Monday, August 16, 2010

New Mexican Mini-Moon: Southwestern Bliss

As much fun as this summer has been, between our wedding, honeymoon, jobs, classes and projects, it has also been extremely exhausting at times. A couple weeks ago, I reached my breaking point. I needed a breather, if only for a few days.

And just like that, our New Mexican mini-moon – complete with stops in Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe – was set in motion. With Stephen heading to the region for a week of work conferences, we figured it would be the perfect place to kick back for a few days of R & R ahead of time.

And let me honestly say, New Mexico might very well be my new favorite place in the country. The landscape is stunning, the weather is gorgeous, and the people are friendly, laidback and gracious. Plus, the Mexican food rivaled even my California favorites, which is a tough standard to measure up to!

Given all these positives, it came as no surprise to also discover that New Mexico’s wedding industry is growing as fast as many of its cities themselves. Throughout our trip, I loved learning all about the history and culture of the region, with its fusion of Native American and Spanish elements, as well as all the amazing wedding venues and vistas available to Southwestern brides and grooms.

Here are a few of my favorite trip highlights!

Our first night in Albuquerque, we wasted no time in heading to Gardunos for some delicious Mexican food, plus sweet and spicy jalapeno margaritas!

 Albuquerque's New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science offered a glimpse into the region's ancient past.

Wineries are becoming more common near Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, with many hosting weddings and serving up a range of varietals. They may have a long way to go before being on par with California or even Virginia wineries, but the ranch-style ambience can’t be beat! We loved Albuquerque's Casa Rondena, pictured above.  

White Sands National Monument, featuring snow-colored sand dunes as far as the eye can see, was a fun stop on our drive down to Las Cruces. Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque was also a great place to hike and explore.

No trip to the Southwest would be complete without shopping for Native American pottery and jewelry.

Santa Fe is a hip and artsy town, featuring galleries and great restaurants, plus posh spas and beautiful churches. The state capitol building is also a must-see.

Albuquerque’s balloon fiesta takes place during the fall, and brides often seek it out as a great place to get married, some on the ground and some in a hot air balloon before it takes flight!

Have you been to the Southwest? What are some of your favorite places and sights to see?

(Photo Credits: Personal Library & Google Images)


  1. All of these images are amazing! And jalapeno margaritas? Yes, please!

  2. I LOVE jalapeno margaritas! (Or any kind of margaritas really....)

    New Mexico is one of the places I missed while I was out west and I always wish I had gone. I cannot believe the white sand in that park!

    Gorgeous pictures, friend!

  3. Great photos! Glad you had a great time! Happy Monday! <3

  4. I've never been to the Southwest but New Mexico sounds great!

  5. What a great idea! I love seeing pics of places like this. We drove through New Mexico when I was too young (11) to remember anything good about it. I will definitely have to make a trip back there one day for a mini-moon :)

  6. It looks gorgeous; I have been through New Mexico and stopped at Roswell when i was doing a tour of the states after working at a camp!

  7. Gorgeous scenery! I definitely need to put New Mexico on my list (and eat there!)

  8. How fun you got to come to New Mexico! I love it here and there are so many amazing things to see! I'll be sharing my wedding details now that the wedding is over, and it's so funny our flowers look so similar, I love them! We got married at the Rio Grande Botanic Gardens, I hope you got a chance to visit, it's beautiful!