Saturday, October 2, 2010
New Mexico Trip September 2010
This year Tim and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary! We decided to go back to the Southwest and see New Mexico. We flew into Albuquerque, stayed a couple of days, headed to Roswell (via a 2 hour detour to The Very Large Array), back up to Tucumcari and across part of Rt. 66 ending up back in Albuquerque!
It was actually a pretty slow paced trip. The scenery wasn't as pretty as Arizona- we missed the big cacti they had out there! It was nice to see some of the countryside as we drove to each destination. In Albuquerque, we were treated to an upgrade at the first hotel where they gave us a very nice suite. We were also treated to a fresh batch of cookies made just for us and only us Saturday night after we discovered they don't normally make them on the weekends! Nice, huh?
We did some Rt. 66 in ABQ, eating at the Frontier Restaurant and pulling off quite frequently so I could take pictures of old motels and restaurants! Tim wanted to go to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History which used to be called the Atomic Museum. I was done in 30 minutes just like the brochure said. Tim, however, meandered through for 3 hours! The mock fallout shelter was neat to see. We were disappointed in Old Town after it was touted to be so quaint. Can we say touristy? Of course, I had my trusty list of local thrift and antique stores and we hit quite a few as well as a local scrapbook store! Yummy Mexican food too! Then it was on to Roswell, with Tim taking us 2 hrs in the wrong direction so he could see The Very Large Array. Since it was his trip too, I was okay with that and worked on altering pictures for my Etsy shop on the laptop while he drove! The only neat thing about The Very Large Array was that some of the movie Contact with Jodie Foster was filmed there.
Back on the road, we stopped in a tiny little town called Magdalena and had a nice lunch at a local restaurant. Reading some travel literature, I discovered that we would actually be going right through Capitan, NM which is the home of Smokey the Bear! JANE! Did you know? We toured the museum and saw the gravesite where the "real" Smokey is buried! Went to a nice gift shop next door where they also had some memorabilia on display! Too fun!
We finally arrived in Roswell where everything was tinged slightly "alien green". It was definitely a fun little town with a quaint old Main St. We really enjoyed Roswell and getting away from the Albuquerque traffic! We stumbled upon the greatest place called The Alien Zone where they had an exhibit and photo op area that you could take pictures in for just a $3 per person admission. Too fun! We spent 1 1/2 hours there posing with aliens. Then on to the UFO Museum which I have to say was a bit of a let down after The Alien Zone! Apparently, years later it really has come to surface that aliens never did land outside of Roswell in July 1947 so it just wasn't too exciting. We had a delicious lunch around the corner and hit a local scrapbook store, the Roswell Antique Mall as well as a thrift store and another antique mall on the way to take some more pictures of old motel signs!
Oh and by the way, something they don't tell you until you arrive in town is that Roswell is like the Dairy Capital of NM or something and it smells, well, like fresh manure 24/7! PU!
After two nights in Roswell, we set off again toward Tucumcari, a little town on the old Rt. 66. Along the way, we stopped in Santa Rosa at the Rt. 66 car museum. TONS of old motel signs, old restaurants and closed up businesses greeted us both in Santa Rosa and Tucumcari! The best was the Tee Pee Curios! What a great stretch of the Mother Road! We got to our hotel just before the rain started and boy did it rain hard!
The next morning, we headed back on Rt. 66 towards Albuquerque stopping down the road in Cuervo at what is literally now a true ghost town! We drove back through Santa Rosa, stopping at two thrift stores and a nice antique mall. We arrived in ABQ pretty early so we did a little more antiquing and decided to stop at a Flea Market we missed the first time there. That is when Tim found The Simpsons store display featuring Mt. Dew, Halloween and his favorite alien characters. At the bargain price of $15, he purchased it and we asked directions to the nearest UPS store. And so begins the story he will never live down. Suddenly the $2 chocolate chip cookie at the Williamsburg Outlets seemed like the best bargain ever! I guessed $20 to ship the display back to Indiana!
Boy was I wrong!!!!! Egads! We are now the proud owners of the world's most expensive "art box"! Of course with the superb packing job the UPS store did, the display made it here with no problem. I won't even tell you what that cost to ship. Oh well, live and learn.
We did more of Rt. 66, found a great local place for pizza and retired early. The next day we really didn't have anything planned. I suppose we could have made a day trip to Santa Fe but we had already driven so much that we decided to stay in town and hit the Antique Mile again as we didn't get to do much of it earlier in the week. It was totally worth it and I'm glad that's what we chose to do. I was a little disappointed that there weren't more local/scenic things to do but there just weren't. So we antiqued which we enjoy doing! We had to return our rental car that Friday night so we ate dinner and then took the car back to the airport. We were staying nearby so we were able to catch the shuttle back to our hotel which worked out really well!
And then it was time to pack up and leave a week ago today! Our flights went well, coming and going- love Southwest and their FREE baggage policy! Our kitties were so happy to see us and we missed them terribly the entire 8 days that we were gone! It was nice to be back home but with lots of good memories and pictures to remember our anniversary trip by!