My New Mexico Travelogue

Earlier this month I spent seven amazing days in New Mexico on a solo vacation to celebrate my 27th birthday. No computer. No email. No boyfriend. Just a rental car, my cameras and a few maps.

It was a wondrous experience to be alone in the vast spaces of the West. I saw and did things I never could have imagined, and I took more than 2,200 photographs along the way (a mere 1,700 were deemed Flickr-worthy).

I used Twitter to chronicle my adventures, and with the very generous help of Pete Karl (blog | Twitter), I was able to retrieve the full set of tweets in chronological order.

Here, in words and pictures, is my New Mexico travelogue:

Day 1 – Monday, July 6

Had an amazing wknd w/ @orian in Miami — Shark Valley, beach, pool, Ocean Drive, fireworks, great food & drink. Now I’m off to New Mexico! 11:15

Made it to ATL. Now heading for my flight to ABQ. Sporting a killer sunburn on my shoulders which makes carrying this backpack quite a pain! 14:11

I’m in 7th heaven right now. The ATL airport Starbucks has decaf frappuccinos. NYC no longer has them. This is my 1st in years. I <3 Atlanta 14:33

Just heard something I’ve been waiting to hear for a very long time: “This is non-stop service to Albuquerque.” So excited! NM here I come! 14:41

Hello New Mexico! I have arrived! 18:15

Lunch @ the historic Church St Cafe in Old Town. Oldest residence in Albuquerque. Ordered a tamale, chile relleno & enchilada w green chile! 21:41

This food is ridiculously amazing. Came with a sopapilla, rice and frijoles (beans). There’s a guy quietly playing Mexican style guitar :-D 21:47

Fact: there are fewer people in the whole state of New Mexico than there are in Brooklyn alone 21:52

@james3neal I will see you on Thursday! Yay! 21:58

@Keidson I’m sorry, I just can’t stop! :) 21:58

Just went thru the Rattlesnake Museum, largest collection in the world. My heart was pounding @ every turn. Hope venom cant go through glass 22:29

One of the things I enjoy doing the most while on vacation is challenging myself to do things I’d never do in real life. Good for the soul 22:29

Proprietor of Rattlesnake Museum commented on my epic sunburn. “I can see what you were wearing yesterday.” Made me redder 22:32

I saw of pic of him catching a big rattlesnake in the wild and said, “That looks dangerous.” His response: “A lot less dangerous than women” 22:34

This heat is unbearable and I’m only in ABQ. I just might disintegrate when I go south to Carlsbad tomorrow 23:08

I can’t get Duran Duran’s “Rio” out of my head 00:16

About to take a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway overlooking the Cibola National Forest. World’s longest aerial tramway! 57 F up at the top 02:07

I’m going to have an 11,000 square mile panoramic view from the Sandia Peak Tramway. The peak is 10,378 feet high. 15 min to get to the top 02:11

I’m Twittering from atop the 10,000-ft high Sandia Peak above Albuquerque. Just watched sunset over the mountains. Exquisite. I miss @orian 02:37

Why are there so many bail bondsmen in Albuquerque? What’s going on here? 05:42

Day 2 – Tuesday, July 7

About to embark on the trek to Roswell and Carlsbad Caverns. But first…breakfast! 14:05

Don’t tell anyone, but I got from Albuquerque to Roswell in 2-1/2 hours 17:07

Thousands of square miles of plains, nothing but ranches, the sporadic cattle dotted across the landscape. I was often alone on the road 18:34

Roswell is filled with aliens. Visited the UFO Museum, walked around town, and had lunch at Peppers Grill (thanks for the tip, @RosUFOFest!) 18:37

I’m pretty much in the middle of nowhere so it’s hard to tweet, limited service. I’m off to Carslbad Caverns now! 18:38

I’m at Carlsbad Caverns, about to change from my sundress & flipflops to shorts & sneakers cuz they say the walk down is “strenuous” 21:05

It’s 101 F out here, but 56 F down in the Big Room of the caverns 21:12

Carlsbad Caverns is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Mentally & physically exhausted. Hiked the natural entrance & entire Big Room in < 2 hrs 23:23

There was no service in the caves, otherwise I would have live-Twittered it 23:25

I had planned to stay for the bat flight at 7:30p but that’s 2 hrs away and I’m really pooped. Would it be a huge mistake to skip it? 23:27

