Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mini Road Trip

Registering a car usually involves a stressful trip to the Dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles, which in Albuquerque means very long lines.  However, since we built a house in Sandoval County we no longer register our car in Albuquerque, because we don't live there even if our mailing address suggests that we do.

We actually pick up our mail four miles down the hill at a mail box that is in another county and is in Albuquerque.  This fact not only confuses the DMV, but the police department, if you need to report a crime, and the fire department, should you have a fire.  It used to confuse Federal Express and UPS, but only new drivers have trouble now and only trying to make it back up the hill when it snows.

Woe is us if we miss the mail-in registration deadline.  Which we did for one of our vehicles so now we must drive twenty miles north to the village of Bernalillo.  (I won't even go into what we have to do to vote.)  So last Wednesday, my daughter, Brittany, nicely agreed to make the trip with me. She works for her Dad, so she has some flexibility in her schedule, especially when he is canoeing in Costa Rica!

We took the old  Route 66 road which winds along the Rio Grande through the Sandia Pueblo Reservation.  The cottonwood trees were stark naked,  baring their gorgeous limbs against the wide azure New Mexico sky along the Bosque (Spanish word for forest or clump of trees) that spreads out from the riverbanks.  And of course, I did not have my camera.  Who takes a camera to register their car?  So here is photo from Bernalillo's website of the cottonwoods with their leaves along the Bosque.

To fortify ourselves for the coming ordeal, we decided to have lunch at The Range Cafe which is one of our favorite places in Bernalillo.
Not much to look at on the outside.

But the inside is filled with hand carved furniture, artwork and even the occasional President.
Some of the artwork is a little on the funky side.
New Mexico Artist's love affair with the pickup truck. 
Above photos from The Range Cafe
When I was working as a batik artist, I was asked to do a batik of some someone's beloved red pickup.  Later, when asked to do another, I politely turned that commission down.

Even better, a pickup with hot air balloons!

But more importantly, we always enjoy the food, even though my favorite Portabello mushroom sandwich is no longer on the menu.  Brittany and I shared a Veggie Sandwich for $8.99 with zucchini, red bell pepper, yellow squash, fresh mozarella, tomato, frizzled onion, mixed green, and pesto aioli on a baguette. YUM!  The Range is known for its down home menus prepared with a haute cuisine flair. The portions are more than generous (sharing always works out well if you want to save room for dessert).  The pastries are incredible.  When we lived in Placitas and I had to go into Albuquerque, I frequently took a ten minute detour into Bernalillo to pick up pecan cinnamon roll the size of a salad plate, just covered with whole pecans which was plenty to share with my Mom... and put some it in the freezer for another day. 
Photos from the Range Cafe Website.

 Since Brittany and I had virtuously split a sandwich, forgetting both diet and Lent, we ordered dessert.  I had coconut cream pie...

The half I brought home for later which I took a photo of before demolishing it while watching Downton Abbey on Netflix.

After lunch we reluctantly made our way to the DMV.  WHAT!  Only three people ahead of us and a fantastic public library book sale to fill the waiting time.  We had only just finished shopping and sat down to wait when our number was called.  A few minutes later out we walked out with the car registration and a bag of books.  Clearly my guardian angel was working overtime.  Here is my score:

Can you tell by the choice of genre, I had been feeling..."Anywhere but here!"
All done with DMV, we squeezed one last bit of pleasure out of the excursion by stopping on the way home at an antique store, Camino Real Antiques (this link is not their website, but an article in the Alibi magazine.  I could not locate a website for them.)   If I had more money than sense, I would have purchased this:
Photo taken with Brittany's phone.  My orchids would love it but where would it live in my already over-furnished casa?  Who knew such a dreaded trip would turn out to be so much fun?

And finally, a blogger friend of mine, Steve, from An Urban Cottage is competing in "This Old House" Reader Remodel contest under the Curb Appeal section. I would consider it a great favor if you would take a moment and vote for him.  Click here: Steve's entry then push the slider all the way over to 100 and click enter.  After that go back to his blog and find a wonderful post about turning a shabby old house (with good bones) into a really good looking, comfortable home.  Steve has great taste and his house has been featured in design magazines and in many design blogs.  It is not cheating to go back and vote more than once.


  1. You guys saw the president at the Range? Why didn't you get a photo with him???

    1. No, he was NOT there the day we were, that photo is from the Range website.

  2. I'm glad I didn't know you'd missed the mail in date--Iwould have told you that It could be done on-line (guess it's our year to miss MVD deadlines). But I would have spoiled a nice outing so I'm glad I didn't have a chance to be "directive", aka bossy.


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