On our road trip from MO to Phoenix this past October we decided to break up the long drive with a day of site-seeing in Albuquerque. When we were driving through in July of 2010 (on our way to L.A.) we were impressed with how clean and cute the city appeared, so we were anxious to spend a little time there exploring.
Old Town Albuquerque
After we slept in we headed to Historic Old Town for some lunch and to walk around and check things out for a bit.
We were kind of disappointed by the Old Town area though, to be honest. There didn’t seem to be a lot going on and all the shops seemed to sell the same-o-same-o overpriced crap. It was cute enough and we did have fun, but it just wasn’t the best old downtown area we have experienced. However, the main attraction in Old Town was the San Felipe de Neri Church. It was built in 1973, making it the oldest building in the city, and it was gorgeous. It made for the perfect cornerstone of their downtown.
Once we were tired of walking around Old Town we decided it was time for lunch. After asking a couple of locals where to go, they pointed us to Church Street Cafe.
It was a bit of a hodge-podge restaurant with a little bit of everything, but mostly Mexican and Breakfast foods. We tried the chile con queso and a combination platter to share. It was okay, but not that great. Although they did have a nice patio out back so we were able to enjoy the beautiful day while we ate lunch.
Holiday Inn Midtown
After lunch we headed back to the hotel for a lazy afternoon. Skyler napped, we watched some TV, and I finished Landyn’s cap.
It ended up being way too big for him – even though I followed an infant pattern and he is by new means a small baby – but oh well, I suppose he will grow into it. And for my first ever hat I think I did pretty darned good!
While in Albuquerque, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Midtown. I joined the Holiday Inn Rewards Program while we were there because their rooms are typically within our budget, they almost always have free breakfast and internet, and they always seem to have plenty of parking for a trailer. The lady that talked me into signing up (which is free) explained that after about 6 stay’s we will earn a free night. And as much as we have to stay in hotels this is a huge perk! I was able to book this room at a good rate (less than $100), and the location worked for us. I do have to say that I have stayed in much nicer Holiday Inn’s, but this one was clean and staff was friendly. The hotel itself was just a bit dated.
Sandia Peak Aerial Tram
After we lounged around the hotel for a couple of hours that afternoon we headed to Sandia Peak to ride the worlds 3rd longest Aerial Tram at sunset. We saw it from the highway as we pulled into town and Sky was adamant that we had to do it. Which cracks me up because he is terrified of heights. He freaked out the entire way while I was calmly enjoying the breathtaking scenery!
The cost is $15 per person and completely worth it! The two cars on the tram can each transport up to 50 passengers at a time as they span the 2.7 mile distance and 10,378 foot elevation to the top. Once up top there is a huge observation deck, a couple of restaurants, and hiking/skiing trails.
Skyler and I opted to simply take in the views before we headed back down. We didn’t plan very well and were both in flip flops and summer type clothing and it was freezing up there, so we were anxious to catch the next ride back down once we felt like we had seen what we came to see. I can’t express enough though how spectacular the 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the city and valley are from that vantage point! Perfectly stunning!
The only thing we missed out on in Albuquerque was the Hot Air Balloon Festival. We were a week late and so disappointed! The photos from it were absolutely incredible. Oh well, maybe next time. It was nice to split our 1200 mile drive up with a day of rest and site-seeing. But the next day it was time to make the final haul to Phoenix…