Traveling is like childbirth. Once you look at the result, you forget about the pain.
When my parents announced last year that they were buying a house in Santa Fe, I thought they had lost their minds. “Santa Fe? All the way in New Mexico?”. They pointed out that it was closer and easier to get to than Chile (where we have a family home). They didn’t seem to appreciate how ridiculous that sounded, so I gave up. I assumed it was some sort of late mid-life crisis and that they would come to their senses.
Thank goodness they didn’t.
Getting to Santa Fe was a journey. We left the house before 7:00 am with three suitcases, two carry-ons and a diaper bag. An Uber took us to Newark Airport where we flew to Denver, took a tram to grab our luggage, found a bus to get our rental car, and drove to Taos, NM. In Santa Fe’s defense, we did add Taos to the trip and we did drive the long way through Colorado. Sounds like an odd choice for us and our diaper-wearing/medication-needing boy, but we wanted to see as much as we could. It was worth it. Colorado is spectacular. The layers of mountains and color made for a bearable six hour drive and some pretty amazing photographs (of corse, I only drove for an hour . . . ).
We arrived to Taos around 8:30 pm and found a local restaurant. We were exhausted, but did enjoy a nice dinner before finding our hotel and collapsing quickly into bed. Unfortunately, I drew the short straw and had to share a bed with Jack. It’s not something I would recommend, especially when you’re really tired. He wiggles and kicks and pees. A trifecta that doesn’t lead to a great night’s sleep. I woke up cranky, wondering why my parents couldn’t have gotten a house at the Jersey Shore like everyone else. Santa Fe is really, really far away.
We had a light breakfast at the hotel and did our best to see as much as we could around Taos. Then we had lunch and, between the food and the charm of Taos, I started thinking that maybe New Mexico wasn’t so bad. But, we still had a couple of hours before reaching our final destination. Why is Santa Fe so far?
Back in the car heading to Santa Fe we enjoyed the landscape, but had our fingers tightly crossed that we would’t need any emergency diaper stops. Our journey just kept going on and on, until finally WAZE told us that our exit was in .5 miles. We’ve never been so excited.
We pulled off the exit and suddenly the interminable trek to get there seemed to evaporate.
Santa Fe is not the easiest place to get to, but once you arrive, it’s breathtaking. A perfect combination of art and food and shopping and hiking and really good spa treatments. If only it were closer to the ocean, it would be called heaven.
So now I get it. My parents aren’t nuts. There is something magical about Santa Fe (New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment). It also looks a lot like Chile and the quiet pace of life out there is a wonderful balance to my parent’s busy lives in New York.
We had a wonderful weekend celebrating 50 years of Juan and Jean. Although there were hours and hours of planes, trams, and automobiles to get there, it was worth it. And, Jack managed to NOT create any sort of funny/awkward/smelly stories along the way – or no more than in a normal day in Maplewood.