Our third day was dedicated to Taos. Having slept in a little, but not quite as much as the prior day, we had a little extra time to do some swimming in hopes of getting away from the crowds in the pool. We weren’t successful in avoiding crowds, but we did get about 45 minutes of swimming in before we left the hotel. Mireille, Quinton, and I played some hide and seek (it’s more fun than you would think). Mireille learned she could float with her little floatie thing, and even jumped into the pool with it on! Jenny and Ethan I’m sure did boring things in the room… Probably showered or whatever.
Around 10:00 we headed out, stopped at McDonalds (Quinton’s new favorite breakfast spot), then took “The High Road to Taos.” It promised to be scenic, and it was! I enjoyed it, anyway, but the rest of the family got some combination of motion sickness and boredom and complained for about 1 of the 2 hour drive.
Taos itself was sort of neat, but not too much fun for our family. There were some restaurants and some galleries, but overall, it sort of lacked much to do for our family.
We trolled the plaza for about an hour. Jenny shopped. Ethan, Quinton, and I found a place where Quinton could go to the bathroom. Once we all met up again, the kids were begging to go to a brewery, so I found one nearby that we could retire to for awhile and have some food and some drink.
The beer was good. The pizza was quite good. And we played another four rounds of Uno, three of which Ethan won and the other Jenny won. I need to point out how ruthless Jenny is. When Mireille was on the verge of winning her first ever Uno game, Jenny pounced and handed her a +4 Wild Card, effectively ending her winning bid. I just had to record that for the world to see.
Back to Santa Fe
We spent a very small amount of time in Taos. Instead, we drove the standard way back (not the high road) which took an hour and went back to The Plaza in Santa Fe. Along the way we saw many wineries, which looked enticing, but the kids prefer breweries, so we didn’t stop at any. I thought I heard somewhere that New Mexico actually has an older wine scene than California, but I can’t recall where I saw this.
We walked around downtown with little purpose other than to stretch our legs. Jenny was looking for a buffalo to put somewhere in our house. The kids wanted some blankets which were for sale near the church with the winding staircase, so they got those.
After about 90 minutes of walking around and shopping, it was time for more food. This time we decided to stop closer to the hotel at a place called Gabriel’s, a Mexican/Southwest restaurant nearby. The decor was really cool. I can imagine in the summer it is very happening with outdoor seating in the courtyard. The food was quite good, including the tableside guacamole that we ordered - very good!
After dinner, we just headed back to the hotel. The younger two are angling to swim again, though I’m fighting it. Hopefully they will just fall asleep! It’s been a long few days of vacation here, and tomorrow we head back out for the six hour drive home to Aurora. All in all it has been a very nice vacation with lots of sight-seeing and exercise - I’ve closed all three of my rings each day while here! I doubt the kids will want to come back to New Mexico any time soon, but I could see Jenny and I spending a long weekend here in the future. I still haven’t had the chance to visit the Don Quixote Distillery and Winery, afterall!
I can’t recall where it fit into the events, but yesterday we were driving back to the hotel at one point when Quinton saw a sign that read “Sally’s.” It may have said, or he may have implied that it said “Big Sally’s.” Doing what people do when they read signs in their head, he read out loud, “Big Sally’s,” then, moments later, in a much deeper voice, he said it again. Jenny, Ethan, and I laughed - it was pretty funny! Unfortunately, he then went on to explain to all of us why what he just did there was funny, which itself was sort of funny, yet a stark reminder that there is so much of his education that I have yet to complete!
Also, today I decided to look up what the symbol on the New Mexico flag was all about. It’s all over down here, on highway signs, license plates, shirts, hats, brewing logos, and the state capital building itself is shaped like it. It turns out it is a symbol used by the Zia people, a sub-group of the Pueblo tribe. In their culture, it is a symbol for the sun, which is very important to them. Also, the number four is prominant, having four sets of four lines eminating from the center circle. Four represents many things, including:
- the four points of the compass (north, south, east, west)
- the four seasons of the year (winter, spring, summer, fall)
- the four periods of each day (morning, afternoon, evening, night)
- the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle years, old age)
- and the four sacred obligations one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others)
The Zia seem like a pretty cool culture to me…