After a day of hiking and fine dining at The Compound, our final full day’s adventure would consist more of museums and spontaneous wanderings – the highlight of course being Meow Wolf. We woke up pretty late, missing breakfast at the hotel, so we decided to find a coffee shop / cafe in town instead. We ended up at Henry & the Fish, a little bakery and sandwich shop that had good, fast, light breakfasts. I ordered a blueberry scone, drip coffee, and a yogurt parfait. Brendan ordered an eff sandwich and a salted pecan and chocolate chip cookie, accompanied by a cold brew. The service was really good and the manager was notably friendly.
After breakfast, we walked around a bit and then left for Meow Wolf with plenty of time for our 14:00 reservation. We’re clan we built in extra time – parking in the main Meow Wolf lot was impossible to find, so we ended up having to look for street parking several blocks away. As we approach the Meow Wold parking lot, it was nearly our ticketed time.
After only a few minutes waiting in line, Meow Wolf started to let us in.
We had to queue again once inside to get our tickets scan, pick up the 3D glasses, and get oriented. We ultimately found the glasses to be useless except for the hall by the front entrance where the bathrooms were located.
Once inside Meow Wolf, you were transported to multiverse that was needless to say, a trip. There’s a whole storyline embedded in the experience at well about a family that mysteriously disappeared after conducting an experiment (through space time), and a pet hamster seems to be a very important element of the narrative – or at least the deus ex machina.
The storyline and learning about the family to solve the mystery interested us less that simply interacting withe exhibits and the pure imagination of it all. We treated it more like a museum than a story in that way, even though you couldn’t help but get caught up in the non-linear narrative.
Here’s a gallery of some of our favorite rooms in the Meow Wolf house:
It was about as weird and creative as you’d expect, and an experience I’d recommend. But, it wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread either, and since J.R.R Martin purchased the Meow Wolf building (that used to be a bowling alley), his fame has also hyped it up a bit. There will be one opening in Denver next year, so that will be interesting to go and compare the two. We’ve heard the one in Denver will be a completely different experience.
For the rest of Sunday, we walked around downtown and purchased a Santa Fe pottery Christmas ornament and browsed many more art galleries as we decided where we wanted to eat that night. Being Sunday, the two other casual Southwestern style restaurants that we really wanted to try – Tomasitas and The Shed – were both closed.
We again visited the Fiestas de Santa Fe and also explored some of the indoor shopping malls, which had some neat galleries and hidden treasures as well, and were possibly less pricey.
On the way back to the hotel, we decided to check out the La Fonda hotel and really enjoyed the courtyard ambiance on the interior.
We decided we wanted something more casual, otherwise we might have eaten at this restaurant. Instead we were debating between El Callejon, right near the Old Santa Fe Inn, and Coyote Cantina – the smaller bar & grill sister restaurant attached to the fancy Coyote Cafe (which would have been our second choice had we not visited The Compound).
After returning to the inn for a brief rest, we again ventured out to Coyote Cantina for dinner. It was a 45 minute wait, and we almost decided to go to plan B, but then I snagged 2 seats at the bar. Brendan asked the hostess if we could find a seat at the bar and she said no. But when I just sat at the bar and asked the bartender if I could sit there, he said yes. When in doubt, go with the explanation in your favor.
Dinner was good and it was a fun atmosphere.
The drinks were especially good – Brendan had the house (turquoise) margarita which I of course found to sweet, and I had the Sunburnt Senorita, with tequila, mezcal, watermelon and lime that packed a punch, wasn’t sweet, and looked cute (pink).
For dinner we shared some chips and salsa and a Caesar salad which had a very tasty kick to it. Then, Brendan ordered the elote and the fry bread taco, while I ordered the green chile chicken enchiladas but asked the waitress to hold the fried egg. The food was tasty, but not as good as Cafe Pasquals.
We were so stuffed after dinner and I was feeling a little lightheaded, so we decided to have an early night (everything was closed anyways) and read before falling asleep.
In the morning, we got out pretty quickly without breakfast to try to get home at a reasonable time, while still stopping in Taos for me to see.
We said goodbye to the Old Santa Fe Inn and the beautiful chili peppers hanging tastefully all over the building.
We made it to downtown Taos in less than 2 hours, and thought about stopping for lunch, but the downtown was so uninspiring that we just decided to continue on to the Taos Pueblo. Once there, we found free parking and decided to pay for admission, knowing full well this would be a tourist trap. It was about as we expected – consenting self-exploitation of native people while at the same time paying homage to the culture.
We left after about 20 minutes of walking around – it was a living village and not much was going on after all. Also, we did not find the crafts particularly good, or the food particularly enticing.
We decided to carry on home with another quick detour first at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, just a few miles off the main road. It was a good stop for a photo opp.
From this point on, we went directly home, and it was about a 4.5 hour drive. We encountered pockets of traffic going through La Veta and Walsenburg, where we stopped for Carl’s Jr.
The worst traffic of course was after Colorado Springs because of the never-ending construction. We were home by around 17:30, only to find one of our plants over-watered and leaking in to our newly refinished wood floors, already causing warping! Not the way you want to be greeted, but at least we were home, and the trip to Santa Fe went flawlessly. The universe just finds a way at achieving balance, doesn’t it!?