Thursday, March 3, 2016
Once the work week ended, Larry and I had free time to enjoy the weekend, hit the open road and explore New Mexico. On Saturday, after a delicious breakfast at Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe, we drove up to Taos. We didn't have a plan, just thought we'd wander around and check out the town. We parked the car and there was some sort of festival going on. We certainly weren't expecting to see these guys:
Turns out it was a WOOL festival and most of the tents were selling yarn. Other than checking out the alpacas and llamas, we had no interest in the wool festival, so we walked into town. We weren't really impressed. There wasn't much to Taos.
We got back in the car and tried to visit the Pueblo, but it was closed, and honestly it looked pretty depressing. So we headed down the road...
...in search of alcohol to save the day, of course! We found a brewery.
And promptly ordered up a flight of local beers.
Having sampled beer, it was time to move on to wine! Our next stop was Vivac Winery. The bartender at the Secreto Lounge had recommended their wines. We were honestly a little skeptical of New Mexico wines. I mean, everyone's heard of California wine, and Oregon wine, and Washington wine, and Virginia wine...but New Mexico wine? Can you even grow grapes in the desert? Yup! And the wine was phenomenal! Turns out New Mexico is the birthplace of U.S. wine - the first grape vines in the U.S. were planted in New Mexico in 1629. I think I liked every wine we tasted at Vivac - that never happens when we go to Virginia wineries.
On Sunday after the disappointment at the Balloon Fiesta and subsequent pouting, we decided to drive to the tiny western town of Madrid (pronounced mad-rid, not ma-drid, like the city in Spain) to grab some lunch and try and salvage the day.
It was an artsy place full of colorful old houses and little shops, and I finally found a few things I could afford - some turquoise earrings and a Christmas ornament. We almost bought a bell made from a salvaged oxygen tank, but really, where would we put that? It was cool, though. Always love the chile ristras, too:
The we headed back to Santa Fe so I could drown my Balloon Fiesta sorrows in a prickly pear margarita at the Hotel Santa Fe.
And while we may not have seen the hot air balloons take off...
...we did see a horse in the road on the drive home!