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.


A basic bitch weekend + kids


I know, I KNOW. I left the blog again in the middle of my REALLY IMPORTANT CHALLENGE.

I just want to say that I am sorry and filled with gratitude and love and ceramic animals. I want to do a good job. I want to do this with joy and excitement. I want to inspire you. Or something. Ceramic animals!


We drove up to Chicago (well, the suburbs) Friday to visit the in-laws and take Kenzie to a concert. It turns out my MIL is one of those people who is REALLY INTO pumpkin things.

A shame she doesn't have a blog.

A shame she doesn’t have a blog.

We took Kenzie to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live which blew her fucking mind.

mind exploded

Ordinarily when we go to a concert, we like to kick off the evening by loading up on drinks so we don’t have to shell out for the shitty $9 beers at the venue. But for this show we left the suburbs at 3:30 in the afternoon, drove straight to the venue and were home before dark. (The venue did still have shitty $9 beers but we didn’t have any.)

It was actually…pretty cool? Yo Gabba Gabba is one of the least annoying shows that Kenzie watches (looking at you, Peppa Pig), and we had so much fun watching her enjoy it.

The characters did all their “hit” songs from the show. At first Kenzie was just sort of mesmerized/dumbfounded, but then she got into it and pretty soon was dancing and jumping around and basically going ape shit.

And Biz Markie was there!

Straight from 1989 to your computer screen!

Straight from 1989 to your computer screen!

In case you’re so privileged as to not know everything there is to know about children’s television, Biz’s Beat of the Day is a regular installment on YGG. Several very special kids whose parents probably have more money than us got to go up on stage and beat-box with him. It was pretty hysterical.

We also went to our like, 3000th pumpkin patch of the season. #basicbitch

If there’s anything I’ve learned about parenting in the midwest, it’s that you take advantage of any kind of special outdoor kid activity you can while the weather is still nice.


This was probably the dopest of all the apple orchards and pumpkin patches we’ve been to this season. The big jumping thing alone was totally worth the 8 bucks it cost us to get in. (For anyone in the area, it’s called Kuiper Family Farm in Maple Park, IL.)

There was also a haunted forest walk, farm animals, a hay bale maze, a mountain slide and all kinds of other shit.

You might think a toddler would be afraid of something like this but no.

You might think a toddler would be afraid of something like this but no.

I also got out for a run on Saturday, but it was so basic it’s hardly worth mentioning. I’m mentioning it anyway because I’ve gotten past that “don’t care about running just in love with my kids” stage of new motherhood and now I’m  sort of yearning to run long distances again.

This is me yearning.

This is me yearning to run long distances.

I’m still taking things slowly and obediently doing my strength and conditioning work, and I do see some of that old muscle definition coming back, it’s just buried beneath a heavy layer of fat. I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to work hard to get my speed and endurance back, and that is just annoying.


Anyway, I know I have a lot to be grateful for. My kids are cute (AND SLEEPING AGAIN), it’s not snowing here yet, and I was smart enough to not sign up for a marathon while I was still pregnant.

That’s about all for now! If I think of anything else useful or topical to share, I’ll be sure to let you know.


stuff I did last week

I don’t have a workout report this week because there’s nothing even remotely interesting about my workouts, but I did do other stuff and I hoped you guys might want to read about it.

We went to a concert. My parents were visiting and one of my favorite artists, Steve Earle, happened to be in town performing with Shawn Colvin. So on Saturday night, husband and I got to eat at a grownup restaurant (Rock Bottom, and it was torture for me) and go out on a real, actual date.


Octave mandolin. Better than a regular mandolin.

The show was at the theater where the Indianapolis Symphony performs, so it was an intimate venue with great sound and cozy seats for my #fatass. And he sang my favorite song of all time, Pancho and Lefty.

The artists actually sat out at the merch table after the show to greet fans! I’m an old curmudgeon who goes to bed early, so we didn’t stand it line to meet them, but we ran into a couple of friends who did, and I stole this picture from one of them:


I love him so hard.

