Sunday, July 29, 2012
Taos Summer Trip with Friends
We just had an amazing week in Taos. It was pretty perfect. I didn't want to leave and neither did the boys.
We flew in late on Friday. Michael and I picked the boys up from Camp Indigo and drove straight to the airport. We got right on the airplane and then got kicked off because there was a storm in Dallas. We didn't mind because we had a three hour layover planned in Dallas. Four hours later as we still waited in Austin, we were worried. We were told if we didn't make that night's flight to Santa Fe, we would not be able to find another available flight till Monday. As we finally boarded our flight to Dallas late in the night, we found out our Santa Fe flight was also delayed and that we would make it. We arrived in Santa Fe around midnight to find our car rental voucher wouldn't work and that our luggage hadn't arrived and was lost. We spent half an hour negotiating our car and were finally successful. When we got to our hotel, found our room was the last room available and it didn't have double beds. We collapsed in our big bed all together around 2AM. We were exhausted. That was the bad part of the trip.
Saturday morning we headed back to the airport to wait for the morning flight in the hopes our bags would be on it. They were and we headed out for Taos. We arrived around lunch time and stopped at Orlando's for my green and red chili fix. Then we drove to the house and unpacked and rested. Soon after, Stacey, Chris and their girls arrived. We ordered pizza and Michael and Chris picked it up along with some beer and wine from the Old Blinking Light and we sat on the porch and enjoyed the gorgeous weather before we all fell into bed and got some much needed rest.
Sunday morning Stacey and I did a massive grocery run and then we drove into town to attend the Fiestas De Taos celebration. There was a carousel and festival in the plaza and we all watched a great parade complete with conquistadors and lots of thrown candy. Then we ate a lunch on the patio of Graham's Grill and who should show up just as finished? Rob and Graham! The Liffords had arrived! We all walked across the plaza to Twirl and let the kids play on the play structure outside and pick a toy. (Sam chose a jackrabbit he named Hoppy and Davis chose a gecko named Echo.) I made dinner that evening and we put the kids down and sat by the fire drank and listened to Rob and Chris play mandolins and had a great time.
Monday we went up to the Taos Ski Valley. We "hiked" the nature trail and had a delicious lunch at the Stray Dog where I discovered the most amazing green chili margarita called a Norteno. I highly recommend it. After lunch we all took naps and then headed for KTAO. We had it all to ourselves and it was AWESOME. The weather was perfect and we played outside with the kids and enjoyed happy hours very much.
Tuesday I went for a walk with the kids and then we took them all to the Kit Carson park and playground. The guys stayed and watched them and played frisbee and mandolins while Stacey and I walked around the plaza and shopped and bought some gifts. We came home for lunch and relaxed around the house for the afternoon. The kids were making lots of fairy houses and being gifted with candy from the fairies in the mornings and so were excited to continue decorating them and building furniture. Marcie and Ann and the kids were supposed to join us that day and evening, but they were busy and then Amelia came down with a fever so they couldn't come at all. We were very disappointed. They did send a couple of sitters though, so that evening, we ditched the kids, loaded up in the jeep and drove to the Love Apple where we had a fantastic dinner and great date night. After dinner we drove into town and had a drink at Doc Martin's which was incredibly cheesy, but still really fun.
Wednesday the Gardeners drove up to Santa Fe and we went with the Liffords to the Pueblo to see the people who live there celebrate the feast day of Santiago and Santa Ana with the Corn Dance. It was very delayed and when they finally began a huge wind came up and pelted us with dust and sand. We watched one dance and then ran like the dickens to the get to the car and out of the stinging sand. We had a bit of rain, but it didn't last and when the Gardners got home, we all headed back to KTAO for more fun. This time there was a volleyball game going on and it was busy, but we still managed to have fun and the kids enjoyed watching the game. We drove home the long way so we could go see the prairie dogs in the field around the bend. The kids were impressed. We got home, put the kids to bed and stayed up late playing Things on the patio. Then we went outside and did some star gazing. The stars are AMAZING out there. We laid down on blankets in the grass and just watched the sky. We saw several shooting stars. I wish I could bottle up the feeling of that night. The love of having my friends with us and watching these amazing stars and just how lucky I was to have all that I have.
Thursday we drove out to the Gorge Bridge and the Earthships. We toured and took pictures and scoped out a new brew pub they are building nearby. A storm was coming, but we ignored it and drove back into town for lunch at the patio of the Gorge Bar and Grill. The food was so good and we enjoyed being able to look over the plaza from the patio. The storm finally hit after lunch with thunder that shook the house. We built a fire in the outside fireplace and let the kids make smores and when the rain let up, let them run around outside in their ponchos. I made dinner again and then the guys went out to see Batman eat the movie theater. We ladies stayed home, put the kids to bed and read outside on the patio by the fire.
Friday was our last full day. We packed a picnic and drove back up to the Taos Ski Valley. We bought tickets for the lift and rode up to the top of the mountain spying many chipmunks on our way up. It was so fun and very peaceful. At the top it was quite cool and threatening rain, but it held off and we had a great picnic. Rob had bought some Prosecco and so we brought it with us and popped it open and toasted at the top of the mountain. We took lots of pictures and hiked around a little and rode back down the lift. Then the guys took the kids to play disc golf on the mountain and we ladies went back to the Stray Dog for one more Norteno margarita. It was delicious. We did one more roundtrip ride on the lift when the guys finished their frisbee round (Michael says he's hooked on disc golf. It looks like a fun game.) and it was a wonderful ride. I'm so glad we decided to do it one more time.
We drove down the mountain and rested and then headed back to KTAO for a final Happy Hour adventure. I love that place. I wish we could import it to San Marcos along with the weather. I think it's my favorite thing to do in Taos. When we got home, we bathed the kids and put them in their jammies and then all gathered in the living room with a big bowl of popcorn so we could watch the opening olympic ceremony. The kids enjoyed it and we enjoyed making fun of it. We stayed up late watching and then fell into bed.
Saturday the Liffords packed up early and left and the Gardners left shortly after. Michael and I closed up the house and drove into Santa Fe. We stopped at Gabriel's for lunch and enjoyed their table side guacamole and chips. Then we drove downtown and parked near the plaza. We were surprised to find we had landed ourselves right in the middle of the Santa Fe Traditional Spanish Market. We strolled up and down the streets enjoying the art work and watched a bit of dancing and music on the stage. Michael and Davis had ice cream from the Taos Cow trailer and Sam had a cherry chill from a street vendor. We ended up at our original destination the Oleaceae Olive Oil company where there are huge vats of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you can sample. We picked several bottles of both oils and vinegars and are having them shipped home. I'm so excited. Davis and I both fell in love with Tuscan herb infused olive oil and I went there just to get more butternut squash oil. The website is here. If you want an amazing oil or vinegar, you can order from them and have it shipped. And then we headed to the airport for a long, but uneventful (thank god) trip home. We got home around midnight last night and the kids slept until 9 this morning. It was a miracle!
It was truly a wonderful trip. One of the very best. The kids started off a bit difficult, but the longer they were there, the better they seemed to all get along. They loved being with their friends 24/7. I loved having the house full of our friends and it worked out to be even more amazing than I had hoped it would. I hated to leave and miss it already. Anyone want to start a commune in Taos with us?