July is a vacay month for Burque city councilors. They are theoretically free of municipal responsibility for a whole month. This year, coming out of a more than yearlong quarantine, they can rip their masks off, if vaccinated of course, and run wild. So where would, or should, they go?
Good Chile, Pecos and Italy
Councilor Isaac Benton said he may take a road trip somewhere. His dream vacation spot is Italy, which to us sounds beautiful and delicious. With so many Italian areas to choose from, he might want to book a whole summer to explore the boot.
Here in the Land of Enchantment, Councilor Benton said his favorite in-state destination is the Pecos Wilderness. This northern New Mexico wilderness encompasses about 349 square miles of the Carson and Santa Fe National Forest roughly to the east between Santa Fe and Taos. When he has friends and family in town, he likes to go to the iconic Mary and Tito’s Cafe, which opened in 1963 and is located along Fourth Street, almost to Downtown.
Exotic Lands, Red River and Local Eats
Recently jet-setting back from the exotic Turks and Caicos, Councilor Brook Bassan said she and her family took their big vacation for the year and were thankful to be able to travel to what she called “paradise” safely. A tropical wonderland, Turks and Caicos has over 40 islands, turquoise waters and white sand beaches and is located in the northern West Indies.
A dream vacation spot would be Ireland, Greece or Spain or anywhere with turquoise water and white sandy beaches.
Sticking closer to home, Councilor Bassan said her family likes to do short trips to Red River in the north. And for some fun in the sun, they like to go south to Elephant Butte. When visitors get here, she likes to take them to local eateries and Meow Wolf or Cliff’s Amusement Park.
Cruising Around Home, Villanueva and Old Town
Nothing better than pulling out your shiny 1959 light pink Cadillac for a cruise around the neighborhood. Councilor Klarissa Peña said she did not have current vacation plans. She said she and her husband like to cruise around the city in their Caddy hitting thrift stores, car shows, estate and yard sales, along with food trucks, while on a local staycation. One of her guilty food pleasures is the #7 from Stufy’s Restaurant.
Santa Fe in all its beauty and Villanueva State Park, which is located along the Pecos River, are two of her favorite places here in the state to head to for a break. As for a dream vacation spot, she said anywhere with her entire family is a dream come true.
She said most of her family, about 300 of them, have stayed in the area—so the few that do come to visit are taken on an Old Town tour to show them where her grandma and grandpa, who were born in the mid-1890s, would have to take a day’s carriage ride to pick up groceries.
Madrid, Tarot Cards and Fried Green Tomatoes
Sounds like Councilor Pat Davis loves New Mexico so much he never wants to leave it. He said he and his partner like to go somewhere on a local adventure every weekend.
One of their favorite places is Madrid, located on the Turquoise Trail, or State Road 14, on the east side of the Sandia Mountains. Madrid is an artist colony that is categorized as a ghost town. It was once a bustling coal mining town from the 1880s through World War II. It was also famous for its Christmas light displays in the 1920s and 1930s that would cause airlines to reroute planes to show off the ribbon of lights. Once the need for coal was diminished, the little town was left to its ghosts until the 1970s brought energetic hippie people to fix up some of the rows of little houses into more than 40 shops, galleries, restaurants and even a museum.
After a hike to the old coal mines at Cerrillos Hills State Park, Councilor Davis said he likes some fried green tomatoes, getting his tarot cards read, and maybe seeing if he should buy some local art from one of the interesting shopping places. He said he likes to end the trip with a buffalo green chile cheeseburger from another unique restaurant in this little town.
He did not directly answer the question of where he likes to take friends and family visiting from out of town; but based on his written love for the quaint Madrid, locally he would probably like to take out-of-town folks to Old Town. There is good food, lots of art, little buildings and ghosts there too.
Councilor Davis did not say where his dream vacation might be—so we thought, based on his affinity for Madrid, he would love the Swiss Alps in the summer.
Colorado, Fishing and Northern New Mexico
With one foot out of the City Hall chambers, Councilor Diane Gibson is not seeking reelection and will give up her seat to a new face at the end of the year. She said she has just returned from a mini vacation to a family reunion in Gunnison, Colorado. She said it was heavenly. And along the way, she explored Northern New Mexico and even did some fishing. She did not answer where her dream vacation would be, so we would like to send her to San Francisco for a week after she is finished with her City Council term. Based on her heavenly fishing experience, we suggest she take out-of-town visitors to either Shady Lakes or Isleta Lakes for some local fishing.
Suggestions for the Others
We did not hear back after several attempts to reach Councilors Lan Sena, Don Harris, Cynthia Borrego or Trudy Jones. They must be so busy and in need of a vacation that we would like to suggest these destinations: For Councilor Jones, who is known to be industrious, we would like to send her for a weekend at the Georgia O’Keefe Ghost Ranch for some downtime. Councilor Lan Sena might like to visit the lovely town of Truth or Consequences for a weekend of soaking in the silky soft mineral waters. And for Councilor Harris, who also is stepping down at the end of the year, a weekend in Ruidoso when the horse track is running would help ease the pain of leaving the council. Councilor Cynthia Borrego is also known for working a lot, so we think she would like Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe for a staycation.