Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day Five: From Los Poblanos Historic Inn to Durango's Historic Strater Hotel

John and I were reluctant to leave Los Poblanos this morning after only one night. It is a gorgeous piece of property with so much to see and do we could have stayed a week - and may do so on another trip. Everything there, in every detail, was done to perfection. It is at the top of my list of places to revisit.

Photo: Outdoor and indoor dining options for breakfast at Los Poblanos

Photo: A view of the Territorial style dining room at Los Poblanos

Photo: Breakfast starters - homemade apple ginger cake, fresh fruit, fresh-made yogurt, and fresh-squeezed juice

Photo: Breakfast special - a potato cake made with three cheeses served on a bed of sauteed leeks, chicken apple sausage, eggs (over medium) cooked to perfection; with organic coffee

Photo: Interesting vegetation between buildings

Photo: Gardens at Los Poblanos

Photo: Vegetation growing on the roof of the building overlooking the gardens

Photo: Beautiful walkways with intricate stonework

Photo: Sculpture overlooking lily pond

Photo: A view to the inn's lavender fields

Photo: Farm store where lavender products and gift items are sold

Photo: Farm store's resident cat

Photo: Front entryway at Los Poblanos

Photo: One of several seating areas inside entrance of Los Poblanos

Photo: Entrance to Reception area

Photo: A view from Reception to entrance of Los Poblanos

Photo: Handicap parking sign

Photo: On the road between Albuquerque and Durango, a 220 mile trip

Photo: Our room at the Strater Hotel in Durango, a completely restored historic landmark

Photo: At the Diamond Belle Saloon in the Strater Hotel

Photo: A real cowboy poet!

Photo: John watching the show - an encounter between the Tequila Trio Gang and the Sheriff

Photo: The Tequila Trio Gang knocking back shots at the bar

Photo: Through the window of the saloon, watching the crowd of onlookers watch the end of the show

Photo: Two expert piano players entertaining us; one is the featured musician, the other an outstanding musician sitting in with the headliner

Tomorrow the Cowboy Poets!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day Four: ABQ and Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm

Photo: John, enjoying train travel a little more each day

John went to sleep early last night. I stayed awake for the service stop in Kansas City. I had lived and worked in KCMO for several years early in my software career and wanted to see how much it had changed.

Photo: Service stop in KCMO

After walking the platform at Union Station for a few minutes, I settled into a comfortable seat in the Lounge/Observation car to watch the city lights disappear into the darkness as the train continued its journey into Kansas and beyond. 

Eventually, I returned to our room, but found it hard to sleep. After climbing in and out of the top bunk twice, I decided to put the gel foam mattress on the floor. It was a perfect fit when laid perpendicular to the bottom bunk. I finally fell asleep, lulled by the motion of the train.

We slept through first call and second calls for breakfast. When I heard "last call," I rang for the sleeping car attendant to make up our room and bring breakfast, since we wouldn't be able to dress and get to the Dining car before end of service.

The scenery outside was beautiful. What a day! The closer we got to NM, the more it looked like home. NM is a place where those who have gone before sometimes tell their stories to writers in dreams. Today, I recalled stories of Santa Fe, Glorietta, Pecos, Espanola and Abiquiu. NM is truly "The Land of Enchantment" for me. I love the land and I am honored by all who have shared their stories with me. May I do them justice.

We had a late lunch in the dining car with a man who has made more than 60 trips on the Southwest Chief. Amazing! Hearing that this was John's first long-distance train trip, he shared his thoughts on adjusting to the slow pace, the small rooms, and the unpredictable schedules that make train travel unique and interesting. We both appreciated hearing the opinions of a veteran train traveler.

Photo: Station stop in Raton, NM

Photo: A view toward Raton,  NM

Photo: Parking lot at the Amtrak Station in Raton, NM

Photo: This UPS truck kept pace with the train for many miles

Photo: Dark pinpoint in upper center of photo is the only tree for miles

Photo: A watering hole

We arrived in ABQ a few minutes late, but it was no problem. I called Enterprise Car Rental and a driver picked us up after a twenty-minute wait.

Our driver said the  Netflix production, "Longmire" (one of our favorite shows), films in Santa Fe and does some of its city shoots in Albuquerque. The show has a "base camp" set up next to the Enterprise Car Rental location. "Enterprise has all the contracts for movies made in the area," he added. 

The driver asked if we were staying in town. I said we would be at the Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm for one night. "That's a really nice place. Tina Fey stayed there a couple of nights ago. I picked her up. She's working on a movie in town . . ."

I guess I chose well.

Photo: Reception at Los Poblanos

Photo: Our suite at Los Poblanos

Tomorrow, on to Durango!