Category Archives: Santa Fe

The Way to Amarillo

It was snowing on February 21, 2010 in Santa Fe.  We started walking to the plaza and it started snowing even harder.  We wanted to check out Tia Sophia’s but it was closed since it was Sunday.  Apparently, a lot of things are closed on Sunday in Santa Fe. 

We walked to Cafe Pascual and decided to eat there.  There was a wait so Ivan put his name on the waiting list.  It only took a few minutes to get a table since people left.  We ordered a quesadilla and huevos motuleños to share.  The food was okay and pricey.

We walked to the Loretto Chapel.  It’s $3 for entry.  It’s known for the Miraculous Staircase.  It was actually features on the tv show Unsolved Mysteries.  This staircase was built by a carpenter in 1877. 

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Apparently, the staircase was made of wood that’s unknown to man.  Also, it was built without nails or any central support.  Nobody saw how the staircase was created.  The story also states that the carpenter disappeared before they could ask him how it was made.  The stairs has 33 stairs, the age of Jesus Christ when he  died.  The railings were added later on and also a support that connects it to the wall.  The chapel is pretty inside.

Ivan started driving towards Amarillo, Texas.  It was raining or snowing a lot during the beginning of our trip.  We made our way to Madrid and made a short stop.  We went inside Cowgirl Red.  There was a lady who had a place that had lots of weird art.  Unfortunately, she was convicted since she couldn’t pay her rent.  Two of her art pieces are inside Cowgirl Red. 

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The art was a motorcycle made out of human bones.  It looks pretty cool!

A few years ago, Peter Kay (a comedian in England) remade the song Is this the Way to Amarillo?  It was really popular.  So, Ivan wanted to stop there because of this song.  We did play the song a couple times before arriving in Amarillo. 

We stopped at Love’s travel shop.  Ivan asked a lady there Is this the way to Amarillo?  He thought that either the person would be annoyed since they’ve heard that question a lot or tell him the way.  The lady said You’re in Amarillo.  He said where’s the town?  She said it’s down the highway that way (and she pointed). 

We arrived in Amarillo at 8:30 pm.  We drove to the Big Texan Hotel.  The rooms are set like an old town with colorful buildings.

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We wanted to eat at their Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant.  Ivan asked the rate at the hotel.  The lady said it was $69 plus tax for two people.  Ivan somehow talked her down to $50 with tax.  That’s a deal!

We went to the Big Texan Steak Ranch.  It’s known for the 72 oz. steak meal (with salad, shrimp, 2 rolls and dessert) that’s offered free if you can eat it for under an hour – otherwise you pay $55.  There was a guy who was attempting to eat it.  You can check out their webcam  showing people trying to eat the big steak online.  We ordered the 1 lb. catfish dish and a chicken salad to share.  It was delicious!  We had a friendly waiter named Josh. 

It was snowing lightly while we walked back to our room.  We watched some television and then went to sleep.

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Wild and Wacky Dancing

Ivan drove us to the Farmer’s Market.  It’s located indoors.  There was lots of things for sale like apple cider, bags, clothing, cheese and salsas.  There was two good cheeses but expensive.  We had Rose’s Tamales there.  We had a vegetarian and chicken tamale.  The chicken tamale was a lot better.  It would have tasted better with hot sauce.

We were about to leave.  In the next building over, there was about 20 Native Americans dancing around.  Really strong incense was burning – it made me want to sneeze. 

We drove back to the hotel.  We walked to the Plaza.  We stopped at The Burrito Co. for lunch.  We each had a breakfast burrito with egg, potato and chicken in them.  They were so tasty!

Later that afternoon, we met up with The Pink Lady for the Wild and Wacky Walking Tour.  We were going to check out the Miraculous Staircase at the Loretto Chapel.  But, unfortunately there was a wedding going on and it was closed.  The Pink Lady gave us an overview of Santa Fe’s history.

The Pink Lady took us to many places like Todos Santos a famous chocolate candy shop.  The chocolates were alright.  There was one with sea salt on it that tasted pretty good.. but the rest were rather plain.  The shop is really kewl and colorful inside.  They don’t like people to take pictures inside though.  We inside the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi.  It was pretty inside. 

