New mexico

Road Rules

Remember that show on MTV years ago?! So good! Well dudes and dudettes its been a couple weeks now that Ive been back in Austin since my road trip, before  i left i did  a little research about roadtripping  but not so much because i  knew that i would learn more than i could ever be prepared for and i prefer it that way anyway. Here’s a few things I’ll remember for my next journey on the open road.

1. Take Advantage of Places

Realize that you may never come to this place again so take as many pictures and do whatever you have the urge to do, i lost count for how many times  i pulled over or drove back to something i thought was cool because i will  probably never see it again. Take your headphones out of your ears when walking around a new place and truly be there, hear and feel the place you’re at. Albuquerque was the biggest city i went to and although it is far from a bustling metropolis i was happy to be around so much civilization. I got my car looked at, went to the post office, and gave my car a much needed break by walking a lot and using public transportation.

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2. Don’t Hesitate to Get Gas

Most of my trip was driving on beautiful back roads which i love BUT they can be very very long. At one point i had only half a tank of gas and could only see mountains and desert even in the far distance, i started to freak out a little but after 30 mins i found a major highway and got off on an exit to get gas. I cant imagine breaking down in the middle of nowhere especially for something so minor and being alone and it getting dark outside, i always did like the damsel in distress  scenario but who would hear me sigh?

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This view is woe

3. Small Towns

I went through so many amazingly quaint small towns/villages that were so full of character. Mora, NM and especially Madrid, NM which isn’t far from Santa Fe is so cute and adorable i had to get out and take a few pictures, it was one of the few times on my trip that i wish i had a partner in crime to share the experience with. Tinkertown was another stop  i loved! Perfect places to stretch your legs and roam!

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4. Always Take the Scenic Route

I chuckled every time i saw a sign for a scenic route because for this east coast girl every route out west is a scenic route, i would gasp on my way to the grocery store if i lived out here. Alas there are some designated routes and look out spots specifically for you and your main squeeze to pull over and make googly eyes at each other.

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5. Don’t Sleep Anywhere You’re Not Comfortable At

I slept in a lot of different places on my trip and most of them were fine, my favorite was of course the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe but i loved the White Sands Motel in Alamangordo as well. The night i slept in my car near Four Corners National Monument wasn’t the best but it was far more comfortable than the place i almost stayed in Albuquerque, it was called the Downtown Inn and i could tell by the looks of things it wasn’t the fanciest but neither am i and i had driven almost 6  hrs straight and just wanted to pee and take a shower but i couldn’t because there was a dead roach next to the toilet…..and in the main room. I live in the south, i see enormous National Geographic sized roaches far more than what i would like to so i know what a freshly killed roach looks like, these things had definitely been laying there dead for some time and i decided that i didn’t want to stay there and more importantly that i didn’t have to. I got in an argument with the lady at the front desk because she refused to give a refund even though i had only been in the room for 30 mins, long enough to haul my stuff in ( a girl on the road has a lot of stuff) but its not about the money, i told her the place is gross and went to a nice regular hotel that was pest free. Feeling comfortable where you lay your head is far more important than traveling on a discount rate.

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6. Eat Hearty

Okay I’m not going to lie most of the time i did have Popeyes and Chic-fil-a on deck  because its quick and easy (and mouthwatering) but whenever i reached whatever destination i was heading that day i treated myself to a real meal, my favorite by far was this wonderful blueberry waffle and granola at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe!

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7. Don’t Rely on Technology

I just got a new phone less than 2 weeks before i peeled out and the GPS on it is far better than the one i had before, i cant imagine using that old phone to get to all the places i went but one thing i didn’t imagine either was not being able to use this great awesome new phone. For a long time i had no service at all and had to use an actual map, its  a  big piece of paper with a bunch of squiggly lines on it and some words. If it wasn’t for said map i wouldn’t of made it to Monument Valley or Taos. *Mentally patting myself on the back* I have a brain and i use it sometimes woo hoo!

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8. Learn Something About Yourself

One of the main purposes for taking a long journey is reflection. Spending so much time away from everything and everyone familiar allows you to think about so much more than the grocery list. There is  no way to come back from a road trip and not realize something you either had no idea of or weren’t sure of before, for me i realized that i really love Austin. I actually just got all warm and fuzzy inside writing this because i do! Its obvious i mean i decided to move here away from everything i know. I often doubt my decisions so to know that i love where i live, at least for now, is an awesome feeling and makes me feel even more confident in myself as if i didn’t already driving across states and such. I’m in a Lone Star State of mind.

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She’s so high

Serene. Peaceful. Relaxed. That is exactly how i feel right now, i haven’t truly relaxed in a long time, life on the road is fun but  its so hard on your body. The heel on my right foot, my lower back and also my neck were hurting so badly that i had no choice but to book a spa day at the Santa Fe Nirvana Spa, i mean what else is a girl to do?!IMG_5652

This morning i packed my things and headed out of Albuquerque to the Sandia Peak Tramway. Although i am a little afraid of heights i still wanted to check out the amazing view from the top, its like a cable car that goes up the side of the Cibola National Forest.

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There’s plenty of observation decks at the top and many trails for all those hot bearded wilderness guys that like to hike and stuff.

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i love this, let everything be

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Walking along the side of a mountain ahhh!!

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‘She who sees from up high smiles and surely sings’

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looks like 2 elephants

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After getting high on the tram i made my way to Santa Fe, a much anticipated destination on my trip. As soon as i arrived at the bed and breakfast i unloaded my bags and headed over to the spa across the street.

