Dining at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa

When one is on vacation, one sometimes cannot be bothered to look far for sustenance. Since the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa is somewhat removed from civilization, and by removed, I mean less than 15 minutes away, we enjoyed some of our meals on property. There are several options for a meal, which range in price and ambiance.

The Corn Maiden
Raisin Bread and I enjoyed our first meal at The Corn Maiden, which is the property’s fine dining restaurant and only open for dinner.

Everything from the dishes to the decor are heavily influenced by the Southwest. 

Our meal began with a selection of homemade breads. There was a garlic Parmesan breadstick, blue corn bread, and a jalapeno cheddar muffin, served with tomato jam and whipped honey butter. The jalapeno cheddar muffin was amazing! I had two of them.

To start, we shared the Local Goat Cheese and Tamaya Bees with petite flowers, dates, candied pecans and crostini. The “Tamaya Bees” was a bee pollen drizzle from the bee colony on property. So delish.

For my entree, I had the Lobster and Pasta (forest mushrooms, Campanelle pasta and English peas in a Champagne lobster sauce). The dish had huge pieces of lobster in it and was probably one of the best lobster pastas I have ever had.

Raisin Bread has the Lamb Umido (Apricot Nopalita Tortelloni, garden herbs in a peach-Grigio Demi). The server described the dish as more of a stew than a sauce and that is exactly what it was. It was a little too rich for the hubster and he wound up picking the pieces of lamb out of the sauce.

We were so stuffed by then that we could not have dessert. The server, instead, offered us desserts to go since we were celebrating a special occasion. We took a green chile apple pie and a lemon chiffon cheesecake to go. We also packed up these little chocolate with espresso bean truffles to go.

Dining Pool Side
I spent a few hours on two of the days we were at the resort by the pool. Dining poolside is super convenient. There are servers who make their rounds to take drink and food orders. I ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri and a chicken avocado wrap for lunch one of the days. They were both just okay, but I loved the convenience (i.e. not having to move from my pool chair).

Santa Ana Cafe
On the second night of our stay, we dined at the Santa Ana Cafe. This is a more casual option, which is open three meals a day and has both indoor and outdoor seating.

We went with the dinner buffet because it actually looked very tasty. They had salads, soups, fried chicken, tamales, veggies and the best mac and cheese I have had in a long time. There was also a variety of desserts to choose from. I, of course, chose the chocolate cake a la mode!

Other Dining Options
For one of our breakfasts, we grabbed some food from the Trading Post. It contains a Starbucks with the usual offerings like bagels, yogurt and muffins but also a wide selection of burritos.

Two options that we did not try were the Rio Grande Lounge, which serves bar food and also has indoor and outdoor seating, and in-room dining.

I was very happy with the quality of food and the range of alternatives available on property. While we did not have every meal at the resort, there were plenty of things to choose from and they were all tasty and enjoyable meals.

Hot Air Ballooning with Rainbow Ryders

We are back from a short staycation at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo. Since we were not able to properly celebrate our anniversary or Raisin Bread’s birthday, we combined those two occasions along with my birthday and took a nice weekend away.

One of our activities for the weekend was to take a hot air balloon flight. When we visited Albuquerque for the first time in 2013, we booked a balloon flight, but it was canceled the morning of the flight due to bad weather. We had much better luck with the weather this time.

We checked into the Rainbow Ryders office at 5:30 AM on Saturday and got split into our flight groups. There were twelve people on our flight, plus Taylor, our pilot.

A short time later, we hopped into a passenger van and drove to our launch site. In addition to our pilot, our two member chase crew also joined us in the van.

Once we reached the launch site, the crew started setting up the balloon for our flight.

They gave passengers the opportunity to assist with blowing up the balloon as well, but we both stood back and watched.

Before too long, we hopped into the basket and were up in the air! Everything about the flight was so peaceful. I was expecting to be a little bit nervous but the flight was so smooth. All we needed to do was take in the views and the sunrise.

Taylor gave us a great experience. He took us about 8 feet above the Rio Grande River. I thought we might be able to reach down and touch the water. It seemed so close!

Then he took us up to 5,000 feet above ground level.

We, for sure, had the best pilot. He took us the highest up and the farthest out of any of the balloons up in the sky at that time. We had beautiful views of the river, the mountains and the city of Albuquerque.

At the end of the flight, we took the brace position and landed smoothly in a bank parking lot, where our chase crew was waiting for us. 
They packed up the balloon and then we headed to a park to enjoy our morning refreshments. 
I had a delicious mimosa to celebrate our successful flight. We wound up talking to some of our flight mates as well! Everyone was in a good mood after our fun morning adventure!

If taking a hot air balloon flight is on your bucket list, Albuquerque is a great place to check it off. Rainbow Ryders has sunrise flights during the summer and sunrise and sunset flights during the winter. If you choose Rainbow Ryders, be sure to get Taylor as your pilot. He was great and is very experienced!

Our sunrise flight was $159 per person and included our flight, post-flight toast and refreshments and a flight certificate. Flights during the International Balloon Fiesta are much more expensive though, so be sure to check their website for the most recent information.

35th Birthday!

Hello, friends! Yesterday was my 35th birthday! Since this birthday was kind of a big deal, I decided to take the day off from work for the first time in my life. Yup, that is correct. I had never taken the day off for my birthday before. Is that crazy?

