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Mt. Maestas

Blanca Peak & Mt. Lindsey

When Greg and I were first together, a woman we knew had a rather curious comic taped on her refrigerator, front and center. It read: “It’s not a vacation if your husband goes with you.” I imagine her snickering while carefully clipping it from the paper. Then, with precision, taping around its border, ensuring it would rest for ages and ages on the freezer door, in the direct gaze of her husband of more than twenty years. How funny it must have been to her. How cruel it always seemed to me.

Our trip to Taos was initially one Juniper and I would take without Greg. His schedule at the time of planning was fluid, unknown. It would be fine, of course. I am an excellent traveler, with or without him, and Juniper is so easy going. But I didn’t really like it. Not because I feel completed by him or “need” him. No, I am my own person, solidly so. Perfectly complemented by him, yes. Two synergistic beings in rotation round the sun. I didn’t like it because I love his company. His wit and wisdom. His kindness. His gentleness and strength. His ability to make me laugh and feel comforted. And, boy howdy, that handsome face. So easy on the eyes.

So when his schedule definitively opened, we jumped on the chance to travel together. And what a marvelous time we had!

The Plaza at Costilla, New Mexico, which lies just over the border from Colorado. My Great-Grandparents (times three), Maria de Jesus (a partial source of my Native ancestry) and Aaron Williams, lived here at the time of the 1860 Census. She kept house, and he was a Wagon Driver (note his horse shoe tie pin!). The Plaza is much as it looked when they lived there, the building dating to the 1850s. I continue to feel awed at each layer of history as revealed to me, that they lived and died more than a century ago, yet I feel incredibly close to them. They are in my dreams and on the air, a pulse in my very veins. A marvel, truly.

Oh gosh, how I wish you could see the vivid emerald flush as it appeared to our eyes. We were treated like never before to green on this trip!

This little guy or gal, a cicada, I think? Long since dead, but still clinging to it’s final resting place. Nature really is a wonder.

The Claret Cup Cactus and Opuntias put on quite a show for us.

ponderosa

We hiked to the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge (a rift zone, actually), 680 feet, and thankfully not straight down!

Good Juniper. Not so great Colleen.

Not so great Juniper. Good Colleen.

We are none of us models!

Greg hides behind a most delicious post-hike burger at Taos Diner. It was well earned!

Manzanita Market – where I, of course, bought another wonderful selection of Dryland Wilds products. The cottonwood bud hand balm is the scent of my childhood springs (!) and super moisturizing.

Chokola never fails.

My people!

Back with more tomorrow…

 

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Welcome to Raleigh part deux one day late! It’s been a busy week. Anyhoo, we spied many a cool mural during our stay, and the BRIGGS is a loving nod to Great Grandpa Howard’s namesake. Sweet!

all broken up

Deco delight located near a fab store of the same name. They got A LOT of my money. I got A LOT of good stuff.

Transfer Co. – another cool food hall!

also my fave Beastie Boys album…

The Station had the best pork belly banh-mi EVER and a the cutest beer (tasty, too!) that reminded us of our sweet Juniper. Just in case you were wondering, she stayed home for our travels, which was a little scary for her, despite being safe at our house in the great care of our friend Bebe. I have never had such a welcome home! She barked and jumped and spun in delight (and relief, prolly) upon my arrival.

Two Roosters – roasted strawberry and honey was my flavor choice – YOWZA!

William Peace University – originally a Women’s College

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (possibly distantly related to the hubster!) lives here. That roof!

A journey to New Mexico in celebration of twenty-eight years since our first date. Our first stop was Charlie’s Spic and Span in Las Vegas, of course, for a stuffed sopapilla (carne adovada for me and chorizo for the hubster) and an apple fritter as big as my head. Oh gosh, do I love that place!

The Montezuma Castle, built in 1899 and originally a luxury hotel serving the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. It is now a private boarding school (Armand Hammer United World College) and only available for viewing on specific tour dates. We were a day early, rats!!

my best love

travel by train…

Virgin Guadalupe

work in progress

Traveler’s Cafe – get your coffee on!

The Range Restaurant inside the Plaza Hotel. The best  prickly pear cactus margarita in the land, kindly and attentive service (thank you, George), and really good food. The portions are huge, so do your best to save room for dessert!

Here we are!

Greg tries to get Juniper to greet me on the street. The windows!!

How about that headboard? Though we’ve eaten at the restaurant and enjoyed the gift shop on several occasions, this was our first stay at the Plaza Hotel. It did not disappoint!

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Our Marfa digs: El Cosmico

Is it glamping if the toilet is 100 feet away?

Fab BBQ and beautiful art at Convenience West

E A S T

As they fly…

Must have: yellow rose of Texas

We enjoyed the best margaritas of our trip and super service at the Hotel Paisano. The eats weren’t too shabby, either.

Non-vacation related, but SUPER important – ask for your beverages without a straw, even though they might give you one anyway. The United States uses 500 million straws PER DAY, enough to fill Yankee Stadium nine times every year. Say whaaat? If you’re feeling even more bold, try giving up single-use plastics altogether, as they are the largest source of debris in the ocean. The hubster and I avoid as much plastic packaging as possible, and bring our own cups, carryout containers, and utensils to restaurants that use plastic or styrofoam (we keep them in the car with our shopping baskets). It’s so easy to do! It’s also a great way to be remembered by your server. You’re the people who bring a container for PIE! You want the coconut, right?

So long, Marfa!

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A fun night in and around Union Station! Me and my best love in and among the masses (hidden from these photos but definitely there) on a beautifully balmy spring-like evening. It was our first time visiting since the complete renovation, and boy oh boy does everything dazzle like a new penny.

We supped at Tupelo Honey Cafe, for the sweetness AND the song , though mostly for the song, and no, they didn’t play it. Troy, this is the drink tipped in your honor – a Frose, which was sweeter than I like but pink(!) with a cherry on top, so all was forgiven. We also had some marvelous ribs, a cobb salad with fried chicken, and a biscuit big as my fist. High carb and worth the tickle of tastebuds. Indeed.

The Icehouse and the Wynkoop – two of the last bastions of our youth in ever-changing LoDo. In our 11th and Lafayette apartment living days, we spent many a night here, eating, drinking, playing pool. To continue in the Van Morrison vein, there was a jukebox with Brown Eyed Girl on it, but the barkeep had an override button that would send it along to the next song! The chuckles we had when it happened.

On Tennyson now, really getting as much bang for our buck as possible!

How about that handsome face?!

We sipped lattes to a toe-tapping French quartet at Tennyson Street Coffee before calling it a night. Many thanks to my parents for watching Juniper during our night on the town!

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