We arrived in New Mexico a day and a half before the balloon festival was supposed to start, so we decided to use Friday as a day to drive to Taos which was our furthermost destination from Albuquerque. It always amazes me how the terrain in New Mexico varies so much, I think it is a common misconception that it is all desert, but there are many areas where trees and greenery are plentiful. We took the High Road to Taos both two and from, and it was a very pretty drive, up in to the mountains. At one point my ears even popped!
Birkenstock loving artist community. It is a very relaxed town with a lot of art galleries and interesting little shops. I was very surprised to find out it only has a population of less than 6,000 people. There is a Native American Pueblo there you can visit too, one of the oldest in the area, and considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the entire United States.
After checking out the area around Taos, we headed back on the lower part of the High Road towards Santa Fe. On our way back we discovered a really nice shop selling pottery, weavings and jewelry where I got a gorgeous bracelet as my belated birthday/anniversay present :)
Mexican restaurant called Los Cuates in Albuquerque. They have several locations around the city and I highly recommend them. And just in case you are curious, New Mexican cuisine is what those of us in the east call Mexican--but truthfully Mexican dining in the US is really Tex/Mex!