Thursday, June 30, 2011

Travel Ideas

From our road trip up the California coast to Canada last year

Our vacation is coming up. I can't wait!

Henry, Matt, and I will be flying into Albuquerque and then renting a car to drive to Taos for a wedding, then Denver to catch up with old friends, the Estes Park area to visit the B&B where we got married, and then to Breckenridge where we will be meeting up with Matt's family for a week.

Travel is so important to me. It's one of the few things I absolutely need on a yearly basis. I look forward to my yearly vacation with Matt. Last year we took a road trip from California to Canada. The year before that we took our belated honeymoon to Paris and Greece (for a sailing trip around the Greek Islands!). The year before that we took a road trip from Colorado to California. Next year, I want to go to Kauai (with a couple families with children).

Matt and I have a tendency to pack too much into our vacations, especially our road trips. Case in point: We almost decided to drive from New Mexico to Colorado to Utah and back. I'm glad we left Utah out (sorry, Utah!). I'm glad we're slowing it down this time.

Do you all have any recommendations of places to go in any of the following locations?
  • Albuquerque
  • Taos
  • Denver
  • Estes Park
  • Breckenridge
  • (Or anything along the way between those places)

We're already making a list of all the places we want to eat in Denver:
  • Yak and Yetti
  • Watercourse
  • Beau Jo's
  • SAME Cafe

I also want to hit up the Saturday morning farmer's market in Taos, which I read about in a recent issue of Sunset Magazine. And lots of hiking (and sleeping!).

Can't wait!

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julie said...

Sounds like a fun trip- we have lived in/near a few places you are stopping. I would also recommend Vine Street Pub in Denver (or either of the 2 sister restaurants in Boulder), they have simple but tasty pub food (very veggie friendly) and of course, great homemade beer. In Taos we really like Taos Pizza Outback. Hope you have an amazing vacation!

Miss Molly said...

If you have time to make it over to Boulder, the Boulder Tea House is ah-may-zing! The food is great and the architecture is fascinating. And it's right near Pearl Street so you could easily do a little wandering and people watching afterwards.

Kelsey said...

Sounds amazing! So glad that you are traveling with the little one too. We love to travel and I think my husband equates having a baby with the end of our traveling days but I think that traveling with baby is completely possible, just requires adjustment and flexibility. Granted, we will probably not be able to afford to do as much traveling abroad but there are many amazing places to explore in our country, even within our home state of Arizona.

Robyn said...

Hi Sara, I live in Frisco, Co, very near Breckenridge and have a few recommendations. First, the food up here isn't great. Lots of steak places. I would recommend My Thai in breck for a quick meal. And for fancier dinning the Blue River Bistro.

You won't have a hard time fining lovely hikes around here, but one of my favorite is called Mayflower gulch. Another is on Hossier Pass (just South of Breckenridge. There is a trailhead from the top that is lovely. I'm happy to give you more specific directions to a trail head. Feel free to email at

Enjoy! The weather is lovely right now.

Sweet D said...

I have never heard of the restaurants you mentioned, but I would recommend getting Lola (fancy) or Benny's for mexican (put green chilie on everything), Steuben's on 17th street, and obviously hitting up Rock Bar for a bangin good time! (my advice: go after midnight)
In Breck, the only good club is Cecilia's, but Mi Casa has pretty good mexican food. Kenosha Steakhouse was pretty good and fair priced for a group, but I understand if you're not into that.
Estes Park is amazing, so I'd probs just walk along their tourist strip and find something that sounds good. Maybe try the Nepal Cafe?
Hope to see you all here!!

Allison Campbell said...

Frontier restaurant in Albuquerque has the most amazing green chile enchiladas!

Sharry said...

Hope you have a great trip!


What do you do with Hoss and your chickens? Does Hoss go to a doggy day care or does a neighbor watch over him?

Are we going to see more Henry month-by-month pictures? : )

Julia said...

That's what our honeymoon is too! We're flying into Phoenix, then driving to Santa Fe, then through the Four Corners to camp in Moab, UT, and then across the mountains to my home state of CO! I hope you guys have an amazing trip, it is such a gorgeous area.

When you're in Denver:
-You have to go to the 16th St. Mall. People watching, hanging out, good restaurants, just a really cool place.
-Brown Palace Hotel for tea, if you get a chance. It's this gorgeous historic hotel that does a high tea every afternoon (maybe at 4? Not sure).
-The DAM (Denver Art Museum) is incredibly cool, and so is the park around it (Civic center park I think it's called).
-The Zoo and the Botanical Gardens are also really cool.
-Red Rocks Amphitheater is AMAZING. Look on their website and see if anyone you like will be playing there.
There's so much to see in Denver though, you really can't go wrong.