Gus surprised me this morning by making a huge mess in his crate, which I had to clean up. I finally got out of the house to enjoy my free birthday Starbucks. I got a venti iced latte and a chocolate croissant. I was all comfy with my iPad but the store was so cold that I left after I finished eating my croissant. Boohoo!

I headed back home and took a leisurely walk with my pups. Two happy guys!

Then it was time for some relaxation with a 90 minute Swedish massage at Massage Envy

I was starving at the end of the session so I headed to Nagomi for a seaweed salad and tuna, yellowtail and salmon donburi. Yum!

Then it was back home to let the puppies out and do some at-home yoga.

I made a run to Target and then to a newly opened boba tea cafe. Rustic Bubble Tea Cafe is so cute! Looks like a great place to relax and enjoy a drink and snack. It reminds me a lot of the boba tea cafes in California, which Albuquerque has been lacking.

Wednesday night is softball night for us, so we headed out to play. Unfortunately, we lost, but I did get a base hit. Woohoo!

After the game, our team captain surprised me and the rest of the team with birthday cupcakes! So sweet. A few of us also went out to dinner afterwards.

Mmmm…red velvet! Do you like my crazy Union Jack leggings?
I had a nice, relaxing day and cannot believe that I am now 35. So scary.

Weekend Update – July 4th, 2015

Hope your Independence Day was fantastic! Our long weekend was spent doing the same thing we did last year. Working on the house! I cannot wait until our house is finished and we can relax and just enjoy it.

The goal for the weekend was to demo the master bathroom. Here are some before photos of it in its original ugliness.

In the midst of our demo on Friday, Raisin Bread got struck in the leg by falling ceramic tile. This required a detour to the emergency room and four stitches later, we were back home. 

Neither of us wanting to keep working so we went out to dinner instead! We headed to Farina Alto, where we shared a Verde Salad (mixed baby greens, candied walnuts, apples, gorgonzola and champagne vinaigrette).

For my entree, I had the linguine and clams. It was yummy, but super buttery. 

We kept on working on the house on Saturday as well. We borrowed a friend’s truck and made a trip to the city dump to dispose of parts of our bathroom. Guess where we were last July 4th! The same city dump. 
Raisin Bread finished laying the wood for the hallway. Looking good!
We just need to put the trim and the doors back on now. I helped by prepping the trim and priming it. Next step is to paint it. 

My back has been killing me all weekend, especially after the visit to the dump, so Raisin Bread continued the bathroom demo without me. Here is what it looks like now. 

Our weekend ended with watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Go, USA! Congratulations on the big win! 
We also got some grilling in before the weekend was over. We had some delicious cheeseburgers with corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad and shrimp cocktail. Do you think this is enough food for two people?

This certainly did not feel like a three-day weekend with all of the work we put in. Hopefully, next year, we won’t be at the dump on the 4th of July, and instead, doing something fun! 

This Week’s Eats + Another Trip to DC

Hello, friends. I am so excited for the three day weekend to celebrate the 4th of July! Stay safe out there this weekend!

This week was another busy one for me. On Monday night, Raisin Bread and I had dinner at The Artichoke Cafe. We originally were planning to eat here on Sunday night, but we wanted to keep on working on the house that night and stayed in.

We skipped the starters and went straight for the entrees. I ordered the half rack of lamb with fallafel, mashed sweet potatoes, chickpeas and tomato.

For dessert, I had the rosewater semifreddo with pistachio meringue and pomegranate pearls.

I thought the food was very inventive for Albuquerque and I was glad that we were finally able to try this restaurant out.

On Tuesday morning, I was up at 4;30 am to catch my flights to DC. I got upgraded to first class on my Dallas to DC leg! Woohoo. This was the third time in my life flying first class, and it was lovely as expected.

Warm nuts and a beverage served in an actual glass.

For lunch, I had a grilled beef salad with a pretzel roll.

But my favorite thing is by far the warm chocolate chip cookie. Yum!

I headed to the office for a few hours before checking into my hotel. I had some time to kill before dinner, so I visited the National Portrait Gallery. I think I mentioned before that this is the only Smithsonian that is open until 7 pm, so it is the only place I can visit after work. 
I saw one of the temporary exhibitions as well as some of the permanent galleries. Here is Bill by Chuck Close from the America’s Presidents exhibition. 

Portrait of Elvis

 For dinner, I met up with my friend at Jose Andres’s China Chilcano. This is the fifth Jose Andres restaurant I have dined at, and it was delicious as usual. China Chilcano specializes on a play on chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) cuisine. Peru has a large Chinese population and chifa restaurants can be found all over the country.

The menu is huge and since there were only two of us, we were only able to sample a few items.

I started with the ceviche classico.

We shared the tam tam: wheat noodles, spicy pork, peanuts and aji panca. I loved this dish. So spicy and flavorful.

Lastly, we had the ji song sillao: chicken, soy sauce, fried sweet potato, sweet drop pepper in a lettuce cup. This was also delicious. The sweet potatoes really made this dish.

The evening was calling for thunderstorms, but luckily, I made it back to my hotel in time. The next morning, I saw the effects of the overnight storms. Poor car

After a day at the office, I was headed back to Albuquerque. I got to catch the last part of the Women’s World Cup semifinal game: Japan versus England. Wow, was the a doozy. Really tough loss for England! I am looking forward to cheering on Team USA this weekend.

Have a wonderful 4th!