This past weekend was about Resurrection and Relaxation. My family and I ditched the typical Easter Sunday fuss and frills to set out on the best road trip ever to explore New Mexico’s enchanting mountainsides and celebrate God’s creations. I spent the entire night before obsessively mapping the directions and compulsively checking our reservations to make certain that everything was perfect! Early Saturday morning we packed the car with blankets, plenty of snacks, flashlights, every electronic but the television and our furry little sidekick Smokey, a Miniature Schnauzer. Before pulling out of the garage we said our traditional prayer for travelling mercies but instead of the all familiar ‘Amen’ I, the alleged adult, blurted out the geekiest whoo-hooo! that was met in awkward silence and an embarrassed shake of the head by my eight year old! For the first time ever we were staying in a cabin! How can any logical person contain their excitement?
The two-hour drive was amazing in itself. As we exited toward Highway NM-53 and embarked on the final 90 miles uphill to El Morro RV Park and Cabin, the beautiful canyons provided distracting yet beautiful views. The two-lane, rugged mountain road had very little signs of human life outside of the occasional rundown farm-house, lazily grazing cows and ginormous watering tanks. So when our GPS prompted that our destination was approaching on the left, I began to become fearful of what exactly we were getting ourselves into. As we cautiously eased around the curve suddenly what felt like a small city emerged. Of course in actuality it was only four run-of-the-mill buildings that consisted of a café, coffee shop and across the street proudly stood a farmer’s market and art gallery (yes that’s what I typed-an art gallery called Old School Gallery to be exact). Following the commands of my persistent GPS, I entered the café’s driveway and noticed four of the most adorable cabins I had ever seen! I’m still not sure if I gasped out of relief that they weren’t terrifying looking or pure excitement that they actually looked better in person than they did online! I hastily threw the car in park and briskly walked up to the café assuming this must be the way to “check in”.
I immediately was met by a hostess with warm, kind eyes who introduced himself as Maqui. As he handed me the keys and went over the typical “check in procedures”, I was absolutely floored by what occurred next. Out of the clear blue sky he asks, “Would you like to make dinner reservations?” I couldn’t help but to laugh! Reservations? We are in the middle of nowhere! To whom are we reserving to? Despite my I’m sure amused yet bewildered look, Maqui went on to explain in a Geoffrey the Butler-like tone that dinner would be served from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm and the chef could only accommodate 26 reservations. In all my unrefined glory, I blurted “Well RSVP me for 2!” I’m still not sure if that was proper English but one could instantly tell that this down home spot didn’t care about a proper fancy suit or shoes for that matter-just a great time and outstanding customer service. Maqui then went on to invite me to the after party. Okay he didn’t quite call it that, but yet again I was tickled when he asked if I cared to join the open mic session held at the Old School Gallery that began promptly at 7:30pm. I just stood there grinning foolishly as I took it all in-a cool cabin, dinner reservations for a gourmet meal AND open mic all in the middle of the desert? You can’t beat that with a stick!
A few short steps back to our designated cabin and again my jaw hit the floor. From the cabin’s kid-friendly loft bed to the flat screen television with cable and accessible Wi-Fi *insert angelic ahh sound* to a decadent claw foot tub ready to be soaked in… I knew that a great weekend was ahead! And indeed it was.
Check out the amazing pictures of Ancient Way Café and our cabin dubbed the Horse. Read about all the other adventures and great memories shared in the small town of Ramah, New Mexico and the El Morro National Monument in upcoming posts.