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Las Cruces, New Mexico

As I’m feeling the stresses of starting a new job, the school year ending for the kiddos and the overall stress of being a mom, I knew I needed a couple days away to unwind and relax.  My sister lives in El Paso and Las Cruces is less than an hour drive away.  I booked a flight while Southwest was having a sale and told my sister I was coming!  She booked a couple nights at Hotel Encanto and a plan was hatched.  While researching what to do on our mini vacay, I found the Las Cruces Convention & Visitors Bureau website.  This site has tons of information about Las Cruces including restaurants, events and things to do.  Make sure you visit this site before you go to help plan your trip.

When we arrived in Las Cruces, we checked into our hotel and then headed to the small town of Mesilla to shop and eat.  There were plenty of small shops to wander in and out.  A bookstore, a cute tea store, an olive oil store and lots of gift shops.  We made a stop at NM Vintage Winery and had a red wine and sangria flight and cooled down from the hot sun.

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We continued to explore Mesilla and hung out on the square and listened to a live band.  At the suggestion of the Uber driver, we went to La Posta (which is on the Green Chile “Walk of Flame”) for dinner.  We ordered the fajitas and it was delicious!  Very interesting place as it has live birds in cages when you walk in!  It fills up fast so get there early!

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The next morning, we ate breakfast at our hotel, omelette for Richelle and a stack of pancakes for me, and we headed out to the Organ Mountains to hike to Dripping Springs.  The hike up the trail is supposed to be easy but if you are out of shape like me and the sun is out…..  Let’s just say we needed to take a few breaks and sit down in the shade.  Once we reached Dripping Springs, it was beautiful and shaded.  The spring wasn’t actually dripping since it is so close to summer but walking around the old Van Patten Mountain Camp was really cool to see.  The hike back down was easy as it was all downhill and we were able to get great pictures.  Make sure you pack plenty of water, wear sunscreen, bring a walking stick and extra bandaids.

 

We worked up quite an appetite for lunch and it wasn’t even noon yet!  We went to Pecan Grill and Brewery located just across the street and ate a fantastic brunch!  The food was excellent as well as the service!  Richelle had the street tacos and I had the Brewer Bites.  I HAD to get something with green chiles and the garlic fries made a perfect side!  Oh, and everything tasted good with a pitcher of mimosas!  Ask for the orange/pineapple juice combo!

 

 

Next up was the Las Cruces Wine Festival!  We were really excited to check out some of New Mexico’s best wines!  After a $45 Uber ride to the fairgrounds (YIKES!) we arrived to a very crowded wine festival.  We were able to sample a few wines but the lines were pretty long, not moving and in the sun.  We found a short line with Frose (frozen rose wine) and bought a glass.  We sat in the shade and watched a painting class which was pretty amusing!  To be honest, I’m not sure if I would recommend going to this if you are in town this particular weekend.  The tickets were $20 each, Uber costs us $90 and we ended up buying 2 glasses of wine each because the lines to taste were so long and mostly in the sun.  So over $150 we spent and walked away with 2 tiny wine glasses and a sunburn.  My recommendation – skip the wine festival and find a nice restaurant that serves local wine.

 

 

When we arrived back to our hotel, exhausted and sunburned, we decided to eat at the hotel restaurant again since we had great food for breakfast.  Richelle had a yummy fajita beef salad and I went local again with chalupas.  Once again, it was delicious!

 

We packed everything we wanted to do in less than 48 hours!  On the way back to El Paso, we stopped for breakfast at Mesilla Valley Kitchen.  While it was tempting to get the Hangover Burrito, we went with the breakfast sandwich and potatos.

Las Cruces was the perfect girls weekend getaway!  We had great food, great wine and enjoyed the town.  We stayed at Hotel Encanto and I would recommend staying there.  They have a great restaurant, a fun bar and it’s beautiful.  It’s close to the mall and many great restaurants.  While we didn’t go to White Sands this time (since we went there with the kids a few months ago) I would recommend checking it out since it is close to Las Cruces.

Oh, and I’m having buyer’s remorse over this cute dress that I didn’t get!  Next time…..

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