A Mouse in the House in Taos

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September 5th 2014
Published: September 5th 2014
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Playas de RosaritoPlayas de RosaritoPlayas de Rosarito

Another Beautiful Pacific Sunset
We celebrated our 3rd anniversary of consecutive travel in the small Baja California town of Playas de Rosarito, Mexico. Our life was beginning to remind us of an extended episode of Amazing Race. We could hear Phil making his speech to us as we reached the mat at the end of the race. (Three years, 16 countries, 3 continents, 65,000 miles and untold number of beds, you are the winners of the Amazing Race….). We were tired and needed a nice place to rest up for a while.

We had visited Rosarito before our Europe trip and had liked it. Rosarito is 20 miles south of the US border at Tijuana and has virtually the same beaches and weather as San Diego for less than half the price. The weather is nearly perfect all year round, the residents are friendly and the food is good. We had never revisited anywhere we had stayed during our trip, but Rosarito seemed like a good place to hole up while we decided what to do next.

When we had visited Rosarito earlier, we stayed in a twelve story gated condo on a private beach. Gorgeous views, but not
San Xavier del BacSan Xavier del BacSan Xavier del Bac

Mission outside of Tucson, Arizona
much of a real Mexican town vibe. It was winter then and the town had less visitors and maybe a bit of a “see you next summer” feel. This visit would be more “in season” so we decided to take a small apartment in a local neighborhood in town so we could see what Rosarito was all about.

We spent our time walking the beach in the afternoons, making friends with the local stray dogs and meeting our neighbors. We discovered our favorite places for fish tacos and ceviche. Most of Baja California is extremely hot during June and July and many families from Mexicali and Tecate flock to Rosarito to enjoy the cooler Pacific temperatures. The beaches were full of tents and grills on most weekends. Even though only a small number of Americans visit, the 4th of July was celebrated with vigor on the beach. Nearly every family had a large arsenal of rockets and for a couple of hours the beach resembled a scene from some war movie while everyone competed for the best display.

Daily we discussed what we should do next. We discussed going back to Europe or perhaps returning to mainland Mexico to visit some of the cities that we had missed during our earlier travels. Neither had enough pull to cause us to leave the easy life in Baja and in the end we decided to stay for a second month.

After a couple of months in Baja we were itching to get going again, but to be honest we were still lacking momentum to plan too far ahead. In the end we decided to rent a historic 1920’s adobe house in a well preserved neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona. We were both familiar with Tucson somewhat from past trips and David had even lived here many years ago during his high school years.

We spent the days enjoying the comforts of touring our first city in the United States in 3 years. The roads were wide and driving was easy for a change. Tucson was shockingly hot after living by the Pacific Ocean for 2 months, but we adjusted quickly and learned to avoid the afternoon heat. We enjoyed beautiful sunsets in the evening and hikes in the desert in the mornings. The many-armed Saguaro cactus were impressive in size and
Another Taos SunsetAnother Taos SunsetAnother Taos Sunset

Our back yard in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico
a surprising number of animals could be found during our walks. We even saw a Roadrunner and a Coyote on the same day which kind of made us laugh when we thought of the famous cartoon.

We escaped the heat one day by going high into the nearby Catalina Mountains where we enjoyed the unbelievable views from Windy Point which looks out from hundreds of feet above the entire valley that Tucson is located in. Many airplanes are stored in the area near Tucson because of the low humidity of the high desert. We visited an air museum that contained planes from many eras. Tucson has many well restored motor court motels dating from the 1950’s. It was like going back in time as we drove the streets after dark looking at the brightly lit neon signs that have been restored to their original splendor.

We had nice visits with relatives who live in the area and even got to meet some new members of our extended family. It made us realize how old we are getting when we visited our niece who we still think of as being a little girl, but now
New Mexico TruckNew Mexico TruckNew Mexico Truck

In Eagle's Nest, New Mexico
has children of her own.

We stayed busy each day and August passed rapidly. Again we were pressed to figure out what to do next. We waited to the last minute and finally ran out of time to make a decision. We had to quickly decide between a couple of apartments in different states that seemed like they would work for us. In the end we decided to visit Northern New Mexico. Neither of us had been to the Santa Fe area and we decided to move to the mountain ski town of Taos, New Mexico.

Taos is a town of only 7000 people located more than 7000 feet above sea level on a vast mesa and surrounded by pine tree clad mountains. Taos has excellent skiing in winter and fills the rest of the year with arts and music festivals. Many authors and artists have made their home in Taos or the nearby area and it has an international feel that belies its small size.

