Eating and drinking in Albuquerque, Bernalillo and Santa Fe

So, we do do other things in New Mexico besides eat and drink. There’s a fantastic zoo, botanic garden, biopark, aquarium and children’s garden, and there are a thousand places to hike. For a visitor- and family-friendly excursion, ride the Sandia Peak tram, or if you’re up for a challenge, hike the La Luz trail.* If you really hate yourself, hike UP it. And if you really, REALLY hate yourself, the 52nd Annual La Luz Trail Race is August 6. If you’re willing to drive a little, head west to Acoma Pueblo or north to Jemez Springs. But this post is just about eating and drinking.

I didn’t take photos of everything I ate because…yeah, obnoxious. Here are the ones I remembered to photograph. Beware: You can’t order an alcoholic drink before 11 a.m. on Sundays in New Mexico. (And no packaged liquor before noon.) I know, it’s really stupid.

La Cumbre Elevated IPALa Cumbre means “the top.” Get it? This was at my parents’ place outside of Albuquerque, near Bernalillo. We were treated to a brilliant sunset which was unfortunately, courtesy of several wildfires burning in Arizona and elsewhere. 😦

Important side note: we rode the train to Santa so we stayed near the hotel, but if you have transportation (or don’t mind springing for a Lyft) there are a lot of great places that are farther from the Plaza and less touristy/pricey.

Burgers and beers at Santa Fe Bite. Another Elevated IPA. It’s good. I drank a lot of it. This place is casual and affordable** and served up THE best green chile cheese burger I have ever had in my life. We ate on the patio mid-afternoon on a Thursday so there was no wait.

Margaritas on the rooftop Bell Tower at the La Fonda Hotel. (Which I can’t say without thinking of Napoleon Dynamite.) (Disclosure: My parents bought us a night at this hotel as a gift…AND KEPT THE KIDS FOR US WOOOO! It’s not a place we could otherwise afford but if you’re interested in staying there and are similarly not wealthy, look at non-peak seasons and check for discounts online. I cannot say enough good things about the hotel.) This was a pretty freaking good margarita, but honestly I’m accustomed to having the 27-ounce mind erasers (at half the price) at our local Mexican joint so I drained this one in about five minutes. Happy hour is from 12-3 and guests receive a $2 coupon at check-in. Discounted, I think the drink was 8 or 9 bucks. 

Beer and nachos on the patio at Del Charrrrro. After the monster burgers we had at lunch, neither of us had much of an appetite, so we split a plate of nachos and I had a Double White from Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery. (The husband’s NM staple is the Santa Fe pale ale.) This place is casual and affordable.**

Vodka tonics at Evangelo’s. Great local hangout for live music and not touristy or overpriced. We heard a great classic rock/blues band in the bar upstairs. The kids start playing metal downstairs around 10 p.m. CASH ONLY.

Bloody Mary and Huevos Oaxacas (pronounced “weh-vohs wah-hah-cahs”) at La Plazuela at La Fonda. Again, pretty pricey, but if you’re looking for really fancy-ass shit in Santa Fe, this is the place to go. I had my heart set on a Bloody Mary and this was the only place within walking distance that served them at 9 a.m. And holy shit, the food was was good. Note: the Bloody Mary wasn’t on their breakfast menu but the bar was open so we asked, and we received.Right before we got on the train back to Bernalillo, we stopped into Second Street Brewery at the Santa Fe Railyard and I quickly drained a Red and Yellow Armadillo IPA (9.2% ABV) and brought a half-growler of the Diploid IPA with me. MOAR HUEVOS at The Range Cafe in Bernalillo. This place is casual but kinda pricey. BUT, the portions are enormous so you could easily share. The kids’ breakfast came with four pancakes, and they split it.

We also ate at Old Town Pizza Parlor (sorry no pics!) after our zoo excursion, and we had a fantastic Kitchen Sink pizza complete with green chile. They also have a kid-friendly buffet.

We also met some friends at the Kactus Brewery in Bernalillo. It’s a small kid-friendly joint with a rustic patio, live music and chickens out back. I had the cream stout and the IPA and both were good. I didn’t eat anything but the food looked fantastic.

That’s it!

