This birthday was one for the books. Okay, maybe not The Books, but in my book it was the best one yet. I promise you, I do not say this every year.
My birthday is very close to Thanksgiving, sometimes falling on the actual holiday, and typically it gets kind of shmushed in with family time and celebrating Thanksgiving. None of which I mind — having pumpkin pie for your birthday cake with all of your favorite loved ones is a win win for me.
But this year was different. We again, chose not to travel home for the holiday so celebrated my birthday just the two of us this year. Don’t let me fool you — there was a big November birthday celebration earlier this month that involved wigs and breweries and bikes that I wont go into here (Brendan’s 30th was celebrated there as well! — so fun).
So this year I decided to plan my own birthday weekend with exactly what I wanted to do and my husband helped make it happen. We ended up doing what we do best — roadtripping — and headed from Denver down to Sante Fe.
Our first stop was Meow Wolf which I have wanted to visit for a couple years — it was beyond expectations. If you don’t know, Meow Wolf is an immersive art experience/installation. It is so big and so cool. I am almost speechless, big and cool are the only words I can use. It was just beyond words. It was 10,000% worth the the 2 hours we waited in line (holiday weekends, it just is what it is).
As soon as we thought we had seen the entire thing, we stumbled upon a new room. There is a story/mystery that goes along with it that you can find clues to solve — we were there for almost 4 hours and barely made a dent. I had read online prior to our visit that some spend 2-3 days in Sante Fe, going each day to Meow Wolf and I thought this was a bit much, but now I can see why. I wish we had more time to explore and we will absolutely go back a second, maybe even a third time. I chose not to post too many photos of the exhibit so you can go support the artists and see for yourselves!
That evening we stayed in Madrid, about 30 minutes outside of Sante Fe in the most amazing Earthship. If you don’t know what an Earthship is (I didn’t until a few years ago) — it is a house that uses passive solar for energy and does not have plumbing or any reliance on fossil fuels. It is “off the grid” living at it’s finest.
Typically they are built from resources from the surrounding earth. The one we stayed in was built from earth and straw with upcycled pieces used for cooking and access to water. The water source was rain water they collected and filtered and all of the lights we used throughout the night were solar charged battery powered which had been charging all day for us.
The house was rented to us through AirBnb and one of many structures on a 38-acre plot of land. The owners run a sustainable living school — Ampersand — where they host students and volunteers to share how to live sustainably. It was hard leaving and going back to our normal routines — it truly made our level of consumption evident after leaving such a simple way of living. And when I say simple — there wasn’t anything that was simple, really, everything was rigged in a creative way that created as little waste aspossible. Even the bar that you held onto to climb up into the lofted bed was an upcycled old road bike handle bar! It was obvous the work it would take to sustain a property like this, but it seemed to run flawlessly.
You can proabably imagine the stellar desert views from their property — but they were truly awe inspiring, the photos do none of it justice. The best view however were the stars at night. I have never experienced such a vast, glowing sky. We had fun with a healthy balance of quiet meditation and using our skymapper app to guess and check which constellations and planets were which — so much fun.
The next morning we hiked around their property to take it all in before we headed out. We stopped to have breakfast and shop in Taos. SO MANY BASKETS. Thankfully I only ended up buying two, but I could have bought eight — easily. I also found a beautiful piece smokey quartz that I cannot wait to add to my set-up in my reading room at home.
This trip was as much as a birthday trip as it was a getaway retreat for my husband and I. We are both learning more about ourselves and about our relationship together. Having the semi-unplugged time together was really beautiful. We had beautiful conversations about what we are learning about ourselves and about how we show up in the world. I think this these conversations were by far my favorite part.