At Santa Fe Skies RV Park, Santa Fe, New Mexico...
We have not exactly been setting the world afire here in Santa Fe. We've just been mostly relaxing and cruising the area, enjoying the weather and the scenery. Sandy, of course, has been scoping out a few of the shopping venues, and we've made a run to Wally World for supplies.
The wifi is good at this park, so I've been researching more RV parks for my "Best of the Best RV Parks" page linked above. (Unfortunately, Santa Fe Skies doesn't make the grade, as you might imagine from my previous post.)
This research is a slow process, as each park listed must be confirmed to have hard-surfaced streets and pads, in addition to the other requirements listed. Some RV parks publish website photos of their inner roads and sites, and some don't, so sometimes, I have to use Google Earth to try to confirm the hard-surface aspect. However, I've also decided to include on the list some parks that don't necessarily have all their roads and sites hard surfaced but have sites that are otherwise extraordinarily well maintained. (There must be NO DIRT--a pet peeve.) These "almost" parks get an "HM" after their listing, meaning "Honorable Mention."
A question one might ask is, "So what's the deal with touting the 'best of the best' RV parks, since you have an old rig and some of these parks might not let you in anyway?" Well, that's a good question. First of all, Phannie still gives a pretty good impression, so we haven't been turned away from anywhere yet. If we are, then that park is probably too snooty for us, anyway. But here's the crux of the deal: When we're on the road to get to a destination, we typically try to find inexpensive, basic parks for a one- or two-night stay. When we get to where we'll be staying for a while, we prefer nicer parks with the amenities described in the list, and we haven't found a website that reliably shows these in every state.
I know there are plenty of parks out there that would qualify for this list, but I haven't yet discovered them. If you have suggestions, I would be most grateful to hear about them. Just leave a comment below; I try to answer each one.
Since Santa Fe is supposed to be a foodie town, we've been visiting some of the restaurants that have been suggested or that have good reviews. Here are a few more, along with my opinions, which obviously don't always agree with the published reviews in Yelp or Trip Advisor:
Mariscos La Playa - Expectations were high for this restaurant because of excellent reviews and the half dozen "Best Of Santa Fe" awards adorning the walls. Alas, we were thoroughly unimpressed, mainly due to the frozen, factory-breaded fried shrimp we were served and which we promptly sent back to the kitchen. For shame! Even in a land-locked place like Santa Fe, such a sacrilege is the kiss of death for any hopes of a favorable review. Another nail in the coffin was the fish taco, whose little cubes of fish had the texture and taste of tofu--that being no taste at all. In fact, I'm not sure it wasn't tofu. It would not be fair, however, not to mention a couple of things that were good: The shrimp taco and the shrimp ceviche tostadas. These were fresh, tasty, and the ceviche was plentiful.
The Original Real Hamburger - Expectations were also high for this joint, which was supposed to be a favorite among the locals. The problem? A disgusting, mealy bun that would have been better used like a Brillo pad to clean cookware. It also had a fixings bar where you can select your own veggies and make the burger yourself. Well, I'm sorry, but I didn't come here to make my own lunch. If I had I would have saved about ten bucks and cooked it myself. On a positive note, the french fries were fresh cut and cooked perfectly.
Clafoutis - This is a French bakery/cafe that is popular with chicks. This is mainly because they serve quiche, designer sandwiches and prissy salads and, oh yes, the owner, who is French, greets all the customers with "bonjour" and with "au revoir" and "merci" when they leave. This typically sets the girls all a-twitter. They also have some French pastries, only a couple of which we tried and thought they were sort of ho-hum. Of course, that might be slightly unfair, as we're now comparing everything to the Taste of Denmark Bakery in Denver that can have no equal anywhere. Sandy had a ham and asparagus quiche that was quite good. I had French onion soup that was also good. The salad dressing was a house vinaigrette that was way too sour; we added a little honey to the dressing and it was much better. Because of their missteps, Clafoutis cannot be listed on my favorites page.
The Pantry - Basically a small family-run cafe that has great reviews and is also supposedly a favorite of the locals. It has been around on Cerrillos Road forever, so we were expecting a real gem. Alas, it was not to be. We were charged for the chips and salsa (a hanging offense in Texas), and the combination plate (taco, enchilada and chile relleno with rice and beans) wasn't memorable, except for the taco, which was outstanding. The red sauce was more salty than flavorful, and the chile relleno was tough as leather. Even worse, we were aghast to find that the rice and beans were undercooked! How could this be?
No photos today. I've decided not to post photos of restaurants that do not qualify for my favorites list. If we're not going back there, I don't need to remember what they look like, do I?
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.