*Just a warning, the restaurant at Sandia Peak is closed (actually completely gone) so there’s currently nowhere to eat or drink at the summit– a picnic or snacks and definitely water is recommended. For an incredibly detailed and comprehensive guide to Sandia hiking, check out my friend Mike’s book, Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide. A new edition with updated maps is coming soon!

And please be careful!

**For Santa Fe, “affordable” is like a few bucks more than I’d consider affordable anywhere else. Gentrification + tourism is a son of a bitch.

so can I just write you a fucking novel right now?

I meant to publish this several days ago so that I could write a fun, lighthearted and obnoxious 2015 blog recap for you tonight but, story of my life, neither one of those got finished in time so you’re getting this. A dodgy consolidation of both. Here are the TLDR bullet points:

  • I lost a friend
  • Both of the kids got sick
  • Husband and I went on a one-night, whirlwind mini vacation/early New Year’s celebration last week and spent a night downtown while my parents stayed with the kids.
  • We saw The Force Awakens
  • Kenzie saw her first movie in a theater (NOT The Force Awakens)
  • I drank a lot
  • I didn’t run very much

sdlfjsdklj

And now here’s the long version…

Yeah so, I found out late Christmas night that one of my friends died. I was scrolling my newsfeed while drinking wine in the kitchen when I saw a picture of him that an overzealous mourner had posted to his page barely 24 hours after it happened with the caption “RIP.” So the shitty thing about Facebook is that sometimes you find out your friend is dead via Facebook. But the kind of cool thing about Facebook is that sometimes you get to see a lot of people (like, hundreds) coming out of the woodwork to offer their condolences and share their photos and memories.

Brian and I were friends back when I lived in Texas. He came to my wedding in 2005 but I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, so hearing from everyone who knew him, from childhood all the way to the present, helped me feel more connected. He was a kind, funny, tremendously talented writer and all around cool dude and I think he probably had a couple of brilliant novels in him if he’d just had more time. I’m still sad and stunned.

And now I’m going to try my best to segue into holiday shit without sounding too much like a self-absorbed ass twat. We had a nice time. The kids got a ton of gifts and were spoiled absolutely rotten by their aunt and grandparents. And we took advantage of all the free babysitters and did some fun adult things. We’re basically the luckiest people on Earth. I mean than sincerely.

2015-12-26 11.39.18

I mean just look at them.

Kenzie got to see her first real movie theater movie. It was The Good Dinosaur and it was kinda good. Kinda weird. The dinosaurs were farmers, and also there were humans living in the same period as the dinosaurs so it was sort of obnoxiously inaccurate, but Kenzie liked it, so I guess that’s all that matters.

popcorn is all that matters

Popcorn is all that matters.

Then the next day, husband and I sneaked out after breakfast to go see The Force Awakens.

2015-12-24 10.28.42

We thought it was dope, but apparently we got ripped off.

Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here, but the last few Christmases, we’ve gotten sick. Last year, my husband, mom and sister-in-law experienced the joy of a holiday stomach bug. This year it was bronchiolitis and ear infections.

The week of Christmas (Monday? Tuesday? I can’t even remember anymore) Codie had a really rough night. She could not physically stop coughing long enough to fall asleep, so I nurse/rocked her for hours and hours until she finally passed out around midnight. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic AND nebulizer treatments AND a steroid. She improved tremendously in just 24 hours but the steroid made her go fucking berserk. She was too wacked out to sleep, basically running around in circles like a crazy person and she’d scream if I tried to rock her or lay down with her. She didn’t go to sleep until after 11 p.m. Christmas Eve and was up before 5 a.m. Christmas morning.

Here she is discovering her gift from Santa about three hours early.

Here she is discovering her gift from Santa about 3 hours early.

After that horrific night I made the executive decision to put an end to the steroids and the following night her sleep improved by 1000000%. She slept 13 hours without waking up once.

Naturally, as soon as Codie was feeling better, Kenzie came down with that garbage. She woke up the day after Christmas barking like a seal and blowing metric shit tons of snot all over the place, so we did the most reasonable thing possible and left her with my parents so we could take off on a date night downtown. But, well, we paid for the hotel in advance and…my parents insisted? (She did see a doctor– we are not total jerks, I promise. And she’s fine now.)

