Since we couldn't find any affordable pet-friendly lodging in Santa Fe, we chose to take two day trips there while staying in Albuquerque this past July. The Rail Runner Express commuter train runs between the two cities and is, we found, the perfect way to get back and forth quickly, enjoying fantastic scenery without the stress of driving or parking. They have quiet cars for we old fuddy-duddies, and you can wheel your bikes right on in. We love public transportation and try to take it whenever possible, and this was one of the best experiences we've had with it. Wish more cities would move in this direction!
Our first day trip to Santa Fe was a typical sight-seeing visit. Yep, we played tourists for a day. We simply wanted to explore the city on foot, grab some good eats, and do some reconnaissance for our second trip, when we'd be bringing our mountain bikes. We had a perfect day for the trip with bright, sunny weather.
Upon arrival in Santa Fe, the first order of business for me was finding some coffee. We'd had to get going pretty early to catch the train and had skipped making coffee in the interest of time. Fortunately I found a place for an infusion of caffeine; now I could enjoy the rest of our visit!
We walked in the general direction of old town, and as we were getting closer, we saw that police had a street blocked off. We found out later that the courthouse had been evacuated due to a suspicious envelope being found there. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing, but the evacuation lasted all day. This photo was actually taken on our way back to the train station at the end of our visit. (Here's a local article about the incident.)
There is plenty to see on a walking tour of Santa Fe. We didn't attempt to do it in any organized manner; we just walked here and there, snapping photos of whatever looked interesting.
Santa Fe is well known for its art and galleries. There were many items, like these cute bird plates, that would have tempted me if we had a house to decorate. Since we don't, my wallet stayed closed!
In addition to the omnipresent chili pepper wreaths and garlands, there were pretty flowers sprinkled around the city, a sight I always love.
We were being very frugal on this trip and only bought a couple of small souvenirs. Here was one of the shops we enjoyed and actually bought something from!
Our purchases -- bumper stickers and a magnet. We gotta travel light!
Before catching the train back to Albuquerque, we stopped in at Maria's for lunch. We'd read really good things about this unique place, and it totally lived up to our expectations. The food was authentic and very fresh.
We were cutting it close on time so had to make a dash to the South Capital train station after paying the tab. As it was monsoon season, storms were fast approaching from the north, so we didn't want to risk waiting for the next train, less we get caught in a downpour. Fortunately, we made it!
Fortunately, the rain must have gotten caught over the mountains as we never got any and were rewarded with some beautiful views along the way back to Albuquerque out the east-facing windows. The puffy clouds were so pretty over the mountains.
Stay tuned for our second day trip to Santa Fe, where we do some fantastic mountain biking but lose something important along the way....
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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