Friday, May 13, 2016

The Great Southwest Road Trip Part 1

I am sure when I say road trip, certain destinations come in mind that you want to do.  I have a couple myself and thanks to Toyota I got to have an epic southwest adventure!

We flew from San Diego to Dallas and picked up the new Avalon Hybrid to drive back to San Diego. I have to admit I am pretty anal about packing and what goes where so of course when we started putting our luggage in the car I had a method for where things went since one bag had some food and photography gear. The Avalon had more than enough space for me to arrange things for easy access and for me to recline in the passenger seat when not driving.


Oklahoma City National Memorial
My husband and I wanted to see the southwest along with parts of route 66 and some national parks. It was a busy road trip but we did it all in 8 days.  We first headed to Oklahoma City for the night to meet up with some friends and see a little bit of the city. I wanted to see the stockyards so we stopped there to check it out and also The Oklahoma City National Memorial which was very moving and a must see for all.

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo, TX
The next morning we headed out on our longest drive of the trip which was from OKC to Santa Fe, NM.  I did some research on this part of the drive because we were  traveling right next to the old route 66 and I wanted to see some of the quirky stuff along the mother road. My favorite stop along the way was Cadillac Ranch and spray painting the old cars like so many other before me!

Santa Fe Sage Inn Santa Fe, NM
We arrived to Santa Fe around 8:30 pm and checked into the Santa Fe Sage Inn which is close to so many sights.  The inn was recently updated and has a beautiful southwest motive and awesome fruit infused water at the front desk lol!  I had been wanting to see Santa Fe for so long I did not know where to start!  I did some research before the trip to find places that would offer dairy free and gluten free food options for me and Santa Fe had so many so I was overjoyed.  BTW it seems like every place we went for food had been on the Food Network.  I did not plan it this way but they have an amazing food scene in Santa Fe!

Great choices for dairy and gluten free in Santa Fe, NM

Revolution Bakery with raspberry lemon vegan and gluten free scones OMG!
Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Raspberry Scone

Tune Up Cafe's green chili stew.  Anything with green chili is a must have while in Santa Fe.

Cowgirl BBQ has a great green chili burger called the mother that I had with the cheese taken off and on a gluten free bun with the best truffle fries ever!
The Mother Burger Cowgirls BBQ Santa Fe, NM

Kakawa Chocolate House has amazing drinking chocolates that are are made with almond milk and the best chocolate in the world!
Kakawa Chocolate House Dairy Free Treats For Me!

The architecture in Santa Fe is amazing with all the adobes.  The plaza was very picturesque and had lots of merchants selling their creative and beautiful jewelry pieces. If you walk around downtown you will notice art everywhere and Santa Fe has some of the best art galleries anywhere!  My favorite was the Patina Gallery with their beautiful jewelry and sculptures.
James And I On The Plaza In Santa Fe, NM

After Santa Fe we were headed north to Mesa Verde National Park to see the cliff dwellings. Not far over the border we came to the small town of Pagosa Springs.  This small town has the deepest hot springs in the world and you are able to take advantage of the water from these springs and a couple places for a fee.  James and I had not planed on stopping but I always have my swimsuit ready for these types of occasions.  We went into The Springs Resort and Spa where we could enjoy 24 hot springs along the San Juan River. I WILL BE BACK! The Springs were so wonderful who would not want to go?
Heaven On Earth Pagosa Springs, CO


After our two hour glorious delay we continued to Mesa Verde where it started to snow.  I do not know why I did not think it would snow we were about 8,000 feet.  I was a little nervous since I had not been in snow for over three years but the Avalon handled the weather without a hitch.

Stay tuned for second article that details Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Sedona!