For the first time in my life, I was able to plan a road trip route, and drive it myself. This was a huge step for me! I was in total control of where we went, and how I got us there. It was so freeing, and exciting, and mildly terrifying, all at the same time! I was going to take us on an adventure!
Our first not-so-planned stop was at the Sandia Resort and Casino. We stopped in to see what they had to offer for dinner, and Awesome K (or A.K, as I like to call him) mentioned that the Poker Room was decent, so I thought it was worth checking out for myself. Sure enough, he was right! The poker room was set apart from the casino floor, enclosed in a half walled room towards the back of the casino. In it there was Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and live action Keno to be played. A.K and I got sat at the same poker table (which I normally don’t like to do), right next to each other. It worked out fine this time, which was nice. Being in a new casino, in a new state, it was nice to have a familiar face so close. I have no idea if there was alcohol served or not, as this was an Indian Reservation casino, and there was no smoking in the poker room, which was nice. They did, however, serve a delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream. Not my normal table drink, but it really hit the spot that night!
After one hand of Hold’em, we knew we had found a new favorite spot. The action was fast and loose, and there were a few people ready to give us all their chips if we let them. A.K took a couple of them up on their offers, and I even allowed a few chips to come my way. I don’t remember any of my hands, of course. I need to get better about taking notes at the table, without looking like I am taking notes at the table of course. I do remember getting quad 8’s, though, which made for a decent pot win. One thing I know I need to work on is raising, betting, and that sort of thing. A.K also pointed out a couple of my “tells” that I need to focus on. Easy fixes, I think. A.K and I both boosted our bank rolls a little bit, which was nice.
We left Albuquerque, NM, on President’s Day morning to head back home to Lakewood, CO, with a few carefully planned stops along the way. Ok, well, one carefully planned stop, and few “hey this sounds awesome” stops. After grabbing a Starbucks to go, we were off! Our first stop: Taos, NM.
I have been in love with Taos since my first visit there when I was about 10. My grandfather let me ride along with him on a business trip once, and sort of plopped me in the middle of the Taos Plaza – told me to not get into any trouble – and left me there for a few hours. It was my first memory of real independence (well…allowed independence). I remember the shops, the atmosphere, and the feeling of my first adventure alone. It was amazing! I had been a couple of times since, and I couldn’t wait to show Taos off to A.K! After a couple of hours in the car, we were there! I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited to finally be back in one of my favorite towns.
We stopped at a local brewery, Eske’s Brew Pub and Eatery, just outside of the Taos Plaza. I ordered a Buffalo Bacon Blu-Cheese burger and a pint of their red, and A.K ordered a cup of their famous green chili, and a regular bacon cheeseburger (I don’t remember his beer choice). The beer was OK, the burgers were pretty good, but the green chili blew me away! If you go to Eske’s, you HAVE to try the green chili, it is by far some of the best I have ever tasted. Ever. Ours had turkey in it, which I also recommend. If I could have taken a jar of that, I would have!
After our brief lunch, we hit the Plaza. It was a lot like I remembered it, but, of course, a lot has changed in the 20+ years I have been there! It was a gorgeous day to explore, and A.K was willing to let me walk around a bit, so that’s exactly what I did. He was a good sport and went into a lot of the little shops with me, and let me ogle some really great hand painted tiles in one spot. I ended up with one that had a kitty on it (surprise surprise) from Taos Mercantile Company. They had a few other great tiles, but we didn’t know where we would put them, so we left them behind. I might have to pick some of them up, though, on our next trip through.
After a lovely walk through the Plaza, A.K and I decided to head back into Colorado. Our next stop? Alamosa!
I have only ever ridden through Alamosa, and don’t remember ever stopping there for anything other than a tank of gas. This time, A.K and I stopped at the San Luis Valley Brewing Company, and then a tank of gas. In the short time we were at the brewery, I started to really like Alamosa. It has a very homey feel to it, with a lot of local support, which you don’t run into everywhere. The beer was also pretty amazing! I had an Oatmeal Stout, and tasted a coffee beer that was phenomenal. I was brave, and tried their Green Chili Lager, and was impressed. It’s not something I could drink a lot of, but it was an interesting taste – in a good way. We also tried the artichoke dip, which was, of course, delicious. This is where I saw the Beer Drinkers Guide to Colorado map for the first time, too. I know A.K and I will be picking up on in the very near future. I recommend you pick one up, too, if you happen to love beer and be near Colorado.
Once we were on the road again, we decided to take the “Cosmic Highway” coming back, but by the time we got onto, it was pretty dark and overcast. We missed the UFO Watchtower, unfortunately, and we didn’t see any aliens. I did see a couple of sign posts warning that aliens might steal my cows, though, so that was cool. Not to worry, though, we will DEFINITELY be headed back down there sometime soon.
So, other than that, and stopping in Poncha Springs, Colorado, at the only gas station/bar I have ever seen (and missing Elevation Beer Company), our ride home was pretty uneventful. Which can be a good thing. A.K, however, did discover his new favorite satellite radio station – Backspin Old Skool Rap. That was a real treat, although not as entertaining as watching A.K sing along.
We arrived home safely, much to the rest of the AwesomeSauce Duo team’s great pleasure. They were not invited on this trip, and made it a point to tell us all about being left behind. Almost all the kibble was eaten out of one of the two bowls left behind, they could have starved. STARVED! (I might want to mention that the “trip coordinator” leans toward the dramatic at times).
Now to plan our next adventure! Where will the AwesomeSauce Duo end up next? Find out in a future installment of Are You Ready? to see where we end up, and what happens along the way!
This post brought to you by G-Sauce. G-Sauce is a member of the AwesomeSauce Duo, and author in the Are You Ready? blog series. She works closely with the AwesomeSauce Duo P.R Manager – and Mews – Sir Archer Funnyfoot, with the Trip Coordinator – and Mews – Miss Matilda Pants, and with the Head of Logistics – and Mews – Secret Agent Sam. She loves a good cup of coffee, enjoys reading, and has a soft spot for all things nerdy.