We woke up at Lone Rock Beach and packed our tent to head to Albuquerque. We originally were going to break up the drive, but 6 hours wasn’t too bad and we ended up getting there in time for dinner at a New Mexican restaurant called Cocina Azul. We then went back to relax in our motel.
The next morning, we went to visit Walter and Skyler White’s house from Breaking Bad – Albuquerque is where they filmed most of the show and there are lots of tours that take you to iconic sets, but we opted to just drive on our own! An older couple lived in their house and apparently just sits in their garage, watching people take pictures of their house and making sure no one trespasses. If we were them, we would capitalize on the opportunity to make money off fans, and would give tours of the house and live elsewhere..but they clearly enjoy the attention their house receives.
After that, we checked out Old Town – a cute little mud-hut plaza with shops and art galleries to browse. There is also a candy store, “The Candy Lady,” who made the original blue meth candy for the show. She sells dime bags of the stuff for $1 a piece and welcomes fans into her shop. It was pretty neat to get to buy “the goods.” For lunch, we went to a Route 66 diner that was all decorated like a 50’s diner, with your typical diner fare to eat.
Our final day, we went to a museum called the Explora museum, which is an interactive science museum for kids and adults. It was really cool being able to tinker with things and learn by doing. We enjoyed it a lot and it lasted most of the day.
For dinner, we went to the trendier part of town called Nob Hill to eat at an Irish pub called Two Fools. In the past, we hadn’t ever really been impressed with Irish food, but we thought the Scottish Eggs I ordered and the Jester’s Pie Grant got were really great. We headed to another place for more beers before turning in. Overall, I would say that Albuquerque wasn’t a super exciting city to stop in, but we welcomed a bit of rest and wifi for Grant to get some work done online.
We decided to stay two nights in Sante Fe at an AirBnB house that was reasonably priced. Sharon was an older woman with three cats, which excited us because we missed some time with furry friends. We arrived and went back out to explore the town square – basically what Santa Fe is known for and where you go when you come here. Walking around and getting to see the Native American artwork and jewelry was really interesting, but the town felt like a retiree’s paradise. It had a lot of museums that we weren’t very interested in, and one of the most famous street for boutiques and art was Canyon Road which fell short of expectations and all the hype surrounding it. When we returned to Sharon’s after dinner and drinks, we met other AirBnB guests who were staying with her too. They were three wrestlers from Brown University and had just come from the Grand Canyon. We decided to meet up with them the next day.
The next day we went to the Railyard, where many vendors were outside selling artwork and jewelry. There was an impressive amount of Native American-themed work, but it was all very unique and Grant said it was one of the best art shows he had ever visited because of its diversity from stand to stand. We ate some grilled corn from a vendor and then walked to the REI nearby for some advice on where to go hiking. We went to a place that was recommended to us, Hyde Park, and it wasn’t crazy scenic but we enjoyed the exercise. When that was done, we returned to Sharon’s to shower for the night, then made our way to a rooftop pizza joint situated on the square.
We were looking for a good spot to see the sunset, and spotted another bar next-door to us that seemed higher up. As we made our way there, we ran into the wrestlers and we all decided to grab a drink up there together for the sunset. Afterwards, we walked to an art exhibit that was happening and it was poppin’ off. We met up with these twins who the boys met at the Railyard that morning (we saw the photos they took and admired them, but didn’t greet the artists, so it was cool to meet them later) and we went bar hopping with our new crew.
Upon talking to some of the artists, we realized the coming weekend there was an annual national art exhibit for Native artwork, and we were just missing it by a day. No wonder the work we saw that morning was so incredible! We had an awesome time with our new friends that night, and stayed out pretty late – something we wouldn’t have expected from Santa Fe. The guys wanted to meet back up in New Orleans, but we had to continue home and stay on schedule. We were afraid of the money pit Nola would be for us, so we moved onward on Route 66.