Monday, July 21, 2014

Road Trip, Day 18 - Taos, New Mexico

The eighteenth day of our road trip started very early as we "got the heck outta Dodge"...Dodge City, Kansas that is.  You can go HERE to read about that.  It was a long drive that day through miles and miles of prairies and grassland and then miles and miles of desert.  Heading farther and farther west was looking more and more familiar, beautiful and just plain good!  It's hard to explain but it felt great to see rocks and dirt again!  We're just not used to so much green and water and although it's beautiful  in the South and Midwest, it's all so much the same color and and plants.  I guess it just comes down to what you're used to and what you love.  For us, the west is the best!

It was exciting to see mountains again too!  The mountains of northern New Mexico are beautiful!  This is some of the scenery we enjoyed as we got closer to Taos...

We had to stop to take it all in and breathe the fresh, cool, air.  Ahhhh!

We'd left Dodge City so early that we pulled into Taos by around noon.  We hadn't eaten much that morning and we were very hungry.  So, the first order of business was to find a place to eat!  We thought Huevos Rancheros sounded awesome.  So, we started asking around and ended up at a little hole in the wall restaurant called, "La Cueva".  The food was awesome!  There's nothing like New Mexico chilies and sauces!  Yummmmmm!  It was so good that we ended up back there for dinner.  It was at least as good the second time.  I had chicken with mole sauce (just in case you've never heard of's a chili sauce with Mexican chocolate in it) and my daughter had seafood enchiladas.  The food was amazing, the people were very nice, the service was great, and the prices were great!

I'm surprised I actually took the time to take a picture
because I was so hungry but here's my breakfast/lunch...

Afterwards, we popped into "Gearing Up" bike shop a few doors down.  I wanted to see if they had anything for my dear hubby.  I bought him a few great things.  What a bike shop!  They had so many fun things and they were super nice too!  It turns out there are a lot of trails in the area.  I think we'll be heading back to check some of them out one of these days!

Next, we got back into the car to visit one of the main things we'd come to see, Taos Pueblo.  My daughter had seen it in a book and it was one of the places she'd hoped to see one day.  This was the day!  It was just minutes from the restaurant and easy to find.

As we drove up and parked, we saw the cemetery and what was left of the original church.
And, just look at that gorgeous sky!  What a beautiful area!!!

Before entering, we needed to go up to a more modern/newer building to purchase our tickets.
I love the posts on that building...

This is a World Heritage Site and a National Landmark.  The Pueblo has been inhabited by
Native Americans for over 1,000 years.  They still live there today.

There were several larger complexes like this...

And, a bunch of smaller ones like this...

They're made with mud and straw with wood beams for the roof.
The wood is visible on the ceilings inside.  

There is a small church.  The design is simple on the outside and it's more ornately decorated on the inside.  It's dark, quiet, and very peaceful inside but they don't allow photographs.

I love the blue glass windows along the sides of the church.
And, the smooth, curved, mud walls are so pretty.

This was my favorite little house.  It looks so cute and cozy.

Residents/Native Americans were selling food, handmade jewelry and other items in some of the pueblo rooms/homes and outside.  This dog was peacefully napping in the shade next to a mud oven.

We had hoped for a tour but the guide never showed up.  We walked around a bit and took some photos but didn't stay long as it was quite hot in the full sun.

Since we arrived in Taos so early in the day, we had plenty of time to visit a place I really wanted to see, "Weaving Southwest".  It was just a ten minute drive from town to the small community of Arroyo Seco.  This seemed to be the main street....

Here it is...a simple building with a lovely, Southwest facade...

I gasped when I walked in.  The colors, the rugs, the yarn....gorgeous!

I would have loved to have taken some of the beautiful rugs home with me.
Unfortunately, they're a bit out of my price range.  The colors, design and workmanship are top notch!  They do, however, offer classes and workshops.  Hmmmm?  Maybe on a future trip!

The lady working there that day was really nice and it turned out that her son lives close to where I live in Southern California.  She'd just come back from visiting.  It's such a small world!

I bought a couple of things before I left.  I bought a wood batten that I should be able to use with my inkle loom.  I have a feeling it will be much more comfortable on my hands than a credit card!  That's the stick on the left.  On the right is a tapestry beater.  It's small but I love the wood grain on it and it's very comfortable in my hand.  I'm hoping to try out tapestry weaving someday.  And, it's not everyday I'm in a shop that sells things like this.  So, I HAD to get it!  ;-)

Before leaving Arroyo Seco, we walked through a couple of fun little shops.
There were Hollyhocks growing in flowerbeds all around.  I couldn't resist taking some pictures.
Aren't they pretty?!  They must love the climate there.

