*This post was originally published on my initial blog on February 2013. I am in the process of migrating my content from Blogger and appreciate the patience as I do so!
We had already spent a good hour wandering around in the wind and snow, numbing our hands and feet. With grit determination now frozen from our faces, we retreated back to the hotel fire. I stood by that fire for a good fifteen minutes before I could feel how cold my hands were. During the warming phase, I had a lot of time to reflect on my stupidity that had gotten us in this situation in the first place. Namely: I was stubborn.
“Try calling dad,” my brother suggested, “his meeting may be over by now. Sure enough, my dad picked up and asked us how the adventure was going. “It’s freezing,” I said, “we had thought it would be so warm!” He reminded me that he’d warned us– which I vaguely remember, but probably blocked out in denial– and I reminded him that I was still frozen. “We tried, but we didn’t actually make it to the historic district,” I confessed. He seemed bewildered at that, “How? It’s just down the block.” My brother, overhearing the conversation, shot me a look that said: “you mean I’m suffering hypothermia for nothing!”
It was my junior year of high school and my dad had a business trip during my brother and I’s spring break. So instead of rearranging things, we came along. Before spending a few days in New Orleans (RELATED: Unforgettable Runs: New Orleans), we headed to Albuquerque and then Santa Fe..err– that was the plan. In reality, our flight got cancelled and the only other one they had that day was through Roswell, New Mexico. Surely you’ve heard of this alien crazed town. In fact, it’s too much of an experience to squish into this post right now. I will however, explain the rest of the story.
We landed in Roswell, stepped off the plane– onto the runway mind you– and were immediately shocked. New Mexico was supposed to be warm! I panicked and lunged for my phone to check Weatherbug (RELATED: My Essential Apps, all interesting, all free). “It’s probably just a freak weather thing,” I assured my brother– and myself. Unfortunately, Roswell doesn’t have a very good, or any, cell phone coverage at their airport, so I left the little town without a clue.
We got into Santa Fe later that night– too late for a run, so I hopped on an elliptical in the workout room. I’d slept on planes and in the car all day, so after my workout: I was wide awake. I walked around the hotel a bit, curious to see more of the beautiful southwestern design and architecture. There was plenty of it, as we stayed in the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Hotel. After some exploration, I sat down by the fireplace with an complementary apple, munching away as I watched to flames lick the logs. It was so warm and homey, that I figured I could just sit there till I fell asleep. It did the trick though, and I was soon back to our room and ready for lights out.
The next morning, my dad had a business meeting till noon, so my brother and I were on a lone adventure to see the city. I grabbed my jeans and the sweatshirt I’d brought. Since he didn’t bring jeans, my brother had on shorts and a sweatshirt. We went for a quick breakfast down near the lobby, where we were greeted by another warm fire and a beautiful fountain. I was beginning to think it was quite curious that there were so many fires in such a warm place…..then we stepped outside.
To be honest, it was more of a dart in and out kind of thing. Turns out, the elevation and mountains make Santa Fe a pretty cold destination in March. We had not known that when we’d packed our swimsuits and tank tops. My dad had told us about the historic district though, so we set out to find it and hopefully duck into some warm shops. Not more than five minutes after we’d emerged from the warm hotel, did it start snowing. Snowing! I’m sure we reeked of tourism– with our heads tied up in our hoods and I navigating the way on my phone. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m directionally challenged. We were quickly in the heart of the business district, with only a tattoo shop and a law office as our shelter options.
Yep. Turns out, we only needed to turn left and walk for two minutes to reach our destination. In fact, my dad was already there. Cutting out the complaining, I mustered up my last dignity. “Warm yourself for a few more minutes and prepare,” I told me brother, “we are going back out!” And so, we made it. We got to see the tapestries, the old church, the quirky shops, and the shelves and shelves of cowboy boots. It was pretty cool, even cooler knowing the struggle it took to get there!
I can’t wait to go back to Santa Fe–in the summer– when I can hike and explore more of the amazing New Mexico landscape. I had such a fun time there, even in the bad weather, that I can’t imagine how great it is when Santa Fe is basking in the New Mexico sun.