• Shay

anniversary getaway to Jemez Springs

This past weekend Joe and I celebrated four years together by driving four hours north to the small town of Jemez Springs, New Mexico. The town is situated on Highway 4 and there are so many attractions along the road to stop at and explore.

We left Friday after Joe got out of class and we packed up the car and hit the road. We got into Jemez Springs around 7 that night. We arrived right before the sun went down and it was starting to get chilly.

Joe and I stayed at the cutest Airbnb that was built in 1890. Our hosts were awesome and gave us a quick tour of the house and property when we arrived and they had plenty of guides and trail maps for Jemez Springs and other local attractions.

The space was a one bedroom one bathroom guest house located right in the center of the tiny town. We were literally steps away from everything in town; the bakery, bar, and hot springs were right next door.

Our Airbnb also had a full kitchen, which I didn't think much about when I booked our trip but I'm so glad it did! The first night we ended up making homemade pizza, drinking wine, and hanging out next to the wood burning stove instead of venturing out into town. Cooking together has always been something that Joe and I love doing together so it was a perfect anniversary meal.

The next morning we woke up bright and early, made some coffee (yes, we took our own coffee, french press, coffee grinder, etc.), and then walked down the driveway to Highway 4 Bakery and Cafe. We decided to have cappuccinos (served in giant cups) and omelettes the first morning.

McCauley Warm Springs

After breakfast we drove a few minutes up the highway and went on a 3 mile hike through the Jemez Mountains to get to McCauley Warm Springs. The hike was absolutely beautiful and it wasn't a hard trail at all. There was a small group of people camping next to the warm springs but we hung out until they were packed up and gone before we ventured into the pools. They were definitely warm and not hot but it was still nice to get in and relax after hiking.

San Jose de los Jemez church

Next we did a self guided tour of the stone ruins of a 500 year old Indian village and the San Jose de los Jemez church dating back to 1621. It was incredible to see the ancient ruins and read about what each building and room were and the purpose they served. My favorite part of the tour was probably the Kiva that we were able to climb into. The underground Kiva is where religious and spiritual ceremonies would take place.

Giant Kiva ladder

We ate some lunch at the Stage Shop after our tour and it was a strange place to say the least. It seems like a gas station turned restaurant, the food was pretty average diner food (fried food and burgers), there were old movies playing on one television, some birds in a corner, and the whole place had a faint cat pee smell.. We only went here once but I'm glad we experienced all the dining options in Jemez Springs.

Jemez Hot Springs: Home of the Giggling Springs

After we ate and took a little nap, we made our way down to the Jemez Hot Springs: Home of the Giggling Springs day spa. We decided to soak for an hour at sunset, it was a beautiful spa with four hot spring pools ranging in temperatures. We tried out each pool and at the end of our hour we felt rejuvenated and refreshed. We weren't able to try out the Jemez Springs Bath House but we heard great things about it. Next time!

Joe in front of Los Ojos

That night we walked down to the only bar in Jemez Springs, Los Ojos. It had a tavern vibe with lots of taxidermy hanging on the walls. We ordered some jalapeno poppers and wings to go with our New Mexico craft beers (very healthy) and hung out and watched the people come and go out of the giant door.

Once we were back in our home for the weekend we stayed up playing cards and listening to music.

The view from Spence Hot Springs

The next morning we woke up early again, made our coffee, and headed for Spence Hot Springs. We decided to skip breakfast to get an earlier start since we heard this hike was popular and the springs are usually crowded. I'm glad we got an early start because we were the only people out there the whole time. The trail was short and the views from the springs were absolutely stunning. The springs were not as hot as we expected so we didn't get in the pools but we did take lots of pictures and explored around the pools for a while.

Wild spearmint we found on our hike

Once we finished up our hike we ate one last breakfast at the Highway 4 Cafe and Bakery and then packed up the car and headed to Albuquerque to stop at Trader Joe's.

This trip was so perfect. Jemez Springs exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to go back (with Prudence!) and spend some more time exploring the area.

I am so lucky to have Joe in my life and I'm so glad he enjoys adventuring, hiking, and living simply as much as I do. These past four years have flown by but at the same time so much has happened, and there is nobody I would have rather experienced such highs and lows with. I truly believe that we are soul mates and that it was love at first sight (for me at least). I can't imagine my life without this incredibly smart, talented, kind, gentle, handsome, hilarious, and driven boy. He inspires me everyday and teaches me new things all the time. I am truly a lucky human.

Joe and I mid-hike

I hope everyone has a beautiful week filled with love and happiness and all the good things.

All the love, always.



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