We spring-cleaned. We finally started getting ready for this baby person by sorting clothes and cleaning out our closets. We consolidated all of our clothes into once space, and filled a couple of huge bags with donations for GoodWill.


Bag o’ race tees, free to good home.

We also sorted and folded all of Kenzie’s baby clothes and put them in new baby’s closet. I must not be nesting yet because the task just seemed like a huge pain the ass.

baby clothes

Where the fuck did all this shit come from?

I ran a race! I hate the idea of driving across town and paying money to not even race, but I happened to see on a local running site that TWO races were taking place near my house on Saturday, and one of them was only 15 bucks (no shirt or medal). So I decided to waste 15 bucks pretending to race.

The event was held by Heart in Education, an organization that sends teachers to critically underfunded schools in Honduras. There were probably less than 100 people total, and many appeared to be part of some local high school cross country and lacrosse teams. There were also some families and walkers and the atmosphere was very relaxed.

I didn’t have my heart set on any particular pace, I just decided I’d go slow and see if I could run the whole way. I stayed around an 11:00-11:30 pace, and in the last half-mile made it down into the 10:00s, but only because I had to pee.

5k race

There is nothing more inspirational than an inspirational pregnant chick in a race bib.

Oh, and I won this in a raffle:

body wrap raffle prize


Did you do anything productive or inspirational last week?

some complaints, with a happy ending

One of the things that annoys me about a lot of these pregnant bloggers is how many of them seem so desperate to maintain the same level of intensity in their workouts as they did before they became pregnant. They post every workout (with a selfie of course) and they diligently note the distance and pace of each run. They proudly exclaim that they haven’t had to modify their workouts and can lift, run, barre, burpee and swim just like always. As if it is somehow admirable that they are tricking their bodies into not behaving how pregnant bodies ordinarily behave.

I know I’m guilty of it too. It’s hard to accept it when something you’re so accustomed to doing effortlessly starts requiring effort. But focusing only on the intensity of a workout makes me feel like I’m taking it for granted that I can work out at all. And plus, nobody gives a shit.

So I’m trying to let go of my preconceived notion of what constitutes a “workout,” and to remind myself that all I really need to do is maintenance. The longer I can keep it up (something, anything), the easier it will be to recover after the baby is born. Even if I just throw some dumb bells around for 15 minutes and then do a mile on the treadmill, it counts. (I didn’t make peace with this concept until around 7-1/2 months last time around, so maybe this demonstrates how much I’ve matured? Except I’m still tracking all my workouts, so maybe not.)

I’ve also made peace with the fact that I’m not working out every day anymore. And lately, it’s been a lot easier for me to rationalize a rest day than in the past. On Saturday, I planned all day to work out as soon as the toddler was down for her nap. But we all had a rough day, I was tired and it was really fucking cold out so I just said fuck it. And I didn’t feel guilty at all. Instead, I felt so relieved that I had a couple hours to just sit on my ass and do nothing.  There will be plenty of time for INTENSITY X INFINITY this August when it’s 100 degrees out and I have two children. Just kidding but not really.

Another thing I’ve learned is that just because it feels okay at the time doesn’t mean i won’t pay for it later. A while back I ran five miles relatively quickly and I was all pleased with myself, but I spent the rest of the day really tired and stiff, and the next morning my crotch hurt.

Anyway I’ll stop rambling. Here are all the workouts I did last week that totally don’t matter:

3 treadmill @ 10:00 avg 3
treadmill run/walk @ 10:00 avg 4
Totally wailed on my biceps, brah. 0
elliptical, 40 minutes 0
treadmill 3 @ 11:09 avg 3 10

Only 10 miles, but I allowed myself some extra time to do shit at home and I ended the week feeling strong instead of achy and exhausted.

And since I didn’t include any pictures in this post, I’ll leave you with this:

dying fetus of course

 You’re welcome.


An excursion

I know it’s Tuesday and this is no longer relevant, but I had some sweet photos to share from the weekend’s beer excursion, and also I’m hoping to get a part-time gig with the local tourism bureau in which I get paid to go around and drink beer and then write dodgy reviews about it three days later on my blog.

