2022 Adventures in Albuquerque

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience

Eleanor Roosevelt

Me gusta mucho Albuquerque. Will has family there, so we try to visit every year whenever that’s possible. His grandparents are in their 90’s so we knew we’d make it a point to visit. This was more of a ‘let’s go see family’ trip, but we ended up seeing and doing SO many new things that I couldn’t resist writing a blog post for it.

ABQ always surprises me in the best ways each time we visit. It’s such a cool town and constantly changing. Plus the drastically different scenery from where I live is always a breath of fresh air literally and figuratively. So, read on, friends! Go see what shenanigans we got up to this trip!

Day 1: Airports, Reunions, and New Friends

4am came too soon, but my excitement helped me survive. Luckily, we have an awesome airport 30 minutes away in Harrisburg which saves us from making the trek to Philly almost every single trip. Our flight arrived on time for our connecting flight and can I just take one second to praise the Dallas Fort Worth airport?

It’s MASSIVE but it also recently underwent renovations in certain terminals. They’ve always had some of the best assortment of airport restaurants I’ve seen, but that’s not what I want to talk about… THE BATHROOMS. Bathrooms of the future. The entrance tells you how many stalls are open and how far away the next bathroom is. There are lights above each stall to tell you if it’s occupied or not. No more awkwardly bending over to look for feet. Each sink had a faucet for soap, another for water, and another to dry you, so you had everything in one spot. All to yourself. I don’t know which genius thought of this but I appreciate that person.

Moving on from my airport bathroom love story. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with Will’s grandparents, aunt, and uncle. One of my favorite parts of the first night was getting to know Will’s cousin’s wife. She was one of the coolest people I’ve met in a while and we clicked instantly. It was great catching up with family and making new friends over dinner.

Day 2: Everything but the Kitchen Sink

I’m one of those people who gets up early even on vacation to workout. I absolutely love it. What I love most when I’m in ABQ is taking a morning walk. Now, I’ve been visiting this town for years and even visited the Petroglyph National Monument. What I didn’t know was that there was an entrance with tons of walking trails a 5 minute walk from where we always stay… Needless to say I was beyond excited to make this discovery, especially so early into the trip where I could spend more time walking there. Seeing the sunrise over the Sandia Mountains and watching the sky change colors while in the desert, in one of my favorite areas of Albuquerque was the absolute best way to start the day.

The rest of the morning we spent driving around to different places Will’s cousin wanted to show his wife. We got to see hatch green chiles being roasted which we had never seen before. New Mexico is the only place on the planet where hatch green chiles are grown. They are also one of the most delicious peppers ever and go with literally every savory food. Every time we go I try to eat as much as a person possibly can and there are never any regrets. Once we set off again, we stopped at Ex Novo, a new-to-us brewery that had lots of outdoor eating and a great selection of drinks. Highly recommend this brewery! I’ll post more about it in a future post.

Next stop? LUNCH! We wanted an authentic green chili meal but weren’t familiar with any restaurant in the area. After a few minutes off research we ended up at Monica’s El Portal Restaurant. I ordered the green chile soup with a side of sopaipillas. Oh man, this might have been the most delicious food I had the entire trip. Sopaipillas are fried bread that is hollow in the middle. Most people add honey inside and then want to consume 4,696 more in one sitting. They’re that good.

Since we were so close to Old Town we decided to explore the shops and walk around. Old Town is filled with Native American and local shops. It’s always a good idea to stop here and see the amazingly creative items for sale. We stopped at Blackbird Coffee House and it was honestly so stinking cute inside. Will got an iced coffee with chocolate and chile flakes and LOVED it. I wanted to eat every pastry on display.

Next up was a cider tasting at a new winery that popped up called Noisy Waters Winery and Cellars. They had a great selection of wine and ciders, plus a few fun flavors I’d never tried like guava cider. Their live music was awesome and you could even get cheese and prepackaged green chile stew mix.

I was instantly drawn to our next stop, Oaxacan Zapotec House. They had handmade metal sculptures on every surface of their shop. You name it they had it. Giraffe riding a tricycle? Yeah. Flowers of so many species? Yes. Lizards, birds, mythical creatures, etc. All of it. Will bought a flower and what did I get? The most adorable armadillo holding a flower. I don’t often buy myself presents, but I wasn’t leaving New Mexico without it.

A new store opened in the year-ish since we last visited dedicated entirely to one of our favorite shows, Breaking Bad. Melinda and I were SO excited we basically ran inside. The store could’ve easily just been selling Breaking Bad items, but it took it a step further. We could explore a replica of Los Pollos Hermanos and Saul’s office. On display were several of the original costumes which I loved getting to see.

By that the time we left the store and walked around a little more, it was time to head back for dinner. We broke out a ridiculously complicated puzzle and spent some quality time with Will’s family. We also ate a stupid amount that night, so Will and I took a sunset walk. All in all, it was such a great day.

Day 3: Chores, Walks, and Date Night

Of course, I started my day with another walk on the Petroglyph trails. Yet again, the views did not disappoint! We spent the morning helping out with chores around the house and in the yard. Since there were a bunch of us, we ended up getting a lot done which was a great feeling knowing we did something that helped out his grandparents a lot.

Will’s cousin and his wife left for the airport and Will and I had a fun day planned. It turned into a whole day of brewery hopping to tons of places we’d never been before. Our first stop was Bosque Brewing and it was by far my favorite. The views of the mountains and the food were incredible. We could’ve spent all day there hanging out and going through their menu.

We still had plenty of time to kill between lunch and when we could check into our hotel, so we ended up at Brew Lab. It gave me Breaking Bad/mad scientist vibes and I was completely there for it. They even had a tiny beaker I could get a cider in, so it was definitely a win.

We were going to head to the hotel, but we saw a really neat looking place while driving by and spontaneously decided to stop to grab Will a beer and to experience another new place. The Salt Yard was basically a sport lover’s playground. This was the ultimate sports bar with TVs everywhere, foosball, arcade games, and lawn games. While I’m not a big sports fan, I loved that there was so much to do and look at while we were there.

Like true Breaking Bad fans, we wanted to stay at the same hotel/casino, Isleta Resort and Casino, Walt stayed in during one of the later seasons. Unfortunately, the one location in the hotel where the show was filmed wasn’t open during the hours we were there… Next time! Regardless, the hotel was really cool!

We explored a little and realized we didn’t really want any of the food at the resort. It was either very fancy and overpriced or food court vibes. We weren’t in the mood for either so we made our way to Bombs Away Beer Company. It’s a brewery made by veterans and fully embraces the military style. It was such a cool place to visit, especially because they leaned fully into their brand and style. They had the BEST sandwich I’ve had in Albuquerque. I can’t recommend their paninis enough.

Back we went to the casino, where we lost money. We cashed out with the 42 cents we had left. Even though neither of us made any money, we had a ton of fun playing slots together.

Day 4: Breakfast Date and the Journey Home

Breakfast is Will’s favorite meal of the day and I love me some outdoor seating and a breakfast burrito. Luckily, Java Joe’s was serving up all of those. We knew we wanted to go out to breakfast since it was something we’d never done when we were in town. After some Googling, this coffee shop seemed like a really great option, so we gave it a try. It’s now somewhere I’m going to HAVE to go back to during our next visit. Fun fact: this was also a filming location in Breaking Bad!

We spent the rest of the morning helping out around the grandparent’s house. Our flight home was smooth and the pets were ridiculously happy we got home even though it was after midnight. All in all, it was another great trip to Albuquerque.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a brewery guide to Albuquerque! It’s in the works!

4 thoughts on “2022 Adventures in Albuquerque

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s