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A New Mexico Vacation

New Mexico is a very nice place to visit in the spring although we’d heard that it could be quite windy.  Well, it was a little windy but that didn’t stop us from galavanting around and visiting lots of new places.  We had such a great time and this trip was extra special because we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn near old downtown Albuquerque.  From the minute we arrived to when we left, the hotel did everything right.  Has that ever happened to you?

Upon checking in, we, being IHG members, were upgraded to a king suite which gave us lots of room for the 5 days that we would be there.  The front desk clerk also gave us two bottles of water and 500 bonus points. I’d heard that they normally ask you which you would prefer, i.e. water or points, but we were given everything.

Our room was clean, quiet and the afternoon warm chocolate chip cookies made the day even better.

Old Downtown Albuquerque has lots of shopping (approximately 150 stores) and history (the nearby museum gives an hour walking tour). It is definitely a great place to walk around.

Plaza Don Luis, Old Downtown Albuquerque

Plaza Don Luis, Old Downtown Albuquerque

One of the restaurants where we had breakfast was the Church Street Cafe.  We arrived just when the restaurant opened and a waiter seated us and brought us coffee and water.  We had an interesting exchange with the waiter when we placed our order.

Church Street Cafe

Church Street Cafe, Albuquerque

I requested the Huevos Rancheros which normally isn’t a problem but in New Mexico everything seems to have chiles ~ and they aren’t mild even if they tell you they are.

When I requested my meal with no sauce the waiter looked at me strange but didn’t say anything.  Then my husband requested no sauce and the waiter wrote the order down, looked at us weird and said “Where are you from?”  To which we replied “Minnesota.”

The waiter then laughed and said “Okay, now I understand.”  We all laughed and explained to him that the chile sauces seem to be quite hot here and he agreed.

We received our food quickly since we were the only ones there.  The food was quite good, even with no chile sauce, and we left happy.

Walking around old downtown Albuquerque is quite relaxing.  Although there are a lot of “old” buildings, some of them have been re-built.  One way to tell (we were told) was by how thick the entrances to the buildings are.  If they are 2-3 feet thick then they are the oldest.

There are many courtyards in the old downtown which make it easy to walk from store to store.

Old Downtown Albuquerque Courtyard

Old Downtown Albuquerque Courtyard

Old Downtown Albuquerque Courtyard

Old Downtown Albuquerque Courtyard

As the story goes, this was the building that housed the first church.

Old Downtown Albuquerque 1st Church Building

Old Downtown Albuquerque 1st Church Building

The San Felipe de Neri Parish church’s location has moved across the street and a new building was built which is much bigger and has both a convent and a rectory.

San Felipe de Neri Parish, Albuquerque

San Felipe de Neri Parish, Albuquerque

The rectory has a “widow’s walk” which is not common in Albuquerque.  The “widow’s walk” is a railed rooftop platform from which women would watch for the ships/boats that were coming into port to see if their husbands were coming home.  They were mainly used in the coastal eastern towns so it’s unique to see it in New Mexico.

San Felipe de Neri Parish Rectory, Albuquerque

San Felipe de Neri Parish Rectory with Widow’s Walk, Albuquerque

The tree below has a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe (or Madonna) carved inside of it.

Albuquerque Statue of Virgin de Guadalupe in Tree

Albuquerque Statue of Virgin de Guadalupe in Tree

There were so many interesting things we explored in New Mexico.  It was definitely a place I’d want to go back and visit.

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