We woke up Sunday (daylight savings time, and although the time sprung ahead, it was going to stay that way for long since we would cross the time zone line when we entered into New Mexico) left our hotel in Amarillo and headed west. I blogged about our one last stop in Texas here.
The kids got their final state line bag and we stopped just over the border at the visitor center to take a bathroom break and for me to get a pressed penny to add to my collection. The scenery was changing and it was so cool to watch as we drove along.
Our first destination in New Mexico was Santa Rosa. There was a blue hole here (81 feet deep) that is famous for scuba diving. We collect the Good Night board book series and we've found it to be really fun to get the book and read through it in preparation for a trip. We did this in Charleston, South Carolina last summer and got the New Mexico book for this trip. We learned of new things that we wanted to add to our list and the book really guided our family vacation. This was one of those things we learned from the book. It was too cold to swim, but still fun to stop and see.
I think we had lunch before the blue hole, at a local little Mexican restaurant, either way this was our quick time in Santa Rosa. We had planned to drive straight into Albuquerque, but looking at the map it gave us the option to go north into the mountains of Santa Fe only a 45 minutes difference so we decided to take the scenic route. The hour stretch of highway to the north looked just like this the entire way, lol. But look in the distance you can see the mountains! That was exciting!
As we approached the mountains you can see bigger trees come into view.
We made it to Santa Fe and the houses were so cool, very different ambiance from anywhere we'd been before. We made our way to the downtown plaza for ice cream, per Thomas's request as that's what they did in the book.
We weren't there long, just enough to walk, stretch our legs, enjoy the ice cream (it was chilly there). Then got back on the road for the 45 minutes drive down to our next stop, Sandia Peak Tram in Albuquerque.
On the drive down I looked up info about tram tickets. Turns out they were all sold out for Sunday evening, but we had thought about doing it Monday too. As I read through the website, nearing checkout we began to get red flags. Isaac had been having a runny nose the whole trip (going through boxes of Kleenex) and the other kids didn't sound that great either. We decided it probably not a good idea to be jam packed in a little tramway with kids carrying the sniffles. So we decided to just abort that idea for this trip. We made it to our hotel and got checked in. View of the mountains. Albuquerque was so beautiful! A big city just at the base of beautiful mountains.
We decided to take it easy for dinner and ordered pizza which me and Mary went to pick up on the other side of downtown. Saw this cool statue on our way home and got to see the beautiful purple mountains as the sun set! I couldn't believe they looked so purple.
I can't remember if the kids got a swim in or maybe we watched a movie. Or both. Anyway, we were awoken about 3am to Thomas needing to throw up. This continued throughout the day and he was feeling pretty crummy. So we took it easy and decided it could be a laundry day. I started on a load (only $.50/load which was great because a hotel later in our stay was charging $2.00/load so glad I did it here). The girls got some swim time in and then we planned for an outdoor exploration activity to keep our distance. I'm thinking Thomas probably picked up a stomach bug at the children's museum we had went to a couple days before in Amarillo. Anyway he couldn't keep much down the entire day, poor guy.
I had passed this coffee shop near our hotel the night before and made a point that we needed to return the next day, WOW it was so good!
We went to the Rio Grande Nature Center.
Not sure the point in stairs, lol.
We stoped in Old Town to take a quick walk around the plaza (and to get a pressed penny).
"It's too sunny for a photo mom!" LOL
Stopped for lunch, this was the 'kids pizza' Mexican style. No one ate it ::eye roll::
Went back to the hotel and the girls swam for about 2 hours, I got another load of laundry done while Isaac and Thomas took it easy watching TV. We were pretty full for lunch so decided to have dessert for dinner. We found this interesting place that had Paleto's, which were popsicles. You got to choose what chocolate it's dipped in and then what toppings get added. The kids all said "We don't want dinner" on our way there, Thomas knew what we were having and said he'd eat... then when we pulled up they all said "IS THIS where we're eating!?! I changed my mind, I want to eat" LOL.
The girls swimming, the two hour swim must have happened 'after' dinner.
The next morning was our final morning in Albuquerque. While I was running on the treadmill I spotted some hot air balloons! I was so excited!!!! In our book it has info about the annual festival but I didn't think we'd see any. There are about five. I messaged Kyle and the kids went outside to spot a few more.
You can kinda see them, they are the little dots in the sky above the highway in the above photo, and under the highway in this photo below:
That was definitely an unexpected highlight. We got all loaded up and checked out of our hotel. Next up was heading to south New Mexico (not before more coffee), staying in Alamogordo in an AirBnB the next two nights.
Bummer that Albuquerque exploring wasn't as we had hoped due to a sick kiddo, but we did really enjoy it and maybe someday we'll be back to explore more. We had planned to go to a couple of science museums in our passport program, oh well.