Next, we headed back to Taos and checked into our hotel for the night, "Hotel La Fonda De Taos".  I'd found it on Trip Advisor and it had great reviews.  It sounded like an interesting and nice place to stay.  It's right on the Taos Plaza (an old shopping area in the center of town that's recently been fixed up and has become a great shopping and dining destination).  We checked in and took our stuff to our room.  We had a great view of the plaza and it was so nice to have a window that opens.  Our room was where the window is, just below the "N" on the Hotel La Fonda sign.  

The people that work there are all very nice and the hotel is colorful, clean and pretty.
Here's a view of the lobby from the mezzanine.  There's a restaurant through the door on the left.

The mezzanine had a cozy seating area and it was close to our room.  The fireplace turns on with a switch/dial.  There are books, games, tables and chairs and comfy sofas to relax.

There are little doors like this along the hallways to the rooms.  They're probably about a foot and a half to two feet wide and maybe three feet tall.  I meant to ask what they're for but forgot to whenever I was passing by the front desk.  So, my story is that they're for the ghosts.  Yup...this place is supposedly haunted too.  They even told me that the rooms had earplugs because of the moans and creaking sounds.  I left the bathroom light on just in case and tried not to open my eyes during the night!  But, I found out in the middle of the night that the earplugs are probably because it can get rather loud on the plaza and the sound is amplified as it bounces between the buildings.

Here's our window from the inside looking out onto the plaza after a late afternoon rainstorm.

The hotel was clean and nice.  I think the only thing we didn't like was the smell of the room.  But, my daughter quickly spotted the source of the smell and took care of it.  It was a glass vase-like thing, filled with potpourri, hanging on the wall.  She quickly slipped it out of it's holder, stored it in the armoire, and voila...the smell went away!  Yay!  We were sure to put it back before we left.

After checking in and taking our stuff to the room, we headed out for some shopping...another thing we were hoping to have time for and did!  Yippee!  And...the shopping there is awesome!  I could have spent SO much money...if I had SO much money to spend!  There were lots of great little shops and things in them that I loved!  And, there were so many more we could have seen!

The Taos Plaza is lined with little shops.  More shops are just outside of the Plaza.  And, there are so many more beyond that!  Wow!  And, even though there are art galleries and very nice shops and things being sold, it's down to earth and comfortable like I'd hoped.  We love Taos!

It turned out that there are a few yarn shops in town.  We went into one of them but they hardly had any yarn...or anything at all for that matter.  Then, I made sure to stop in at Mooncat Fiber because they sell yarn that's dyed by someone who used to live in California and go to our stitch nights.  She now lives in New Mexico.  The store owner raved about her yarn and how much they love her.  There was a gorgeous blue skein that I had to buy!  You can find Berry Colorful Yarnings HERE and HERE.  This is the photo I posted on Instagram that day...

Just across the sidewalk was a wonderful little fabric shop.  It's called, "Common Thread".  It was filled with some of the most beautiful and unique fabrics I've ever seen!  My daughter loved it too!  I like the tree standing in the middle of the store.  It was a cute and fun place to visit!

After shopping and another great meal at La Cueva, we headed back to our room for some much needed rest.  How great it was that we were able to get to town so early and fit so much into one afternoon!  Sleep was needed though as we were planning to head out very early the next day for an even longer drive to Grand Canyon and the final stop of our amazing, three week road trip!


mamasmercantile said...

A truly amazing tour, I felt at times that I was walking with you. Loved both the craft shop definitely my cup of tea.

judith said...

I LOVE Taos! I could live there! Thanks for the info on the weaving shop. Maybe I'll look into booking lessons next summer!

Shirley said...

Good Morning, I have heard about there, but it is one place that I haven't been. I have enjoyed the tour that you have taken. Yours and others vacations have been greatly enjoyed. I am not sure about your next destination, but then I rode a ski lift in Sun Valley, something I thought I would never do. Adventure is good for all of us at times. A change of scenery, a change of life. Have a great day. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend.

Cindie said...

Wow - looks like a great place to visit!

FredaB said...

I have been following your trip from the beginning and enjoyed it so much. Most of the places you have visited I have been to and so it was
like taking the trip again myself.

thank you for posting.

I bet you are ready for home and your own beds.


Michelle said...

I love this tour and seeing where you stayed. This is a place I would love to visit.

Delighted Hands said...

You had to have sweet dreams sleeping in a place so surrounded by beauty! Loved this post!

Susan said...

There is so much more light there! I, too, love the mountains. We have them here, but smaller and greener. I have always wanted to go to Taos, and now it has moved to the top of my bucket list! An excellent and interesting post as alwasy!

benita said...

Taos is a goal destination of mine one day. What a beautiful place.