Decided to stay for the bat flight at sunset. While I wait, taking a nap in the A/C of my car. Glad I remembered my pillow 00:37

Thrilled I stayed to see the sunset bat flight. It took 19 min for ~300,000 bats to exit the cave in counterclockwise motion. So beautiful! 02:16

I came here afraid of bats, thought they were smelly and gross. Now I understand what extraordinary creatures they are. Want to learn more 02:20

Seeing all those bats fly in formation off into the sunset…wow. Just wow 02:24

Achieved my goal of getting to Alamogordo. A lovely drive from Carlsbad, particularly Rt 82. Big thanks to the full moon for providing light 06:18

First two hotels I checked were fully booked, but third time’s the charm. Now for a deep sleep before White Sands tomorrow. So excited!!! 06:19

Day 3 – Wednesday, July 8

@SEOWebHelp seriously?! Gimme details please 13:11

So excited, I woke up before my alarm! Just bought a sand disc & wax at the White Sands National Monument visitor center. Starting drive now 15:24

I’ve been waiting to do this my entire life 15:25

I’m going to pull off on every single opening and hike every trail 15:34

The high altitude or intense dry heat is convincing my point&shoot that its battery is low when I’m sure it’s not. Good thing I have my SLR! 16:18

White Sands is magestic. I just stood completely alone atop an endless dune, barefoot on the sand, stared at the natural beauty and cried 16:50

Then I christened the spot 16:52

@orian What do you think? I didn’t have any champagne ;) 17:09

White Sand is a much finer grain & stickier (harder to wipe off) than at your typical beach. It’s also amazingly cool despite the 100 F temp 17:11

There is a giant Jewish star carved into the sand on a dune. My people have been here 17:16

Just waxed up my sand disc and found the highest dune I could. Here I go! 17:28

My 1st attempt sand sledding failed. Thought a prestine slope would be faster, but I didn’t move. Better to follow a path. Wow! What a rush! 17:48

I videoed myself going down the slope cuz I know some ppl (@orian, @loiswhitman) won’t believe I did it. Just 6mo after 1st time sledding! 17:52

You can’t really see much, but you can hear me screaming! 17:52

Before I forget, there’s an Albuquerque Tweetup tomorrow 6pm at Kelly’s so I can meet all the New Mexican Twitterers. Hope to see you there! 17:57

Ok I think I’ve had it. It’s high noon and I’m starting to sizzle. I could stay here forever, but I should probably come back in the winter 18:24

Now off to Las Cruces for a quick lunch so I can get to Truth or Consequences for a dip in the hot springs (I hope!) 18:26

The Chihuahuan Desert is surprisingly green 18:57

@phlipper3000 Hi! Got a recommendation from @SEOWebHelp to eat lunch at El Sombrero. Do you agree or have somewhere better? 19:19

I’m at the White Sands Missle Range. Worth seeing the museum? 19:20

Rut roh. I just got in trouble for taking photos of the White Sands Missle Range gate. The guard watched me delete the photos. Boo 19:25

There’s NASA test facilities out here, too. This area scares me! 19:38

@Kandapedia @SEOWebHelp What should I get at El Sombrero? 20:09

Holy crap, the food at El Sombrero is ridiculously amazing! Eating a green chile enchilada & rice. Even the brown salsa is out of this world 20:28

Leaving Las Cruces. This is the closest I’ll be to Texas and Mexico all week. Now heading back up north 21:23

The New Mexico Bolt and Screw would be funnier if it were called the Screw and Bolt 21:26

Gassing up the Shamrock 21:28

All traffic on US 25 N is being diverted off road through an “Inspection Center.” Never seen anything like this before. Common drug route? 21:55

U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint! In the middle of New Mexico. Holy shit 21:56

Yes I am a US citizen. Yes my hotel is in Albuquerque. Yes this is a rental car. Phew I’m through! 21:59

I’m in Truth or Consequences, the NM town formerly known as Hot Springs, renamed for a contest in the 50s by a TV show of the same name. 22:47

The locals call it T or C. Fits on signs better 22:48

Just took a soak at the Sierra Grande Spa in T or C. Their private baths are 103-107 F & contain 134 minerals. I feel so soft & refreshed 23:24

