A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Santa Fe

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Warning: This is a long one!!!! And it's only part one of Santa Fe!!!

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from Santa Fe or New Mexico. It turns out, it is a BEAUTIFUL state. Why does no one ever talk about vacationing in New Mexico? Or maybe they do and I just don't hear about it! Here is what we were up to the first part of our New Mexico trip...

Our adventure started bright and early. We left Manitou Springs at 6am and headed south. The plan was to drive into New Mexico, stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and then take the High Road Scenic Highway from Taos to Santa Fe.

I was sort of dreading the drive to the bridge because it was going to be about three and a half hours. But the entire drive was GORGEOUS! As we left Manitou, Pikes Peak was in our rear view mirror and we followed the mountains all the way into New Mexico. 

The closer we got to the border, the more the landscape began to change. There were many ranches and many animals we saw crossing the roads. At one point, we even saw horses just chilling on the road. We had to slow down and get out of their way to pass them!

The drive to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge flew by. When we got to the bridge, I was too afraid to drive over it. I am including a picture of the bridge that I did not take- just to give you an idea of how high up it is!

I don't know why it scared me so much... I drove over the Bixby Bridge on Route 1, The Golden Gate Bridge, and a ton of other scary bridges on the way to the beach. But there was no way I was driving or walking over that thing. So we took pictures along the side.

Paul decided he was going to walk out to the middle and look down. I told him he was crazy about 1,000 times (even though there were plenty of other people walking across the bridge, though I suspect they weren't prone to seizures), but he went anyway. Here's a picture he took from the bridge of the river below.

And here is a picture I took of him from the safety of the side of the bridge! (I zoomed in a lot.)

 After our bridge adventure, we hopped on the scenic High Road and made the trip to Santa Fe. Again, I can't even put into words the beauty, so I will just provide pictures...

(There was NOT a steep drop off behind me!)

We stopped for a picnic lunch. It was probably the prettiest picnic I ever had!

There were a lot of historical landmarks along the way, like this church in Las Trampas.

We also stopped at the Nambe Trading post, which was owned by the women who designed the authentic Native American costumes for Dances with Wolves. She's friends with Kevin Costner. No big deal.

When we got to our hotel, we realized it was more of a series of suites than a hotel. Our unit had a living/dining/kitchen area with a fireplace, 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, and 3 huge flat screen TVs! We had a king bed and I immediately went around the unit and found all the extra pillows and put them on our bed. I like a lot of pillows. I determined the unit was bigger than our house, minus the basement area we have.

Paul was so excited about the huge place, which made me really happy. I was having a great time, but I was also starting to get really homesick and I missed the cats a lot. I tried to suck it up. (Update: I later found out that they upgraded us for free! When their fancy units are not full, they upgrade you! Fort Marcy Inn & Suites is where you want to stay if you go to Santa Fe!)

Our hotel was at an excellent location- less than a mile walk from downtown. It was pretty busy down there, but we were able to walk around and take in some of the sites. The architecture is so different than what I am used to in PA, so everything was fascinating to look at.

Later that night, we had dinner and drinks at the Bell Tower Bar on the rooftop of the famous La Fonda hotel. 

I was really starting to get homesick and missed the cats.... and the experience at the restaurant did not help. This is what happened...

1. Our server acted like we were bothering him when ordering food and drinks. 

2. The margarita I ordered was disgusting. Instead of lime juice it had JALAPENO JUICE and a jalapeno on the side. I tried to like it. I tried really hard. But it was just horrible. $12 wasted.

3. A really nosy lady sat down beside us and when I got the aforementioned margarita, I said to Paul, "Ooh there is a pepper in it." The lady beside us said (in a really condescending manner), "Oh my, well if you don't like peppers you are in the wrong state!" I don't know why, but her comment made me want to cry. It was a combo of her comment, the mean waiter, and being homesick.

So dinner at La Fonda was not the magical experience I thought it would be, but not everything on vacation can be perfect. But the view was still good and obviously I was with my favorite person in the world, so I can't complain too much!

This got really long... I will have to talk about the rest of our time in Santa Fe in another post!
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What is the most scenic drive you have ever taken?

Would you be afraid to walk or drive across that bridge?

Did you ever arrive at a hotel and realize it was much bigger/smaller than you expected?

Have you ever been to Santa Fe?


  1. I would not be able to walk across the bridge--maybe drive, but I am not sure! Those pictures are beautiful. I have been on many beautiful drives. The drive on the CA coast is amazing, as is going through the Badlands in SD...
    I can relate to the being homesick thing too...

    1. I had to google the Badlands because I had no idea what they looked like WOW!

  2. Looks so beautiful! I would be nervous about that bridge too, but we have the Bay Bridge in MD which I think is like 4 or 5 miles long! I haven't driven over it in years but it definitely freaks me out a bit.

    1. I googled the Bay Bridge. That would make me very uncomfortable!

  3. Your trip looks so amazing, Megan! I am glad you are both having such a wonderful adventure and thank you for taking us along. It's been fun to see what you are doing and where you are staying (I have note of that hotel for sure!!).

    Scenic drive is Loveland to Durango Colorado. Breathtaking. I would much rather walk on that bridge than drive (I don't trust myself). I felt the same way when we drove the Florida Keys and there is just a highway w/ water on both sides. I have been to Santa Fe 2 x but will for sure go back. We just love it and it's so close to us.
    And our best hotel upgrade was in Vegas when they messed up on our reservation so we got a penthouse suite (w/ a private elevator). It was awesome but also hilarious because that is so not our style. We enjoyed every single minute of it!!

    1. Yes, do make note of Fort Marcy Inn and Suites!!!!

      I know what highway you are talking about in the Keys... that would make me so uncomfortable!

      WOW A PENTHOUSE!!!! That is awesome! I wouldn't leave. What hotel was it???

  4. Oh so many pretty sights!!

    I love that you guys had a picnic. That's amazing. I miss having picnics!

    We drive over the Sunshine Skyway pretty often but I get really nervous if I'm the one doing the driving!

    1. I googled Sunshine Skyway- yikes! I would be nervous too!

      We tried to save money by packing a cooler with lunch/bfast food so we could save time and $$$!

  5. Looks awesome! I definitely want to visit. Probably the most scenic drive is driving down the 101 freeway from northern california to southern california. Breathtaking. Funny you miss your cats. I love mine but never miss him on vacation. I do miss my own bed and routine though.

    1. We have done Stinson Beach to Julia Peiffer Burns SP.... LOVELY DRIVE. That was one of our favorite vacations!

  6. Looks like a beautiful trip so far. That lady's comment at the bar made me mad for you!

    When we lived in Texas we use to go to NM to go horseback riding.
    As soon as I saw the bridge pic I thought of the Bixby bridge. Yea, that would make me nervous too!

    Ok, so tell us about that picture of you. It certainly Does look as though you are in front of a steep drop off!

    1. It is similar to Bixby! I drove over that one once, it was a little nerve wracking.

      I promise there was quite a bit of grass, plants, shrubbery behind me. The hill was a little ways back!

  7. I loved the different architecture as well! It definitely made us feel VERY far from home. It is amazing how DIFFERENT our country can be, you know?

    I would love to visit the Pacific Northwest. The most northern park in CA I have been i Stinson Beach. I really think a trip to Seattle and then driving down to San Fran is on our list of vaycay destinations! Someday we will get it all done...