Albuquerque, NM (and another zip trip to Colorado)

Great news everybody! We made it from Las Cruces to Albuquerque and didn’t stop at a repair shop!

Not even once!

Party like it’s right now because it is!

We pulled into an (overpriced) RV park outside of Albuquerque on Valentines Day fueled by cupid themed candy. I like candy. I like themed candy even more.

After pulling in, hooking up, and sacrificing to the RV gods for allowing us an uneventful 3 hour passage, we set out to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I love me a holiday. Especially one involving candy.

We’ve settled into a pretty solid routine of celebrating Valentine’s Day by eating shitty-for-you but also delicious-for-you cheeseburgers. What’s more romantic than a slab of beef dripping with fat? I’ll tell you what’s more romantic than a slab of beef dripping with fat. A slab of beef dripping with fat as an appetizer to be chased with candy.

I love candy.

Lucky for us, there was a gas station just down the road from the RV park offering exactly what our tradition called for.

But, once again, New Mexico snuck spicy into our burgers. This time on Valentine’s day. So rude!

I’m starting to wonder what New Mexico is playing at with their secret spice attacks. I’m also thinking it is pretty un-romantic of New Mexico to always make my food spicy when I am from New York and cannot handle spicy. My relationship with New Mexico is giving me heartburn.

Other than secretly spicy (rude), New Mexico has been cold. Clearly, New Mexico is willing to sacrifice our love. Click that link. You’ll like it.

“But you live in a house with wheels!” they say. “Just drive away form the cold!” they say. Well, we would rather be cold than surrounded by ten trillion other RV snowbirds basting in their tepid pools in Phoenix.

Ok, nobody actually said any of that. And we enjoy most other RVers. So ‘they’ is actually ‘I.’

Mostly we’re dealing with the New Mexico cold spell because I had this idea that we should head ‘North,’ so that I could surprise Jake with a super secret birthday weekend that would need to be held in the ‘North.’

Jake deserves super secret surprises and doting on. Please read the next paragraph to hear about how great Jake is. If you are a jerk and / or already know how great Jake is, you can skip the next paragraph.

Jake is now 28 years of amazing. He spends an incredible amount of energy acting as problem solver in chief to way too many of the people he loves. He is that person you can call in the middle of the night and he’ll be on the first flight to be where he is needed. For real. He literally fixes pieces of our home that fall off. He holds down a full-time job and funds 95% of our life. He deals with my crazy ass. And buys me candy sometimes. And keeps the cat happy. And he rarely asks anyone for anything in return. He is not afraid to attack new challenges, is flexible, and is a team player. There, I just wrote his resume for him.

TLDR: He’s amazing. And he deserves more than a single weekend celebrating him, dammit.

Also, he is going to read this little tribute to his awesomeness because he is the copy-editor for all of these posts so we’ll see if you get to read it too. And if you do get to read it he has probably edited out half of my gushing regarding his awesomeness. I might have to physically fight him to let some of it stay.

I seriously suck at keeping secrets. Because did you guys know that my neighbor Greg showed us his middle finger when we were in 2nd grade? Clearly Jake pretty much knew my plan as soon as I planned it. But he’s a good egg and mostly pretended he didn’t know.

We loaded up the Jeep with the snowboard equipment we diligently drag around the country with us, left Dyna at the way overpriced RV park outside of Albuquerque, and headed to Jake’s current favorite place in the world: Colorado.

He really loves Colorado. Sometimes I think his love for Colorado is unhealthy. But I try not to judge.

Lies. I’m judging.

We spent two days snowboarding and drinking beer on the slopes of Purgatory Mountain outside of Durango. The drive there was beautiful. The mountain was freshly powdered. Our room had a real fire place. Now I want a real fireplace in Dyna. The weather was temperate.

I fell on my @$$ most of the morning until beer cured me of my overcautiousness, after which time I fell slightly less. Jake rarely fell of course. Because he’s Jake.

It was a really nice weekend.

I was originally thinking we’d hangout at Purgatory until Monday, but we decided to head back Sunday afternoon. Plans-shmans. We were good and bruised by Sunday morning. And also, we missed Lucy. She was holding down the wheeled highway fort back in Albuquerque. She’s cool and can take care of herself for a few days. But apparently our attachment to her has grown irrational.

So, we slowly wound our way to our Albuquerque home Sunday afternoon, stopping to traipse around and eat in Durango for a few hours. Durango seemed pretty neat. I hope the road brings us back through for a longer duration in the future.

Because Monday was a Federal (thanks dead presidents) holiday, Jake didn’t have to work. We had attained near maximum snuggle capacity on Lucy to make up for ditching her for two days. So, we had the opportunity to spend a few hours walking around Old Town Albuquerque. Not too many hours though, because Lucy’s snuggle meter drains quickly.

We found a candy shop, because, well, our candy radar is very strong. This particular candy shop was special because they are the candy shop that made the ‘props’ for the TV show Breaking Bad. And by props, I mean candy meth. Yes! You too can grab a dime bag of “Blue Sky meth” if you visit The Candy Lady. Spoiler alert: the ‘meth’ is blue rock candy. Also, we didn’t actually buy any. We’re not Breaking Bad fans (we haven’t tried it – we might like it). They had a better candy there with even more sugar to sugar ratio called Divinity. Have you had Divinity? It’s very delicious.

Old Town Albuquerque is pretty sweet. It’s a lot of adobe (I think?) and is a maze of little shops selling tschotschkies or local art or Breaking Bad paraphernalia. After getting our fill of Breaking Bad crap, we hit up Route 66 Diner for dunch. Dunch is old people special time dinner. I personally feel the old people special eating time (which is also apparently called the ‘early bird special’, who knew?) is the best eating time. It is quiet and there are usually happy hour type deals. Also, eating Dunch allows you to get hungry again later in the evening so that you can partake in second dinner, which is the second most important dinner of the day.