We like to party but we don’t like crowds so we rang in the new year a week early! #introvertlifehack. We hopped around to a bunch of different breweries and bars, including the Slippery Noodle which is Indy’s oldest and best. We ate a ton of delicious bar food and closed out the night with vodka martinis and then a giant plate of nachos. It was really quite romantic.
2015-12-26 21.25.13 2015-12-26 22.11.40

Running…

I managed to stick with my KEY runs during the holiday week (a tempo, a “faster” run and a “long” run) but I scrapped a couple of the easy runs. I could have done them, I just didn’t.

Last week:
12/22: 3 @ 9:29
12/24: Tempo w/ 4 @ 8:47 (6 total)
12/26: 3 @ 9:19
12/27: 5 @ 10:17

This week so far:
12/29: 3 @ 9:10
12/31: 6×400 @ 7:19 (5 total)

My tempo miles were supposed to be at around 8:43 pace but I was up late with the baby the night before and then had a couple proseccos at breakfast (Star Wars pregaming, DONTYOUJUDGEME) so I would have been pleased with anything under 9:00.

Today Yesterday, for my last run of 2015 I did 6×400 @ 7:19! I did it on the treadmill and I am 100% certain I never would have come close to that pace running outside. During the last 400, my legs felt trashed.

The Year In Running

I didn’t start keeping track of 2015 mileage until June, but I’ve done about 600 miles since then. I’m not as fast or as strong as I used to be but I enjoy running just as much, if not more. There are NO MARATHONS on the horizon for me, but I am hoping to log a 5k and half marathon PR in 2016.

And in everything else

As far as everything else in 2015 goes, it was an incredible year. I am still trying to figure out this whole parenting thing, but I am so lucky to have a) fallen in love with a guy who loves his daughters to pieces and would do anything for them and b) these precious few years that I am privileged to spend at home with those girls. I think a lot about people who have struggled to have children, who have struggled through the loss of children and who struggle more than me to give their children the kind of life every child should have. I am so much luckier than I deserve to be. My goal for 2016 is to just try as hard as I can to take care of the people around me and to make every moment count.

this is my baby

Even when that moment is watching my baby pee on the carpet behind the curtain in my bedroom.

I love you guys. happy new year.

We’re friends of the chick with the sword and the kid in the hat

Yeah so, quickly, I failed at my blogging challenge but we all knew it was going to happen right? I’m just not cut out for the life of a full-time blogger! I’m not committed! I’m not dedicated! I won’t shill for limp, processed broccoli or stand on my kitchen table to take pictures of my food! Justins has never sent me shit!

Let’s catch you up.

We went to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta again this year. We went when Kenzie was 10 months old but this time, she was old enough to appreciate it for all it’s splendor.

1782077_10153352147553868_3178321509970481137_n

We also got to see some friends and family, watch the kids play, go running in the mountains and eat a lot of good food and drink some New Mexico craft beer (don’t laugh, they do have some there), but I won’t condescend you by pretending all those photos aren’t already on Instagram. (Regurgitating old content, the cornerstone of a successful blog!)

Our return flight was fairly uneventful except for a couple of baby blowouts which we accepted with utter grace and sophistication.

10689671_10153365794403868_4724849909142264058_n

Also, to mark the expiration of the Wright Amendment, everyone on the plane got a free alcoholic beverage!

I spent Tuesday getting my shit back together and doing 180 loads of laundry. Kenzie is officially OFF NAPS so things are a little more challenging around here but I can’t complain or else people with real jobs will stop reading my blog.

A lot of people told us Kenzie would start going to bed again if we cut out the naps but I really didn’t want to believe it. She’d still go down for naps right away, but at bedtime, she’d get up 40 times and wouldn’t go to sleep until 10 or 11 p.m. We finally tried no-napping while we were in Albuquerque. We kept her super busy all day long and she went right to bed each night. Last night, she put up a little bit of a fight, but she was still quiet within 15 minutes. A VAST improvement. So it’s pretty clear: we can either have a peaceful afternoon or a peaceful evening and we chose evening.

