Our vacation began with a trip by car up I-25 to San Antonio, New Mexico. Anyone who knows Beez also knows that he never passes San Antonio without stopping in at the Owl Bar and Cafe for the world's best green chile cheeseburger.
Our ultimate destination for the day was the Courtyard Marriott in Albuquerque. The hotel will let you leave your car in their lot as long as you stay one night at each end of your trip. Since parking would have cost us $8.00/day elsewhere, this was a great deal for us, and it ensured that we had a leisurely beginning and ending to our journey.
We took advantage of another great Albuquerque deal, and stopped by the Albuquerque Public Library to sign up for library cards. They will issue a card to anyone in the state, so we each brought in an application (printed from their web page before we left home), picture ID, and proof of residency (our car registration worked just fine, as it had our home address and was in both of our names). I don't plan to stop in at the library much, as it is a three and a half hour drive from home. However, I can download free e-books for my Nook digital reader from the library website, and they have some great titles in a much larger and way more up-to-date database than our local library offers.
Then we stopped by the train station to print out the tickets Beez had already purchased online at home. I've said it before--he did a beautiful job of planning this trip. Everything was thought of and everything was done ahead of time. He had even programmed each destination into his smart phone, so a little voice in his pocket told us each turn for everywhere we wanted to go.
|Amtrak Train Station|
With all our business done, we headed up Route 66 to act like country mice, snapping photos right and left. I loved the tiles on this building...
... and there were murals everywhere I looked.
|Be sure to click to enlarge so you can read the book titles|
Intentional mural or graffiti? You decide...
|Independent film studio|
After checking in at the Marriott and freshening up, we headed back down Central Ave. for an elegant supper at The Standard Diner. Nothing standard or diner-ish about it at all, unless you count the fact that they serve meatloaf, and even that is prepared and presented with panache. You can see their menu here. The Standard was featured on The Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives," which we had seen on TV about a month or so ago. Watch this video, and you'll be craving some upscale diner food.
Then we headed back to the hotel to enjoy the sunset from our little balcony and to get all rested up for our train journey in the morning. Next stop: Chicago!