Ah, we’re back at home in Denver relaxing after our lovely vacation down to Santa Fe. Well, I wouldn’t really call it a “vacation”, it really just seemed like a long weekend away, but by all intents (relaxation) and purposes (relaxation), it was a vacation.
As I stated a few posts ago, we travel down to Santa Fe several times a year. It’s only a 5.5 hour drive (if I’m driving- you can’t take the Masshole out of the girl) from Denver, and it’s such a lovely city for outdoor enthusiasts and foodies. Check and check.
I’m not very good at relaxing on vacation. I don’t really do the lazy beach bum thing, but oh how I wish I did. Vacations, for me, have to be packed with adventure, exploration, movement and food. And repeat. So Santa Fe offers all of the above- but while still giving me peace of mind and plenty of time for my kind of relaxation.
We headed down there on Friday night with Gus in tow and met our friends Dan and Melissa, their baby and dogs at the vacation house that their family owns. As we didn’t arrive until 11:00 pm, we hit the hay immediately and rested up for the weekend ahead.
Saturday morning we awoke to uncharacteristically cloudy weather but braved a stormy Mother Nature and hit up the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market.
By the time we got there, most of the goodies were gone, but there were still lots of fresh spring greens and sprouts, so we stocked up on those and made our way over to The Shed, a Santa Fe classic and old stand by, for lunch.
Later in the afternoon, while everyone else napped, I took Gus for a great 3 mile hike along the Dale Ball Trail System. We’ve hiked this numerous times in our past visits and it’s always a winner.
We ventured downtown in the early evening to check out Happy Hour at La Boca, where we enjoyed several tapas and a round of cocktails. Tim and I discovered La Boca during our last trip down to Santa Fe and their daily Happy Hour is a great way to take advantage of a super trendy restaurant at reasonable prices. We stuffed ourselves just enough to have room for a huge salad for dinner involving the fresh arugula, radishes and pea shoots that we got earlier in the day at the Farmer’s Market.
Sunday morning we left Dan and Melissa to enjoy their first Mother’s Day as a family of three. Their little boy was born in October, and we figured she might enjoy a morning with her husband and the new addition. We traveled 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe to hit up Tent Rocks National Park. We enjoyed a killer 3.7 mile hike at the park with stunning views.
Upon returning to the house Sunday afternoon, we balanced all of that activity with
afternoon cocktails relaxation on the porch.
It was such a gorgeous day in a gorgeous location that we just parked ourselves on the porch the rest of the evening, cooked up mole with grilled vegetables (and chicken for them) for dinner. There may have been more cocktails involved later in the evening as well.
Monday morning we did another hike on the Dale Ball trail system and then hit up lunch at the Coyote Cafe’s rooftop cantina. This is another example of being a money-savvy visitor in Santa Fe. Normally the Coyote Cafe is a bit on the pricey side, but if you grab lunch at their rooftop cantina, you can enjoy their cuisine at cheaper prices. I ordered the grilled vegetable tacos with a pesto sauce that was TO DIE FOR. Nom Nom.
We parted ways with our friends so they could let the baby nap and took off on foot to do some shopping and gallery-exploring. Santa Fe, in addition to being a foodie city, is also known as an artist’s playground, and there are beautiful galleries throughout the city.
We arrived back at the house several hours later for more relaxation on the porch.
Cocktails and another dinner at home ensued. It was a beautiful, peaceful night that showed us a gorgeous southwestern sunset. The perfect way to end our last evening in Santa Fe.
So that wraps up our three days of southwestern delight. One of the best things about traveling is that, while it is so enjoyable, I’m happy to return home and back to my life and my career. That, to me, is a sign that I’m “livin the dream.” That I have a life and a job I WANT to return back to. That I don’t rely on one weekend or two weeks a year for my ultimate travel/excitement/relaxation. I’m already living life in the way that I want to.
I don’t need an ‘escape’.Three days in Santa Fe is just the icing on the cake. Yay Life!