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Taos, NM trip report from So Cal

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Jun 2nd, 2012, 05:41 PM
  #1
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Taos, NM trip report from So Cal

Taos, NM trip report
Hi all. We drove 2000 miles in six days!!! Talk about road trip. Had a blast. We went to see college son who was doing a quick summer school session before starting an internship. There is a campus up there connected to his school, so we loaded up our car and drove EAST!
We left after work and got as far as Flagstaff, AZ. Stayed at the first, er, second place we got to. Should have driven further, but it was OK. A La Quinta for $90. It was clean, comfortable and had a free extended breakfast in the morning.
After we refueled ourselves and the car, on to Taos. Only trip bummer; AZ police pulled us over for not moving over; even though he was alone in an unmarked car. We still aren't sure what the alleged "emergency" was about, but he slapped a nice welcome to AZ ticket on us and then we were on our way. Made it to Taos by 2 or so. Dropped by to pick up our son and go into the town and check into the El Pueblo Lodge. We were a day early and they were very good about accommodating us. We got a very big room with 2 queen beds, a patio overlooking the cookout area, a fridge, AC, and a wonderful, extended breakfast in the AM. Very good rates and very nice people.
Went to the Old Taos Inn and had a drink and listened to some music. Had some chips and salsa there. Walked around the plaza. We then went to Antonio’s for dinner. I wasn’t too happy with my dinner; not warm enough and just very so so.
Next day walked around the plaza and poked in and out of shops after eating at Michaels. Great place. I had the German pancakes; husband had some eggs and meat plate. When we went back to El Pueblo we went out on the patio for more coffee and enjoyed just lingering there for a while since we had to change our room to get our reserved in advance king. Great room also; fireplace, large, quiet and had an extra couch/bed. We were happy there for the next two nights.
Day #2 picked up son and headed out to the gorge and the bridge. Quite a site. We drove around up in the mountains. Came back and had dinner at Orlando’s. Loved this place.
Next day we went to the Taos Pueblo and walked around for a while. Very nice place, peaceful and picturesque. I was so bummed that no one was selling fry bread or sopapillas as had been promised. Oh well. Then on to the Millicent Roger’s Museum. Loved it. Beautiful pots, jewelry and other artifacts on display. We then drove up the mountain and had lunch at the Bavarian. Great place and views. Stopped on the way down for ice cream at the Taos Cow in a small town, forgot the name of it. We had dinner that night at the Outback Pizza with our son and a few of his friends. WOW, I could go back and try every pizza on the menu. Great place and really enjoyed sitting outside.
Took son to airport in Albuquerque so he could fly home and we drove to Tucson. Got a room at the Marriott on ASU campus off of Priceline and ate at Gentle Ben’s. Drove home on Sunday. All went well; car held up, cheaper gas prices than CA, nice, nice people wherever we went, awesome food, lovely views, amazing artwork and my son made an A- in his summer school class.
Thank you all for your suggestions. All of them were very helpful and made for us to have a wonderful, memory filled trip experience.
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Welcome back, Heavens; been thinking about you. In particular, whether the El Pueblo Lodge was the same place we stumbled across on our first trip to Taos (with middle-schooler son and his friend in tow).

How did you enjoy the drinks and music at Old Taos Inn? We have only been there in the afternoon, but plan to stop there on our next trip for some evening diversion, if it seems worthwhile.

Like you found, we likewise had some difficulty finding satisfactory meals there - I think there is some sort of secret society or something. On that first trip, we did find Outback Pizza - especially for two boys, what a relief!

Congrats to your son as well. I think these "learning excursion" experiences go a looong way towards refining the person; good for him.
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 07:27 PM
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You just need to ask for restaurant recommendations; we are always happy to suggest places!
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 07:44 PM
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Hi, DebitNM!!

We did go to one place for Mexican food that was a little odd for when they were open, etc. - can't remember the name. At any rate, the food was no more than ok.

Do you have suggestions for establishments serving the unique New Mexico cuisine? Not looking for either "high end fine dining" or "secret local" places, although if they had good food that would be fine either way - not being concerned with either price or atmosphere.

You ARE the expert here!
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:09 PM
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I have always found that if you ask a local where they eat instead of asking for a "good" restaurant,
you almost always get a good place. Just my theory. As far as Taos goes we really enjoy food, drink and entertainment at Taos Inn. We go there whenever we are inTaos.

The ice cream store is in Arroyo Seco, a great small village with a few sweet little shops.
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Jun 2nd, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Orlando's has probably the best New Mexico in Taos. Not sure what you mean by "unique"?

Good eats here too:
Grahams Grill
Dragonfly Cafe
Love Apple
Gutiz
Antonio's
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Jun 3rd, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Thanks for the recommendations. By "unique," I was referring to New Mexican cuisine as opposed to the standard stuff in most "Mexican" restaurants elsewhere. And, love love love the Hatch chiles.
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Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:04 AM
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Ah, then Orlando's for sure and Antonios.
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Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:49 AM
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Oh my gosh! Orlando's menu looks YUMMY! Posole served as a standard side, imagine that..

Antonio's looks delish as well, perhaps a little more upscale. Well, they all do, now I'm hungry.
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Jun 3rd, 2012, 08:23 AM
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This is a nice trip report from a place I enjoy a lot but I'd like to comment on another aspect.

"AZ police pulled us over for not moving over; even though he was alone in an unmarked car. We still aren't sure what the alleged "emergency" was about, but he slapped a nice welcome to AZ ticket on us".

This hits a sore spot with me because during my career, I was forced to attend funerals for three of my police brothers who had been struck by cars along the roadside. It doesn't matter "what the emergency is" or why it's parked there, in most states, you are legally obligated to move over or slow down.

Please, everyone, be aware that for both safety and legal reasons, when you see an emergency or tow vehicle along the roadside, if you are on a multi-lane road, move to the side of the road away from the vehicle. If you are on a two lane road, move as far away from the vehicle as you safely can and slow down.

It is safe to predict that every year, several emergency service and road workers will be struck and killed by drivers who do not follow these safety rules. In addition, many more will be struck and severly injured. When that happens, it ruins many lives, both on the victim's side and the driver's.

My personal rule, which I encourage everyone to follow, is when I see a vehicle of any kind alongside a high speed road, I move over and/or slow down. It doesn't matter to me whether it's an emergency vehicle or not. If there is a vehicle on the side of the raod, there is at least the possibility of a vehicle/pedestrian conflict.
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Jun 3rd, 2012, 02:47 PM
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dwooddon, we did slow down. About five cars ahead of us did not move over. We did slow down but did not move over. As we sat and waited for our ticket, about twelve other cars were counted that did not move over. I think the fact that it was a black small sedan sitting on the side caught us a little by surprise. Being from CA, we don't see this very often, that a small, unmarked car has the lights on. But yes, the rest of the trip we pulled over.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 07:54 AM
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Heavens - I did not intend my post as criticism and, if you interpreted it that way, I apologise. Rather, I thought it was an opportunity to educate everyone who reads this on the dangers involved and the legal requirements in many states.

As you learned to your chagrin, simply slowing down does not meet the legal requirment in many states. On a multilane road, driver's are required to move to an opposite lane if that can be safely done and to slow down. Forgetting the legal issue for a moment, it is much safer for any vehicle coming up on parked vehicles beside the road to move as far from them as can be safely done while passing them.
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