“You want to go to New Mexico?” That was what my dad started the conversation with when he called me a couple months ago.

“When? With who?”

“I don’t know when. We’ll work that out. It would be Me, you, your aunt and uncle.”

“Okay.” It’s not like I have tons of shit going on.

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With that we made plans to go to New Mexico, and by “plans” I mean we got out plane tickets for in and out of Albuquerque (fuck that’s hard to spell) New Mexico, made a rental car arrangement and made exactly one hotel reservation for the first night in Albuquerque. The rest of the time we were just going to wing it. We all had an idea of at least one thing we wanted to see (I had two things very high on the list, but we’ll get to those in the next few days), so we weren’t going to lock in on anything.

NMd1p3After months of anticipation, the day (last Wednesday) finally arrived, and our vacation started. We flew on Southwest, an airline I absolutely love because they are cheap and so completely laid back. Example:

We had boarded the plane and settled in. The pilot gets on, takes the mic and says:

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Today’s flight time to Albuquerque will be around three and a half hours. Maybe four. I really don’t know. If we good tailwind we’ll get their quick, if not, maybe it will take five hours. Who knows for sure.”

The passengers groaned at the five hour remark.

The pilot continued, “Oh, you have a problem with that? You know, if this was 100 years ago, it would take you a year to get from Maryland to New Mexico. And there will be people trying to kill you on the way. How’s that five hours sounding now?”

It sounded good.

“That’s what I thought,” the pilot finished, smiling.

That’s what makes Southwest so awesome. That lackadaisical attitude. Of course it bothers some people — like those two ignorant douches that sued Southwest a couple years ago claiming a flight attendant was racist when she said, “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, grab a seat we got to go!” Fortunately for Southwest, common sense won, the two race-baiting cunts lost and that was that. And, really, if you don’t have any sense of humor, please don’t fly Southwest. You ruin it for the rest of us.

Anywho, after a pretty uneventful flight (on the aisle seat, yay for me!), we landed in Albuquerque, picked up the rental and headed down to Old Town, where we were staying our first night.

NMd1p1We checked into the Best Western without problems. If I didn’t know what kind of trip this was going to be from the Southwest pilot, I knew from how my father and uncle acted in the hotel (as demonstrated on the left).

Yeah, this was most definitely going to be a good vacation.

We threw our bags in the respective rooms and freshened up for a walk down historic Old Town Albuquerque. Fortunately, it was only a couple block walk, so we could get out and stretch our legs.

The town is pretty nice, I suppose, with a ton of “AUTHENTIC INDIAN POTTERY AND JEWELRY” shops. I think every single store in New Mexico and Arizona has “AUTHENTIC INDIAN POTTERY” and I’m pretty damn sure it’s all 50% off all the time. I’m going to check and see if that is the state laws, it very well might be.

We spent a couple hours walking around from store to store, pretty much seeing the same thing in every shop, with just enough of differences to make things interesting, and decided to grab a bit to eat. A lady in one of the shops recommended the Church Street Cafe, and it was amazing. Hands down the best restaurant we ate at while we were out there (so good, in fact, it’s the only one we ate at twice), mostly because of their green chili, which was pretty spectacular. I cannot recommend this joint’s green chili enough.

The best store in Old Town (for me, of course) was this little store that sold goofball items like the things found on Stupid.com. I could have easily spent a ton of money in the joint, but everything was pretty much MSRP, and I wasn’t about to buy something at MSRP when I can get it online for less. I did, however, pick up a Holy Toast Maker for $3. I’m going to do up some Virgin Mary slices and sell them on Ebay. I stand to make millions, people. MILLIONS.

One thing I’m quite glad I’m not into is Indian and Southwestern art. Holy shit, if I was into that, I’d a been broke by day one or two. There are so many stores and towns and highway pulloffs offering the best in Southwest art and jewelry and pottery and blankets and whatever your heart desires that I could see someone really into it spending tons of money. I myself like more of the tchotchke items (although there was plenty of that, too, let me tell you).

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After spending a couple hours in Old Town, we headed backed to the hotel, freshened up (again) and proceeded to the car for our next destination…Sandia Peak Tramway. This was something everyone who went wanted to see, and while it was getting late, we were told it was best at sunset, anyway.

The Sandia Peak Tramway is the worlds longest tram (according to their site), running about 3 miles. It takes about 15 minutes to get up the peak from the base, and on the website pictures it looks fun. In real life, it’s downright frightening, and I’m not even really afraid of heights.

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The pictures I took really don’t do the sunset justice, but it was well worth the $15 to ride to the top of the Peak.

After leaving Sandia Peak, we briefly stopped at a casino on the way back to the hotel (where I broke even). We made it short because we knew there were casinos all over the place, and we were pretty beat from all the running around that day.

Plus we had a big day the next day. At least I did.