Somebody's having a Birthday!

Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
Trip End May 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Monterey Motel

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Thursday, July 8, 2010


We arrived at our hotel a bit on the late side last night, but we were quite pleased to see that the lodging suggestions in our Official Route 66 Travel Guide were spot on! The Monterey Motel in Albuquerque is a wonderfully maintained relic from the old days, a typical 60's "travelin’ shack" whose style most of the older folks will probably remember.  Unlike the current trendy multi-story motels we’re used to seeing at every freeway interchange, this is off the “superslab”, and its single-story design allows you to park right outside your door (not in a big lot where you’re forced to haul your luggage either through a main lobby and up the elevator or through a side security door and up some stairs), which means that access to your room is about as easy as easy gets!  And even though we expected compact accommodations with very few amenities, we were pleasantly surprised at the generous size of our room, complete with 60’s décor and 60’s wallpaper, but noticeably narrow doors.  And the swimming pool was vintage freeform curvilinear 60’s too, and went to 9’ deep (not 3’-4’ which is about all you find in “today’s” motels)!  The owners are a European couple who are wonderfully friendly and obviously love Albuquerque.  The woman gave us more suggestions on must-do attractions than we could do in a month!  It's people like that who really make a place feel like home and make you want to come back.  So all by way of saying, what a great find for lodging!  If you’re ever in Albuquerque, it’s worth a stay here!

John’s cousin Linda lives in Albuquerque, so she took off work part of the day and pampered us by “personally catering” our breakfast right to our room, with fresh fruits, juice, coffee, and some wonderfully scrumptious morsels (breakfast burritos and killer cinnamon rolls) from a great local eatery – the Frontier Café.  Seriously yummy!  Thanks much, Cuzz!  If you’re ever in Albuquerque, I’ll give you her number…………..maybe she’ll do the same for you!  ;-)

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around the Plaza area in Old Town.  Lots of Native American Jewelry (which Lisha just loved..."Look, Mom, more fashion!!").  Carrie got to do some birthday shopping and came up with a great set from the Zuni Pueblo that included black onyx, mother of pearl, turquoise and coral.  Aren't birthdays wonderful!

Our afternoon of exploring led us to a place called Explora, a cross between a kids museum and a science center.  What a great place to escape the heat and let the kids (OK, and Mom & Dad, too……) just immerse themselves with all the fun activities these places have to offer!  We thought we had some pretty good kids places back home, but this one is hands-down, thumbs-up awesome!

Driving through Albuquerque along the original Route 66 path led us past some superb authentic relics from the old days, one notably was an old Texaco gas station that had been converted to a coffee shop/bistro, but which had maintained all of the character from the original building, including the gas pumps in the middle of the outdoor seating area, the service bays which house the indoor seating area, and the original Texaco star sign next to the street.  I love this stuff!

Note from Benjamin:  My favorite part of the Children's Museum was riding up and down in the big elevator.  But it wasn't just a big elevator.  It was a whole room!  There were chairs, a couch and even a picture of the Mona Lisa.  Also, the pool was kind-of scary at night because it was so big and it was really, really dark blue (the blue on the bottom made our toes blue.)  But we got to swim until it closed at 10:00 at night.  That was cool.

Note from Lisha:  I love looking at the jewelry.  I bought a necklace and bracelet at the trading post where a real Indian lady was doing the beading.  She told me that her grandma taught her to bead when she was my age.  I liked the museum too because there was a big art room.  I did three crafts.  They had lots and lots of supplies.  Mom helped me do my crafts.  I told her I want my art room at home to look like that one. It was my mom's birthday.  Oh and I liked the fountains in the museum.  It was very cool how it all squirted water way up high.   From Lisha

To celebrate Carrie’s birthday, we found a small little out-of-the-way restaurant on a little alley in the historic district of Albuquerque called the Church Street Café.  My oh my, was it ever THE taste treat!  Excellent food, incredible ambiance (we sat outside in a private courtyard in the shade of a canopy of flowering trees), and of course the tell-tale mark of a good Mexican restaurant – outstanding margaritas!  Oooh-la-la!!   If you’re ever in Albuquerque…………………oh well, enough of that, you know what I’m gettin’ at…………. ;-)

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Rebecca on

Happy (late) birthday Carrie! Working so hard here it must have slipped my mind... even more reason to have a big make-up-for-lost-birthday-celebrations-party! :-)

Liese on

Bethany is getting a big kick out of Ben's and Lisha's comments! She said to me, "Sounds like I have a lot in common with Lisha; she likes fashion, I like fashion, she likes to do crafts, I like to do crafts... Oh, and with Benjamin too-he likes to swim!'" :-)

Vicki Whitaker on

Happy Birthday, Carrie! Just checked out the blog, and it's pretty cool! (It would be better if you guys had taken me along, but oh, well! Looks like you're having a great time! :)

Mary Nelson on

So, happy birthday, Carrie and keep on blogging. What fun to read all this. We're awaiting collette tomorrow for an extended visit - then off to Shaw Island on Aug. 2 for 9 days of play with family. The weather has been gorgeous since we returned from the N.d. trip - and the garden is growing.. George is fine, Hannah says. We're hoping to care for him soon!
The Wildrose Centennial was the best. We got to see lots of old, not old, friends and they were all so delighted to see Jen and the kids. ( Jen is their "kid:.) We miss you!!! Love,m

Cindy Gleason on

This is fun traveling along with you (sort of). Happy belated b-day Carrie!

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