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Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

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Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

I made my first visit to Santa Fe this past June and August in 2010. I loved it! So I immediately began trying to find a way to get back sooner rather than later...a difficult task since all my vacation was spoken for in 2010. (Here's a link to my trip report from that first trip: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28952-i227-k38813… )

Then I remembered...I get two days off at Thanksgiving! Since my extended family gets together on a different date (complicated plans involving in-laws, etc.), I realized I could do a quick run out to Santa Fe and enjoy a Thanksgiving holiday on my own terms.

So I'm posting this in case it helps anyone else in planning a future Thanksgiving trip. The next four replies are my trip's breakdown by day.

Keith

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1. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Caught my flight on Southwest (yes, I LUV Southwest) to ABQ and rented my car from Enterprise. I always seem to find the best rates with them and have never had a bad experience with Enterprise. (I will say, though, that airport rates are definitely higher than everywhere else.) Immediately drove up to Santa Fe where I checked into THE MADELEINE INN B&B. I stayed here for 10 nights on my previous trip and loved it...obviously...I came back! Convenient to Santa Fe's Plaza, comfortable rooms, free wi-fi, great breakfasts are all selling points for me. And while I enjoy Santa Fe style architecture, it is nice to come back at the end of the day to something that ISN'T that! (It was built in 1886 and so predates the architectural building code.)

http://madeleineinn.com/

After settling in at the Madeleine Inn, I walked to nearby MUCHO GUSTO for dinner. This restaurant, located at 839 Paseo de Peralta, is a bit hard to discover as it's behind other shops. But it's not hard to find once you know about it. And I'm so glad I did! I had the Pollo Relleno con Salsa de Crema aka 'The Chicken Bomb'. To quote the menu, it's a "chicken breast filled with cheese, almonds, poblano chile, and sun dried tomatoes. Topped with mushroom chipotle cream sauce. Served with rice, whole black beans, and sour cream." Wow! My mouth is watering just to think of it. Only $13.95. I also had a great Agave Wine Margarita and some Margarita Pie for dessert. My only problem? I liked this meal so much I'm not sure that I'll ever order anything different when I'm back at Mucho Gusto. And I will be back! As far as I can find, they don't have a website, but you can find some basic information here:

santafelunch.com/139/…

After dinner I made the 10-15 minute drive up to TEN THOUSAND WAVES. I had tried out one of their private baths in the summer (Shoji which includes a hot bath with jacuzzi jets, a dry/wet sauna and a cold plunge). I loved it so much then that I booked two more 55 minute soaks in the summer...and three 85 minute soaks on this trip! All I can say is that is was even better in the cold weather (it was 32 degrees).

http://www.tenthousandwaves.com/

West Chicago...
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2. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Had breakfast at the adjacent Hacienda Nicholas B&B, sister to The Madeleine. Greg, who made the terrific breakfast, remembered me from last summer and that I needed to accommodate my diabetes at meals. Nice. Had a great conversation with Greg as well as the other guests there for breakfast. Afterwards, just relaxed back at my B&B.

Time for Thanksgiving Dinner at DINNER FOR TWO! I had made a 1pm reservation back in September based on a 2009 article I'd found online: examiner.com/santa-fe-insider-travel-in-albu… (a more recent article from November 10, 2010 can be found here: https://www.examiner.com/santa-fe-insider-tr… ) What a great meal. Choice of Turkey, Ham, Salmon or Turducken (which is what I picked) served along with a sample of all the side dishes: Scalloped Potatoes, Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes, Italian Herb Stuffing, Fruit Almond Stuffing, Asparagus and Cranberry, Orange, Pomegranate Compote (as well as their House-Made Bread). Dessert choices were Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cobbler, Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Butter Pudding and Rum (my pick!) and Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze. All this and seconds (and thirds...) were available on everything. Just $36 (alcohol was extra). I already know where I'm having Thanksgiving Dinner in 2011!

http://dinnerfortwo.qwestoffice.net/

On walking back through the Plaza to my B&B I was surprised to notice that a good number of shops and galleries were open. (I didn't visit any at this time...I just mention it for future Thanksgiving visitors.) The rest of the afternoon consisted of a glorious nap and further relaxation at the B&B.

I closed out the day with another evening trip to TEN THOUSAND WAVES. Shoji! 85 minutes! 18 degrees! I wasn't sure how the outside temperature would affect the experience, especially the cold plunge. Well, it made it better! What an endorphin rush! The only thing I had to watch was walking between the bath and sauna and cold plunge because all the water I dripped froze!

Headed back to my B&B content, happy and yes, thankful, on this Thanksgiving Day.

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3. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26

This day started as the day before, another breakfast and great conversation at Hacienda Nicholas. But then it was time to follow up another experience from last summer...my first massage. Why mess with a winning recipe? So I had the exact same experience at the ABSOLUTE NIRVANA SPA (behind the Madeleine Inn and same owners) and with the same massage therapist, Lowry...a 60 minute Classic Master's Massage, a Sea Salt and French White Clay Scrub and Steam. Bliss.

http://absolutenirvana.com/

Lunch was at the ATOMIC GRILL. Happened to meet up with a couple I'd met at breakfast (and we continued our conversation from the morning). On my two visits to this funky cafe last summer I had the all day Atomic Breakfast (ordinary and great as breakfast should be) and the Fried Avocado Salad (truly odd and great as this salad should be). This time I had a great Atomic Burger with Green Chile and Cheese. Loved that I was able to substitute a salad for the fries (for $1.50) to make it at least a bit healthier. All topped off with a Santa Fe Nut Brown Ale, which I quite liked.

http://www.theatomicgrill.com/

The afternoon consisted of more relaxing at the B&B and my third (and alas, final for this trip) visit to TEN THOUSAND WAVES for an 85 minute soak in Shoji. Nice. Again.