And yeah, we still have that baby too, and she’s doing just fine. We’re working on getting her out of our room and into her crib, but the first two nights she was in there, she woke up every 1-2 hours so I quit that shit pretty fast. I think I have to commit to several nights of no sleep in order to crib-train (for lack of a kinder term), so I’m totally putting it off. I set an arbitrary crib deadline of next Thursday. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Beer and TV funsies!

Because what better time to talk about television than when I’ve committed myself to reading more?! Sunday was the season premier of The Walking Dead and I thought it was just brilliant! I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched yet, but I really super enjoyed it. There was triumph and joy, tenderness, anguish, torment, fury, revenge, and of course lots and lots of blood spatter and fire and gore.

Only when f-bombs can be used on network television will be truly free.

Only when f-bombs can be dropped on network television will we truly be free.

Last night, I marked the return of the only show I give a shit about now that Breaking Bad is over with a pretty terrific zombie beer while we watched Talking Dead.

EXCUSE ME THEY'RE CALLED WALKERS.

EXCUSE ME, THEY’RE CALLED WALKERS.

I’d heard from at least one person who wasn’t a fan of this beer, but I really liked it! 3 Floyds has never disappointed me, and this New Belgium gratzer ale collaboration was no exception.

For those who didn’t feel like clicking the link, it’s a “long-buried” (hence the zombies) style using Polish Lublin hops and oak-smoked wheat. It packed quite a bit of flavor into just 4.5% ABV; spicy, chocolatey, smokey and rich. And since I hardly ever drink anymore, it also packed a nice buzz.

Blog challenge reactivated!

So if we’re getting back on track with the challenge, your something scary for today can be that beer up there and that zombie WALKER show on AMC.

As for reading every day, I briefly tried reading instead of staring at my phone during the nighttime feedings, but Codie usually only nurses for about 30 seconds now before going right back to sleep, so I really don’t even have time to do that anymore. I’d get pulled into a good story only to look down and realize she’d been sleeping on me for like 10 minutes. And then I’d feel stupid for still being awake.

But now that they both go to bed at a decent time and aren’t for the present waking at the crack of dawn, I have no excuse not to read in the evenings before bed. Except when there are like, totally amazing shows on television that I just have to watch.

What do you like to watch on TV when you could be bettering your mind by reading books?

okay, just one regurgitated instagram photo

okay, just one regurgitated instagram photo

holiday gift guide for assholes

Hi!

A gift guide is a really easy blog post to write. When I wrote this one, I just started banging out a bunch of shit on my keyboard that I thought would make me seem cool and I in no way considered the actual needs or wishes of anyone I know, and then I hit publish. You may not agree with me on all of these items and that’s okay. Like every other gift guide you’ve read on a blog, this is for me, not you! (However there are no affiliate links in this post so click away.)

Let’s start with some shit you should definitely not get anyone as a gift.

obama dildo

Shit you have to display in your home.* Because you’re assuming you understand this person’s style AND that they will have just the place for your shit gift.  I thought you’d appreciate me redecorating your house for you! I’m thinking your style is turn-of-the-century prison drab. Cool?

DIY shit. Probably the only thing worse than buying somebody a gift they have to display in their home is making them some shit they will now feel obligated to hang up in the bathroom every time you come over. Same goes for jewelry.

circle jerk craft

craft credit: MILF RUNNER, who can DIY me up some shit whenever she wants.

Gloves/slippers. Because nothing says I don’t even know you like a pair of gloves or slippers.

Mail-order nuts. Nothing says I don’t even know you like a pair of gloves or slippers…except for a bag of mail-order nuts.

Workout videos. This is a gift that says, you’ve got problems. 

fat cat

A day planner. All the worse if it’s from a day planner company that sponsors your blog. (Does anyone actually use day planners? I have a cheap one I use as a wallet, but i don’t actually use it to plan shit.)

Motivational gifts. Save it for the intervention.

allison intervention

Inhalants, however are always appropriate.

Bath stuff (lotion, bath gel, etc). Another gift that says I just don’t care. Think about it, every one who’s ever given you bath gel feels the need to assure you, it smells soooo good! as if that somehow makes up for it being bath gel.

in the bath

Now, if you actually like the people you know and want to give them something they will appreciate, here are a few suggestions.

