Desert Living: My Week in New Mexico

I've been reading a lot about manifestation lately, and the power of positive thinking. I don't see the harm in believing in it, and I love the feeling you get when you realize something happens upon you that you've been projecting into "the universe" for a while. Without work or dedication, of course, nothing will happen. You can't sit in your room and dream about making $100,000 without actually working towards that cash. BUT pair hard work and positive thinking together, and magic can happen.

Before you're like, "WTF Ashley, I'm just trying to figure out where the hell you ate brunch in Santa Fe, why are you talking about this shit?" I WILL GET TO THAT. I start with the manifestation talk, because this trip totally happened because of the power of positive thinking, AND it pulled me out of a pretty depressing post-graduate shlump.

I dreamed of going west all of last year. I never traveled as a child and I always wanted to experience it. Last year I got my first taste by being invited to an artist residency in Sedona, Arizona. It was magic and I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I had no idea how I was going to get myself to the west again for the summer of 2017.

After secretly dreaming of this for 7 months, I graduated and fell into the post-grad-blues quickly. I was stuck in a job I didn't like, my life looked nothing like I wanted it to (#DRAMATIC), and I felt extremely stagnant and trapped by my situation. My best friend Laura, who is in grad school for cognitive behavioral therapy, basically slapped me in the face mentally and then told me about how she was planning this huge summer road trip to the west coast and she was stopping in Santa Fe to see our friend Emily. She asked me to come. Fuck if I know if that's coincidence or manifestation, but either way, it is and was complete MAGIC. 


We arrived in Santa Fe around lunchtime. Emily and her puppy live on the edge of downtown Santa Fe in the cutest little one-bedroom pueblo with a porch, and there were 3 shots waiting for us when we got there. Get you a friend that greets you with tequila. 


Bumble bee
Modern General
The Shed
Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery
Shake Foundation
Chez Mamou
Drury Plaza Rooftop
Draft Station

We visited Ghost Ranch on Saturday, which was completely beautiful. We weren't able to see the inside of Georgia O'Keeffe's house, but we did sneak into this locked cabin that was used on a movie set. 

It was one of those days that the sun in shining so bright, the wind is blowing, and you're with your two girlfriends driving through the mountains, blasting 90s music with all the windows down. This is so cheesy but it completely encapsulates the whole Perks of Being A Wallflower, "infinite" moment. 

If you want to do something fucking AWESOME that makes you feel like a BADASS COWGIRL, you NEED to go to Broken Saddle Riding Co. It was a bit of a splurge, but for 2 hours, you're on a horse galloping through the hills of the high desert. We had a blast, and Harold—our guide—was the sweetest thing. He picked my horse, Jack, based on the fact that my outfit matched his coat. Harold's the fucking man. 

That night, we visited Emily's boss' house—excuse me, VILLA—for wine and hot tubs. She works for a European bedding startup, and for the first 3 months she lived in her boss' guest pueblo. CASUAL. Look at this backyard!!!!!!! 

The next morning Emily had work, so we scooted off to White Sands. It's 4 hours away, but it was worth it. I keep telling myself that, 'cause we only stayed 30 minutes. We didn't exactly do it right. I suggest going in the spring/winter, and buying one of those slider things. We basically just fumbled around in the sand and took photos, then took a 10 minute water break in the car, tried to make it to this rock...and then turned around and went home. It was fun, though! 

See! Made it to the rock!

After this we jetted back to Santa Fe to go to the Sandia Peak Tramway. We ate dinner at the restaurant that overlooks the city at the bottom of the mountain (their restaurant on the TOP of the mountain opens in 2018!!!!). Laura ate 4 tacos after we ate a huge bowl of guac. 

The tramway takes you from 4,000 ft. to 10,000 ft in like 15 minutes. It's absolutely mindblowing. So beautiful. 

Those were the big moments. Here's a bunch of smaller moments, like my $20 flea market dress find, and stumbling upon Mary's Bar, a run-down place near Broken Saddle that was built by the owner Kathy's grandfather in 1917. She's a hardass and taught us a ton of life lessons. 

Notice Laura's knife perched on her hip. We were really channeling the outlaw look this day. 

When we were at Shake Foundation, I was a little sun struck and full of a burger and shake, so when I tried to get up from the picnic table I totally slid into the leg of it and slowly fell over, falling flat on my face. The fall lasted a complete 10 seconds. A dad was like, "Are you okay?" which made everyone look, while Laura and Emily are laughing their assess of. This is after I accidentally peed on myself on the side of the road coming home from Ghost Ranch. You can't take me anywhere. 

Here are some more tips if you're traveling to Santa Fe!

Sunscreen always.
If you have a vertical ID, go get that fixed. They have a law that states they cannot serve you if you have one, no matter how old you are.
Water ALWAYS. We carried extra water in the car as well as personal canteens, because it's dry AF. Water also helps with altitude sickness, which you will feel if you are from the deep, dirty south. 
Hat. I was so thankful to have brought my black wide-brimmed hat. It saved my life while riding in the open sun for 2 hours.
Explore. On our way to Ghost Ranch, we drove past the flea market and turned around to visit it. Laura spent all of Tuesday walking around downtown Santa Fe. You stumble upon the best shit having a flexible plan. 

Happy travels!