Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Day That Will Be Remembered...

Hi all,
Thought I'd share with you guys a bit of fun I had this past weekend.

You see, I was kidnapped.

Not THAT way!
I mean that my friends came and whisked me away to an unknown place. They said it was for my own good. That for my birthday, I would enjoy it.

So, Friday night I got this parcel at the local sushi restaurant.

My friend, Mrs. B then proceeded to cackle, actually cackle, as I opened it up.

I was born in the year of the rat, hence the Ratatouille reference.

And then I read my fate.

Needless to say my curiosity was peaked.
Mrs. B cackled again.
And I began to worry.

For two days I thought about why I would need to have the random assortment of items.
I knew it. I was going to be stranded somewhere, left to my own devices to get back up on the mesa.
And here's what went through my head:

A deck of cards was to amuse myself as I rang my Alpine cow bell (oh yes, I have one. One of my little treasures I acquired from the agriculture faire in Paris when I was an au pair). I'd be wrapped up in my wool scarf and huddled close to the candlestick for warmth. Eventually I'd give up hope of rescue as the light from the candle sputtered and died, along with the warmth and I'd start walking, because, of course, it'd be night by then and I'd need the flashlight. The bottles of water were so I wouldn't die of thirst.

Fun Fact: The human body can survive about 21 days without food. Three days without water and you can die.  Three hours without proper shelter from inclimate weather and you will perish.

Comforting thoughts, right?

But then I remembered, my friends were not mean. They weren't out to get me.
I made them King Cake after all!

So the day came.
I felt like this.

And I told Mr. K that if anything untoward happened to me, that he was to send this photo immediately to the police, so that they could send out a search party...and rescue me from the coyotes.

I was taken to Mr and Mrs B's house, where I was fed the most DELICIOUS food in the form of pork dumplings, sautéed shrimp, and rice. I even got to hold a baby. 
I approve of feeding your hostage before you drop her off in the middle of nowhere to try to fend for herself.

We set out as it started to snow.
We made it down the main hill here and had to stop for gas. I asked about the items I had and Mrs E took my bell. With a chuckle she told me she would be using it from now on.
There went my hope for someone hearing me, because apparently the weather decided to have gale force winds and snow to celebrate my day of birth. It was 25 degrees, by the way, no wind chill.

Mrs. B got back in the car and off we went again towards Taos.
Tumble weeds blew across the road, we saw a few cows and horses as we got further and further into the west. The car had a hard time driving a straight path due to the wind.

And then we turned onto a gravel road and Mrs E gave me back my bell, telling me we were there.

The spa?

Maybe they had changed their minds. Maybe I was going to have to suffer, watching them enjoy it.

But they parked. And then told me to get my stuff.
I had no stuff other than the things I brought with me, and none of that included a bathing suit, of course.
So I sat there, confused.

"No girl, your stuff's in the back!" they shouted and laughed.

Lo and behold, a backpack with a bathing suit, robe, towel and lots of other things I would need had been made up for me...

And then it dawned on me: why Mr.K got so many texts from his 'brother' that Thursday night, why he asked me about what I wear before going out, and about what lotion I actually liked on the counter.

And here I thought he was just being curious. I didn't realize I'd married a secret agent.

Sneaky man.

We walked in as fast as possible. The wind was really cutting.

I realized then that an outdoor spa day in the middle of February was probably not the warmest thing around, but then again, the pools are hot. And I was with good company.

And the setting was gorgeous.

Besides, I love Ojo Caliente.

It's just beautiful.

The pools called to us so we hurried to the locker rooms and made ready to freeze.

Me, Mrs. E and Mrs. B about to make a run for the pools.

The pools at this spa range from 89 degrees F up to 104 degrees F. We skipped anything below 101F and didn't miss it one bit. The 101F pool felt lukewarm and that was as cold as I was willing to go. The mud bath had been turned off for the winter. But the sauna and steam room were amazing.

And, my girls treated me to a Milago wrap, where you get wrapped up in warm blankets, like a mummy, in a calming room for half an hour.

I may or may not have fallen asleep.
I also may or may not have fallen so hard asleep that I snored.
And then possibly may or may not have woken myself up with the noise of said snore.

I maintain that it wasn't me.

We left a bit after, passing the outside fire pit.

I love photos of fire. It just warms me right up.

And then they took me to a fun place called El Paragua in Espanola.
Great place!

I believe that is the Virgin Mary talking with Saint Francis. Mr. A, feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

The tree outside was HUGE!

Mrs. B happily posed for scale.

And then I found the best part.

A tree is growing right through the restaurant.

Lovely company. Great food.
I highly recommend the Tacos Estilo De Las Brazas.

And the meal came with a salad and SOPAPILLAS!
I'd never had sopapillas before. They're huge. One is about as big as two hands put side by side.
And the New Mexican way to eat them is with honey and apricot jam.

I never say no to honey.

We determined that you can eat them any way you like: rip one up and put it in a bowl, then drizzle with the honey and jam OR open a side up and drizzle the sweet golden goodness inside it.

Either way, it tastes pretty durn good.

I even got a nice slice of cheesecake and the actual birthday song sung to me. No weird hat placed on my head.

All in all, it was an excellent birthday and one I will remember.
Thank you, gals!
And yes, even you Mr. K, or should I say Mr. Sneak!

Until next time,

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