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Trip Report Santa Fe, NM & Ruidoso, NM Trip Report

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Santa Fe, NM and Ruidoso, NM
May 21 – 27, 2012

This was a road trip. We live in West Texas and my mom and her husband resides in Ruidoso, NM. On Monday, May 21, 2012, we drove the 5 hour distance from our house to her house and spent the night. The next morning, we got up early and drove an additional 4.5 hours to Santa Fe, NM for a 3 night stay. On Friday, May 25, 2012, we drove back to Ruidoso and stayed with my mom through Sunday and then drove back home.

Santa Fe, NM

Hotel: Hotel Chimayo

After a very long search for an affordable place to stay in the Plaza area, I finally booked the Hotel Chimayo from Travelocity. The room rate was $145.00 per night, but they had a special of buy 3 nights; get the second night free, which averaged the rate to $97.00 per night. However, this rate was for a room with stairs to access theloft area and 2 double beds. No other options given.

At check-in I asked for a room with no stairs and a king bed, but was told nothing was available, so DH and I made do. Thought the hotel was nice. It was very quiet. Didn’t see too many people there. The location is perfect to get to everything in the Plaza area. We were glad we had a car though. The Plaza seemed a little limited and having a car to move around more freely was beneficial, but we did walk a lot.

Our room was 105. The door opens from the main corridor on ground level, but as soon as the door is open, we were met with a flight of stairs to get to a loft area where the room is actually located. I do have a bum knee and I don’t do stairs well, but the stairs angle was not too bad, and it wasn’t like we were constantly walking up and down the stairs. In the future though, I would not choose to stay at a room with any stairs.

The room was rather small. The armoire cabinet, which held the TV, had too much depth, so getting by to get to the other bed or the door to the balcony was a little difficult. The bathroom is tiny. We could barely get inside before hitting the commode to shut the door. They should really take off the door and add a pocket door instead. The sink was out of the bathroom in a little corner. There was a small frig and coffee maker available, but only with de-café coffee. DH asked the front desk for regular coffee, but was informed they were out. We did forget to bring toothpaste, and they gave us a few sample Colgate packets. The room was fine for what we paid. DH enjoyed sitting on the balcony, but there was not much of a view. It held a little bistro table and 3 chairs. I would suggest that they put in a ceiling fan and place a mirror over the desk instead of a picture, so it can be used as a vanity since the bathroom is so tiny.
Parking is $14.00 per day + tax of $1.15. Really? Tax on parking. I thought that was a little strange. So, it was $45 and some change for a 3 night stay. The parking was underground and the door to get to the elevator was open to anyone. They should really make that door key card accessible only to guests.

We did not eat at the hotel’s restaurant; Tia Concina, but did visit the bar; Low 'n Slow Low-rider Bar. I printed a coupon from the internet for a free guacamole appetizer with purchase of 2 specialty drinks, which was valued at $9.00. We both had a $10.50 jalapeño margarita, which was to die for, with the guacamole and chips that were very good. We added salsa for an additional $3.00. All was very good. The next night, we returned to the bar for a nightcap jalapeño margarita. There was a different bartender on staff and he made them terrible. It’s like he forgot to put in the syrup to make it sweet and I know he didn’t add the Grand Mariner. I was very upset to have paid $21.00 for very subpar drinks.


I booked the following activities before arriving.

Santa Fe Southern Railway Scenic Tour – This train ride is offered on Wednesday. It’s an hour trip out to the Basin overlook and then back into Santa Fe. It was a nice ride, with some good scenery. The ‘Conductor’ gave a good history and provided bar, drink and snack service for a fee. They also have a train ride to Lamy with food on Friday and Saturday that I think I would have liked to have done instead, but since we wouldn’t be there on the weekend this was a good experience.

Historical Bar and Brothel Walking Tour – This tour is not a bar hopping tour, but an educational history of the bars and brothels that was once in Santa Fe. We walked from the Plaza to the Rail yard and back, while the tour guide gave us a very good history of the areas that we crossed. We did stop at the Second Street Brewery and drank a flight of 8 microbrews before heading back to the Plaza, which ended at the La Fonda Hotel. It was a very good tour, but I would have liked a traditional bar hopping tour without so much walking. It ended at 11:30pm.

