It’s already been a few weeks since we had an extra day off. The first national holiday we had was Labor Day. It’s an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country. For many people Labor Day is the end of the summer vacation season around the USA or just an extra day off ;-). We were already going to school for 2 weeks so it wasn’t the end of the season for us. Freek told me “you don’t work so please arrange everything for the weekend trips” and so I did….
I made plans to go to Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico and booked a hotel for two nights. (A very cheap motel 6 because all the other hotels were like 300 dollars a night that weekend) There is a Turquoise Trail going north and like they say on the website it’s “the perfect day trip linking Santa Fe and Albuquerque.” You can drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque or the other way around. We started in Albuquerque and drove first to the alpaca farm. When we arrived the boys didn’t know what to expect, but when the farmer came to us and told them they could go inside and feed the alpacas they were excited but also a little afraid. The animals are very calm and relaxed. The only thing you may need to know is never to stand too close to their bum, because they can kick you. They didn’t spit at all and the farmer told us they don’t do that as often as we think they do. Marlo was overjoyed that the alpacas came to eat with him that he ended up in between, while Nolan stayed close to me but enjoyed it also.
After that we drove up the Sandia Mountains, which took something like 45 minutes. You can also do it with the tram rails from the other side of the mountain, and we probably will take the kids there sometime, but for now we wanted to see the view from the top. It’s a nice road and the view is amazing! There are many trails so you can also do a lot of hiking if you want. There are multiple parking lots and it will cost you 5 dollar to park the car at most of them, but they have restrooms and picnic places and all are well maintained.
Then we stopped at Madrid, a little town up North. Madrid was an old coalmine city that became a ghost town. But in the 70’s there were artistic people that gave the city a new energy and the city came back to life. So there are many shops and galleries at the main street. You can’t pass it without noticing because it is the route that takes you through town. Even Marlo and Nolan liked to watch in the stores and galleries, while they normally hate shopping… We had a little bite and drinks before we left to Santa Fe where we arrived around 4 o’clock.
Sleeping in the motel didn’t go as we would have liked to, because we had 1 bedroom with 2 beds. Although we slept each with one kid in the bed, which was OK, the boys made a party of it both evenings. So before any of us would be asleep it was way past bedtime for them. So we were hoping that the next days they wouldn’t be too tired.
At motel 6 they don’t serve breakfast so we had to find a place to eat. Trip advisor did a really good job on that one and we had the best breakfast ever at the Pantry restaurant! They even poached an egg for Nolan; because of the high altitude you actually can’t boil an egg. He really enjoyed it! So our tummies were full and we could go and explore Santa Fe.
As it was Labor Day weekend it was busy and there were many markets so we couldn’t see all of Santa Fe that well. But we had a nice walk around town. Saw some beautiful churches, the oldest house of the city and the Santa Fe rail yard. Marlo really likes going into a church to see how it looks from the inside so he was very pleased we could do that. Nolan was tired from all the walking at the end of day, so we made a promise to go and buy ice-cream to make him walk for the last bit…(he didn’t sit in a stroller for about a year when we go out so we sold it back at home) But in the end it was a nice day. We did some swimming at the pool in the motel and after that we went to dinner with the boys. The dinner restaurant was also a very nice restaurant, and all the restaurants have a children’s menu and they can choose some good food. Marlo actually had his first burger and it was really good. We all had some good food at Cowgirl BBQ and it was really a nice place to go with kids!
Marlo said we saved the best for last that weekend. On Monday we went to Meow Wolf. It is a museum, but for me it felt more like a journey in a different world where there were many things to discover! The exhibition is called “House of eternal returns”. The boys were allowed to touch everything and nothing is forbidden. We stayed for almost 4 hours and we “think” we saw everything. It is really beautiful! There is actually also the opportunity to solve a murder in the house, but that would take a lot of reading and that wasn’t something the kids would enjoy. In the world we discovered that the mushrooms on the tree would make noise and you could walk inside a refrigerator or slide into a washing machine, and a lot more but I will not tell you everything. It’s a child friendly museum and the boys are already asking when we will go again to Meow Wolf and that’s a very good sign!!
And then the day after we all had a hard time going back to school and work…