I drove back to my B&B and walked to the LIGHTING OF THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ON THE PLAZA. The planned celebration and program (mainly music) lasts from 5-7pm with the lighting at 6pm (I had a hard time finding this out in advance and so wanted to be sure to include it here.) I have to say this was a lot of fun standing with the crowd on the Plaza, counting down from 10 and then having all the lights come on simultaneously. Plan on enjoying this if you're in Santa Fe the day after Thanksgiving.

I concluded the evening with dinner at LA PLAZUELA RESTAURANT AT LA FONDA HOTEL. I'd had a fantastic meal here in August on my last night in Santa Fe. Thought I'd try the same conclusion. Unfortunately, they didn't have the Chile Poblanos on the menu that I had enjoyed the previous time so I had the Rellenos de la Fonda. It was good but nowhere near as fantastic as the Chile Poblanos. I did repeat the same dessert, though: Mexican Chocolate Streusel topped with Banana Ice Cream and accompanied by Caramelized Bananas. Also a nice glass of pinot noir and coffee. The meal was still great but slightly disappointing by comparison with my meal in August. The service was also not on a par with my August experience. In August one of the best waitresses ever. This time? My meal was unnecessarily long due to the inattention and inefficiency of my waitress. (This did not seem to be the case with the other waiters and waitresses I observed that night.) At least I was relaxed and had some time on my hands, so no real worries. I'll eat here again...I just hope I get someone else!

www.lafondasantafe.com/dining/laPlazuela.html

Back to the B&B and early to bed because...

Edited: 04 January 2011, 15:04
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4. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27

Got up early at 4:30am, drove to ABQ, returned rental car, caught flight home to Chicago all the while thinking about doing Thanksgiving in Santa Fe again in 2011.

But that's not my next trip to Santa Fe. I'm already booked in to the Madeleine Inn B&B for 8 nights as part of a 16 day 15 night trip in July and August.

Can hardly wait!

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5. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

Sounds like the perfect relaxing get-away. Good to see you here again. Looking forward to more in summer months.

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6. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

Hey bleicherblog,

Actually, I check and read the New Mexico forum almost every day. I just haven't had anything helpful to add to the actual threads. So I never went away...not that you could tell!

I hope you got my reply to your phone call after Thanksgiving. I heard your message at 3:30am (your time) and didn't think you'd really be up for a return call then! So I sent you a PM.

I'll be in Albuquerque in March for another retreat and of course then again in July and August for vacation. So eventually that beer (or whatever) will happen!

Keith

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7. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

Glad you had such a great Thanksgiving. Looking forward to July and August; I think some of the other posters here might make the trip to Chaco with us. Should be fun. See you then.

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8. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

Glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving here!

My husband, son and I might be joining in on the Chaco Trip this summer! We could even bring our telescope and camp out!

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9. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

@sandiaman and CasaAzul - it could be a party! I think that it'd be great if we had several people going. How fun would that be! I hope you and your family can join sandiaman and me, CasaAzul!

Sandiaman, I had given you the dates that this would work for me but let me bring them back up, with some minor modifications, for all to read and dialogue about so we can make this actually happen!

I have a rather detailed, yet still tentative, itinerary put together for my whole trip (is anyone at all surprised?). So I dropped in the Chaco trip on Tuesday, July 26 (which was one of the dates Sandiaman and I were looking at). I'll be arriving in Albuquerque on Sunday evening, July 24. I had planned (tentatively!) to go to the Isotopes game on Monday afternoon, July 25. On Wednesday, July 27, I've planned to be moving up to Santa Fe with a stop (finally!) at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (which closed for my trip last summer). I'm booked into my B&B in Santa Fe starting that night and for the next 8 nights. I hope to attend the Santa Fe Desert Chorale concert on that Wednesday night.

Now this is all flexible. I definitely could go to Chaco that first Monday, the 25th. (And I plan to also see the Isotopes on my last day on the trip, Monday evening, August 8 so no worries about changing first Monday plans.) Wednesday, the 27th would also work if need be. I'd just move Kasha-Katuwe to another time, skip that concert and change my reservation at the B&B to one day later (but this is my least favorite option).

To sum up: Tuesday the 26th is the best date for me. Monday the 25th works pretty well, too. My last choice would be Wednesday, the 27th...but I'd rather do it than not SO the 27th would ultimately be fine, too.

Now about that camping option? That'd be great! And I'll actually be prepared to do so if that's what we're going to do. This past year I've put together a 'car camping by plane' kit for me. By that I mean all my equipment fits in a suitcase which I can check with Southwest (for free!) and then go car camping at my destination. It includes a small backpacking tent, sleep gear (blanket, sheets, pillow, pad, etc.), camp chair, CamelBak daypack, lantern, small collapsible cooler. No cooking gear, though. I'm bringing all this gear for the Carlsbad portion of my trip so...

If we camp, I'd probably need that to be on Monday and/or Tuesday given my Thursday plans in Santa Fe.

I've not yet booked my lodging in Albuquerque (it'll be at the Monterey Non-Smokers Motel again) and will wait to see what shakes out with all of us. (I have booked Santa Fe and Carlsbad.)

So...whaddy'all think?

Keith

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10. Re: Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Trip Report

Always great to read you posts! It puts me "there"!

So when are you buying a casita in SF????????????