Booze. All the better if they share it with you.

got what i need

Booze subcategory: One of those cheesy wine gift baskets from that catalog everybody gets in the mail during the holidays. I always lovingly flip through that catalog and dream of a beautiful basket of wine arriving on my doorstep except that I live in goddamn Indiana where they have fucked-up laws about shipping booze.

The Blue Oyster Cult Box Set. Because if your friend doesn’t appreciate this gift, you’ll learn a valuable lesson that this person should never have been your friend in the first place.

BOC BOX

*Unless it’s meme art! You can commission your own personal piece of meme art from this chick on Etsy. I got one as a baby gift from Angry Runner and I love it. It was a pleasant departure from all the other gifts I got that were not actually for me, but for the baby (although I like to think Kenzie appreciates this gift just as much as I do).

IMG_7778

Money. I know it’s really cold and impersonal, but so are you.

i like money

We should hang out.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Mine was my baby! LOL JK, it was money.

how to lose 5 pounds the hard way

Kids. Filthy little beasts, aren’t they?

With all the shit she gets into, you would think the baby would be sick from time to time, but for some reason, little miss I-like-to-pick-stuff-up-off-the-floors-of-airplane-bathrooms manages to pass along to me every speck of bacteria she encounters without getting sick herself. She’s the Typhoid Mary of gastroenteritis.

IMG_4881

Try to quarantine me. I dare you.

So after I got off the plane, I had two glorious days of sleeping in my own bed and running on my own (FLAT) streets before I was ravaged.

I know this is probably not what you want to read as you are slogging away at work or spooning gooey morsels of nut buttery oatmeal into your mouth, but I don’t think we as a society should shy away from topics like explosive diarrhea! The sooner we remove the stigma associated with it, the sooner people can be free to have explosive diarrhea without being embarrassed or afraid.

You're so beautiful.

You’re so beautiful.

So I didn’t go running for several days. Hell, I didn’t go anywhere that was more than 40 seconds from a toilet seat. I slept (in fits) for 10 hours a night and napped when the baby napped and still felt like I’d been hit by a bus. A shit bus. Luckily, my husband was off work for some of that time, and was able to help me with the baby. Well, until he caught it.

Thursday was the first day that I ate food without fear of recourse and thus was able to make my triumphant comeback.

duderino

I first did a couple miles on the treadmill as a test. The weather was nice and I could have run outside but I thought it might be smarter to stay near a bathroom. Running wasn’t exactly pleasant, but my gastrointestinal system behaved itself and I got that dreaded First Run After A Break out of the way. Later that evening, I went out again with Kenzie in the stroller, but only because she was fussy and irritable and we needed to get out of the house. I ran two miles and struggled to maintain an 11:00 pace.

Now, I don’t want to diminish the efforts of those runners who have made triumphant comebacks from ACTUAL injuries, but it felt pretty fucking heroic to me.

This morning the baby decided to wake up every 20 minutes from 3:30 on. Just as I would drift back to sleep, she’d start hollering again. She pulled this the last time she cut a tooth, so around the third or fourth wake-up I gave her some baby Motrin which did absolutely jack shit. She finally woke up for good at 6 a.m. and was not in the best of moods.

Don't.

Don’t bother us right now, we’re busy despising you.

She was sacked out again by 9:00, so I’m holding out hope that she’ll still take a nap this afternoon.

The plan: pick up the pieces and make the most of what’s left of the week. I know I’m not going to be able to run more than 5 or 6 miles at a time, and I have absolutely no desire to swim (I look at the pool and all I see are parasites, a weird by-product of being violently ill for four days). I was thinking it might be fun to do one of those online Barre workouts.

Pretty sure this is Barre4

Pretty sure this is Barre4.

When was the last time you had explosive diarrhea? What’s your favorite online workout?

737 not down over ABQ

Well, Sunday was Mother’s Day and this year I really wanted to DIG DEEP and write a post about how much I mean to my family. Unfortunately, I was in Albuquerque on a really important vacation from my problems and I had such a fantastic time, I didn’t even get on the internet (oh, except to check my page views and post selfies to Instagram).

And now I have nothing for you except a big, ugly photo dump of a bunch of stuff you don’t even care about. OH AND GIFS.

YAAAAAAAAAAAY.

YAAAAAAAAAAAY.

