STL --> DFW --> SAF --> DFW --> DTW: Part one

Dec 17, 2014

October proved itself to be travel heavy. Eleven out of thirty one days to be exact. But, complaining I am not. Nope, never. 

Me likes to travel...

First leg of the trip was for work in Santa Fe, New Mexico (past conferences: DC, Palm Beach 1/2). Before my lips formed the question, Mark was packing. 

(via Instagram)

Since this was the first leg of my trip and I was travelling through two completely opposite climates (sarcastic thanks to mother nature), I over packed (per usual) and hoped for the best. 

Broke a wheel on my new luggage in the process.


The week was going to be jammed packed with meetings, the conference itself, and soaking up every free moment with Mark exploring, so I busted out my laptop during our layover in Dallas, over a glass of champs.

Which, in my humble opinion is the only way to work. Remotely, and with champagne.

Lord, hear my telecommuting prayer.

Smallest. Airport. Ever. Its twin might be the Oia airport. Maybe.

Also, there are no cabs. None. Thankfully there is a shuttle, seeing as the city proper is a good thirty minute drive.

We headed straight to our Airbnb, steps from The Plaza and Canyon Road. Once settled we went in search of food. Thankfully with the list our host left (replete with her favorites, distances, and prices!) and our own, we started the trip off on a delicious note.

The Pink Adobe -- enchiladas were on point (SPICY goodness), cerveza (ok, who am I kidding, cider) cold, and the atmosphere top notch. This place wins my heart for favorite red chile the whole trip. 

And, their patio had twinkle lights...

Mark always runs with me on vacation (makes me giddy every time he does), which worked out perfect since it was taper week (for the Detroit Marathon!). 

Elevation on the other hand was an unwelcome companion. It kicked my rear. Hard. I think we were at 7,000 feet, which in lung speak is on the verge of exploding.

If anyone found one Upper Canyon Road, pop it in the mail to me. Thanks.

Too hot chile? I'll be the judge of that -- it wasn't (for me).

Breakfast at Tia Sophias -- a local favorite, as evident by the ever constant line.  Fear not, it moves quickly.

The coffee was -- whelming. You've been warned.

Breakfast burrito, with "Christmas" chile (red and green), for one. Think chorizo and breakfast potatoes, in a burrito.


La Puerta Originals -- they were closed and we didn't have a chance to pop in during business hours, bummer town. Spectacular old wood everything. Gah.

That staircase is gorgeous and magnificent, with no visible means of  support.

I mean, magic.

Drinking Chocolate at Kakawa Chocolate House. Adorable place. A small cup will do, its so indulgent it only takes a bit.

Turtle truffle? Have, mercy. 

Coyote Rooftop Cantina -- the, "maybe hot, or maybe not" jalapeno shooters. The cuban sandwich and fries were -- legit. Great rooftop, be sure to go at sunset!

Pro Tip: The Coyote Cafe is always packed (and a bit pricey), the Cantina (on the roof), is the same kitchen, drool worthy views, and, a fraction of the cost. You're welcome.

Mizuno for life.

Trails for days -- its a hard knock life for this runner. 

Chez Mamou -- sustenance as we made the mile long trek (on foot, with a broken suitcase wheel) to the hotel where the conference was being held.

Quaint, french charm, and breakfast potatoes. 

What else do you need? Nothing.

El Dorado Hotel

Adobe awesomeness.

Our room wasn't ready, so we dropped our bags at the concierge and set off for a hike. 

Canyon Road -- an artists dream. A windy, quiet pedestrian road full of art galleries.

Wiford Gallery is magestic, you must see it.

(via Instagram)

Our airbnb was tucked near Canyon Road, and the hotel was across The Plaza, about a mile away. So we walked our belongings to the El Dorado, then back tracked up Canyon Road to the trails off Upper Canyon Road (where we ran each day).

It was overcast, with the clouds ever looming as we pressed on (like fools). We were about 1/4 way onto the trail when it began to pour -- Mark, ever the outdoorsman, suggested we "tuck under a tree and wait for the storm to pass". I, ever the I-may-get-bit-by-a-tick, said "that sound like a horrible idea", turned around, and started the trek back out.

Longest non-hike. Ever.

Stopped for lunch at El Farol, noted as the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe. The wood/peg floors made me salivate. Had flash fried avocado for the first time, whoa. Took me to a whole other level of avo-goodness.

Part of my duties -- Welcome/Registration

Perks of putting together one zillion swag bags? Extra chocolate bars to hoard in your room while you watch Revenge.

Dined at Restaurant Martin with my peer and his wife (like last year in Palm Beach) -- Cafe Pasquals was booked solid, much to Marks chagrin, but more on that later. 

It was an experience, from entering the door you were treated like royalty, perfect service (not too in your face, not too absent), and the food?!?! 

Hold me.

