Spicyland in AlbuquerquePosted: March 8, 2014
I must admit, I needed a bit of a spelling lesson for Albuquerque….Al-bu-quer-que! There, that’s not so tough.
DT and I made a quick trip to New Mexico last weekend, my first time in this fine state! Our mission was clear: attending the 2014 Fiery Foods Show at Sandia Resort and Casino. We stayed on site – the hotel is really quite impressive, as you will see.
So….remember Hellraising Hot Sauce? Yes, well, we’re still working on that little project (hopefully more to come soon!). The Fiery Foods Show was an opportunity to do a little fact-finding, see what others in the industry (“the industry” – fun to say that!) are doing, and glean some inspiration.
Here, our accommodations:
We had a beautiful view from our room and saw some really amazing skies over the course of three days, starting with this. The Sandia Mountains are right there.
After settling in a bit and shaking off the flight, we set off to explore. Sandia’s lobby is massive and leads right into the casino.
Sandia’s grounds also include a golf course – a sandy one at that. The terrain here is so different from what we see in Minnesota – mountains, desert, dusty, tumbleweeds….we left behind three-foot snow drifts!
We took a cab downtown and strolled down Central Avenue.
It was quieter than we would have imagined.
We ducked into Maloney’s for some beers and a snack.
After Maloney’s, it was about a mile and a half walk to Old Town.
Old Town is filled with quaint little nooks like this….if my feet hadn’t been aching with blisters from new shoes (rookie mistake), we would have meandered for hours.
We stumbled into QBar in the Hotel Albuquerque, smack-dab in the midst of their happy hour, how fortuitous. Following our vodka/tonics (DT) and Sauvignon Blancs (me), I waited in their glowy lobby (see issue with feet/shoes above) while David made a dash to St. Clair Winery, upon recommendation from the super helpful gal at the front desk.
Vino for the room!
Had a little trouble with this cork…. :-\
Friday morning’s view:
We continued to roam around Sandia on Friday before the show started at 4:00. Their pool was closed for the season (bummer), but the hot tub was open. We played Yahtzee on the patio. :-) [Another slight unexpected for us, although we had checked ahead....the weather was actually quite cool while we were there, around 40-50 degrees. Which was about a 30-40 degree improvement from where we came, so nearly anything was better. And windy - so windy there in the foothills.]
Saturday was overcast and rainy – clouds covered the tips of the Sandias.
DT and I loved our visit to Albuquerque, as quick as it was. Our biggest lesson: we should have rented a car. And stayed just a bit longer. And 6 am flights on the way home immediately cut the trip short. So, I guess three lessons.
Since the resort was a bit removed, we had to rely on cabs to/from downtown and Old Town on Thursday. At ~$35 each way – well, it wasn’t feasible to do much more than that first day’s jaunt, so we felt a little stranded once we returned back to Sandia. Of course Fiery Foods consumed a lot of our time thereafter, but with a rental car we would have had the option to come and go as we please without such a hit to the travel budget. (Note: Sandia Resort has a free shuttle to/from the Albuquerque airport – very slick.)
Also – Breaking Bad fans? I would’ve loved to take a spin though the neighborhoods of Walter and Skyler, Hank and Marie, and Jesse Pinkman. The ABQ location addresses can easily be found – we could have done our own little tour.
Also – Santa Fe is only about 60 miles away, an easy day trip or little bonus add-on before or after Albuquerque. I hear it’s lovely there.
But that’s okay! This was a great scouting mission and we’re already plotting our 2015 return. Our lessons learned will be put to good use. So until then….