Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fry Bread Power!!!

June 17, 2011

La Quinta did have a continental breakfast which is a huge time and money saver and usually everyone can find something they like. After checking out, we headed to Old Town, where:

The American International Rattlesnake Museum
202 San Felipe N.W.
Albuquerque, NM 87104
(505) 242-6569

is located. The museum has over 50 kinds of snakes, mostly venomous, as well as other desert dwellers like the Gila Monster, turtles, scorpions, tarantulas, and toads. Snakes totally give me the willies, I kept involuntarily shuddering as I got up close and personal with all the different varieties of rattlesnakes. Some were housed together and lying in a sinister pile of poison, not unlike the rattlesnakes in the stomach of the corpse in the abandoned mine in a scene from True Grit. The kids absolutely loved it, especially when they each got a rattlesnake temporary tattoo at the end of our visit.  Ian liked the Colorado River toad best. Emma liked when the blue-eyed copperhead was following her movements with its head. Aidan’s favorite part of the museum was the white snake that followed his face up the glass. The director, Bob Dyers, told us to say hello to Clyde Peeling from him the next time we got to Reptileland in Allenwood, Pa., and we’ll get a great personal tour from him since he and Bob and buddies.

We walked around Old Town for a bit and stopped in:

San Felipe de Neri
2005 N. Plaza Street Northwest
Albuquerque, NM 87104
(504) 243-4628

a 300-year-old church showing off  New Mexico’s Spanish Colonial roots. We also popped into some of the shops to look at souvenirs. Ian keeps finding pocketknives with his name on them (literally) and begging me to buy one for him. Maybe I should and then give it to him for his birthday. Emma and I would have liked to buy some beaded moccasins, but decided not to. 

After so many days of overloading on grease and carbs we decided to eat lunch at:

Sweet Tomatoes
4901 San Mateo Boulevard Norheast
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 888-6131

which is a salad bar, buffet-style restaurant. It is an all-you-can-eat chain that has make your own salad ingredients or freshly made salads. I had (my favorite) dried cherry, blue cheese, mixed greens, red onion, and pecans, with sour cherry vinaigrette. I also had some clam chowder and cherry nut muffins with whipped honey butter. The kids all said it was their new favorite restaurant. They all ate a ton of salad before they hit the rest of the buffet. Emma had mac and cheese, Ian had meatball soup, Aidan had pizza. We all ate soft serve for dessert. Our meal at Sweet Tomatoes cost us half as much as our meal at Midpoint Café and we got double or triple the amount of food.

Travel Tips

1.     1. Have a bunch of quarters ready in one of your cup holders for toll roads, penny arcades, and gumball machines.
2.     2. Use the suitcase you previously emptied to store your dirty clothing until you can launder it. This will keep it from stinking up your clean clothes.
3.     3. When going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, have everyone load up on salad first to make sure they eat their veggies before letting them loose on the breads and desserts.
4.     4. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit in the car complete with Gas-X, Pepto, Neosporin, and lots of Band aids. You will need ALL of the above.
5.     5. It’s not a bad idea to bring a small bottle of Poo-pouri or air freshener on       
your trip. Five people all sharing the same bathroom after eating at greasy spoons . . .
6.    6.  Charge the batteries to your camera every single night or you might miss              
some spectacular photo opportunities like I did today:(.

We drove six hours from Albuquerque, NM to Tuba City, AZ to stay in the only hotel we are paying for so far on this trip:

Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites
US 160
Tuba City, AZ 86045
(928) 283-4500

The hotel is kind of unique in that the Hopi nation has repeatedly refused to put casinos on it’s land and instead opted to build a hotel for visitors at the entrance to the Hopi nation. The hotel itself is really beautiful in its mixture of Native American and modern American design. The pool was warm and clean and we also enjoyed soaking our aching muscles in the hot tub. There were free cookies up for grabs at the front desk, but since we were sneaking Ian in, he didn’t get one.

I wanted some authentic local food and ordered a Navajo taco from:

Hogan Restaurant
Main Street & Moenave Road
Tuba City, AZ 86045
(928) 283-5260

It was scrumptious! The fry bread was chewy without being too oily. It also had refried beans, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, jalepeno peppers, and salsa. It was huge, but that didn’t stop me from eating it all. I also ordered a 20 oz. coke so I could stay up and get some work done. Everyone else ordered food from Subway which I won’t lower myself to write about.