Just passed a literal cowboy towing his horse on US 25 N 00:22

Santa Claus in overalls who runs Pump N’ Save in Magdalena, NM talking about cost of oil being down today at market close. What a country 01:13

Reminder: ABQ Tweetup tomorrow Thurs 7/9 at 6pm at Kelly’s Brewery. Come meet me! Spread the word 01:20

I’m at the Very Large Array (VLA). Holy crap this is cool 01:44

Ok have to turn off my cell cuz it’s a high frequency area. Will tweet later 01:47

VLA is one of the most incredible man made sights I’ve ever seen. 02:34

I was completely alone walking around the VLA. Did the “walking tour” and got to go up close to an antenna. I just love the mechanics of it! 02:36

Saw sunset yesterday at a natural phenomenon: the bat flight at Carlsbad Caverns. Saw sunset tonight at a technological phenomenon: the VLA 02:38

Cows in the middle of the road! Excuse me, Mister! 02:39

That’s DEFINATELY the closest I’ve ever been to a herd of wild cattle! Wow this is a crazy life. I love New Mexico! 02:41

Just cleaned 950 miles of insect carcasses off of my windshield, front bumper, grill, headlights & side view mirrors. God bless rental cars! 04:28

@ebacon I need to see out the window! 04:50

Finally back in Albuquerque. Wow what a couple of days. I’m fulfilling my lifelong dream of seeing New Mexico! Better than I could’ve hoped 04:59

In case you were wondering, I drank 4 liters of water today and peed 10 times (3 times not in a bathroom). Freakin’ Southwest heat 05:09

I’m so pooped. Planning on doing very little tomorrow. Most definitely gonna sleep late. Blackout drapes have been drawn. Goodnight 05:09

Day 4 – Thursday, July 9

Albuquerque Tweetup TONIGHT 6pm at Kelly’s Brewery. I’ll be there! And I expect you to be there (even if you don’t live in ABQ) 17:06

Two days until my birthday!!! :-D 17:31

Really hoping it’s cooler in Santa Fe. This heat is wearing me down 18:44

@orian Paying for what you love isn’t a bad thing 18:58

The French lady who owns the Parisienne bistro I’m sitting at is talking about all the US cities she’s lived in & said she loved Pittsburgh! 19:23

What’s the best shopping area in Albuquerque? 19:33

New blog post: Photo of the day: The unfoggable mirror 19:34

@abqtj Where is Uptown? How do I drive there from Old Town? 19:44

Just went to the Turquoise Museum. What a place! Looks like nothing from the outside, but there’s a wealth of info inside. Learned so much 20:29

Talking about turquoise is like talking about cars — there’s that much variety. Each piece is judged on grade, matrix and color. Many mines 20:31

The proprietor took a look at the turquoise ring I’m wearing — purchased Monday — and said it’s called Sleeping Beauty 20:35

Sleeping Beauty turquoise comes from a mine outside of Globe, AZ. One of the largest in North America. Light blue with almost no matrix 20:44

I’m at the Uptown Mall now. All big brand names — not really what I had in mind. Looking for local stuff. Ideas? @abqtj @SEOWebHelp 20:47

@orian We can take a pic and send to him for identification. Or maybe the store where you bought knows 20:58

@orian Apparently very little turquoise out there is “natural.” A lot of plastic. But I’m *sure* what you got me is the rarest variety 21:04

ABQ Uptown reminds me of Pittsburgh’s Waterfront. Are these cropping up in small cities all over the US? 21:06

@kellissima Having a fabulous time. See my tweets! I’ll post pics on Flickr when I get home. I’m sans computer this week 21:21

Oops! I just bought 2 more rings: one Kingman turquoise and onyx, and one “spiny oyster” — never heard of that before! <3 Zachary Jewelry 22:30

The Nob Hill ‘hood of ABQ is really fun and hippie-like. A lot better than downtown where I’m staying. Back here soon for the tweetup! 22:34

Highly amusing that Peacecraft, a fair trade store, is right next door to an Urban Outfitters, a store that tries to appear as such 22:36

I’m running late to the ABQ tweetup! See you all there soon. (It’s at Kelly’s Brewery in Nob Hill if you missed my earlier tweets) 01:07

