There is nothing like a road trip to revive the soul! ❤
After returning from my 6 weeks in Australia, I had been feeling a bit down in the dumps, a bit flat, that sort-of, I-can’t-be-bothered feeling. So I needed something interesting to do to get me going again. A road trip to New Mexico was just the tonic!
A road trip is defined (by MacMillan dictionary) as a “long trip in a car”! And according to Wikipedia, “in the United States, a road trip typically implies leaving the state… However, in larger states (e.g. Texas), travel within the state may also be considered a road trip”. So, we have done quite a few now (Memphis, San Antonio, Arkansas, to name a few). Did you know that the first road trip by car occurred in 1888 in Germany when the wife of Karl Benz (inventor of the first patented motor car) took her 2 teenage sons for a drive (top speed of 10mph), without the knowledge of her husband, from Mannheim to Pforheim in Germany – a total distance of 66mi (106km) on the pretence of visiting her mother, but generating publicity for her husbands car which previously only been used for short test drives?
I was keen to visit the city of Santa Fe (capital of the state of New Mexico) as I had seen a feature on TV about it and I thought it looked good; it also has some interesting history (founded in 1610, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the US).
It’s a long way to Santa Fe, NM from Sherman, TX so we decided to break up our 9 hours of travel time by leaving Thursday night, driving the first 5 hours to Amarillo (made famous, I believe, by Neil Sedaka and his song about “sweet Marie” waiting there for him (I couldn’t get the song out of my head)! I can’t really say too much about Amarillo as we didn’t spend too much time there, but it does have an interesting display of 10 Cadillacs buried in the ground at Cadillac Ranch.
On then to Santa Fe via Albuquerque (another 5 hours of driving – 4 to Albuquerque and then another hour to Santa Fe). We stopped in Albuquerque at a little, local (very popular) restaurant La Salita that offered traditional New Mexican fare. We can attest, the meal was great (no photos, it was too good and we busily ate it all up ☺) and the complimentary dessert, Sopaipilla – a type of fried pastry/bread that looks like a puffed pillow and is hollow inside, was delicious served with honey and cinnamon!
In Santa Fe we stayed 3 nights (in 2 different hotels – I couldn’t decide, so I split the stay between the Hilton Historic Plaza (2) and the Hotel St Francis (1), both historical hotels – I was a bit disappointed, but that’s another story). We spent a day and a half in Santa Fe and we took a day trip up to Taos, taking in the historic chapel El Santuario de Chimayo on the way and also took a drive out to the Rio Grande Canyon bridge.
In Santa Fe, the main area of downtown surrounds the historic Plaza and is very pretty. The city radiates from the central plaza and is very much a center for art – if you like art galleries, there are dozens to choose from – you could spend days just looking at the various types of galleries (particularly along Canyon Road).
Santa Fe has a very distinctive look (Santa Fe Style) – all the buildings exhibit the old adobe style on the exterior and all in earth tones. For those who don’t know (I didn’t), adobe is a clay building material, typically sun-dried mud bricks.
There is plenty of history to see – the oldest church in the US, the oldest house in the US and lots of other interesting buildings. There is plenty of shopping (for all those New Mexican souvenirs – blankets, jewellery, pottery, etc.), the farmers markets on a Saturday and there are plenty of dining options available also. We chose to sit outside on a 2nd floor balcony at Thunderbird Bar & Grill and enjoy the view and atmosphere of Santa Fe, watching life go by.
I will do a newsletter with more details about our trip into New Mexico soon, but I just wanted to share a few details of our road trip for now.
Any one want to offer a comment on a road trip they have done, or has anyone else been to Santa Fe? I would love to hear about your experiences; share your thoughts below in the comment section.