Zerve Food Tour New Mexico – This was a really great tour and I would highly suggest that if you are interested in doing this tour do it the very first day of arrival. We did it on our last day and regretted as we were shown various restaurants we didn’t even know about their location. There were 6 people on this tour, which was great. The food portions were a very good size. We did a tour like this in Seattle, WA, which had about 15 people and the food was just little bites, so this was so much better. We went to:

San Francisco Street Bar for a spinach and chicken salad.
The Ore House for Pozole Soup
San Q. for sushi
Santa Fe Olive Oil. I bought a jar of garlic sea salt.
Upper Crust Pizza for Gourmet pizza
Sr. Murphy Candy Maker

All the food we tasted was very good. I would definitely do this tour again, but I would also like to try the Cooking School’s food tour even though it is about twice the price as this one.

Additional Dining:

The Ore House - On our first night, we walked around the Plaza and found the Ore House, not recognizing they would be on the Food Tour. We ate in the court yard and had chicken flautas and beef and chicken soft tacos. I actually ordered beef and shrimp tacos, but got chicken instead of shrimp. The beef was like fajita meat, which I don’t like, but this was very tasty and tender. Also, it was supposed to be served with cabbage, but was served with just regular lettuce. It was all still very good.

La Plazuela at the La Fonda Hotel – We were running short on time between the train ride and the Bar and Brother Tour, so we went to La Plazuela at the La Fonda Hotel. In hindsight this was a terrible mistake. First, the food was not that great and very bland. Second, it was expensive. DH had the Chili Relleno plate with whole beans and pozole. I had the cheese enchilada plate with whole beans and pozole. The whole beans were dry and tasteless. I would have preferred refried beans, but if going to serve whole beans, then charro beans would have been better. The meal came with sopapillas and they were thick and doughy. The Chile Relleno plate was $18 and the enchilada plate was $16.

Tomasito’s – The food here was really good. I had a combo plate with refried beans for $15.50. DH had an enchilada plate for $9.00. Both were very good and served with sopapillas.

The Bell Tower Bar at the La Fonda Hotel – We went to the Bell Tower bar to watch the sun go down. We had Corona and $8.00 Jalapeño Margarita’s. In the summer, they are open from 3pm to sundown. A very nice experience and very crowded. We went about 6:30 and was lucky to get a table. By sunset, it’s standing room only. Afterward, we went down to the lobby bar for about an hour and listened to their live band before heading back to our hotel.

The Burrito Company – We ate breakfast there twice. It’s just down the street from the Hotel Chimayo. The chorizo breakfast burrito was very good and huge. Also had the huevos rancheros and pancakes. With drinks, it was about $10 per person and the food was very good.

On the way to Santa Fe from Ruidoso, we stopped in Vaughn, NM for lunch. We ate huevos rancheros and pancakes at Penny’s 50’s style diner, which were very good. We also stopped at Cline’s Corners leaving Santa Fe heading back to Ruidoso. Had huevos rancheros again, which were OK, but not as good as Penny’s Diner. Cline’s Corner is a cute little truck stop with a nice size tourist shop, café, convenience store, gas station and fudge/candy Shoppe. The fudge is to die for.

Ruidoso, NM

Returned to Ruidoso on Friday. My mom, DH and I went down Sudderth Road and visited several of the little shops and a few antique stores. We stopped at this one store that was offering wine and cheese tastings for $5.00. Bought a bottle of Sweet Red table wine for $18 and a block of garlic flavored cheese for $10.00.

The next morning, my mom and I went to a few more antique stores, while my DH went to his Nephew’s baseball game. Found a very nice kitchen set and measuring spoons. At 1200, we headed to the Race Track. DH met us there at 2pm. We stayed for all 11 races. Had a good time. It was very crowded. I was betting $2 to win and $2 to show tickets and won 4 races, which only brought in about $30. We had fun though and enjoyed it.

Afterward, we went to the Flying J Chuckwagon bar-b-cue and show. It was very crowded. About 500 people. Several kids and babies. The tables were group picnic bench seating, which was pretty rough on the bones for 2 ½ hours. The food was pretty good and well organized for that many people. The show was kitschy Western songs I never heard of mixed in with a few jokes and one-liners. It was enjoyable, except for the seating. We ended up leaving early as we couldn’t sit there anymore.

The next morning was Sunday, so headed back home. We had a great week. We’ve been going to Ruidoso over the years since we were kids as a nice getaway. My mom moved there in 2006, so it makes it more convenient to go there now. DH has never been to Santa Fe and I went once as a pre-teen with my family back around 1980. I much prefer Ruidoso over Santa Fe. More things to see and do and the shopping and restaurants are way more diverse and less expensive.

I have pictures posted at: http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn

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