So the nice thing about day drinking is that you are in bed at a decent time and can still get up and go running in the morning. Not that there is anything wrong with the alternative, I firmly believe one should never let running and fitness get in the way of a good buzz. Write that down.

We hit three breweries on Saturday: Sun King, which has been around a while, Flat12, which okay, has also been around a while but I am a suburban trog and I never go downtown) and Fountain Square, which opened last summer.

I drink a lot of Sun King beer. Back before the spawning, we used to enjoy going to sporting events like our local AAA baseball team and we also enjoyed watching sporting events at bars, the both of which are great places to find Osiris pale ale, which the website touts as having only 215 calories per 16 ounces (or about half a sandwich), Sunlight Cream Ale and sometimes even Wee Mac Scottish style brown ale.

At the brewery, I tried a current specialty, Angle Juice (that’s not angel misspelled, by the way, it’s really called Angle Juice), a 5.2% ABV/61 IBU American pale ale. It was hoppy and delicious, but if you like your pales less American-y (you pinko bastard), it might be too much for you. And I hesitantly tried Kook-ee (6% ABV/14 IBUs), a cookie beer that actually turned out to be pretty good: subtle hints of chocolate, vanilla and oats.

Outside of Flat12, an unpictured faux log cabin food truck and the pulled pork sandwich contained therein preserved my sobriety.

At Flat12 there were so many beers I wanted try, my headed literally exploded. After I cleaned up the mess my exploded head made all over the tap room, I tried the Pogue’s Run Porter (5.5% ABV/34.1 IBU) which was thick and roasty. It’s like, the working man’s porter so it’s not all highbrow and shit. I also tried the Half-Cycle IPA which was goddamn amazing. It’s like an IPA and a half, only 6% ABV but 104 IBUs. It is: “dry hopped with a pound of high alpha American hops in every barrel,” but was incredibly well-balanced and smooth. I had to have a pint and would have had two if we didn’t have another stop to make. And just so nobody emails me (truth: nobody ever emails me), our driver was not guzzling pints this whole time, she had a few teeny samples because she’s responsible and shit, just FYI. Don’t be a dildo and drive drunk, y’all.

Full of pork and IPA, we trekked onward to Fountain Square , where a little parking lot fest was going on and Hyryder was doing a very respectable rendition of The Grateful Dead’s Scarlet Begonias.

I sampled the Rise ‘N’ Shine Oat Stout (6.6% ABV/30 IBUs…I think!) and two IPAs: Big Nuggets (7.3% ABV/55 IBUs) and Hop Your Face, the beer for which Saturday’s event was named. It’s a 9.7% ABV/Gazillion IBU Imperial IPA with all the fuck kinds of hops. Wet hops, dry hops, low hops, high hops. (Sorry, been reading too much Dr. Seuss.)

It was not too long after Hop Your Face that I became overly affectionate toward my friends.

And pretty soon after that, we called it a day.

I ain’t often right
but I’ve never been wrong,
It seldom turns out the way
it does in the song.
Once in a while
you get shown the light
in the strangest of places
if you look at it right.

Am I gonna die?

Embarrassingly, I ran 30 miles last week for the first time in my life. Embarrassing because I’ve been running (poorly) since I was 15 and because I have a history of signing up for races, pretending to train for them and then completing them (poorly) without ever exceeding 30 miles a week. I know. I have a sneaking suspicion that the never exceeding 30 miles a week part is the reason for that poorly part.

But instead of inspiring confidence, what 30 miles did to me was make me scared. Scared like when you start to get a buzz waaaay too early in the evening and you know it is not going to end well. Despite strength training (somewhat) and diligently putting in the mileage and building it gradually, I still feel like I am going to do something wrong and hurt myself. Or wake up in a bath tub with my pants down.

If you read back through the archives of this blog (please don’t), you’ll find that I have a knack for fucking myself over. I will trip over a tree root during a routine trail run (at least I wasn’t drunk), I will sprain my ankle stepping out of a taxi (was totally drunk), and I most definitely will come down with spinal meningitis the day before any big race (never happened but if anybody is going to come down with spinal meningitis, it’s me).