Loving the folks I’m meeting @ the ABQ tweetup. I’ve had the IPA & the Wiezen so far. Yums. One of the brewers gave us a mini-tour. Awesome 02:30

I arrived at the ABQ Tweetup to find Happy Birthday balloons and presents from @emilylewis & @skyhawk133. So sweet and unexpected! Thx guys! 05:17

SOO wonderful to finally meet you @james3neal! And great to meet @forrestfoxx @danielmclark @candothat @brianarn @drywall too. Who’d I miss? 05:37

After drinks we got a Frontier Roll (like Cinnabon, but better) & a tall glass of milk. Decadent. But now my tummy hurts. Thanks @skyhawk133 05:41

.@emilylewis totally rocks my socks. So glad to have her as a new friend. Thanks for organizing everything tonight — and for the advice! 05:47

.@skyhawk133 Tummy ache totally worth it. Hell, it’s vacation! 05:48

has the world’s greatest boyfriend 07:14

Day 5 – Friday, July 10

Quickly throwing all my stuff in a bag and hitting the Turquoise Trail! Not packing carefully cuz I’m just gonna unpack in Santa Fe tonight 14:22

Today’s itinerary: Madrid, Cerillos, Española for lunch, Taos, and Santa Fe tonight. Will be there all weekend. Suggestions along the way? 14:23

I’m a modern woman & stronger than my 5’2 frame might suggest, but fellas, when you see me struggling with my bags you should offer to help 14:58

.@ambroselittle Oh yes, I can ;) 15:04

.@orian Thanks sweetheart, but I managed. And the lovely valet dude made up for it in over-the-top kindness…then again I paid him 15:06

.@tarandon When I see anyone struggling with *anything* I offer to help. Compulsively. Ask my friends ;) 15:10

@ckieffer Planning to go to El Parasol for lunch in Española 15:32

I’m on Turquoise Trail scenic byway. Thanks @kprentiss for the tip! 15:36

@rosswhiting I’m the only one on the road! 15:46

I’m in Madrid, the ultimate hippie town. Walked into a coffee shop and the first thing I heard: “My job isn’t spiritually fulfilling.” 16:26

I guess I’m not hitting 5000 followers on my birthday tomorrow :( 16:59

Bison! Or was that a woolly mammoth?! 17:07

Hello Santa Fe! I’ll see you later 17:14

@lwcavallucci Love you back! And happy birthday to the babe 17:15

I just hit my first bit of traffic in all of New Mexico, just south of Española. I’m guessing it’s an accident or construction 18:01

The Rio Grande is nothing but brown sludge. Gross 18:24

YAY!! I was able to submit my SXSWi session idea on my BlackBerry! Their PanelPicker mobile site rules (way better than their regular site) 18:46

El Paragua Restaurant in Española is nice & all, but they don’t know the concept of a hostess so I’m gonna eat outside at El Parasol instead 18:56

I’m having a hard time believing I’m in the United States 19:07

Old guy on a cell phone doesn’t have paper to write down a phone number so he’s writing it in the sand with a stick 19:13

I haven’t had a single bad meal in all of New Mexico. Eating a chicken & guacamole hard taco and pork & cheese tamale from El Parasol. YUMS! 19:36

Off to Taos! Can’t wait to get there 19:57

.@lisarex I’d absolutely love to do the Taos Box but I’m solo this trip and won’t take the risk alone 20:14

Just pulled off the road in Dixon to check out Vivac Winery. Amazed to see wineries out here — turns out NM was the 1st state to make wine! 20:38

I did a small tasting (very little cuz I’m driving!) and settled on a 2006 Nebbiolo. All grapes are 100% New Mexico grown! Bought a bottle 20:39

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, but locals call it the Land of Entrapment because people come to visit & can’t seem to leave 21:13

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, but locals call it the Land of Entrapment because people come to visit & can’t seem to leave 21:13

@TaosBooks when are you open until? I’m going to the Pueblo, Old Town and then around the Plaza 21:31

I’m at Taos Pueblo, the oldest continually inhabited community in the US. It’s a shockingly well-preserved town–all made out of clay & wood 21:53

I never could have imagined that something like this exists in the US. My jaw is on the floor 22:05

I’m blown away by what I’m seeing here at Taos Pueblo. They get by with so little. It looks like nothing has changed for hundreds of years 22:22

