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How my cabin in the woods turned into a motel in Albuquerque…

One crucial bit of information I left out of my previous post is that I’m going to Santa Fe, New Mexico in mid-June to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday (or to shop and drink with my baby sister, depending on who you’re asking. She’s better at shopping, I at drinking).

I know New Mexico very well; I’ve lived there twice (Clovis and Albuquerque) and my mother has lived there off and on since the 1970s. North of I-40, it’s a gorgeous state with a great mix of country and city. I can tell you what’s best on the menu at Duran’s Pharmacy (yes, they serve food there) and how to shop for earrings and where to go for brunch in Santa Fe (Tecolote).

Many of you responded on- and off-blog with great ideas based on what I asked for. But suddenly I said to myself, “Self,” I said, “why don’t I change my ticket and hang out somewhere in New Mexico? There are various motels in Albuquerque, retreat centers, the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, Ghost Ranch, and other places I know and trust. I will enjoy a few days by myself and won’t have long drives to get somewhere nice.”

Self liked that — a lot. Self loves New Mexico and would live there again if she could (we came close four years ago).

I even mulled extending my reservation at the Santa Fe Sage Inn, where my sister and I are staying for my mother’s wingding, but would rather have a different venue for writing than for my family visit. (When we’re plush, Sandy and I stay at the Santa Fe Hotel, which is gorgeous and comfortable. But the Sage is a do-right kind of place.)

So I’ve changed my ticket, made a reservation at Albuquerque’s Monterey Nonsmoker’s Hotel — a funny name, but a genuine Route 66 motel, and not one of the scary rundown Route 66 places but a sweet place now managed by Europeans — put out feelers to retreat centers, and so forth. I have a place to stay that will be great (I may refer to it in future posts as the Monterey Nonsmoker’s Writing Retreat Center) and if I find something more interesting or apropos before the cancellation period (48-hours prior), well, go me. (It might be wise to stay there at least the first night anyway, since my flight gets in late.)

Oddly, everyone who gave me tips is responsible for my success here. I know you were helping me find places in the area, and those are all wonderful “file for future reference” places, and yet your suggestions pushed the gears so I thought around and beyond “Plan A.”

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