As we continued winding our way toward our winter-over spot in Tucson, we stopped at one of our favorite little cities — Las Cruces, NM. We stayed a couple of weeks here when we made our original swing out west, and we couldn’t wait to visit here again.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon, and first thing Saturday morning we headed out to the Las Cruces Farmers Market. For a relatively small town, they offer a fantastic Farmer’s market with lots of vendors and variety. We had hoped against hope that our favorite vendor was here …. and he was! This guy makes the best kettle corn in the world. No, seriously. We’ve eaten kettle corn all over the country and this guys’ is the very best. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the ratio of popcorn to sugar, or maybe it’s the Love. In any case, it’s just the best. We bought two enormous bags; one regular and one cinnamon-sugar. YUM! The market also has the best price on honey I’ve found anywhere at only $15/quart. (Going price is typically $20/quart or more). We perused a variety of local goods, including strung locally-grown red and green chilis. I could have picked up a burlap bag full of fresh-picked chili peppers — if only I knew what to do with them! I love this market.
Another day we headed out to White Sands, previously a National Monument and now a National Park. I had to get my updated Passport stamp! We drove through the park and walked over the dunes — such an unusual place.
We dined again at the historic La Posta de Mesilla restaurant to enjoy some fantastic New Mexico cuisine in the 1850s-era building. Wandering through the historic village of Mesilla, the dearth of visitors was apparent. I wonder how many of the little shops and restaurants just won’t make it through the next year.
We also headed back to Heart of the Desert pistachio farm to pick up a supply. I don’t think they are doing their farm tours right now, but we stocked up on flavors you just don’t see elsewhere such as red chili, and garlic/green chili. We attempted to find the Dos Viejos winery that we liked so much on our last visit, but alas, it seems that it is now entirely defunct. We also tried to find the winery that stocked the Monks Reserve dessert wine that we liked, but that one had changed ownership and none of that wine was left. Too bad.
Unfortunately, during this stay, there several things things that we just couldn’t do, thanks to COVID. All of the museums were closed, including the Farm Museum and Art Museum. We had hoped to catch the Museum of Space History in Alamagordo this trip, but no luck. We also looked at going back to the hot springs in Truth or Consequences, but access was extremely limited due to COVID, so we decided it wasn’t worth it right now.
Despite the limitations, Las Cruces remains a little town that we like to visit. After Las Cruces, onward to Tucson and our winter-season spot!