I do feel a bit uncomfortable being here though. It’s exploitative. Sure, they need the money, but we’re ogling at their customs & tradition 22:24

@peterkim Not on the Pueblo, but there’s one down the road 22:40

I went into one of the shops at the Taos Pueblo, Aspenwind, and had a nice chat with the proprietor about his NYC experience and his art 22:59

He said NYC felt just like when the school bell rings and you have to get to your next class…all the time 23:00

He told me a bit about the clay he uses for sculptures, and the process behind his rawhide and bark paintings. I loved them, but so much $$ 23:01

Now I’m walking around the Taos Plaza. I want to buy everything in sight. Danger Zone! 23:03

Way too much stuff is already closing around Taos. It’s Friday night, people. Let me shop! 23:24

@nahumg @yoni Shabbat Shalom from New Mexico! 23:31

Just stopped into @TaosBooks…cuz they were listening! Saw I was in Taos and told me to come by. Had a lovely chat with your husband Rick 23:44

The Annual Taos Pueblo Pow Wow is going on, but I don’t have the time to go :( Gonna check out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge instead 23:50

@TaosBooks Hehe no I didn’t. I think she was hiding somewhere. 23:51

@kellissima Unfortunately it closes at 5 :( 23:52

New blog post: Photo of the day: Mister Softee is healthier than Starbucks 00:06

Standing on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The gorge is magnificent, massive, monstrous. A true natural wonder. The bridge shakes as cars pass 00:19

Incredibly windy up here cuz there’s a storm a-brewin’. Had to hold my dress down while taking photos of myself over the gorge. Multitasking 00:28

I just drove on an unpaved road down the west side of Rio Grande gorge, then down, through & across it. Must’ve been 15 miles. Exhilarating! 01:19

My thighs and calves are killing me now. Carefully controlling the car is like exercise. 01:23

I have absolutely no idea which hotel I booked in Santa Fe, just a general idea of where it’s located. This is gonna be fun! 01:58

What’s more thrilling than driving in a new city for the first time and having to figure out your way around? 02:19

Yes! I guessed the right hotel on the first try and found it without address or directions. I rule! 02:25

Hello Santa Fe! I absolutely can’t wait for the International Folk Art Market tomorrow — on my birthday! I’ve been waiting so long for this 02:34

@AimeeIsabella @rorowe GPS is for suckers 02:35

Wow. It’s actually chilly in Santa Fe tonight. Sweet, sweet relief 03:40

At The Railyard restaurant, an actual historic railyard. Drinking their house IPA, super good. Dinner passed so I had to order from bar menu 03:54

@loiswhitman Thank you, Mommy. I love you, too. xoxo 04:18

Day 6 – Saturday, July 11 (my birthday!)

I have the most amazing friends. Thank you everyone :) 14:22

Something you might not know about me: I cry a lot. A lot. Not about dumb stuff but about life. I take it all very seriously. The good & bad 14:33

Taking it easy this morning. Gonna head over later to the International Folk Art Market. Been waiting so long to go! My wallet is in trouble 15:00

My birthday resolution is to do a lot less of what I think Im supposed to do and a lot more of what I actually want to do. Fulfillment first 15:01

I want to thank each of you individually for the birthday wishes, but I hope for now it suffices to just say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You 17:55

I’m heading to the Santa Fe Folk Art Market. I cannot contain my excitement 18:04

Just learned the hard way that you can’t park at the Art Market without a parking permit. Being told to go back downtown and take a shuttle 18:16

I really *don’t* wanna do that. Gonna try parking on the street instead and hope for the best. 18:17

Talk about a birthday present. A sweet girl volunteering for the Folk Art Market picked me up in her golf cart & brought me to the entrance! 18:30

I’m in! I’m in! Let the shopping begin! 18:32

I was born exactly 27 years ago to the minute…well not really cuz I’m in Mountain Time but it’s 4pm to me! 22:00

I am in love with my life. Do I whine and complain and cry and wish things were different? All the time. But I’m human. Truth is I’m amazing 22:03

I am spending my birthday alone. Some people don’t understand. Why aren’t I with friends? With my boyfriend? Because this is for me. All me 22:05

And I carry them everywhere I go anyway. They are my world. But every now and then it’s time to look inside and be your own best friend 22:06