So when we left Saturday there was some airplane fuckery that started with mechanical problems in Indy and ended with us watching forlornly from the terminal in Houston as our connecting flight pushed back from the gate without us.

Yeah, it was that close. Sixteen of us were trying to make that connection and they wouldn’t even wait five more minutes. Don’t worry, I drafted a boozy hatemail to Southwest Airlines last night. (But hey, at least I’m not complaining about turbulence or people on the plane who smelled like McDonald’s or people whose thoughtless mouth-breathing disturbed my delicate baby!)

Seven hours, two time zones, one blown-out diaper and an overpriced plastic cup of chardonnay later, we landed in ABQ and the baby was desperately begging for some of that blue meth we’ve heard so much about.

Do YOU have it?

Yo mom, this guy kind of looks like Skinny Pete.

The grandparents immediately got started ruining her by giving her fistfuls of cookies and gluten and whatever the hell else she wanted, and I immediately went out for a run.

LOL JK no. I poured myself a beer.

Isotopes Slammin’ Amber! It tastes like beer!

Yeah so, it wasn’t all that memorable but it was cold and thirst-quenching and it had some hints of light fruitiness. A nice patio beer after a long day of slogging through airports. I’ve also tried the Alien Imperial Stout and the IPA from these guys.

Sunday morning, the baby’s Mother’s Day gift to me was waking up at 4 a.m. so we could spend more time together.

NOT NAMING NAMES.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU ALL THE TIME.

When I headed out for a run around 7:00, it already felt like noon. I’ve blogged about running at my parents’ place before, but basically it’s all hills. I did about five miles, avoiding the very worst of them and managed to keep a 9-something pace.

Tuesday I ran six miles in about an hour with a total elevation gain of 696 feet. It was brutal, middle-of-the-day hot, and those hills. MY GOD THE HILLS.

FSDKJCESMLKFE

I almost didn’t make it home. I did enjoy most of it though (the last two miles totally sucked my ass). And I re-hydrated with tortilla chips and tequila so I recovered extra quickly.

IMG_4809

Self-medicating is underrated.

My husband and I managed to have one grown-up date night where we stayed out until nearly 10 p.m. I had my very first taste of absinthe and it was so good it made me want to give up beer forever and only drink absinthe. It was in a cocktail with prosecco and St. Germaine, and I know the REALLY REAL way to drink absinthe is to do the thing with the sugar cube and the whatever, but the cocktail paired better with enchiladas. Anyway, I didn’t take a picture because there were too many people around and I didn’t want to look like an asshole, but SERIOUSLY U GUYZ OMG ABSINTHE.

iheartGB

Fuck yeah.

So we partied a teeny bit. But mainly, because TEH PERCIOUS BABEH never let us sleep  in later than 5 a.m., we took it easy. The baby alarm clock is tremendous motivation to go to bed at 9 p.m., even on vacation.

IMG_4790

The sunglasses are because his eyeballs are bleeding from waking up so early.

And just to state the obvious, my parents love Kenzie. Like, they are lunatics for her. Maybe more than I am, if that’s possible. I wish we could visit them more often because I love THEM and I love New Mexico, but that flight was a nightmare. Anyone who is considering traveling with a child: do it when they’re really, really young and then STOP. And don’t fly again until they’re 3 or 4 years old. Or 14. Maybe longer. That’s my expert advice as someone who has flown three whole times with a child.

IMSKINNYPETE

unholy pancakes

Yeah so, this morning we were out of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix (just kidding, I eat all the gluten!) so I decided to do something super daring and make pancakes (dun dun DUUUUN) from scratch.

The thing is, I don’t bake, I cook. Cooking is easy: pinch of this, dash of that. Baking requires too much precision. If you screw up and add just a little too much (baking powder??) of something, your pancakes will suck ass.

IMG_4284

non fluffy suck-ass pancakes

Anyway, you know those nice air holes that make your pancakes so light and fluffy and also tell you when it’s time to flip? Yeah, mine didn’t have those. So the outside cooked but the inside remained a gooey mess. I usually don’t post things on the internet that make me look like such a complete asshole, but I couldn’t resist. (I have never screwed up coffee though, so there’s that.)

Have you ever fucked up something as simple as pancakes?