It was absolutely gorgeous, with clear skies when we hit the road. We continued on I25, which is a straight shot to Albuquerque. Well, not straight as the crow flies, but driving on the same freeway. Upper 80’s, a few gusts of wind in some places, and soon time to scout out the map for a lunch break. We decided to stop off in Trinidad, which is just north of the Colorado/New Mexico border. It’s a cute little town that is partially revitalized. By that I mean that it has the formula that we have been observing all across the nation – an “historic” downtown area with local artists and lots of makeshift museums and an array of typical tourist shopping items, dotted by galleries for local artists. A lot of the “historic” places to eat that had been advertized on the road signs looked shaky, so we settled on the Corner Cafe, which isn’t on the corner but close enough, I guess. I picked the spinach and feta quiche, and it would have been great except I was served the mushroom and swiss cheese version instead. I had been so hungry I didn’t notice till the second bite, and I figured it was too late to send it back. But the tea water was wonderfully hot and hit the spot, and as a bonus was served in a Tuxton mug. Family thing, the Tuxton mug. But no spinach for me.
Trinidad was originally a mining town. It must had been quite the town in its day, since there was a huge First National Bank, as well as an Opera House from 1887. A lot of brick, and well appointed. Believe it or not, on the way out of town we found a Safeway fuel station and saved thirty cents on the gallon. Right near the station was “the last steam engine train” on display, as well as an original Carnegie Library. Cute town, that Trinidad.
The freeway interchange frontage road system in Albuquerque is a lot like the one in Austin – confusing. But we made it to the hotel. After a quick car unload and directions from the woman at the front desk, we were soon walking about Oldtown Albuquerque, making a beeline to the Church Street Cafe. This cafe is really a converted home, an (or The) original home in Albuquerque. Pretty large capacity. Nice rustic feel, cozy in several rooms, with musicians roving from room to room. You can almost consider it a romantic atmosphere. Patio dining, too, but it was too humid for us for that. Bozo ordered a local beer and the New Mexican version of Chile Verde, I ordered a local cabernet franc and the house specialty tamales, which came with three vegetable sides. Ah, I can get my spinach at last! Well, guess what. Got the wrong plate AGAIN. Twice in one day -is the universe trying to tell me something? Not to be deterred, and forearmed from my previous experience in Trinidad, I called the waiter over before I touched anything and I got my spinach. It was good, too – sauteed and spicy. Yum. Happiness at last. After dinner we explored Oldtown, but it was pretty much shut down with little traffic, even though it was temperate enough to enjoy the evening. Wonder what the people of New Mexico do during Labor Day weekend? A mystery, indeed…..