My family and I recently returned from a trip to New Mexico to visit my grandma and aunt. We stopped in Colorado Springs on our way to New Mexico. You can read about that part of our trip here.
I love visiting New Mexico because it’s so different from the Midwest. I love the architecture, food, art, culture and laid back vibe.
We stayed in Albuquerque, but we made a day trip to Santa Fe. Here’s a recap of our adventures and New Mexican eats…
The Plaza, Santa Fe
I love Santa Fe! It’s such a beautiful city.
We took an open air bus tour of the Plaza and other parts of the city and learned a lot about the city’s history.
We walked around the Plaza checking out shops and local artists.
Everyone in my family (except me) is Catholic, so we toured the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. It was built in 1869 in the French Romanesque Revival style. Even though I’m not Catholic (or religious), I still like touring old churches. This one, in particular, was incredibly beautiful.
We went to the Loretto Chapel, which features the Miraculous Staircase built between 1877 and 1881 with two 360° turns with no apparent means of support.
Meow Wolf, Santa Fe
My aunt had mentioned that she thought this sounded interesting, but she didn’t really get what it was. The website said it was an interactive art exhibit.
What was it exactly? One of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. I’m not really sure how to explain it. You walk into an exact replica of a home. There was some sort of mystery you could try to solve. There were clues placed everywhere – in a newspaper on the kitchen table, a note on the refrigerator, books on the coffee table, etc. You could walk through bedroom closet doors and suddenly be in a room that looked like the photo above.
Or walk through the refrigerator and be transported to a dream-like space.
It was crazy and weird and amazing.
We never solved the mystery, but we had a great time exploring the house and all of the dream-like rooms hidden inside. My niece didn’t want to leave.
Old Town, Albuquerque
We ate and shopped in Old Town. There are so many fun shops with locally made items. I bought a Mexican blanket for yoga, some green chile sauce for the BF and a metal star light fixture for our house.
We also stopped at The Candy Lady. They make candy inspired by Breaking Bad. It’s a little weird – blue rock candy that looks like meth. No thanks.
My Grandma’s Pool
Since the majority of our trip was go, go, go, we spent some time at the pool in my grandma’s living community. It was much needed relaxation.
Sandia Peak Tram
I’ve done this a few times during visits to New Mexico, but it’s always fun. We took the tram to the top of the mountain at sunset, which was really beautiful.
When we got to the top, we could see all the city lights.
My Aunt and Grandma’s Gardens
I’m obsessed with succulents and I had major garden envy at my aunt’s house. She has so many beautiful succulents and cacti.
My grandma has a century plant, a cactus that lives 10-30 years and blooms only at the end of its life.
Sadie’s of New Mexico, Albuquerque
I had chicken tacos, which were good. The tortillas were perfect. My brother, sister-in-law, aunt and I shared a pitcher of margarita. It was just OK…not homemade. The chips and salsa were great.
Church St. Cafe, Old Town Albuquerque
This was such a cute little restaurant. Although it’s said to be haunted.
I ordered huevos rancheros and they were good, but not amazing. This was probably my least favorite meal that I had in New Mexico. The chips and queso were really good though.
Velvet Coffeehouse, Old Town Albuquerque
I was in a coffee emergency, so we stopped at this coffee shop for iced coffee. Great coffee and very friendly service.
They had glass jars with lids and metal straws for sale, and I regret not buying one. They would be perfect for homemade iced coffees or drinking my greens on the go.
The Shed, Santa Fe
My mom and I shared the blue corn burritos, which were rolled with pinto beans, cheddar cheese and onion and covered with red chile. The red chile sauce was so good, and pretty spicy.
I loved the atmosphere of this restaurant. It had the cutest outdoor seating area. I forgot to take photos here.
Plaza Cafe, Santa Fe
My friend, Mark, who grew up in Albuquerque, suggested that I try a stuffed sopapilla. I love dessert sopapillas, and probably wouldn’t have ordered a savory version without his recommendation. I ordered a vegetable stuffed sopapilla and it was incredible! So delicious.
I also had a prickly pear margarita, but it wasn’t nearly as delicious as the one I had in Denver over Memorial Weekend.
Wow, I ate a lot of New Mexican food! I’m currently detoxing from chips and salsa. Most New Mexican restaurants also serve complimentary sopapillas at the end of each meal, so I ate quite a few of those dipped in honey. Mmmmm….
Overall, our trip was a lot of fun, and it was great to spend time with my aunt and grandma. We only see them once or twice a year, so time with them is special. I also got tons of quality time with my niece and my parents. So many fun memories!