Scores of art galleries and boutiques fill the main plaza and live music can be heard during the week in the nicely restored square. Most
Desert Hikes in TucsonDesert Hikes in TucsonDesert Hikes in Tucson

Windy Point, high above Tucson
of the houses are built in a style to resemble the Native American Pueblo that is located just outside of town. New Mexico has its own unique cuisine heavily influenced by Mexican food and the delicious local peppers that seemed to be incorporated into just about every dish.

We live in a comfortable cabin-like house located just outside of Taos in the small village of Arroyo Seco. We enjoy spectacular sunsets from our kitchen window as we prepare dinner. Often we put preparations on hold to go outside and watch the Technicolor shows. After the sun sets the coyotes begin their nightly serenades to each other. We saw one pass a few feet behind our house one afternoon recently. The Milky Way brightly lights the nightly sky on clear nights, often interrupted by the flash of a falling star. If clouds block the stars, we are equally as entertained by distant lightning that periodically lights up the sky.

We occupy our days with long drives to Bandelier National Monument to tour the ancient Native American cliff dwellings or taking the so-called Enchanted Loop to visit the small towns that surround Mt. Wheeler, the highest
Last Rays of SunLast Rays of SunLast Rays of Sun

The view from our Taos Kitchen
point in New Mexico.

As much as we have enjoyed our time visiting Arizona and New Mexico, time is rapidly passing and we will soon be on our way again. Or perhaps, like so many visitors before us, we may end up staying longer than we had originally planned.

Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Mission near TucsonMission near Tucson
Mission near Tucson

San Xavier del Bac
Saguaro Cactus SunsetSaguaro Cactus Sunset
Saguaro Cactus Sunset

Gate's Pass near Tucson
Our first Taos SunsetOur first Taos Sunset
Our first Taos Sunset

Arroyo Seco, New Mexico
New Mexico ChurchNew Mexico Church
New Mexico Church

San Francisco de Asis in Rancho de Taos, NM
Rio Grande Gorge BridgeRio Grande Gorge Bridge
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

650 feet above the Rio Grande River
On the Rio Grande RiverOn the Rio Grande River
On the Rio Grande River

John Dunn Bridge crossing the Rio Grande River Gorge
Tumacacori MissionTumacacori Mission
Tumacacori Mission

South of Tucson, Arizona
Cliff DwellingsCliff Dwellings
Cliff Dwellings

In Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
Native American Cliff DwellingsNative American Cliff Dwellings
Native American Cliff Dwellings

Bandelier National Monument
Arizona StyleArizona Style
Arizona Style

Cowboy Cadillac in Tucson, Arizona

5th September 2014
Saguaro Cactus Sunset

Evocative photos!
Spectacular photos from some of my favorite places, especially northern New Mexico! Now that summer is ending and the tourists are leaving, Santa Fe might be a perfect stop--it's magnificent in the fall, but then so is Taos. Have fun either lingering or slowly moving on!
5th September 2014
Saguaro Cactus Sunset

Thank you!
Nice compliment from an excellent photographer! Photos are easy here in New Mexico because it is so beautiful. Each nightly sunset seems to top the night before. We hope to go to Santa Fe early next week. We only saw it briefly on the drive north to Taos.
5th September 2014
Another Taos Sunset

Amazing Taos
So glad you went to Rosarito and gave the beach towns another chance but your time in New Mexico sounds like a dream. Love the blog. Hope to hear from you more frequently. Safe travels.
6th September 2014
Another Taos Sunset

No more being lazy!
Rosarito was really nice for us. Good chance to get back to normal after a lot of travel. Tucson was nice to go back and visit after a long time. Northern New Mexico is really nice. Can't believe we never made it up here before. Looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Nice to hear from you guys. Hope all is well!
6th September 2014

at last
At last! A long awaited blog from your journey. I really enjoyed the pictures.
6th September 2014

Gracias Amiga!
6th September 2014

And if you head north to Colorado...
make sure you visit us in Woodland Park. The aspen leaves are starting to turn...best in a couple of weeks.
6th September 2014

Sounds beautiful. No set plans yet, but we'll definitely be in touch if we head your way. Thanks!
6th September 2014

Living the dream
Your writing has out me right there with you. Sounds like you are living the dream....happy travels!
15th September 2014
Playas de Rosarito

Beautiful Sunset
Beautiful Sunset

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