Welcome To Santé Fe, the Land of Green And/Or Red Chilies

You know the Bitches invaded New York City last weekend, which was awesome and amazing and made me miss Boom Boom so much it hurts, and then I was off to Toronto for the week, then I got home at 11:00 p.m. Thursday night, and turned right back around Friday at noon and hopped a plane to Santé Fe, New Mexico to go to Mavrick’s best friend’s wedding. Between just moving in with Mavrick and traveling, I have not had a proper shit in over a month. Feel the sexy, people.

Even though, at 521 months pregnant the only thing I yearn for these days is a nap, I dug deep into the shell of my former self and decided that cross country travel and kinky hotel sex was JUST the thing I needed.

Mavrick is my favorite travel buddy in the world. We are super compatible when it comes to globe-trotting. We each have our books, our bags, our drinks, our snacks, and we can spend a three hour flight elbow-to-elbow, engrossed in our books, occasionally sneaking a loving glance, or an ice cube down the shirt. Usually, Mavrick lets me have the window seat. I say usually because on our flight from Dallas to Albuquerque, there was a fat man in the aisle seat. Mavrick looks at me and in a stage whisper (read: NOT AT ALL A WHISPER) says, “Let me take the window seat. I don’t want to sit next to the fat guy.” Me: “Why?” Him: “Because I don’t want to rub shoulders with some dude the whole trip!”

Oh, but I do! So yes, yes dear. Let me park my 325 month pregnant ass next to said fat guy, who totally just heard you say that, and let ME rub up against him for the next two hours in awkward silence. Groovy. By the time we got to Albuquerque, I am ready for a nap. But a nap is not to be had, because we are going on a one hour train ride into Santé Fe! At least that is what Mavrick told me in Pittsburgh.

Upon landing in New Mexico, Mavrick looks at me and says, “Perhaps I should have looked into this whole train thing a little bit more before we left.”

Me: “I thought you did. I thought we had train tickets.”

Mav: “Well, I know there IS a train. Somewhere. I think you can get there from the airport.”

Me: “So, not only do we NOT have tickets, you aren’t even sure where the train is, how to get there, how to get from the train to our hotel, anything??”

Mav: “mumblemumbleblahblah details chuck norris macgyver”

If American Airlines had the budget to hand out peanuts on the flight (they didn’t), I could have cheerfully crammed them up Mavrick’s nose. While under normal circumstances I am all for being spontaneous and seeing where the path takes us, at 217 months pregnant, after flying cross country, I just want to wring his neck.

Mavrick persists in cheerfully skipping through the Albuquerque Airport, cheerfully chirping that we have nothing to worry about and we will find a way to get to our hotel, and did I want a coffee? No. I want a foot massage and a box of wine strapped to my head, but at this point, I will be happy just getting to Santé Fe.

We find an information booth, buried somewhere in baggage claim. There is a man working there. His name is Don. I know this because his name tag told me so. I also know that Don doesn’t get to talk to too many people, and I know this because he wouldn’t shut the fuck up.

We asked him a simple question, How do you catch the train to Santé Fe? And we got the oral history of New Mexico from the Pueblo Revolution to present day, along with a detailed map to the train stop. This took roughly one hour, during which time my bladder was screaming at me for sweet relief. And then, as we were walking away, he shoots this gem our way: “I wouldn’t take the train though. It’s Friday. Rush hour. It will take FOREVER”

Don, do you think you could have mentioned this sooner? Possibly in between telling us about New Mexico’s statehood and the Manhattan Project? DO YOU??? He points us down the hall to a booth that runs shuttles from the airport to Santé Fe. We walk over, and the mountain of a woman behind the counter asks us a question that I would grow to dread during our short stay in their fine state, “So, is this your first time in Santé Fe?”

If you answer anything remotely resembling a yes, the well meaning people of New Mexico will hammer you with information. Information, margaritas, and chilies. These, as we would come to find, are the true currencies of the state.

Admitting it was your first time here garnered you three pieces of advice:

1.)    Santé Fe is the highest capital in the US. Not high as in the weed, although I saw several residents who were no doubt stoned out of their ever-loving minds, but high as in altitude. At 7,000 and some odd feet above sea level, several thousand feet higher than Denver, Santé Fe was up there. This means you have to be careful when you drink the booze. Drinks hit you harder here. People get totally drunk because they just don’t realize that the altitude changes things, you have to be careful .. which leads to piece of advice number two:

2.)    Santé Fe has the BEST MARGARITAS IN THE WORLD. When god was creating the Earth, god was all like, a huge tequila fan, and he saw Santé Fe, and it was good, and god decided that this mountain town would forever be known as the highest capital in the US that also had the best margaritas. So yes, be careful of how much you drink, but you know, bottoms up. And finally…

3.)    There is absolutely nothing in the world that can’t be made out of green and/or red chilies. You cannot order a drink or food that isn’t made with, sauced with, rubbed with, garnished with, or dipped in green and/or red chili. This applies to coffee, crepes, salads, donuts, chicken, steak, pancakes, lollipops, salsas, frites, hamburgers, ice cream, and water. Their State motto is Land of Enchantment, but they should seriously consider renaming it the Land of Green And/Or Red Chilies.

