BETWEEN OKLAHOMA CITY AND SANTA FE. The drive from OKC to Santa Fe was, by far, the longest leg of the journey with a straight 10 hours in the car. Neither of us have ever been to the southwest, so we were excited to hit the road early! We wove around (really, really) hilly roads, passed through the Texas panhandle, and sprayed our initials on the existing thick, gloopy painted cars at Cadillac Ranch.
SANTA FE TO ALBUQUERQUE. We spent only one morning in Santa Fe, but luckily, there was a street festival going on around the corner from our hotel! After grabbing brunch at Cafe Pasqual’s, we walked a lap around the fest, and we hopped back in the car for a drive down the Turquoise Trail, a scenic byway connecting us to Albuquerque. It was at this point that our surroundings really started to change, and we were all, wait, stop here! Let’s take a picture! (5 minutes later…) Wait, stop here! Let’s take a picture! And so on, as we do.
ALBUQUERQUE. Man, do we love Albuquerque! Having both grown up in the Midwest, we were in awe of what could (but definitely shouldn’t!) be considered commonplace – the cacti, the adobe everything, the mountain backdrop and the vibrant colors tucked into road signs and highway underpasses. We toasted the city with brews at La Cumbre (which Scott insists is the best IPA he’s ever had), and we vowed to not be those people that drive by Walter White’s house. We did, however, breakdown and take our rental car through his wash. So, we sort of failed. Albuquerque favorites: La Cumbre Brewing, the Nob Hill neighborhood, the southwest salad at Bistronomy B2B (OMG), brunch at Grove Cafe.
BETWEEN ALBUQUERUE AND FLAGSTAFF. The drive towards Flagstaff felt so magical; the landscape is so, so pretty! It’s sort of what I imagine a summery dream reel to look like – a repeating loop of blue skies, cotton candy clouds, fluffy foliage and low mountains. On the other hand, we did stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and we were rewarded by no less than ten mosquito bites. That’ll show us.
FLAGSTAFF TO SEDONA. With Flagstaff as our home base, we took a day trip down to Sedona to see Red Rock State Park. Not surprisingly, the drive was out of this world gorgeous, and every time we thought we’d seen the best of those red rocks, we’d drive another minute and see something even more stunning. It just kept getting better and better! It began raining before we had a chance to take a mini hike along Bell Rock, but it only made for more vibrant reds and greens. I didn’t take as many photos in Flagstaff, but we still have our highlights. Flagstaff favorites: brunch at MartAnne’s, pizza at Pizzicletta, drinks at Lumberyard.
Tomorrow, we go off the beaten (Route 66) path – just a bit – and finish up at the Santa Monica pier!