Near Breckinridge is Vail, and they have a concert series at this outdoor ampitheater there. I saw the New York Philharmonic Orchestra there one time, but they have really awesome performances. This is the website:

If you're in Estes, take the gondola up to the top of Prospect Mountain. You can see wild chipmunks (which are adorable) and watch the guy blow glass and make all kinds of cool stuff!

Anyway, I hope you guys have a great trip!!

Sarah said...

I'm from Albuquerque and have been living in Denver for the past 7 years (after 5 years in Houston :)). Tons of great restaurants in Abq., but Sadie's for Mexican is definitely a great choice. I would take a little side trip on your way up to Taos to the town of Madrid. It's on the Turquoise Trail between Abq. and Santa Fe. Very quaint and artisty (is that a word?). Also, even though you are planning on staying in Breck, you really should try to get down to Crested Butte. It is far and away the best mountain town in Colorado.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thank you all for the comments and e-mail messages! Can't wait to put them to use.

@ Sharry: Hoss goes to doggie daycare (his absolute favorite place; we just gave them a calendar of Hoss photos!). We ask a neighbor to watch over the chickens. They are very low-maintenance. And, yes, I will post Henry's monthly birthday shots! I owe you three months and four...

Dineya said...

If you can I would HIGHLY recommend staying at Casa Gallina in Taos.

Richard is a wonderful and gracious host. The girls (aka chickens) will provide you with wonderful eggs every morning and Richard encourages you to give your veggie and fruit scraps to the girls. He has a garden with lettuce,herbs and veggies that you can make a wonderful salads with. The seating under with willow tree is perfect for reading a good book and/or enjoying morning coffee! We had a wonderful time there and can't wait to get back!! Have a wonderful vacation!

Ingenue said...

Oh gosh, I live in Albuquerque. Knowing that you'll be here is like knowing one of my favorite rock stars is coming to town! I highly recommend the Explora Children's Museum. (Secret: It's seriously WAY too much for for grown kids too!) Our zoo is also really beautiful. If your in town on a Thursday or Friday evening there are very affordable outdoor concerts at the botanical gardens and the zoo, respectively. You can get the details here:

A simple hike in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains is also lovely. Or riding the world's longest tram to the mountain peak is a breathtaking ride! Check it out here:

Also, our city has a super great website. Look here and click on museums or anything else for cool stuff:

Have a blast!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Ingenue! You're making me blush. Thank you for your kind words. Made my day!

stef said...

Buena Vista has the most awesome pizza and you must stop in leadville which is the highest town in america.

Can't believe a new zealander is given an american travel tips. The weirdness that is the interweb

Word said...

I lived in ABQ 10 years ago, and here are some of our favorite places: (1) The Range Cafe- the original one in Bernalillo, just north of ABQ, or the one in NE ABQ; (2) The Frontier Cafe for yummy food and people-watching; (3) lots of great Indian and Vietnamese places scattered around town; (4) Dos Hermanos for awesome breakfast burritos. There are lots of great places to eat New Mexican food outside, like El Pinto on the northwest side of town or El Patio near UNM. And I second the vote for Madrid! We took all of our out-of-town guests there for pizza, etc. I've been to Taos a few times too, but I can't remember where we ate, just that we found some great food there. Have a nice trip!

Emily said...

Given that you've mentioned your love for Amy's, I'd definitely suggest Liks (2039 East 13th Ave) or Sweet Action (52 Broadway) for a sweet treat in Denver. Love 'em both!

Kelly Love said...

Watercourse in Denver is one of my most favorite restaurants anywhere - hooray!

I was in Taos last year with my vegan and vegetarian family and our favorites there are El Gamal -
and Raw To Go -

We also love stocking up on healthy food at Cid's while we're in Taos.

Your trip sounds amazing - have a wonderful time! :)

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions already from ABQ people. I suggest when you're out and about and need a quick but delicious bite to eat, go to a Flying Star ( cafe. They are a local chain all over Albuquerque and usually have nice patios.

Autumn said...

Henry is still a bit young for him to enjoy it, but the YMCA of the Rockies is just outside of Estes Park, if you have never visited before, it is FANTASTIC. Tons of daytime activities you can sign up for (my husband and I took archery lessons and went on a fly fishing excursion), incredible hiking, just a ton of fun. What a wonderful time of year to drive out west, have a great trip!

Anonymous said...

ABQ suggestions are good, but I'd go to Los Cuates over anything, the food simply rocks.

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