So the shuttle woman books us on the next shuttle to Santé Fe for the low cost of $90. The shuttle doesn’t leave for another 40 minutes, so Mavrick and I sit down to wait. About this time, a strange man comes up and starts talking to Mavrick. Turns out it was another wedding guest, one who Mavrick had met the previous weekend during the New Orleans bachelor party. Once I was over my surprise that they recognized each other without boobs and the smell of coconut lotion and glitter everywhere, we all decided to rent a car together.

Mavrick is able to get his shuttle money refunded; we get in our car, and head off up the mountain. We were staying at the La Fonda hotel, which is smack dab in the middle of the historic Santé Fe Plaza.

The historic La Fonda hotel. Home to Bob, the lying liar, and really thin walls.

Apparently, Santé Fe is celebrating its 400 year anniversary, and this hotel has been around for most of that time. Santé Fe takes their history and their designation as a desert town very, very seriously.

Everything in Santé Fe is adobe-style. EVERYTHING. This includes Olive Gardens, Burger Kings, and Planned Parenthood clinics. If you stand still too long, you will also be plastered over and painted a desert hue, in order to fit into Santé Fe’s historical designation as a desert town, famous for being high, margaritas, and green and/or red chilies.

THIS COULD BE YOU!

We figure being in New Mexico, there is bound to be some killer Mexican food. Since pretty much every restaurant in the plaza is Mexican, we decide to ask the concierge for some of his advice. Let’s call him Bob.

Bob wants to keep us away from the ‘tourist trap’ restaurants. This is like going to the beach and trying to avoid the sand. He sends us to the Guadalupe Café, which, according to Bob, is known for huge portions, decent prices, green and/or red chilies, and their delicious margaritas. Best in town, he says.

Mavrick and I bebop over, grab a table, and he rubs his hands in glee, foreseeing a cheap drunk for himself. That’s right. Some people take the locals’ dire warnings to watch your drinking to heart, Mavrick took it as a challenge. This is why I love him.

Our waiter, let’s call him Juan, comes over, and Mavrick excitedly orders a margarita. Juan informs us that they don’t serve margaritas, only beer and wine. We exchange quizzical looks. Bob the La Fonda concierge literally JUST TOLD us about the killer margaritas at the Guadalupe Café. Mavrick presses on, “Did you EVER serve margaritas?” Juan, “No, senor.” Well slap my ass and call me Sally. BOB LIED TO US. Apparently it’s a big joke in Santé Fe. EVERYONE has the world’s best margaritas. Even if they don’t serve margaritas.

We were meeting all of the wedding people at 9 at a local watering hole called The Shed, where they had FREE MARGARITAS, thanks to the generosity of the groom’s family. The groom’s super-duper Catholic family who have known Mavrick since like, birth, and hey, here he comes with his knocked up girlfriend. I walked in smelling like burritos and sin.

Mavrick was knocking back margarita after margarita, and after say, his seventh, he turns to me. It appears he had an upset stomach. Looks like all of those green and/or red chilies, coupled with seven hardcore margaritas, and the altitude have left him feeling not so well. Mavrick, never one to walk away from a bar when someone else is buying, decides that a Captain and Ginger Ale will fix him right up, because ginger is good for upset tummies. I sipped my water and silently wished him bodily harm.

I did my best to be charming, but it’s hard when you’re 876 months pregnant, you just flew cross country, and you haven’t shit in a month. I think I cracked at around 11:30, New Mexico time. Mavrick took me back to our hotel, where I promptly passed out, mentally promising myself that I would double up on my kinky hotel sex efforts tomorrow. Zzzzzzz.

Tune in next time for another exciting installment of Sante Fe, where mindbling learns the dangers of Mexican food and a bathroom aversion, someone takes a picture, and Mavrick discovers a microbrewery!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Welcome To Santé Fe, the Land of Green And/Or Red Chilies

  1. Important information for our trip, thanks. We’ll be there for a few days in July, searching for the elusive margaritas. Need more details on the microbrewery. . .

  2. 2 thoughts…

    I know a guy like Don, and I make sure I never stop walking when I talk to him. If you ask this guy for a pen, he’ll give you the history of ink.

    Spontaneity is over-rated. Keep the mystery… I prefer reservations.

  3. At least it’s not like Phoenix where every 15 seconds some is there to remind you, “But it’s a dry heat.” Yeah, so’s an oven!

    I think kids who grow up in Albuquerque must be the best spellers in the world. It’s my 2nd favorite town name. (Right between #1: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and #3: Tegucigalpa, Hondouras.)

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