We followed Rte 64 into Taos which gave us altitude (over 10,500 ft) at its peak, waterfalls, thunder followed by some rain, alpine lakes and meadows. The road rolled along over the sagebrush plains for a while and then suddenly on one of the highest suspension bridges in America (650 ft), crossed the Rio Grande Gorge. Matt wanted to test out the tripod to get a family snap so we all jumped out in the rain and stood still for some time on the edge of the gorge. Even today, 24 hours later, Dan says that is the highlight of the trip so far - standing in the rain and sticking out his tongue.
We decided to go with the Lonely Planets recommended restaurant - Orlando, but have to say we were disappointed. Mostly with the service, but the food wasn't as spectacular as we hoped, although a second margarita and we'd probably have been raving. We are staying in a great place on the edge of the historic part of Taos, which is convenient, but nothing beats a soccer field size green space outside our door for the boys to run wild.
Day 5 was spent discovering Taos. Matt and the kids spent most of the morning in Wal-Mart getting cables (and restocking the DVD library) while I flittered from gallery to boutique around the plaza and backstreets. I think we were all happy with the way we spent the morning.
At the back of a toystore we found an amazing 'secret kids garden and play area' that kept the kids entertained until they couldn't climb, paddle, hula hoop or slide any more. So it was back to a cantina to refuel - Matt and I still on southwestern cuisine, the kids reverting to All American hot dogs, hamburger and chicken nuggets.
We did some sightseeing late in the afternoon after a swim before heading out to eat again. Tomorrow we think we'll diet and return to our budget. Which should be a little easier to achieve - we spend the next two nights Camping in Santa Fe.
Day 4 was spent mostly in the car, driving from Farmington NM to Taos NM. The kids DVD players got a great workout, Tom probably holds the record for most movies seen in a single session, but Aviva and Daniel would argue that he only watches the trailers before getting bored and moving on. Matt and I required no more visual stimulation than the scenery. It was such a pleasant change to go from the dry hot desert of Nevada & Arizona to the verdant greenery of northern New Mexico. We stopped for lunch in Chama - noted for its Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway that took miners into Colorado 9 miles away, but for us it was just a way to silence the cries for food from the back seats. A decent meal though and a spicy start to southwestern cuisine.