Monday, October 7, 2013

New Mexico Part 3: Albuquerque and on to Santa Fe

We reached Albuquerque in the afternoon, checked into our hotel, and realized that the ABQ BioPark Aquarium was nearby and we could squeeze in a visit before it closed for the day.

First stop for me was the stingray tank. I love them. Look at that creepy little face. It's smiling at me.

The top attraction for Jackson and Olivia was the shark tank.

Moray eels are one of the freakiest creatures I've encountered. This guy just laid there making direct eye contact with us and opening and closing its gaping jaw. Without speaking, it told me it will haunt my dreams.

Thank goodness for tiny jellyfish. Everyone: "Aww, tiny jellyfish!" (Moray eel: "I'm still here. Waiting.")

On the lower level, a pirate ship display allowed Captain Olivia to practice her navigational skills.

After saying goodbye to our aquatic friends, we had dinner at Church St. Cafe. I forgot to take a picture. I was still full from lunch, so Olivia and I shared a quesadilla. The coolest thing about this restaurant was the building, which dates all the way back to 1706.

There are many old buildings in the aptly named Old Town section of Albuquerque. This church, San Felipe de Neri, is also over 300 years old.

On the Old Town plaza, the kids made a new friend and stretched their legs.

Goofballs, ready to head back to the hotel and hit the hot tub before bed.

The next morning we had a few stops to make before heading out of town. First, The Candy Lady, a cute little candy shop.

Pinons (pine nuts) were a big thing in New Mexico; I saw them used in lots of different ways. Pinon caramels? Awesome.

And here's where I reveal the extent of Tony's and my Breaking Bad love obsession.

The Candy Lady made all the "product" used on the show. It's actually blue rock candy. And now she sells little baggies of it. 

We also visited the White residence. How many pizzas do you think have been thrown on that garage roof?

The car wash is a few blocks away.

After we finished dorking out over BB landmarks, it was on to Santa Fe. We arrived in town hungry and, thanks to my guidebook, stumbled upon the wonderful Cowgirl BBQ. The children's patio was just what this travel-weary family needed. Beer for me and Tony, and a playscape, chalkboard, and beanbag toss game for Jackson and Olivia. 

Austin may be proud of their barbecue, but they really shouldn't be until they get a Cowgirl BBQ.  Not only is the children's area awesome, so is the food -- and for a barbecue place, there were a ton of veggie options including tofu fajitas, veggie burgers, and butternut squash casserole! I long for a BBQ place in Austin with multiple veggie options and a playscape. It would make dining with my parents so much easier.

We started with the Cabeza de Ajo, roasted heads of garlic served with melted jack cheese, tomatillo salsa, and crostini.

I had the daily special (yep, a vegetarian daily special), mushroom ravioli served over braised kale. Wonderful. 

Santa Fe, what other wonders do you contain? We shall find out tomorrow.

From me and my stingray BFF, have an A1 day!

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