Our first day was spent by and large in Albuquerque where we stopped by some favorites and encountered a few new ones.
Before i go on, i can't help but mention that Gustavo and I we on the constant look-out for Mr. Walter White or Jesse Bateman...we are having some serious Breaking Bad withdraws and none of our hotels seem to be having AMC.
(dear Holiday Inn Express, please work on that!-image from AMC.com)
Our first stop, literally as soon as we got off I-40 was the popular Chili Addict shop where you can pretty much find anything hot (especially a fantastic collection of out-of-print cook/garden books which of course purchased). Bought a few gifts, some red-chili honey (yowza!) and some things that will make a few great classes in the coming months...
(talk about being overwhelmed with hotness!)
Directly after (mind you we haven't even checked into our room yet) was the NM-uber-popular Blake's Lotaburger. If you haven't been to Blake's, this is basically what you are missing: In-N-Out smothered with NM Hatch green chilies-DELISH! If you are driving though this state (and Blake's is ONLY in NM), it is worth the stop just to try them out-just do it!
(chili fries- tell them you want GREEN CHILI added to the fries or you just get fries with chili...kind of confusing but i know you can do it)
After a quick rest, we headed over to the downtown area. The area very much reminds me of Santa Ana-lots of new businesses coming in owned by young people. Lots of handmade, local food type things coming in. We had a nice meal at a new place called Farina and even better was the cute little shop next door called The Octopus and The Fox where i bought a super cute pillow with the NM flag on it made from old sweaters...they place totally reminded me of my Road Less Traveled Store...