November 21, 2016

Day Trippin' in Taos

Balloon taking off at Taos Ballon Festinval, NM

I read about Balloon Rallies in New Mexico long before we arrived. The problem? RV Parks and campgrounds that were anywhere near the big balloon rallies were so expensive we'd have to take out a second mortgage. Ok, not quite but close. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed event in the world so you know it's gotta be good. That being said I was bound and determined to make something work. Enter Taos, New Mexico. The first weekend we arrived in Santa Fe, Taos was hosting a balloon rally. It was nothing like the Albuquerque festival but it was beautiful nonetheless. Taos typically hosts 30-50 balloons in comparison to the 600 that participate in the Albuquerque Fiesta. We didn't care. We saw what we wanted to see. It was quite a drive but well worth it. I only wish we got there a bit earlier to see all of the balloons prepping and setting up for their ascension. We got to the field as the last one was going up. The kids wanted to go up so bad. I looked it up prior to going in hopes of taking them but at $150-$200 a person, that's going to have to wait.


Reno-- this kid. He wanted hot chocolate. Sheesh!

Once the balloons were up in the air we decided to explore Taos a bit more.  A few favorites:

1. River Gorge Bridge and Rio Grande Gorge State Park- Pictures are best for this beautiful spot.

Who cares about a bridge?! Where's the snack?! Pretty much how this went down.

Edson getting a closer look.

2. Earthship Biotecture- I won't sugar coat this one. We weren't willing to pay the $14 to get into the building (every dollar counts here people). It is genuinely a cool idea. We just weren't willing to pay moola to walk around a one-room building that has print outs (pretty much) of what the homes include. Now if they would've had homes available for viewing we would've been forking over the dollars willingly. Instead, we walked around outside, got on the roof to see the solar panels and the rainwater harvesting system and enjoyed the glass bottle walls and just the uniquity of it all. These completely sustainable homes are pretty incredible (even if it was just from the outside). Note to Earthship peeps: LET US IN! We want to see the houses. 


3. Twirl- Located right in downtown Taos, this is hands down THE BEST toy store I have ever been to. That's quite the feat for a mama of 3 who has been around the block when it comes to toy stores. It's pretty inevitable with  kids ages ranging from age 2 all the way to a whopping 11 (still can't get over that). That being said, this place is busting at the seams with a great selection of toys, games, dolls, puppets, magnets, science-inspired this and imagination-evoking that. Oh- and did I mention you walk out the back door to a huge play area?! YES! You know the saying, "Business in the front, party in the back", don't you? Well, this place embodies it. 


They have a huge play structure that puts all fast food playgrounds to shame. Big time.


4. John Dunn House Shops- A quaint little shopping area in Old Town Taos where I really wanted to enter every store. Did I? Ugh no. Not with three kids in tow and a husband who truly dislikes shopping. That being said it was just a lovely stroll, leaves falling, wind blowing, lanterns overhead, a couple guys singing and playing violin on a nice autumn day. I could've stayed much longer. The area was named after a famous outlaw turned businessman in Taos. You can learn more here.  


5. Vivac Winery- This is a bit out of Taos but on our way back to Santa Fe on a beautiful drive. We stopped at this place by chance. We actually passed it and Edson made a u-turn because he could tell I really needed wanted to go. He knows me well. It turned out that they were hosting a Halloween party. We came across some great costumes and I even got ticketed by a 10 year old for not having a costume. HA! We got to enjoy some live music and just relax. The kids got some root beer and juice boxes and we got wine. It was fantastic and just what the doctor ordered for me.

Did I mention they had local beers on tap, too? I think E needed it, too. 
Cayenne made some friends, danced to the music and played with the balloons! She didn't want to leave!
It was a great day. A long, but really great day. We are so thankful to be able to take these side trips to truly see all we want to see. Up until this point we hadn't experienced a fall day. I wasn't sure we were going to. I couldn't imagine it after the 100 degree days in Texas and Big Bend. I was missing Virginia big time. The leaves, the crisp air and even the rainy days. So, thank you for that, Taos. Thank you for giving us our first semi-chilly fall day complete with vibrant leaves.

I'll leave you with a picture of the truck we stumbled upon in Taos Plaza.  I really just want to meet the person behind the wheel of this thing. He/she has to have some amazing stories. No doubt about it!


  1. I seem to remember that your Dad took you to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. I definitely remember that I took you to the one in Lakeland, where you went up in one of the balloons, and I was on chase crew.

    1. Not sure if he took me to the Balloon Festival-- I'll be sure to ask. I absolutely remember going up in a hot air balloon.

      That being said, thank you for allowing me to do so many cool things! Now if you can just find another boyfriend with a hot air balloon maybe I can take my 3 kids up in one!!! Get to work!