Well, before Christmas came I got back from visiting my sweet boyfriend and his family for the holidays and BOOM…it hit me. A terrible, terrible, got-hit-by-a-train-feeling cold/bug. I was in bed for 2 days and not feeling too hot… But hey, at least that gives me some time to blog, right?! So far this break has been all over this place, but in a fun way! I went from Statesboro to Athens, back home to Charlotte, then flew to New Mexico for a few days with my Mom, then back home to Charlotte, then up to Athens, Atlanta, and now I’m back home in Charlotte. WHEW! Who knew I’d be traveling so much over break? I finally have a chance to settle now, get well, and enjoy some time with friends and family.
The main trip we planned was a fun mother daughter trip to Santa Fe, NM and wow, was it incredible. My first time ever to New Mexico, and I would definitely go back. Such a nice break to get away, enjoy some snow (!) before this 72 degree Southern Christmas, good eats, and an entire spa day. SPA. DAY. Yes, it was unbelievable.
The first day we flew in, we had time to walk around and explore the area, as neither my mom nor I had ever been to Santa Fe. Santa Fe is known for it’s good food, incredible art galleries, and Native American and Hispanic culture. We checked out an art museum and I found a delicious warm golden milk from a real cool, local Oxygen and Healing bar. This place had a hippie, voodoo, chill vibe that was super interesting, and I could have easily just hung out there for a bit and listened in on the meditation talks the locals were having.
After exploring and taking in what all Santa Fe has to offer, we got our first dinner out, and wow did the rest of the trip have to live up to these expectations. We went to a small tapas place called “La Boca“, which without reservations, would have been a no-go, so we were lucky thanks to our concierge Felix, who was the bomb dot com. This tiny little restaurant was homey, and welcoming as we were walking around for 10 minutes in the freezing cold trying to find it.
We split 4 different tapas…all were PHENOMENAL. Pictured above were some roasted brussel sprouts with a to-die-for sweet pepper sauce, and a NY strip steak with a sea salt caramel sauce. OH MY GAHHH. Our waiter suggested it and he hit the nail on the head…this was the most sweet, savory, tender piece of beef I’ve ever tasted. This is why I don’t eat meat often….because when I do, it’s for special occasions and it is a REAL treat!
The next day before we went shopping and exploring, we got a late brunch at a famous eatery called Cafe Pasquals (this place was in the latest Bon Appetit if you’re a foodie mag reader…it’s that good.) Nothing better than gluten free toast topped with avocado, turkey bacon, poached eggs, and dukkah spices. Is that food porn or what?!? So good to have so many restaurants that have gluten free options available. Santa Fe was full of them!
We took a day trip outside of Santa Fe to explore the local Pueblos, Low Alamos where the first atomic bomb was created, and some old ruins in a state park. On the way home, I dragged my mom to a local juice bar I read about and it was SO worth the extra 20 minutes. The juice bar was just as I expected; a clean, white layout with few decorations, focused on a large fridge with fresh pressed juices and locally made health snacks like seasoned nuts, flax and carrot crackers, and broccoli and sea salt dusted popcorn. This place blew me away! I decided to try the Beet Mocha (which I did not expect to be as freaking AMAZING as it was…definitely going to recreate) and a refreshing green juice, both pictured below. I saved one of the gorgeous bottles to use for when I make my own home juices…the beet mocha is going to be my next experimentation!
It also snowed while we were there, with the Christmas lights in the plaza ablaze it was a picture of winter beauty.
For my mom and I’s Christmas present from my Dad, we got to save the best for last; the last day of the trip we drove up to mountain to an amazingly secluded, calming japanese spa called Ten Thousand Waves. This spa day was even more surreal with the surrounding landscape covered in soft, pillowy snow. We walked in and proceeded to get a private hot tub spa to hang out in outside before our full body massage, head and neck relaxation treatment, and full body salt scrub. If I could describe a day in heaven, this is what it would be like. I can’t even put into words how amazing this spa treatment felt after 4 months of intensive internship rotations and over 2 hours of commuting every day. THIS WAS SO NEEDED. I never wanted it to end.
It was a fabulous pre-Christmas trip that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Spending time with your Mom when you don’t get to visit home often is such a treat! The food, the wine, the scenery, it was all glorious!