Albuquerque

Life has a way of continuing to surprise us.  Without going into detail – it very recently arose that we may be moving to Albuquerque, NM.  It’s a fairly complicated thing to piece through – but it largely has to do with Derek’s job.  Nonetheless – we took a pretty last minute trip out to Albuquerque to assess whether it was somewhere we could imagine living.  Derek has been traveling there for business for many years, but I had never been.

My first view from the plane window:

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To be honest, flying in was pretty beautiful as there are some gorgeous mountains and plateaus on the way in.

The first afternoon we spent walking around Old Town – a cute square with lots of fun shops to wander through.  Of course, I managed to buy a little something – a bear charm:

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It’s the “grandmother” charm and stands for strength and courage.  Well – if this move becomes a reality – those are two things that I will need for sure!

Friday night was a wonderful dinner with Seth and Lacey at their home.  Seth is a colleague of Derek’s and a driver in getting us to potentially move out there.  Dinner was fantastic and they were so gracious to show us around various neighborhoods and give us a sense of life in Albuquerque.

Saturday – we took the tram to the top of Sandia Mountain.  Gorgeous.

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The views were stunning and there were walking/hiking/running (whatever you prefer) trails all over.  At the top – we saw some women who were just completing a 9 mile run up the mountain in preparation for the La Luz race (which runs up the La Luz trail).  Yeah – that’s probably something I’ll have to try if I move out there…

We tried out a New Mexican restaurant for lunch – Sadie’s.  The salsa was hot and addictive.  I ordered the carne adovada.  I have to say – I didn’t love it – a bit too greasy for me.  In addition to the customary chips and salsa, apparently it is the norm to serve sopapaillas with the meal (like bread).  They have honey on the table for you to put in these delicious, warm, fried dough pockets.  OMG – yeah – if we move here, we’re going to have to make sure that they don’t bring those to the table – otherwise I won’t be able to resist them.

The afternoon was some lovely wine-tasting at two local wineries.  The first was Casa Rondena – really gorgeous grounds, hard to believe it’s just smack dab by the city.

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And their wines were tasty too – I particularly liked the Viognier.  The second stop was at Gruet (advertised in the Southwest Airlines magazine).  They are known for their sparkling wines.  Decent – but nothing wowed me.

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We had a lovely dinner at Farm & Table that night.

Sunday morning – ran the Bosque Trail to get my 13 miles in.  Big test – would I enjoy running out there?  There are trails everywhere – so it’s incredibly easy to get outdoors and be active.  The Bosque is nice – and the altitude of Albuquerque is good training.  It was a tough run at the end because of the altitude and heat.

We met another former colleague of Derek’s for brunch at the Frontier – a college-type hangout.

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We were told we should order the cinnamon roll (or sweet roll?)  It was pretty good – but we probably should have eaten it right when it came out for it to be at its tastiest.

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We ended our weekend by driving up to Santa Fe to check it out.  By this time, I was kind of bushed and not real interested in shopping – so the wandering around wasn’t as much fun as usual.  But we did hang out on the balcony of a brewery on the main square and watched the world go by.  Quite entertaining – there was some strange car parade going on – with souped up cars that had hydraulic suspensions.  And an incredibly enthusiastic balloon art guy.

For our final dinner, we decided to try New Mexican cuisine again – this time at El Pinto.  El Pinto is an enormous restaurant – with its outside patio seating, it seats up to 1100 (only 400 or so inside).  And the patio was really pretty.  The food was delicious – we both really enjoyed it.

All in all – we had a great time in Albuquerque.  It seemed like a place we would enjoy living in – the activeness of the lifestyle fitting who we are right now.  So stay tuned – no decisions have been made yet…

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