there isn’t anywhere to buy food near the north rim.
All for now. Next stop – Eagle Colorado
Downtown Santa Fe:
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One Response to Outta Texas and on to Santa Fe, NM

  1. Emma D says:

    hey! I just remembered thast you are going to NEBRASKA! lAINY: LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS A LOT OF CORN AND MAKE SURE THAT IT IS A REAL PLACE FOR ME, OKAY?
    ~Emma

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