Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taos Balloon Rally 2013

We spent the last five days in Taos. It was our annual "trip with no kids" that we do with mom and dad every fall. We chose to go to Taos this year because the dates of our trip aligned with the Taos Balloon Rally. Michael had balloon festival on his bucket list and we were so excited to attend. We also really wanted to see some fall foliage and mom told us that we would surely see the aspens, willows and cottonwoods in their fall glory. We were sold!
We flew to Taos on Thursday and after a full day of travel, arrived in time to drop off our stuff at the house and make it to KTAOS for happy hour. KTAOS is my happy place. We drank and ate and had a wonderful time. It was my dad's birthday so we had lots to celebrate!
Friday morning we got up and went to brunch at Gutiz. I love their food there. After breakfast we drove to the Fechin house were we saw some truly amazing art and architecture. I highly recommend that you go there if you are in Taos. When we left the Fechin house, we made our way across the street to do some shopping. I got a few gifts and really enjoyed browsing the shops without having my kids constantly complaining. We eventually made our way to the grocery store and stocked up on provisions and made our way back to the house. After a rest, we went to the Taos Ale House for a drink. We wanted to try places we had never been. We found a great slide guitar player there and some yummy beer for $3 a pint. No wine or liquor though, so we didn't stay long. We drove out to Sabroso for our dinner reservation. We sat in the bar on low couches around a coffee table near the fireplace. They had a violin and piano duo that were really good. We had mussels and fries and a fantastic margarita and had wonderful conversation. Right as we left a huge thunderstorm erupted pouring sheets of sleet down on us among huge lightening bolts and thunder. It was crazy weather!
Saturday we woke up early. Apparently it had snowed in the night, but had already melted off by dawn. We put on our winter clothes and hats and drove to the balloon rally. The balloons are so beautiful, we took a ton of photos. It was cold, but I smiled the whole time. What a sight! When it was over, we drove over to the farmer's market. We got breakfast there. I had a bean stuffed roasted pepper with chocolate sauce. We also got lots of veggies and a gorgeous pumpkin to put on the table.
We dropped off our goodies, had a gorgeous lunch of beet and arugala that mom made and went to the plaza to the see the balloon rally parade. When it passed by we did a bit more shopping and mom bought me the most amazing shoes! I am so in love. Then we drove by the Taos Ale House again to grab a taco from the Gringo Taco trailer in their parking lot. It has the best tacos I have ever had in my life. I got a smoked trout taco that blew my mind. So good and cheap too!
Marcie and Ann came in that afternoon with the kids and we all drove back to the rally ground to watch the balloon glow. We tailgated a bit as we were early, and then went to the grounds, but only for a bit, because the weather wasn't cooperating and the balloons weren't able to take off. We went back to the house and had posole mom and I had made in the crockpot with tamales and then Marcie and Ann and Mom and I played a hilarious game of Taboo.
Sunday morning Marcie and her family and Michael and I woke up early and went to see the mass ascention at the balloon festival. There were so many more balloons than the day before. It was gorgeous. We got some great photos and were transfixed by the light and color and wonder.
When it was over, Michael and I drove over to the local Walmart for some christmas necessities and then went back to the house to have some more visiting time with Marcie and Ann before they left after lunch time. Michael set up the fake christmas tree to make sure it was still okay and I sorted through our ski clothes for our two week trip at Christmas. In the afternoon, Mom and Dad and Michael and I drove up the ski valley. We walked around a bit and then had a drink (Norteno!) at the Stray Dog before heading back down the mountain. The trees were putting on a show for us and Michael and Dad hopped out of the car to take some pictures. We made our way to KTAOS and went outside to their lawn for a drink and a snack. It was lovely. Mom made us a reservation for dinner at the Love Apple and we went home for a quick rest before having a marvelous dinner there. I had an avocado beet salad and some amazing trout. We shared a bottle of rose wine and the whole meal was so, so yummy. I love the Love Apple and my parents who are such good companions.
Monday morning we packed up and drove to Santa Fe, where we had brunch at Pasqual's and where I bought a great wall calendar. We did a bit of browsing on the plaza and then loaded up at my favorite olive oil shop. My parents dropped us off at the airport and Michael and I made our way home with a three hour layover in Denver.
It was a truly wonderful vacation. We have such a wonderful friendship with my parents and adore traveling with them. They are so fun and we are so blessed to call them our family.
We were glad to get home and see Martha and Clark who had taken such amazing care of our children while we were gone. They had carved pumpkins and fished and played mexican train and gone to the park and had thai food. They are awesome about sending us pictures as they go through the day. The kids didn't miss us at all and that is exactly the way I want it.
So. Blessed.

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