New Mexico: Day 1

New Mexico is one of my favorite places on earth. I can’t really explain why. It’s colorful, expansive and truly an enigma; there are green, lush mountains, monochromatic desert, rocky cliffs, sandy beaches (seriously!) and really everything in between. If a place like this can’t capture your imagination, I don’t know what will.

 I very much love major cities, but I would really like to live in Santa Fe for a while to get a chance to explore more of New Mexico. People who know me seem a little incredulous about this life goal, but how can you NOT want to know more about a place that looks like this?!

The first order of business: Black Rock Hot Springs along the Rio Grande. The hot springs is literally two pools right next to the river, so you have to hike allllllll the way down into the canyon. The cool part is that you can also swim in the Rio Grande if you get too hot.

As you can see, I was really excited to get on down there- which means I got excited over hiking (not usually something I can say). There’s a first time for everything.

The path is pretty short (no longer than walking up a driveway really) but really, really steep. Unlike our other recent hike, we had a little fun with this one.

Once we got to the springs, we chilled out for a little bit. Driving can really take it out of you!

On the way back, we noticed a HUGE cave up the canyon a bit, so against my better judgement I stepped off the path and scrambled up the rocks to investigate. I didn’t find anything- which is probably a good thing. I can only imagine what lurks in there at night!

We’re staying at a kitschy motel called the Silver Saddle. I guess it was in a German Western, so it’s crawling with German tourists. I like it because each room is named after an old Western hero or movie star, and since I don’t know anything about that AT ALL, I learn something new each time I stay here. This time, we’re in the Roy Rogers room. Did you know his name is really Leonard Frank Sly? I also don’t think the restaurant has much to do with him.

After checking in to the motel we got going on the good stuff- the food! New Mexican food is THE BEST of the “Tex Mex” persuasion. We stopped at Cafe Castro, which is right across the street from the motel and is a MUST DO if you’re ever in Santa Fe.

I had an Agave Wine Margarita (seen here with a Sangria) to kick things off, and a Chile Relleno (if you’re not familiar with that, it’s a deep fried cheese stuffed pepper- yes, I can feel my arteries hardening as I type!) with red and green chile for my main course.

HBL had a chicken enchilada with red chili. 

We ended the day by going to watch the sunset. There’s a wildfire west of the city, so it made the sunset especially colorful.

Sorry for so many snaps, but trust me, there were tons more that didn’t make the cut. It’s just so freakin’ gorgeous out here!

What a fabulous start to a weekend getaway! What are you up to this weekend?


  1. Lena

    I have always wanted to go to Santa Fe for some reason. Wait how long will you be there? I have a friend from my grad school who lives there – she is one of the most interesting people you will ever meet. I wonder if I can set you guys up

  2. Anonymous

    I have a question for you Khaleelah. You travel so often, how do you manage. It must be expensive. How much do you make as a community manager? Are you saving lots of money? Do you get paid to travel from your blog? How do you do it.

    1. Khaleelah Jones

      Hey Anon, travel is a huge priority in my life. I work full time and freelance on the side just so I can save up enough money to do the traveling that I do. I don't get paid through my blog to go, I just set a goal on where to go and work until I've save enough money until I can afford to do it. With a little elbow grease and a lot of perseverance, I usually get to where I want to go!

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