20 Hours in Las Vegas (New Mexico)

las vegas new mexico

Sometimes you just need to get away.

January was a big month. Every year, I think that there is limitless time in January. I like to think of January as the quietest of months. It’s after the holidays. the rush is over. It’s cold and snowy, and everyone wants to stay indoors. So I signed up for three classes (intro to climbing at the climbing gym here, and two online classes on writing and photography) , an art show, and designed a new jewelry collection in January. And by the end was feeling just a tad burnt out. Sonia was in a similar boat, with a lot of writing deadlines on her calendar, so over the weekend we decided last minute to go away for a day. I left my camera at home, but brought my notebook and laptop so we could have a writing morning at the hotel.

Sonia in Las Vegas

Having been a big fan of the tv series Longmire, and extremely sad that they stopped filming basically when we moved to New Mexico, we’ve always wanted to visit Las Vegas, New Mexico. We heard that there is still a door to the fictional sheriff’s office on the main plaza, and the hotel that featured in many a scene is still around. So we booked a night at the Plaza Hotel, and made the hour long drive to Las Vegas on Saturday evening. We got into the plaza right as the sun was going down. The light was beautiful on the square. When we checked in, the hotel attendant asked if it was our first time, and with our yes, upgraded our room to one with a view of the plaza. The hotel was a lot bigger than I thought it was, spanning two buildings, with very high ceilings and probably the biggest and tallest king size bed we’ve ever slept in. The windows were huge, going up almost to the ceiling. The view of the plaza was very nice, and familiar from so many episodes of Longmire. We dropped our stuff off, and went for a quick walk before dinner.

historic plaza hotel las vegas new mexico
historic plaza hotel in las vegas new mexico

We ate at the hotel restaurant, and then headed to the bar down the street that had been recommended to us when we were checking in. If you ever go to Las Vegas, you have to go to Borracho’s. It was awesome. When we walked in and saw that we weren’t the only lesbian couple in the bar, we almost high fived. The cocktail list was great, and it was packed, so we sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender, before calling an early night and heading back to the Plaza Hotel.

at the bar
The famed door from Longmire

The famed door from Longmire

In the morning we drank coffee and had our morning writing date, as promised. Sometimes I find it really hard to write at home. I have a writing desk that I love, but it’s hard to squeeze in the time. Or when I wake up my brain is already going in ten directions and I have a hard time focusing on any creative writing. I’m not one for making resolutions of any kind, but I do like to make plans. So Sonia and I decided to make plans for some short writing getaways in the spring. This was all we could squeeze in right now, but we’ve got a few others in mind. There’s just something about a change in scenery that makes slowing down and writing a lot easier for me.

We started to get restless, and it was almost time to checkout, so we packed up and went for a walk. I got a number of snaps of Sonia in front of this sheriff’s door. Next door, there was a gift store/gallery called Zocalo’s with a sign out front that read “Longmire Fans Welcome”.

You can’t see from this photo, but there were lots of ducks in the pond, clustered together for shelter from the wind.

You can’t see from this photo, but there were lots of ducks in the pond, clustered together for shelter from the wind.

About a twenty minute drive away is the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. The area was fairly marshy, with lots of small ponds, so it’s no surprise that it’s popular with the birds. There’s a long loop that we drove along, stopping at a few of the lookout spots, and then went for a walk on the Gallinas Nature Trail. It was sunny and fairly warm for the first weekend in February, but it was also a super windy day, so we bundled up as much as we could for the walk. It was a really lovely spot, I’d love to see it in the Spring when everything is becoming green again. The mountains were beautiful in the distance.

at the preserve
Sonia at the preserve

Sonia at the preserve

Till next time, Las Vegas.