Dear fellow glamper,
This year our family had to deal with the biggest challenge we’ve ever had: TJ deployed for six months. Now we are not strangers to deployments, this was his fifth (our fourth since we’ve been married) but it was the first one we experienced as a family of four and the first one in which the kids understood their father was gone. And it was a LONG six months… for everyone.
Now every “reintegration” has its challenges, and every family knows what works best for them. Something that always carries us through these deployments is planning a special trip once TJ comes home; and this year we picked New Mexico. For us, family adventures are when we are at our best –as a family and as individuals. While TJ was gone, we talked endlessly about this trip: what we would do, where we should stay, what improvements did we want to make to Honeysuckle Manor and our tow vehicle, and it was such a nice way to escape whatever was happening that day, thousands of miles apart, something could do together. Neither TJ nor I had ever been to New Mexico before, and it just sounded like a place we would fall in love with, and we did. Plus, endless quantities of green chile can kick months spent single parenting out of my head.
We spent the first part of our trip exploring Santa Fe and nearby attractions. We camped at Rancheros de Santa Fe, a lovely campground with RV, cabin, and tent camping. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The campground is very clean and has everything! A pool, a little movie theatre, a playground, and on site laundry. For glamping, you can reserve a full hook up site or just water and electrical. It’s about a fifteen minute drive from the campground into the heart of historic Santa Fe.
In the city we walked all over the historic central area, found lovely handmade jewelry and dolls at the Palace of the Govenors, caught the farmer’s market and ate bismarks to die for, toured the Georgia O’Keffe museum, and visited the Loretto Chapel and Balsica of St. Francis. We are total suckers for “old” places so visiting a city that is at least 400 years old was like Disneyland for us.
While glamping, we eat most of our meals in camp, but on “city days” we treated ourselves to dining out in a couple of lovely restaurants. We lunched at the Rooftop Pizzeria, great for the whole family. The kids tucked in quite well and we enjoyed a pizza with grilled chicken and green chile and locally brewed beers. Later we dined at San Francisco Street Bar and Grill. This was a great find for the whole family. American dishes for the kids, great southwestern food for us, plus we made it for happy hour, which rocked, as they have a great full bar and make a delicious margarita.
About 45 minutes from our campground was the must see Pecos National Historic Park. The ruins of an ancient pueblo and a church and monastery haunt the landscape within the Sangre de Christo mountains. The main trail is perfect for families, not very long, and you get to climb into a couple of preserved kivas (ceremonial rooms built underground). The beauty of the park is breathtaking.
Also, as an aside, there is a great bookstore in downtown Santa Fe: The Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse. I would go back just to spend more time perusing the shelves.
More than any one thing, I think the whole vibe of Santa Fe was nourishing to our souls: awesome food, great mix of cultures, artsy, and laid back. Oh, goodness, I can’t wait to get back!
More posts on our New Mexico journey to come in the near future. In the meantime –