Santa Fe day one
Our day started at 3am. Those 5am flights sure are a bitch. But, on the flip side, hardly anyone was headed to Houston at that hour and we both got upgraded. The food still sucks in first class (I have never tasted a biscuit that tasted less like a biscuit) but at least it's easier to sleep. We arrived in Albuquerque before 11am.
We got on the road and headed north of Santa Fe for what should have been a 2-hour trip but wound up being three because we kept stopping to take photos. Also, driving a Kia on a dirt mountain road is rather scary. Did you know there are mountains in New Mexico? Well there are.
Jeff got us an invite to check out the only North American monastery that brews beer, hence the drive along the mountain pass. The monks were incredibly welcoming. Monks' Ale is now available in Philly so look for it (not to be confused with Monk's Sour). They didn't offer us any, unfortunately, so I can't comment on the taste yet. They have a Belgian pale and a Wit and they were working on a Belgian triple today.
Just as we were leaving we were asked to stick around a few more minutes to attend the 3:30 service. A large window in the chapel offers a breathtaking view of a colorful rock face. The monks chanted a couple Gregorian chant style hymns. Half the monks sat across from the others and they alternated lines. I'm so glad we stuck around for that even though we were faint with hunger.
A hamburger with avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion sounds like it might be gross but I assure you it is delicious, especially when eaten in a roadside fast food joint called Dandy's that looks like it was built in the 50s and has not been renovated since the 80s.