The Hidden Gems of NM: Part Two

This gem wasn’t necessarily so hidden as the last! We knew upon coming here that we would have it- The Soto Family. From the first time we met them they were instantly friends. You can read more of why we love them in their TRIBUTE, but today I just wanted to share one of our great experiences with them while being here.

We were planning to have a “Kauai Style” dinner, which is much like a potluck, with them as Danny and Abby both had this Wednesday off. As i was calling them to finalize the dinner menu Abby said she had a different idea in mind. They wanted to take us out to a new restaurant in town and then we could take the kids ice skating. Both, Jordan and I, were a little stir-crazy so we quickly agreed to the new plan.

It turns out this new restaurant serves up a seafood food boil, southern style. I am always hesitant eating seafood this far from the ocean, but the place had been highly recommended! Now when I say southern style I mean, you order your seafood by the pound, choose your sauce and then they serve it up in a plastic bag. The table is covered in plastic. You get no forks, no knives, no plates…. just a bib and a shell cracker! I have never quite experienced a meal like this before. So I pulled my hair back, tied on my bib and just went for it. You have to pull the head and feet of your shrimp, crack and rip open crab legs and really work for your savory feast. Little Sophie especially loved the ripping apart the shrimp heads. It made the table burst with laughter.

It was a crazy experience and a new one at that. It made us excited for a hopeful future trip to the South to experience the real deal. By the end of it all, the table was covered in shrimp heads, empty clam shells and pieces of crab legs. It was a disaster, dripping with goodness. We were all covered in sauce from our cheeks to our fingertips. We laughed at the remnants of our delicious dinner. It was incredible, now let’s just hope our stomachs don’t disagree with us later. I made a comment that I would report back in 24-48 hours on my verdict of it all! (Lucky to say, IT WAS FANTASTIC, and there was no ill effects of eating seafood in New Mexico!)

After finally getting cleaned up we drove to the ice rink. I haven’t been in at least 15 years and Jordan, probably about 8. Despite my nerves, we laced up the skates and put on a brave face for the kids! It’s funny what kids can do to you, make you face your fears and act as if you’re not scared at all, just to show them a good time! It definitely started off a little shaky and rough I definitely used the kids as a crutch pushing them on their stability bars to hold myself up while I figured it all out again. We spent the next two hours pushing them round and round and helping them to skate on their own. It was quite the scene as we tried to help them while maintaining our own balance. Happy to report though, neither one of us fell! We skated the night away laughing at ourselves until our ankles could not handle it any longer.

Nights like these make us ever more grateful for unexpected and new experiences. For opportunity to do things that we would have NEVER done without other people. And also for the time spent with the people we love so dearly.

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