As a post Dunch treat, we hit up a singing highway strip – which we drove over 4 separate times as Jake attempted to make our car tires play the entire song. The was America the Beautiful. It would have been cooler if it was a Beyonce song, but, America the Beautiful will do. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the heck I am even talking about, this is a small strip of Route 66 where rumble strips have been installed that will play the Beautiful America song in vibrations from the rumble strips if you drive over them at 45mph. God Bless America, yo.

We worked for one day. Like a couple of computer commuting shmucks.

And then, another day off! Because national holiday! Jake’s official birthday!

The company Jake works for is mad cool and gives him his birthday off of work. So extra birthday celebrations were clearly called for. I forgot to take the day off of work, because I’m a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins from time to time. But the company I work for is also mad cool and flexible and I was able to swing spending the day doing cool shit with Jake instead of not doing cool shit to celebrate Jake.

After Jake spent his morning lolling about in bed finishing up reading a book, we hit up the Waffleria for brunch. Waffleria was delicious for brunch. It would probably also be delicious for every meal ever.

Fueled by waffles, we headed out to Santa Fe to check out Meow Wolf, an interactive hipster art exhibit. It was awesome and we completely recommend it to anyone who is a person, even if they are not a hipster person. Meow Wolf people are working on opening other Meow Wolf exhibits in Vegas and Denver in the next year or two. You should go to them when they do.

And because no birthday is complete without beer, we swung by Rowley Farmhouse Ales (I only enjoyed 4oz, don’t worry) before heading back to Albuquerque for burgers, and then back to Dyna for Lucy’s installment of actual birthday day snuggles.

Lucy is a good cat.

We considered spending a few more days in Albuquerque, because everywhere West that we might want to check out next was predicting an even snappier than the currently snappy cold snap we were dealing with. But, the temptation to not spend damned near $50 a night at an RV park (that’s a situation) was too strong. So, we packed up and are heading West.

We heard there is a cheap casino just down the road with full hook-ups (aka, space heater running capacity). Please Dyna, get us there.. you do still owe Jake a birthday gift.

4 comments on Albuquerque, NM (and another zip trip to Colorado)

  • Terri

    Hi, Liz! We share a Mutual Friend…she is from Upstate NY…Rachel Bullock! She and I teach ESL together in Michigan. She shared your blog with me cuz she knows that I LOVE TRAVEL! I’m nearing Retirement Age and want so much to do what you are doing right now! So I will keep reading your blog and live vicariously for now.

    BTW…I used to live in New Mexico with my family for 9 years, including The 4 Corners area (we lived on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Cove, AZ then in Aztec, NM) and then lived in Albuquerque. Our sons were born in Cortez and Durango, Colorado!

    It was fun reading about our Ol’ Stomping Grounds!

    • Liz (author)

      Hi Terri friend of the rainbow princess Rachel Bullock! I am so excited for you and your future travels! If you ever have any questions or need feedback reach out here or have Rachel give you my personal Facebook page and we can get in touch! And if you have any recommendations in the areas you’ve lived/been, let me know! We’d love em! We’re hoping to get up in the Michigan area possibly this summer, maybe we’ll meet you then! 🙂

      • Terri Hamoud

        Hi, Liz!
        I’m just getting back to reading your blog! Sorry…it’s been 3 months! (Also just got back from a 3-night stint with Rachel in Grand Rapids, MI. We were at a SIOP PD, training other teachers in ESL Teaching techniques. I will let her know that you responded to my comments!)

        Speaking of Grand Rapids, MI…did you get/are you coming to MI this summer? All the Millennials are raving about Grand Rapids these days…including my youngest son, Kristopher, who currently lives in Austin, TX, but was mostly raised in Eaton Rapids, MI (but born in Durango, CO!)…he travels a LOT and one of his next trip plans happens to be GR, MI…who knew? He lived here in MI for nearly 20 years and never got to GR (cuz we didn’t know it was supposed to be “so cool”) and now he wants to visit!

        So…research Grand Rapids, MI…got lots of breweries…museums…in the fall it has ArtPrize…Myself, I would recommend Ann Arbor…GREAT VIBE in that town! Rachel and I teach in Lansing…so Lansing is always a good place to visit, too!

        Hope you get here and enjoy it!

        BTW ~ my husband and I are leaving for our summer vacay in a couple weeks…for our first time to The Florida Keys/Key West/Dry Tortugas National Park (a 2-hour boat ride WEST of Key West!), the Everglades, then back up to Tampa area, then up to Pensacola and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, then on to NOLA and then on to Austin, TX (to visit The Son!), then back to our old stompin’ grounds of New Mexico/Albuquerque, and The Four Corners/Aztec and Bloomfield, NM then to the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, NM then Cove, AZ, where I used to teach!)

        Prolly more info than you wanted to know…but I get sooooo excited about traveling and about New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment and The Four Corners…where our Babies were born!

        Safe Journey and Travels!

        • Liz (author)

          Hi again Terri!Yes! Say ‘hi’ to Rachel for me!

          And I think we are officially routing to Grand Rapids for a few days next being that you said we should! So thanks for the tip! We don’t have too much time to spend in Michigan, sadly (totally our fault – we’ve been chilling in Niles for over a month trying to slam through some work) so it’s good to hear some tips of great places to check out! I secretly hope we have a second to swing through Lansing and say ‘hi’ to Rachel too!

          Enjoy your trip down South. Sounds amazing! We haven’t been so very South in Florida, but we do LOVE NOLA! Thinking about making a return to NOLA for Mardi Gras this next year again. What a place!

          Enjoy your trip! Do you keep a blog at all?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *