Saturday, July 26, 2008

A (Red and Green) Chile Vacation

The week before last, we took a family vacation to New Mexico and Colorado. It had been many years since I had been out West, and I always find it refreshing to see that part of the country again. When I was younger, I would escape the Memphis heat to spend months at a time in California with my aunt and uncle at their house north of Los Angeles, and we would spend many days horseback riding, hanging out at Zuma or Point Mugu Beach, or driving up into the mountains. In 1975, three of us drove from Memphis to California and back on one of those "coming of age" trips (see The Pinto Chronicles). So I guess this heading West thing has some special significance for me.

I am a person who typically finds it difficult to relax, but this vacation was an exception. As soon as we boarded the plane to Albuquerque, I switched gears and truly enjoyed the experience. I won't go into all the vacation details, because putting that in a blog is akin to showing you my latest 500 slides after a filling dinner, but suffice to say it was everything a family vacation should be. We got to spend time with my good friend Tim (from seventh grade) and his wife Susan in Albuquerque, then headed up to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, then on to Durango, Colorado, and Mesa Verde National Park. The scenery was out of this world. I've dropped a few pictures in here, as you can see.

We often stay at bed and breakfast inns, and this trip afforded us several opportunites in that regard. Should you ever find yourself out New Mexico way, be sure to check out innkeepers Dee and Marie at Delmar En La Cienega, just south of Santa Fe, and Joe and Lisa at Casa Europa in Taos. You will feel in both places as if you are among long-time friends. Delmar offers beautiful views of rolling high desert, and Casa Europa's Lisa bakes afternoon snacks that will make you seriously think about relocating to Taos.

And of course, after a trip away, I was so happy to be back in Atlanta with my peeps. But that's another blog entry all on its own. For now, I'll just have to go find some green chile peppers to keep that New Mexico spirit alive.