Outside the South

The Duke City {Albuquerque, NM}


I recently headed west to New Mexico to take part in a Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, but my first introduction to the Land of Enchantment was Albuquerque. (Sidenote – Can I just say every time I say Albuquerque I think of the Weird Al song. Anyone else? No, just me? Ok. That’s cool! I used to sing it all. the. time. with my brother and cousin. Yeah, I know. We were cool!)

After departing my flight, my first stop was to obtain sustenance. Thanks to the recommendation of the Enterprise guy, I had my first taste of New Mexico Mexican food at Los Cuates. It was probably the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time, and I was able to successfully answer New Mexico’s state question, “Red or Green?” If you are not familiar with the state question, it refers to the question always asked whether one prefers red or green chile when ordering New Mexican cuisine. I opted for red, and it was the perfect level of hotness!!

Albuquerque International Balloon Museum

I then headed to explore Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum! Albuquerque is famous for its International Balloon Festival in October and one of the most photographed events in the world. I seriously want to go one year! Do I have any takers?

The museum covers the history, art and science of hot air balloons. It was fascinating and very informative! I never knew hot air balloons were such an important part of transportation or war efforts. Did you know there was a Union Army Balloon Corps? I had a lot of fun learning all about the different ways hot air balloons were used and about this early method of flight. My favorite fact was that 22 or more elephants can fit inside the average hot air balloon!

After I finished up at the museum, I started making the trek to Santa Fe, which you can read all about here. After an incredible week in Santa Fe, I made the drive back to Albuquerque to explore a little more before my flight home.

Sandia Peak Tramway

My next stop on my Albuquerque “to do” list was the Sandia Peak Tramway! Sandia Peak offers an 11,000 square mile panoramic view of New Mexico. I was a little nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to see anything since the peak was covered in clouds when I arrived, but as I approached the base they appeared to be breaking up so I bought my ticket and waited for the gondola.

Sandia Peak | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Little did I know what was waiting for me at 10,378 feet. The trip to the top took about 15 minutes, and we ascended almost 4,000 feet during that time. I watched as Albuquerque slipped out from under my feet. I snapped some photos and then realized clouds were closing in and the ground was covered in snow. Yep. The top of the mountain was facing extreme winds, snow and ice, and lightning. But I braved the weather and got some cool shots before heading back down the mountain.

The last thing to do before the wall of exhaustion hit me was grab a Green Chile Cheeseburger. I opted for Bob’s Burgers since it was close to my hotel, and it was a very different burger. I’ll definitely have to try a second one before I can say yay or nay as to if I’m a fan of Green Chile Cheeseburgers!

Bob's Burgers | Albuquerque, New Mexico