We got up bright and early this morning (extra early since we changed time zones last night) and headed to Rubee’s Diner for breakfast. I know how much Josh loves breakfast, so we’ve been stopping at every little diner we can find for breakfast. After breakfast, we made a quick stop at TeePee Curios to pick up some postcards and the awesome sombrero you see in the photos below (Note: Sombrero was Josh’s idea).
Our next stop was the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum. My kids love dinosaurs, so this was a no-brainer. They had a great time looking at all the bronze dinosaur skeletons and digging in the dirt (walnut shells) for dinosaur bones.
Tucumcari, NM is a sweet little town. There are still tons of neons and old motels up along Route 66. The whole town really has that ‘small town America’ feel to it. It’s the perfect picture of what I imagined all of the towns along Route 66 would be.
Heading through Montoya and into Cuervo, we decided to go see the old alignment of the road known as the Cuervo Cutoff. We decided not to drive it since it’s 16 miles of rough, unmaintained road. Instead, we opted for the newer alignment which follows along with the interstate toward Santa Rosa.
Once we got into Santa Rosa, we headed straight for the Blue Hole. It’s an 81 foot deep artesian well that’s known for it’s scuba diving. It was beautiful and the kids had a blast dipping their little feeties into the freezing cold water. We thought we had seen the Blue Hole about a mile back, but it turns out that was just an awesome swimming hole.
Leaving Santa Rosa, NM, we had to choose to either drive the older alignment on the Santa Fe loop or bypass Santa Fe on the newer alignment. We opted for the old road.
Driving the Santa Fe loop, through Dilia, Los Montoyas, and into Romeroville, the scenery is seemingly unchanging… Long stretches of desert-looking area and not much else to see. In fact, there is barely anything at all. It’s a nice, quiet drive on a lonely stretch of old road. As we got closer to Santa Fe, the desert scene seemed to just fade into forest. There was still plenty of desert area, but the trees seemed to almost come out of nowhere.
Driving into downtown Santa Fe is like entering a completely different world. It was a charming and very artsy little town. I loved the pueblo buildings and every single building in the downtown area was built this way. We walked around for a bit and checked out the oldest house in the United States as well as the oldest church, The Mission of San Miguel. We happened to be in Santa Fe just at dinnertime/rush hour, so it was a bit stressful navigating the city with all the traffic.
Heading out of Santa Fe, NM, the drive was equally desolate as on the way in. Shortly outside of Albuquerque, NM, we stopped under a railroad overpass to shoot our sombrero portraits. After that, we headed to our hotel.
Tomorrow, we will start back in Albuquerque, NM and head toward Gallup, NM.
Things I learned today:
1. Lia doesn’t believe that she doesn’t like grapes. Every time we get out the grapes, she gets super excited. “Lia! Grapes!”. And then I remind her that she doesn’t like them. She insists that she does. I give her a grape. She puts it in her mouth, makes a funny face, spits it out and says “(don’t) like it”. Happens every time.
2. Going to McDonald’s is the highlight of any day, regardless of how exciting everything else was that day.
3. Lia discovered how to pick her nose today. Probably by watching Max & Ava, who are longtime nose pickers.
4. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT EVER, download the “free” ‘Tap Fish’ kids game on your iPhone or iPod Touch. TAP FISH IS A SCAM. Max somehow charged almost $300 to my iTunes account this morning. No joke. Of course, the company, Bayview Labs, won’t return any phone calls or e-mails. Apple also told me they “knew this has been going on for a couple of weeks” and still has the game in their App store.
5. It’s hilarious listening to Max read the names on buildings as we drive by. He’ll say, “Dunkin Donuts?!” and then he and Ava start giggling. “That place says barber shop!”, more giggling. “Dog wash? That’s silly!”, and the giggling continues.
6. Jumping bed to bed never gets old. My kids look forward to getting to our motel every night, just so they can do this.
7. Every day, Lia takes one of her bobos (pigtails) out. Just one though. I like to call her “a one-bobo baby”.
Rubee’s Diner, Tucumcari, NM 4 stars – The food was pretty good and it definitely had that small town atmosphere. They were friendly, but it took quite awhile to get our food, especially considering there were only a few people in the whole place. Josh disagrees and says the food was excellent.
Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum, Tucumcari, NM 5 stars – The kids loved the museum as I knew they would. There were lots of things they could touch and even an area to dig for dinosaur bones, which they loved. Admission was $17 for our whole family since the girls were free and we were there about 45 minutes. The great thing about the gift shop is they had lots of super cheap souvenirs. The kids got some little plastic dinosaurs for like 50 cents and some mini maze & coloring books for $1.50 each.
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM 4 stars – This place was beautiful. It would be an awesome place to do a little scuba diving. It’s definitely worth a stop. If it had been warmer, I would have let the kids go swimming. Actually though, there was an awesome little swimming hole with a beach and a water slide back about a mile down the road.
Mission of San Miguel, Santa Fe, NM 4 stars – This probably could have gotten 5 stars. But the sign said they closed at 5 pm. As we headed toward the door, the other sign said 4:15 pm. People were exiting the church and it was only 4:14 pm, but they had already locked up and wouldn’t let anyone else in. From the outside it was amazing. It’s the oldest church in the country that has been in continuous use.
Rhodeway Inn, Albuquerque, NM 3 stars – The room is tiny! But we fit everyone in. It’s clean and the WiFi works. And I found a coupon in some travel magazine, so it was super cheap. I’ll live with a small room as long as it’s cheap 🙂
Tucumcari has awesome signs.
The dino museum.
The old road we didn’t take (thanks for the heads up from a fellow route 66 traveller).
The Blue Hole.
Ava was tired and wanted to take a nap. She got “cold” and decided to put her legs through Max’s sweatshirt. I love my children.
The oldest house in the USA.
The Mission of San Miguel
We’re in New Mexico, so we HAD to pick up a sombrero for some pictures 🙂
Jenny braved the dark streets of Albuquerque for these neon shots.