I spent an *obscene* amount of money here at the Sante Fe International Folk Art Market. She who dies with the most stuff wins, right? 22:49

But seriously, most of the purchases are for friends and family. And I’m supporting incredible artisans from around the world. Feels great 22:51

Unlike at other art festivals, artisans at the Sante Fe Folk Art Market, the largest of its kind in the world, keep 90% of sales 22:52

Incredible feature of the market is a Pakmail station to ship everything home. So I’m totally unencumbered and still wandering carefree 22:53

@loiswhitman You’ll have to wait and see! 22:55

Where is the best ice cream in Sata Fe? I need some, pronto. I have a car and am willing to drive. @ me! 23:02

@soldierant Cool. Where is it? 23:53

@Denrael Got some already, but thanks :) I’ll post all my pics when I get back 23:57

@nickheise Of course!! 00:54

Still shopping…and havent yet dropped. Now in Santa Fe Plaza. I know this stuff is overpriced, but it’s so damn good! I suck at bargaining 00:55

@soldierant @livlab Aww it’s already closed. Will try again tomorrow 01:02

@orian Honey, you should know by now that once I see something I want, I won’t be able to walk away 01:05

@orian That’s cuz in business I’m the giver and the client is the taker. When I’m the taker, I have no will power :) 01:07

@orian Ok ok I tried. Asked to try on a gorgeous turquoise & opal ring. I was gonna offer him a 1/3. Then I looked at the sticker — $2200! 01:19

Sorry to admit it folks, but the Santa Fe Plaza does it for me a lot more than Albuquerque Old Town — even though it’s cute it seemed junky 01:33

My whole body hurts from all the walking I did today. But no rest for the weary! Solo birthday date at one of Santa Fe’s best restaurants 02:18

I’m in love at 1st sight with my birthday restaurant, Geronimo. Beautiful decor. Stunning exterior. And they say, “Glad you’re joining us.” 02:43

Geronimo Restaurant is in a circa 1750 adobe home on the picture-perfect Canyon Road. This is where I’d want to live in Santa Fe 02:50

When I made the reservation I asked for a table on the patio so I can watch the passerby. It’s the perfect temperature 02:52

There’s a daily menu so it has my birthday on it. That made me smile. I’m such a mushball 02:56

Ooh ooh ooh she’s letting me keep the menu! 02:58

She rolled it up and put a gold bow on it. Love, in love! 03:00

Green chile and asiago cheese dinner roll! 03:07

Ordered the ahi tuna sashimi and green tea noodles, and their speciality, the peppery elk tenderloin and apple-smoked bacon. 03:21

Ok even the cutlery is perfect. I’m kvelling, aren’t I? The appetizer was delicious and lovely. About to rip into the elk. Ay dios mio! 03:29

The couple next to me knows someone inside and got the server to bring them their check as a joke. Well they paid it. Now they’re devastated 03:35

Wait they *just* met these ppl @ lunch. The guy came out & they all started laughing. He sat down @ my table. “Don’t worry I’m a homosexual” 03:39

“OMG we’re totally ruining your dinner. We’re sorry.” “Don’t worry, I’m from NY. I have plenty of experience with homosexuals and cursing” 04:02

I ended up chatting it up with these guys. We took a pic together on their iPhone. Total hilarity. They found out it was my bday and sang 04:07

You really never know what might happen to you when you’re dining alone…on your birthday in a new city at a fancy restaurant. 04:15

They found out it was my birthday, so the server brought over my dessert and lit a candle. “We won’t sing, but you have to make a wish.” 04:22

Then she informed me that the couple that had been sitting next to me paid for my dinner. I’m completely flabbergasted. 04:22

Ordered the banana tempura chopsticks for dessert even though I heard their specialty is chocolate cake. I’m def not disappointed. So delish 04:30

What an evening. What a meal. What an experience. Happy birthday to me! I love my life :) 04:47

Back in my hotel room. Really alone now. My legs are “drawing” as my mom would say, aching from a full day of activity. My heart also aches 05:09

Not from loss, but from growth. From nourishment and surprise and fulfillment. I’m living a dream and it’s better than I ever could’ve hoped 05:10

Top to bottom that was a phenomenal birthday. I’m so full of joy. I’m so fortunate. All my love to all of you. Thanks for sharing it with me 06:38

