New Mexico!

The adventure has finally begun!!!!!

Above is a photo of my little plane that whisked me away from Denver, still choking on emotions, to our first destination: Albuquerque (also known as "Apple Cookie" - re: Emily's lil bro, Troy).

They say New Mexico is the "Land of the Chill," so our week there was split between adventuring 

and 

chilling, a much-needed balance after our sentimental goodbyes with friends and family.  We explored ancient ruins, underground caverns, alien territory, and lots of wide-open road.  One of the hi-lights of the week was DEFINITELY seeing Walter White's house from the amazing show, 

Breaking Bad

.

New Mexico has some natural beauty like I've never seen before - certainly a unique part of the country I would imagine most people have not encountered.  The rock formations, the sunsets, and the historical preservation was awe-inspiring and really made New Mexico's personality come to life.  It was definitely a kick-ass way to jump start our next chapter.

Emily's Aunt Kim's sweet Adobe house.

Our first New Mexican meal!

Thank God I had her on the other end of the plane ride, cause I sure was a mess.

Now that we're together, it's surreal to comprehend that this long-awaited adventure has actually started.

Road kill

Our first day: explore Chimayo!

Our week was awesome thanks to Emily's Aunt Kim, Cousin Ronnie, and his Alien girlfriend, Molly (she's very open about it).

El Santuario de Chimayó - an adobe Roman Catholic church and a National Historic landmark that serves as the final destination of a holy pilgrimmage and the place of many physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional healings.

When do you 

not

 want a popsicle, really?

Southwest character

Candy of New Mexico.....jk, it's a lethal weapon

Hot air balloons were regularly spotted floating through the sky

We had some fantastic driving adventures ALL over the state.

Breaking Bad in real life!?

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument: Abó Ruins

I ain't messin' with 

any 

rattlesnakes, yo

This may be the earliest spot of contact between Pueblo Indians and Spanish Colonials...

...And the story we heard of the missionaries was not as pleasant as we would've liked... heebee jeebie central

It was, however, a pretty beautiful and intriguing scene.

Quarai Ruins: another historic site filled with a hostile timeline.

The park ranger who gave us the full story originates from the Bronx and it sure felt good to hear her speak our language :)

Albuquerque

Hey, New Mexico, you're pretty cool.

Off to Roswell & the Carlsbad Caverns -- candy supply in full stock.

Roswell, NM.....dun dun dun....

Just your average poker night with the guys

This museum was bad ass.  I'll keep my beliefs about aliens to myself, but man it was cool to read about UFO sightings and abduction testimonials.

Then we reunited Molly with her family.

We fit right in.....as always.

Carlsbad, NM

The entrance to the AWESOME Carlsbad Caverns

This little hole leads to the most absurd. under-ground natural formations I have EVER seen....

This tucked away world was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

It was like being underwater, on the moon, and in a different dimension all at once.

"The Whale's Mouth"

It was seriously like walking through a ridiculous National Geographic documentary....

...and seeing Ariel's treasure caverns without the water filling them.

Seriously looks like the moon, right!?

The cavern is over 30 miles long and 750 feet deep.

Each area or room had it's own clever name that accurately represented the look and feel of that part of the cavern.

This ladder was actually made and used by early National Geographic explorers who were trying to see how deep the caverns really go.

By far, one of the coolest things I've ever been exposed to in my life.  GO THERE!

I take that back, Walter White's house was pretty damn cool, too.

Downtown Santa Fe

We said goodbye to Emily's family after a fantastic week together and headed up North to Taos, NM.

No matter how long our drives were, we never got bored of the ever-changing, jaw-dropping scenery along the way.

When we arrived in Taos, we realized the immensity of what we were doing with our lives.

This called for some ice-cold beer to unwind and take a much needed breather.

The green chili beer was likely the most distinct concoction on the menu.

Amen to that.

We woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to explore a very unique settlement, The Taos Pueblos.

Although there has been some restoration of the pueblos, they are believed to be over 1000 years old.

During the day, we met some people from the Tiwa tribe, learned a bit about their culture, and soaked up the stories about their fascinating history.   It was such a stunning experience.

On the road again!

Headed to Arizona for our next leg.  Stay tuned :)

Xoxo,

~Kelsey