I wanted to share a little vacation recap for y'all today and I'll be back later this week with my must-pack items for a ski vacation.
My family grew up going skiing in Angel Fire. We would typically drive, but since Brandon travels so much for work, we have miles and need to use them, so we flew from DFW-Santa Fe, New Mexico, rented a car, and drove to Angel Fire. We took Brandon's parents with us this year. My grandparents have a place in Angel Fire, so that's where we stayed.
+ We were up bright and early and headed to the airport for our flight to Santa Fe. The boys did great on the flight (even though American bumped us from row 9 to row 19 with no windows -- eye roll). But the pilot and flight attendants were so kind and let the boys get up in the cockpit when we landed.
+ We explored Santa Fe and had lunch at La Plazuela inside the La Fonda Hotel. It was absolutely gorgeous and the food was the most delicious, authentic New Mexican food I've ever had! We all ordered the Enchiladas del Norte with the "Christmas" sauce and a smoky margarita and we kept talking about it all week long!
+ We then drove two hours northeast to Angel Fire after a quick stop in Taos for groceries. The drive is gorgeous and I'm so thankful no one got sick on that drive!
+ The boys got bundled up and played outside in the snow at the house! We were so thankful and excited that we had lots and lots of snow while we were there! It snowed every other day! I've been to Angel Fire when there's barely been any snow and they've had to make it on the mountain, so to have that much snow for our boys' first time there (and Knox's first time seeing snow ever) was really special.
They dug a snow fort, made a snowman and snow angels and enjoyed just playing outside in the snow. My sweet little Texans were so excited!
+ We drove to Taos to explore there for the morning, and it didn't disappoint. Since it was President's Day, parking along the square was free, which was a nice treat. We walked in and out of shops and then had lunch at La Cueva, a hole-in-the-wall with delicious food! Again, we all ordered the Enchiladas NM with Christmas sauce and weren't disappointed. It started to snow just as we left, which the boys loved.
+ We skied! It was such a gorgeous, cold day and there was no one on the slopes -- a real treat. I hadn't been on skis in around 13 years and Brandon hadn't in about 10 -- and we had never skied together! So we really enjoyed that. And I didn't fall once!
+ The boys went to ski school at the Angel Fire Resort and we CANNOT SAY ENOUGH GOOD THINGS ABOUT IT! They were so good with the kids, so patient and were great teachers. Lunch and snacks, as well as skis, boots and helmet rentals were included in the price, which was a big help. The kids went to ski school from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Walker went three days to the "Lil Chiles" Pre-Ski School and Knox went two days to the Snow Bear Camp), so it gave us ample time to ski together and comforted knowing the boys were being taught by professionals. Brandon and I loved that they gave the kids GPS devices to wear each day for an added safety element, but we could also look at their progress online from the device at the end of each day; so cool! They also took photos of them and would email us each day with a link to those.
Brandon's dad skied with us and his mom stayed in The Lodge by the big fireplace each day. Since the lifts didn't open until 9 a.m. and the kids had to be dropped off at ski school ay 8, we warmed up in The Village Haus and then were the first ones on the lift each day! Note: We rented our skis, boots, helmets and poles from Cottam's Ski Shops.
+ Knox didn't love the snow or skiing, so thankfully his ski school teacher let him do his lesson inside (after what I'm sure was a big meltdown). So he came home with me each day after lunch at ski school to play in the snow to get more used to it. I actually didn't mind skiing in the morning and then coming home to rest at the house with him in the afternoons!
+ Another gorgeous day of skiing! We went down more blues this day and had a fun day on the mountain while the boys were at ski school. Our favorite runs were I-25, Jasper's, Prospectors and Hully Gully.
+ The best naps are post-ski naps! Knox rested with me this day and we both were out like lights!
+ Walker went to ski school in the morning while I stayed home with Knox and Brandon and his dad skied. Brandon's mom watched Knox in the afternoon so I could go ski. We checked Walker out of ski school early to go skiing with him. He did GREAT! We went down the Dreamcatcher (AKA the bunny slope) with him a few times and then he asked to go up the bigger lift (Lift 2), so we did that and he went down a green a few times! He had zero fear and we were so beyond impressed!
+ We returned our skis that evening and Walker cried because he was sad it was all over. I don't blame him!
+ It was our last full day, so we took the boys sledding at the Angel Fire Country Club. They had a ball! The weather was beautiful that morning and we were the only ones there. Knox actually loved it (shockingly enough) and carried his own little sled back up the mountain over and over again.
+ We had lunch at El Jefe at the base of the mountain and again ordered chicken enchiladas (of course!). It was okay; not our favorite of the trip but still good.
+ This day was honestly pretty rough. We were supposed to fly home from Santa Fe-DFW, but got notice after waking up at 5:45 a.m. that our flight was cancelled. Thankfully we were able to re-book...but from Albuquerque-DFW -- a normally three-hour drive from Angel Fire plus a $40 fee to return our rental car to a different airport than the originating airport.
The weather in Angel Fire was really bad, and we had to drive up over the mountain in fresh snow (it had snowed about 4-5 inches overnight) and unplowed roads. Brandon and I both agreed that it was the single most scariest drive we've ever made in our lives.
+ It took us more than an hour to go 25 miles to Taos, but praise the Lord, we made it safely over the mountain. This was our view in Taos:
+ We then drove south to Albuquerque and were so thankful when we arrived there! We had lunch at Backstreet Grill in Old Town and absolutely loved it! We ordered the table side guacamole to start, and the boys shared the Backstreet Nachos, while Brandon got the fish tacos and I had the street taco trio. Absolutely delicious!
+ We then explored Old Town, had a coffee at Blackbird Coffee, and then headed to the airport.
+ We were ready to board our flight at the airport and once in line, were told we were delayed indefinitely due to high winds in DFW. We wanted to cry! This was around 5:30 p.m. Albuquerque time (6:30 p.m. Dallas time) and we were all just so tired, hungry and ready to get home. Our original flight was scheduled to arrive in Dallas at 1:30 p.m., so it was just hard to hear. We finally were able to take off around 6:30 and arrived in Dallas at nearly 9 p.m. our time. I sat next to this crazy lady who didn't shut up the entire time and kept trying to chat me up with my headphones in. I felt like Kevin McAllister on "Home Alone" when he's sitting on the plane and has to put on his headphones because the guy sitting next to him starts chatting in a foreign language. Ha!
We finally got home a bit after 10 p.m. (THANK YOU LORD) and it was so nice to sleep in our own beds and have all day yesterday at home.
So, even though the trip ended on a sour note, it didn't ruin the entirety of it. We had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back again.
Linking up with Biana