Day 7 – Sunday, July 12

Up and at ’em! Grabbing some free breakfast from the hotel, then gonna head over to Santa Fe Plaza to take an open-air bus tour this morning 14:58

HUNDREDS of Corvettes are in a procession right in Santa Fe Plaza. Roads blocked off by police. Just took a minute video. It’s slapstick! 15:41

I’m on the Loretto Line Tour, love the tour guide so far. I’ve always wanted to be a tour guide 15:48

Santa Fe about to celebrate its 400th birthday. Was the capital of Spanish territories until 1750. Middle of nowhere, but water underneath 15:53

St Francis Cathedral, huge church in Santa Fe Plaza, is only church in US with Hebrew on the front doors. It was financed by 40 Jewish men 15:55

Santa Fe is 2nd largest art scene in the US after NYC. NYC has 8 mil ppl. Santa Fe has 75,000 ppl, “and is in the middle of freakin nowhere” 15:57

Santa Fe Plaza is the oldest plaza in the US, built in 1647. The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival is the oldest music festival in the US 16:13

We just passed 109 E. Marcy St, site of The Manhattan Project! 16:14

Just went to a gallery on Canyon Rd filled with Dave McGary’s sculptures and other great artists. I did a wonderful photo shoot. I <3 macro! 16:31

In Santa Fe, people hang red peppers outside of their front doors as a symbol of welcoming. In many other places, the symbol is pineapple 16:35

Tour guide just said, “Fanciest restaurant in Santa Fe is coming up on your right…Geronimo.” That’s where I ate last night! A-ma-zing 16:36

Santa Fe is the highest state capital in the US. 16:42

@orian In conjunction with the Corvette one I just saw in Santa Fe? 16:59

@orian Baby, I did it! I did it! I successfully bargained 1/3 off the price of a bracelet. He just requested cash, and that was that 17:36

@orian I did it again! This time on a necklace. I think I’m getting the hang of this :) 17:50

I’m at Ten Thousand Waves Spa. Let the healing begin! 18:07

Ten Thousand Waves was spectacular. I got a Yasuragi treatment (Japanese-style head, neck & face massage) & an 80-min therapeutic massage 21:51

Started off in the women’s bath alternating b/w hot tub (107F) & cold plunge under a waterfall. Back & forth supposed to help immune system 21:53

With 5 min left to the Santa Fe Folk Art Market, I ran inside to see if a piece I’d been yearning for yesterday was still there. It was! 23:10

Now with 2 min to spare, armed w my newfound bargaining powers cultivated by @orian, I convinced the artist to sell it to me 22% off. I win! 23:15

Starting to get depressed that I have to go home tomorrow 01:23

Celebrating my last night in Santa Fe at another renowned restaurant, Santacafé. Sitting in the airy courtyard, observing NM’s elite 02:14

Pretty underwhelmed by Santacafé. My salad was flavorless & my sea bass overcooked. Not gonna bother ordering dessert. Only eh meal all week 03:06

@noazark Thanks for the tip, but I leave tomorrow morning 04:00

Day 8 – Monday, July 13

Just finished reading The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch was one of my HCI professors. Finally brought myself to read it. Cried all the way thru 14:30

Bye bye, Santa Fe! It’s been a blast. I’m on my way back to Albuquerque for breakfast with @james3neal and then flying home 14:51

There is a BD Sharps Collector in the ladies room at the ABQ airport. And it’s full. Um…what?! Diabetics? Heroin addicts? 17:29

The security line at ABQ is miles long. Glad I got here early 17:50

Seeing three armed police officers sprinting through the airport doesn’t exactly put me in my happy place 18:03

I wonder if I’ll spend my entire day tomorrow going through emails. My bet is 770 unread messages 18:47

Landed in ATL. Gonna attempt to score another decaf frap before catching the flight home. They don’t make them in NYC anymore :( 22:29

Traveling makes me feel truly happy. But no matter where I go, no matter what I see, nothing can ever compare to my hometown, New York City. 02:46

Whenever I fly or drive into a new town, I’m acutely aware of how it fits into the larger globe. NYC however exists on a planet all its own. 02:49

Ahhh. Home sweet home. I have such a great apartment. I appreciate it more when I’ve been away for a while.03:13

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