Starters -- butternut squash bisque presented in individual carafes, tableside (we were SO confused why our soup bowls contained croutons only initially).


Entree -- I had the Salmon (perfectly cooked to my high maintenance standards -- over well, slightly charred), and Mark had the Lamb chop/cheek.

There was also wine. Obviously.

Conference welcome cocktail hour, in the Presidential Suite, with panoramic roof top views of the city. I desperately wanted to take one of those massive adobe fireplaces (there were three!) home.

Gym workout, sans elevation. I'm not tech savvy enough to work the tv, so thank goodness I had my phone to watch the Amazing Race.

Breakfast at Swiss Bakery

Tiramisu at 7am is a brilliant idea.

Thankfully the registration crew got to take turns getting lunch,  so Mark and I ran to Tomasitas -- local hot spot, plus everything was amazing.

Chile, me

Pay nary a mind to the massive luggage under my eyes, and instead feast on that fried goodness known as soapilla. 

Friends, I got invested. Warm-honey-rolling-down-my-arm invested. Go big or go home. 

That evening we had dinner on our own (most meals were at the hotel via the conference and delicious I may add), and Mark was going to implode if we didn't try Cafe Pasqual's a place that came highly recommended on everything we researched and by the locals. Seating is limited (44 seats I think), so when we got nixed for a reservation Sunday, ever the kind fiance I am made one for Tuesday night. 

First, cocktails at the Cowgirl Cafe. We had been successfully eating our way through town, and sadly weren't able to dine here (really, we ate all the food, all the time) so we swung by for a drink before dinner. Great atmosphere, live music, and cold cider. 

Guys, its worth the wait. 

Cafe Pasquals, charming, full of character. Reminds me of family dinner -- everyone is talking, eating fantastic food, and smiling. Add in the menu is seasonal and farm to table, hello lover.

Starters -- Bacon wrapped mission figs.

Mind. Blown.

Worth every penny.

Bouillabaisse -- heaven on earth. 

Dessert -- cookies (snowball and thumbprint) to go. 

My belly was full, but I'm no quitter. 

Our last day the conference adjourned early so people could explore before the dinner/dance that evening. 

Since we'd be pretty much everywhere on foot, we he  thought a bike ride would be fun.

Melow Velo hooked us up with some sweet cruisers. Which were perfect because I'm bike challenged and the handlebar controls mean nothing to me and I end up on the ground, bleeding.

See those tires? I was pretty much guaranteed by Mark and the sales guy I'd be, "fine", hands us a riding map, and sends us on our merry way. 

Mark glides, I bumble, awkwardly, alongs the streets of Santa Fe, and stopping?!?! Let's just say I'm not a graceful as my mom would have hoped after all those years of ballet she funded...

Mark took mercy on my soul, stopping for lunch and any chance I could to not be on that death trap.

Second Street Brewery -- green chile burger and sweet potato fries make everything better.

After our pitstop, we weaved through town and to places we hadn't seen on foot in the days prior. Santa Fe is such a neat city. 

There is a really-effing-steep road on route, so I, hopped off and walked my bike up 90% of it, as Mark plowed ahead like we were walking on sunshine...

At one point, an elderly  Hispanic man pulled over to ask if I needed a ride home. That road was ridiculous y'all. Sadly, Mark had circled back to make sure I wasn't about to be taken, and my rescue car left me, walking that damn bike, uphill the rest of the way.

Don't get me wrong the views from the top were incredible, but biking uphill is for the clinically insane.  I'll run hill repeats till I vomit, but bike uphill -- I'm not about that life. 

Once we got back to flat land, I returned my bike faster than you could say "bike", and headed back to the hotel to work while Mark headed back off into the sunset like a kid on Christmas now that I wasn't slowing him down anymore.

Cocktails were at the Georgia O'Keefe museum (cat corner from the El Dorado)

This was my favorite part of the trip -- Georgia is my idol from way back when I was an art history major pouring over her work. Its exquisite. 

The gallery was expertly done and felt as she'd just left it, I could live there. Or take all the art home. 

Dinner was yummy, and the band was a crowd pleaser -- once dessert and after drinks we headed to the room. Maybe we partied too hard? Nah.

Departure day came all too soon, and, sporting the loveliest of matching hangovers we packed, checked out and went in search of breakfast before we headed to the airport. Stumbled across the street to Pinon Grill for wonderful service and underwhelming-oh-my-gosh awful food.  Had we not felt like death we would have walked to Cafe Pasqual's for breakfast, but, hangover.

Tip: don't consume a burrito, hungover, before flying.  It doesn't end well. 

On our layover in Dallas we parted ways (I cried, like a weirdo), him back home to Saint Louis, and me on to Detroit for two special reasons...

Seeing this gal, and running my first marathon. 

To be continued...

Email me


  1. I desperately need to travel - and eat - with you.
    And bike up a hill? BAHA!! Straight madness right there.


site design by designer blogs