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Birthday Trip to New Mexico

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

For my birthday, my son and I went to New Mexico. We had a fabulous time in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It was laid-back and peaceful. We planned this trip with things we both like to do. I enjoy art and shopping for trinkets. My son's hobbies are photography and nature hikes. We both enjoy looking at architecture and searching out different restaurants.

Here are some of the places we visited:

Puye Cliff Dwellings - It is a national historic landmark, located 45 minutes from Santa Fe, in Santa Clara Canyon. It is worth the drive to see this incredible site. I recommend taking a guided tour to explore the ancient Pueblo dwellings and learn a little about how the people lived and survived in this area for over three centuries.

Old Town Santa Fe - Everything is within walking distance. There are many adobe buildings framed with turquoise-trimmed windows and doors. You can find many interesting shops, as well. One of my favorites is Graciela Santa Fe. It is family owned and has a variety of colorful merchandise to choose from. The family is indigenous Mayan, originally from Guatemala. The shop is pictured below with other photos from around Santa Fe:

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi - This iconic church was in a scene in the movie, "Twins."

TLC Stained Glass - I recommend taking a stained glass class at TLC in Santa Fe. I took a 2 hr., 30-minute class. You select the item you would like to make. Theresa, the owner, and her assistant are very engaging and helpful. They walk you through the entire process. Here is my first stained project, a butterfly.

Meow Wolf - Is located in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Denver, and Grapevine, Texas. It is a colorful, interactive art installation for all ages. There is lighting and staircases that lead to imaginative places. You can walk into a home, open the refrigerator door and walk through to another room full of curiosities. You may wander into a gift shop or grab a bite at the food bar.

Santa Fe Railyard - This is a great farmers'/makers' market to visit on a Saturday morning. You can grab breakfast, purchase pastries, and coffee or agua fresca. I had the most delicious almond, blueberry muffin ever. It was freshly baked and moist. You can purchase fresh produce and flowers. There are also tents full of artists displaying their beautiful work, from dried wreaths, jams, and jewelry, to paintings.

Old Town Albuquerque - There are so many great shops here. You can find various items from cactus candy, clothing, and souvenirs, to pots for your garden. There are plenty of places to grab a meal. There is a plaza where a band was playing my favorite Mexican music and there was an oldies car exhibition.

San Felipe de Neri Church

The Breaking Bad Store - Aside from Breaking Bad merchandise, it has a separate room for photo opportunities.

Sandia Resort and Casino - It has a lot of amenities, but we just went to the casino floor. I like nickel slot machines, but I guess that's not a thing anymore. I am not a gambler, but it was fun to play the machines for a little over an hour. We went in with a plan to play no more than $100. Next time I would like to have dinner there and maybe check out the spa services.

Our Favorite Food Spots in New Mexico

The Paleta Bar. After a long nap on the first day, I needed a snack. It was too late for dinner, but not too late for a delicious paleta, so we headed to the Paleta Bar in Santa Fe. There were a variety of flavors to choose from. I chose a coconut paleta dipped in chocolate, covered in almonds and coconut flakes. It was served with a side of bananas and strawberries. It was the best, sweet indulgence.

Cafe Pasqual's - Located on Don Gaspar Ave., in Santa Fe. The cafe is decorated with papel picado banners and local artists' works. We had such a delicious breakfast here. I had the best huevos rancheros, with black beans.

Casa Chimayo - My birthday dinner was at Casa Chimayo. Wow!! The food was sinfully delightful. I had carne asada with a chile relleno, rice, and beans. I like my meat well done, and this was done well, tender, and flavorful. The chile relleno had a crispy crust and the chile was stuffed with just the right amount of cheese.

Ezra's Taste of Home - Located in Old Towne, Albuquerque. We shared a plate of beef flautas. They were crispy and yummy.

There is so much to do in New Mexico. We did not have time to do everything that we wanted to do. There are train rides, tram rides, glass blowing, thrift shops, abundant museums, great restaurants, and so on. I plan to go again and hope that my readers have found this article interesting enough to want to visit.

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