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November 3, 2023

MN in NM: A Fresh Perspective on the Land of Enchantment

As the sun slowly wakes up this morning, I’m cozied up with my hand-made ceramic mug, painted red on the inside and the perfect hue of turquoise outside. New Mexico’s iconic Zia symbol and a hot air balloon are skillfully rendered at its center, and the warmth of freshly brewed coffee permeates its perfectly shaped form to my chilly hands. This treasure lives with me where I now reside in Minnesota but it is a welcome reminder of the recent time spent in my other home, the Land of Enchantment: New Mexico.

Originally from the Mid-west, my husband and I lived in Albuquerque for over 20 years and still have work, family, and life-long friends there. Recently, I had the joy of hosting 4 of my Minnesota friends, who upon hearing me gush about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, pulled the trigger and made plans to come. I knew we’d have a great time; I just didn’t realize the impact it would have on deepening my love and appreciation for Albuquerque.

Having never been to this part of the Southwest, I only had 4 days to show my Minnesota friends all the best of New Mexico. It was important to me that we narrow it down to things that are unique to this charming part of the world. So, my husband and I went to work making a list of all our favorites sites, places, restaurants,and breweries.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing highlights of the places, food, experiences, and elements that comprised four days where the word “perfect” was often uttered. The weather…perfect. The food…perfect. The balloon fiesta…perfect. The tram ride and sunset on the Sandia mountain peak…perfect. Meeting a sparkle fairy and Santa Claus…perfect. Even being in the prime location for the once in a lifetime solar eclipse…perfect. It was like falling in love all over again with this place that I called home for decades. It may no longer be my primary home, but I’m proud to still belong in this unique and enchanting place.

The Special Shapes Rodeo at the International Balloon Fiesta

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