Anyway, I made it to 30 miles last week not because I did a lot of quality longer runs, but because I doubled up on workouts a couple days in a row: a few miles in the morning, a few more in the evening; all of the miles and none of the hurt. then I did 10 on Saturday and blew off Sunday entirely.

This week is looking very different: I’m at 20, and hoped to do a long run of eight or nine today but instead I played the it’s-windy-as-fuck-and-I-have-the-stroller card and after four miles of using all my energy to curse (my favorite curse these days is goddamn it. FUCK. What’s yours??) instead of to run, I gave up and went home. But I’m not using a proper training plan so it’s cool.

I have, in spite of not using a proper training plan (and also my own efforts to sabotage myself), fallen into a rhythm: some varied runs throughout the week and a long run on the weekend, and in general an easy week followed by a harder week. When I go out for a run, I do have an idea of how many miles I want to run and I generally stick with it (except today! SMASH SMASH), but beyond that, there’s no plan and it’s worked out well for me. Instead of crumbling under the pressure of following a schedule, I’m running more than ever before and enjoying it.

I know. Leave it to me to wait until I’m in my 30s with a kid to finally get it.

 Ween – Spinal Meningitis

I’m ’bout to double up

Yesterday was another haul-ass-to-the-gym-and-try-to-get-in-a-workout day. I ran with the stroller, swam a quick 1000 yards and ran home. I’ve become a slave to the baby’s schedule, but Kenzie is sleeping so much better. And it might just be my imagination, but she actually seems happier and more content during the day. Mellow. Also she just taught herself Portuguese, so there’s that.

I mentioned a few posts ago that an internet buddy recommended The Dream Sleeper to me. I was so enthusiastic about the transformations it promised that I devoured it in just a couple of days. I wasn’t disappointed: the very first night she slept 11 hours without waking up once, and every night since she’s slept 12 hours, and napped for an hour to 90 minutes twice a day. There were some tears at bedtime for the first few days, but now she just kind of whines and grunts for a few minutes and then she’s out.

Naturally, I then decided I wanted to read ALL THE THINGS about babies and sleeping, so I bought Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (not an affiliate link, by the way). I’m just a few chapters in, and there are some recurring themes about scheduling and bedtime routines and such, but it covers much more about the benefits of healthy sleep and how essential it is to a baby’s physical and mental development. According to this book, side effects of sleep deprivation like ADHD and learning disabilities may not be apparent right away, but can crop up later on in a child’s life.

So yeah, if I have to put the rest of my life on hold for a while to make sure she’s sleeping well, I am more than willing to do that. But now that she goes to bed at a decent time, I have more time in the evenings, so I’m not trying to cram in 20 tasks every time she goes down for a nap.

Anyway if you didn’t come here for baby talk, sorry for that long-winded fuckery. I’m just still kind of astonished and I can’t shut up about it. But yeah…being the sleep nazi means I don’t have the two hour window that I used to have when she only slept 30 minutes at a time. So on the days when I don’t have time for a long workout, I’m going to try to double up (aaaand we have a title), doing a 3 mile run or a swim in the morning, and another short run in the evening. I’ll be the first to admit two short runs DON’T equal a long run, but if you don’t have two hours to go running, doubling up is the next best thing (or if you’re R Kelly, it’s the first best thing). And I’m still going to do a complete long run on weekends. Everybody wins! Except you, because you had to read this. Chump.

So. This morning I made peace with the idea that I probably would only have time to do three miles and lo, she woke up early from her first nap. So I dropped her off at the Y’s child watch (which she adores now, thankfully), and did a 10k on the treadmill in exactly 59 minutes.

Obligatory sidenote: I feel like a dick writing about how I have been brutally forced to double up on workouts, because I know there are others who find it difficult to fit in even ONE run, so I’ll just disclaim that yes, I recognize my privilege, I’m grateful, and I just want to reassure you that it’s not all birthday cake and gin around here. I do some actual job work in the evenings from 8 p.m. until 11 or midnight.  And then I get up at 4 a.m. and cut logs at a sawmill, so fuck off.