It started snowing – just a sprinkle.

We went into the Chuck Jones Studio Gallery.  He’s the artist who drew Roadrunner and Coyote.  It had lots of great art inside.  Then, we went to The Pop Gallery.  The art in there is very cool and unique. 

The tour was interesting.  I’m not sure what was so wild or wacky about it.  The Pink Lady does dress up all in pink though in southwestern style.

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That night, we walked to the Convention Center.  It was the Let’s Dance event.  We arrived a few minutes after 6 pm.  There was free dance lessons from 6 to 7 pm.  There was a lot of people already there learning the moves.  We learned the foxtrot and a swing.

We got some food.  Food was being sold by Cowgirl BBQ.  We got the butternut squash casserole and chicken enchilada.  The butternut squash was a lot tastier.

There was a volunteer orchestra playing.  It was mostly ballroom music that wasn’t that fast.  Then the jazz band came on. 

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We danced for a little while.  We tried out some of the new moves we learned earlier.  It was a fun night.

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Santa Fe

Ivan and I woke up around 7:40 am on February 19, 2010.  We packed everything up.  We said thanks and goodbye to Andy.  I gave their daughter a hug.

We wanted to ride the tram to see the Sandia Peak.  I started driving and went up the mountain.  Ivan went to find out where the tram was.  We didn’t see a sign for it while driving.  It turned out that the tram entrance was in Albuquerque far from the mountain.  We were at the top of the mountain.  Apparently, the top of the tram is lower than the top.  The view was nice up there.

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I drove down the mountain and then started driving towards Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We stopped in a small town called Madrid.  It used to be a mining town.  We had lunch at the Mine Shaft Tavern.  It wasn’t anything special at all.  The chicken enchiladas were alright, but the cream of asparagus soup was horrible.

We arrived in Santa Fe about 20 minutes later.  We checked in to the Garrett’s Desert Inn. 

We walked around the plaza a little bit.  It was a bit cold outside.

Ivan phoned up to make a reservation at El Farol.  There was a band that would be playing that night.  There’s a cover charge of $5 per person for it.  He asked the guy on the phone if there was a way to avoid paying the cover charge if we ate there.  He said there’s an area where you can sit and you won’t be charged the fee. 

So, we drove to El Farol for dinner.  Our waitress, Jennifer seemed like she was covering for somebody and didn’t want to work.  We ordered eight tapas for $53.  The tapas came out.  The waitress didn’t give us a spoon for our soup.  She asked us if we wanted to stay for the band.  We said yes.  She said it would be $5 per person.  Ivan explained to her that he talked to a guy that said we wouldn’t be charged for it if we sat in a certain area.  She said she had never heard of anything like that then said Wait and left.  A guy came over and talked to Ivan.  He said he was the one who talked to Ivan on the phone.  A guy from another table said to Ivan I’m sick of you man.  Ivan said sarcastically to him I’m sorry.  I didn’t want to say anything to the guy since it would probably just add fuel to the fire.  I think he was just being all macho around his girlfriend or he was a friend of the band.  The guy who worked at the restaurant said he never said that on the phone.  He was not very nice at all.  It’s just messed up that he made a promise and not keeping the promise.  Finally, we got the food which was alright.. some of the tapas weren’t very good.  We definitely prefer the tapas at La Tasca in England.  Later, Ivan was talking to the waitress about how that guy said one thing and is now saying we have to pay.  She said the money goes to  the band.  She said Do you think it’s fair?  I said it’s not fair that he’s not keeping his promise.  Members of the band were near by.  Ivan overheard them said that What? Drunk people think they don’t need to pay cover charge.  He told me this a couple minutes later.  Just because we had a glass of wine in front of us, does NOT make us drunk.  Plus, they didn’t know the whole story.  I kept giving the band members dirty looks since they were rude to us.  They kept looking at us anyway.  The music was boring rock funk.  I just kept yawning.  Ivan talked to waitress again and she said Don’t worry we just want to make you happy.  But, she never said that they waived the fee.  It seems like they did.  But, like we’d want to stay after how rude they were.  We finished our meal.  I gave the band all dirty looks while I walked out.

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