We slept in this morning, until 8am!
On our way to breakfast we passed a market where most of the stall holders were still in the process of setting up.
One stand that was ready was the hat stand. I needed something that offered more sun protection than a cap so got myself a cowgirl hat!
Next to the market is the Loretto Chapel, the home of the miraculous staircase. This staircase makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands 20 foot tall and has no center support. It is made of an apparently extinct wood species, and was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails.
My photo didn’t work out too well, so here is a photo of a photo which is displayed in the chapel that shows the staircase before the banister was added (so the nuns didn’t fall off).
It was definitely time for breakfast so we walked over to the Guadalupe cafe, which had been recommended to us. We got a table outside.
We were able to order juice and coffee quite quickly but that was almost the end of it. We had to wait a while to get someone’s attention to order food, and then we waited some more, and some more, and some more. People who had ordered after us got their food…
I was watching what was going around us, and three tables had had their orders stuffed up. We got a waitresses’ attention to enquire about our food and she said it would be two minutes. The countdown was on. J had cash out ready to leave on the table for the drinks and we were about to stand up and leave when our breakfast finally arrived. I think it would have been well over half an hour since we ordered and it was not busy.
I can’t remember what we ordered but we both had variations of eggs, potatoes and green chile. J’s was a bit too cheesy for his liking.
I loved mine though and wish I could have eaten more of it.
The best part however was the home-made bread and English muffins. They were amazing.
So, great food at the Guadalupe cafe, but some of the worse service I have experienced.
After eating we walked over to Canyon road for a spot of shopping, walking past more interesting street sites.
After purchasing a bracelet and a piece of art, we ambled back to the hotel and checked out at around 12pm.
I think we both would have liked to spend more time in Santa Fe, it is a really pretty town and there was lots more to explore both in the town itself and outside the town limits.
In saying that, out first stop was only a 45 minute drive away, in White Rock. Here we caught the shuttle bus to Bandelier National Monument.
Bandelier is 33,000 acres of canyon and mesa country and there is evidence of humans living there going back over 11,000 years. Due to a combination of fire and flood, visitors can’t drive into the monument themselves but have to take the bus for the 30 minute trip from White Rock.
Once out there you get an introductory talk from a ranger and then can join a guided walk or wander the marked path yourself. There is a fee to enter the monument and annual park passes are accepted.
We did the loop path ourselves and it took about an hour. The first half is through open country and takes you up into the cliff dwellings.
The path back to the bus and facilities crosses over a creek which you then walk beside under the trees before crossing back over and into the car park. We got the bus back to White Rock and moved onto Los Alamos.
Los Alamos is where the Americans developed and built the bombs that were dropped on Japan in the second world war. The National Laboratory is still the focus of the town and even has guard booths on one of the main roads leading in and out of the town, which was slightly confusing as we were thought we were headed into the lab itself!
We had lunch in Los Alamos. We pulled into a Sonic drive in outlet. Here you pull into a stall, browse the menu and then press the intercom button when ready to order. The food is delivered to your car and you can eat right there in your car if you wish.
However, we drove around to the main street and ate next to the park. I had planned to take a photo of my flatmelt sandwich but misplaced my camera after taking the above shot, turns out I was sitting on it!
It was raining so we didn’t go for a walk but instead went to the information center and got directions to a supermarket!
We stocked up on snacks, water, wine and beer.
I am not sure how the pricing works at this supermarket (Smiths) but I was asked if I had a club card, which I don’t. I am not sure if the lady serving me did something but the price on the screen went down by almost $20, even though I wasn’t a member. Not going to complain about getting a discount!
It was then back on the road for the long drive north to Farmington.
We stopped a few times to take photos, especially through the Jemez Mountains.
Five hours later, at 8pm, we arrived at the Hampton Inn and Suites. We got checked in and went straight into the centre of Farmington for dinner at the Three Rivers Brewery.
The cool table tops.
We shared excellent corn chips and salsa. The black chips are made with blue corn.
J had chicken fried steak. Which is not chicken but beef, basically a beef schnitzel. The menu describes it as “a huge hand breaded “Certified Angus Beef” cube steak topped with country gravy. Served with homemade mashed potatoes and today’s vegetable”.
I had the smothered black bean burrito (black beans and green chile wrapped in a flour tortilla smothered with a pork green chile sauce and melted cheddar-jack cheese. Shredded lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and black olives on the side, with the addition of guacamole), which was really good.
I can’t remember whether we ordered these fries or if they came with one of the meals, but they were so good. I had to move the bowl across the table so I couldn’t reach it, otherwise I would have scoffed the lot!
After dinner it was back to the hotel and bed.