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The Hacienda Nicholas

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my massage table

my massage table

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rose petal bath

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Why don’t i do this more often?!

The spa was obviously luxuriating and amazing but i absolutely  loved the woman who treated me! She was so genuine and soothing and we had such a good conversation about how important it is to be free and happy, talking with her was definitely a highlight of the trip, she even packaged the rose petals for me to take home!

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After being so zen and one with the universe i headed out to roam around cause i  want to!

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imageA friend told me not long ago that she was in Santa Fe and it reminded her of me and that i should retire there, as i was walking through this beautiful town i couldn’t help but to think how right she was. Santa Fe is so peaceful and lovely, quaint and quiet. It ‘s a timeless haven for people that need to be surrounded by beauty and inspired even if its just by watching the clouds move. I dont want to leave but alas….#heartonthehighway

 

Albuquirky

Believe it or not i put more miles on my feet than my car today, i decided to spend the whole day in Albuquerque, partly because i got a bad first impression of it last night but mostly because me and Myra (my car) needed a rest! I took advantage of the free hot breakfast at the hotel and took a walk around, there really isn’t much to see downtown so i ventured off to the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens. I love botanical gardens, if i ever visit a city that has botanical gardens i have to visit because fresh flowers immediately raise my morale.

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The gardens are beautiful and sprawling, there is a butterfly conservatory,  Japanese gardens, and an apple orchard.

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A frog actually sitting on a lily pad!!! when does that ever happen?!! often i guess!

A frog sitting on a lily pad!!! #thatactuallyhappens

Old school farming

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Japanese Gardens

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fish being coy

fish being coy

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After the Botanical Gardens i walked over to quaint Old Town Albuquerque and loved it so.

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This area is exactly how i expected and wanted Albuquerque to look, the beige southwestern old look is so simple and takes you to another time, simpler times, sigh.

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Kokopelli!!!

Kokopelli!!!

After gathering souvenirs i dined at the Rt. 66 Diner, corny and cliche called and i just had to answer.

Don't get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes look amazing!

Don’t get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes looked amazing!

I walked a good 2 miles or so up to Nob Hill,  a cool area with lots of funky stores, restaurants aaaaand street art! Albuquerque you really want me to like you don’t you!

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

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True and simple

 

Spray Fresh

Spray Fresh

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Hey looky there!

Hey looky there!

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accuracy

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I realized a few things about Albuquerque today, first  there are grasshoppers everywhere, second that a girl simply cannot walk 2 feet without getting creeped on (GROSS!), and also the radio stations are the best!! Honestly ABQ, i know its random but i cliterally could not find a bad song on any station and for that reason Albuquerque i guess you’re not so bad after all. #heartonthehighway

Butt sweat

Yes that is what my day consists most of. It is now day 4 of my life on the road and this was a long one, I got up fairly early again and although the wifi at the White Sands Motel sucked it truly is such a cute, comfortable place and the lady at the front desk was so nice i highly recommend staying there. I ate a standard continental breakfast and loaded up the car to head to White Sands National Monument. I was really anticipating this part of the trip because i have never seen dunes before, let alone white ones in the middle of the desert and mountains. They were magical, so bright i could barely see.

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I enjoy long walks on the dunes

I enjoy long walks on the dunes

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I was debating to go to El Malpais National Monument, its a little over 5 hrs from Alamongordo, NM where the  white sands are. I knew that it was such a far stretch but hey I’m on a road trip,  the first few hours crept by but the scenery was amazing. I went through the Valley of Fire and i quickly realized how this area got its name. The rocks are black and look just like charcoal.

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I also went past this charming house with an adorable front yard!

Yarn bomb!

Yarn bomb!

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theres something like this in my home state of DE that i was just thinking about recently, creeeepy

there’s something like this in my home state of DE that i was just thinking about recently, creeeepy

dont mind if i do! maybe this will be motivation for me to actually read a book

don’t mind if i do! maybe this will be motivation for me to actually read a book

Meanwhile back on the road….

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Such a beautiful sky!

The roads are long, lonely, and terrifying but the scenery cannot be matched.

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I never made it to El Malpais National Monument, the visitors center was closed. It was about 2 hours out of the way but it wasn’t time wasted at all. I got well acquainted with miles of natural beauty that i used to only dream about.

Downtown Albuquerque

Downtown Albuquerque

So im spending the night in Albuquerque, i have been anticipating this town but honestly so far its been a disappointment, but i have say its not you Albuquerque its me. Ive been in my car for a lot longer than id like to come to terms with today and i thought i peed myself my butt was sweating so much, hey maybe i did. #heartonthehighway

Aliens, Caves, Graffiti and Trees ; all this wanderlust girl needs

 

Saw some awesome stalagmites, hung out with aliens and took an amazingly beautiful drive through the Lincoln National Forest. Feast those eye balls.

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the french man who took this picture kept referring to me as ‘madamoiselle’. I love him.

Stalagmites unite!

Stalagmites party!

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Next stop Roswell, bring on the probing!

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I come in peace!

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my attempt at that alien finger thingy

II was so giddy over how corny Roswell is! I love how they play up that alien shit.

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Cant even land an alien guy, get it….land an alien, cause theyre up in the sky on other planets and stuff..okay nevermind moving on!

 

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My next journey was equally as satisfying! Lincoln National Forest!

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sprawling and beautiful

I noticed a  dilapidated gas station with graffiti….

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and i decided to leave my mark image

Another day on the road, another night in a motel with shitty wifi.

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#heartonthehighway