John, George and I spent the December 12th-14th weekend in Las Cruces, New Mexico. For those who don’t already know, John is originally from Las Cruces and this was an opportunity to visit members of his family before the holidays. In fact, many of his family members, including John’s parents, meet us there for a quick visit. This visit was very special to us since many members of the family had never met George before, including John’s grandmother.
We took a direct United flight from Houston to El Paso, then made the short drive to Las Cruces.
We stayed at the Hotel Encanto nearby New Mexico State University. After settling into our room at the hotel on Friday, we met John’s parents for dinner at El Sombrero Cafe.
El Sombrero Cafe was high on the list of places that John wanted to eat at during our visit, but sadly it fell a little flat. The salsa and chips were excellent, but our entrees were only so-so. I had the green chile relleno and it was very egg-y and less flavorful than I had hoped for. Bummer. On the other hand, the sopapillas were delicious. After dinner, we ended up calling it an early night because George was very, very sleepy!
We had a small accident with George early Saturday morning. I pulled George into bed with us when he woke up because it was cold in our room. While we were snuggling, I thought little G was rolling onto his stomach but he kept rolling, hit his head on the side table and fell on the floor. I almost had a heart attack. Aside from a small bump on his head, he is just fine. In fact, I cried more than he did. But isn’t that how things like this go?
We ended up ordering room service for breakfast to keep things easy, and so we that could all stay in our pajamas. The food was delicious — Garduno’s, a favorite local restaurant of the Arnold family, is now located inside Hotel Encanto and provides room service. We devoured our New Mexican style breakfast while G merrily ate his scrambled egg and fruit.
While I got ready for the day, John, George and my mother in law hit up a local farmer’s market. To my delight, John brought back special biscochitto cookies for our holiday festivities. We spent the rest of the morning in Mesilla (a short drive from Las Cruces) and did a bit of holiday shopping. Okay…we also did some shopping for ourselves, but most of it was for others. The highlight of our shopping excursion was the visit to the Nambe store — they had everything I was looking for and they were having a sale!
After our shopping was over, we made our way to La Posta where John’s parents graciously hosted a luncheon in our honor. Since George had not met many members of John’s family, this was an opportunity for the everyone to see each other and to share a (great meal). In total, 25 family members joined us, including George’s 97 year old great grandmother. We loved seeing everyone and spending time together. It was great to see so many family members in one place, especially so close to the holidays. I ordered the green chile rellenos (again) and give these a solid B. The batter was a bit overwhelming and the chile wasn’t as crisp as you might expect. I’m no connoisseur, but after the amazing green chile rellenos I had in Santa Fe a few months ago, I have a real hankering for a dish that comes close to that level of deliciousness.
After lunch, John, G and I went back to the hotel for play/nap time for George. We kept it very simple for dinner, and John, G, my in-laws and I dined at Lorenzo’s. Lorenzo’s makes the most amazing pizza and John and I had been looking forward to devouring a “Mesilla Valley” special. Our pizza was excellent! Little G went to town on penne pasta and meatballs, as well as some chocolate ice cream that the restaurant manager sent over to him. To boot, we caught this amazing sunset in the evening.
They don’t call it the land of enchantment for nothing!
We dined on breakfast from room service while watching the morning news and political shows on Sunday morning. Nerds! While John and I packed and got ready for the day, my in-laws (whose room was just across the hall), played with George and let him explore the hotel and holiday decorations. We had a really leisurely morning before we departed for El Paso.
Overall, we had a quick, but great trip to Las Cruces. Even though we had to skip out on some local holiday festivities in order to make the trip work with our schedules, it was absolutely the right choice to make and we are glad we did it. We hope to see everyone again soon!