I’ve been sharing a recent trip my family and I took to New Mexico, where we took in a lot of Route 66 sites. You can catch up on Part One and Part Two. Today, I’m going to wrap up this trip with our final post and by entering into New Mexico.
I mentioned before that this portion of the trip was on my birthday. I decided for my birthday dinner I wanted a New Mexican feast…and queso…really I just wanted queso. I mean, we actually ended up stopping at a restaurant in Texas that boasted New Mexico green chile menu items, so I’m fairly certain queso is what I was really after. The restaurant was Leal’s Mexican Restaurant in Amarillo, and it had some decent Tex Mex. It was lovely birthday dinner (minus the meltdown that Little B had), which in turn left me alone at the table for a good 20 minutes while Mr. B dealt with it. Perhaps the boys were paying me back for not stopping at Big Texan for dinner. For all I know they could have been out in the parking lot discussing how much better a 72oz steak would have been.
We had a hotel booked in Tucumcari, New Mexico, so after dinner we hit the road so we could settle in for the night. On the way we were treated with a beautiful open country sunset. Can we just all stop and admire how beautiful this world can really be?
Tucumcari is well known for its kitschy motels and they were the happening thing back in they heyday of Route 66. We decided on a more traditional hotel for our stay. The next morning we did get a chance to check out Tucumcari. We shopped the Tee Pee Curios, which is said to be the inspiration for the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars. We also checked out The Blue Swallow Motel (a Route 66 classic), but that SD card has seemed to disappeared 😭.
Our next stop was in Santa Rosa, NM at the Blue Hole. If you’re a water person, make this stop! It’s a clear as can be diving hole. It’s so clear the visibility is a 100’, due to the fact that the water completely renews itself every six hours. The temperature is also a constant 62 degrees, so bring your wet suit!
Our last stop before reaching our destination was in Albuquerque. We grabbed lunch in a classic Route 66 diner. This diner is located in a former auto shop. The hydraulic lift can still be found underneath the hop scotch tiles. This place has a great green chile burger, but make sure to save room for the milkshake!
After our lunch stop we headed north toward the mountains and had a wonderful visit with our family. We did make a couple of stops on our way back that I want to share and one of them is my favorite!
The musical highway is a must see ♪♪. This can only be accessed when driving east and requires just the smallest detour off the interstate. I promise, it’s a very short and small detour and totally worth it…Mr. B didn’t even roll his eyes on this one. You can find it west of Tijeras, NM on Hwy 333/Route 66. Look for the musical road signs between mile marker 4 and 5 and follow the instructions on the sign! Sorry for the sideways video….
We also stopped at one of the many ghost towns that you can find along the route. It’s so sad to see how a town can just shrivel up and die. This particular ghost town is in Glen Rio.
The last stop was in the great state of Oklahoma at the Cherokee Trading Post in Calumet. This is a huge store that is great for souvenir shopping, restaurant, rest area, and even some live buffalo spotting.
There are a few more spots in New Mexico that I would like to stop at the next time we make the trip.
Tinkertown- a collection of mechanical motion miniature figures.
Tent Rocks- well, ya know…rocks that look like tents.
Historic Microsoft Headquarters in Albuquerque.
Russell’s Travel Center in Glenrio.
Billy the Kid’s Two Graves in Fort Sumner.
To sum up, this trip is special to my heart. It’s something that our families need to do a lot more of. Get in your car, ditch the electronics and fast paced amusement parks, and check out this wonderful country we live in. Our own family came away feeling a little more patriotic, but most importantly, feeling a lot closer.