Last Saturday, Stephen, my mother-in-law, and I spent almost the entire day in Las Cruces. It’s a cute college town about 45 minutes west of El Paso. Our plan was to see what there was to see, eat what there was to eat, and enjoy as much of the day as possible in New Mexico.
Our first stop was the Las Cruces farmer’s market.
I had heard about the market before, but I had no idea how big it was! It puts the El Paso farmer’s market (which only has maybe 20 vendors) to shame. This place was the perfect blend of produce, jewelry, knick-knacks, art, and food. We spent a good 2 hours meandering from stall to stall. Somehow Stephen and I managed to spend nearly $50 on this and that. We got some honey straws, a half pound of jujubes, lunch (a burger for him, quesadillas for me, fresh lemonade to share), biscochitos, blue corn popcorn, cotton candy, a new mouse pad. I’m not sure where all our money went, but I know that we had a fantastic time spending it.
Right before we left, I got pooped on. We were sitting under a tree listening to a band play when I felt something hit the back of my neck. Bird poop.
It’s good luck, though, right? Right???
We left the farmer’s market and headed for Mesilla town square. It’s a tiny town right next door to Las Cruces. They were having a big fiesta to celebrate Mexican Independence.
More food and trinkets to by! This time we mostly resisted, but my mother-in-law bought some out of this world cream soda that she graciously let us share.
Everyone was gathered around the main pavilion to watch a parade of performers take the stage. My favorites were the mariachis. The singer had a big voice and could hold notes for what seemed like forever. At one point he said something about mujeres and everyone cheered. Then he said something about muchachos. More cheers! I got into it cheering along with everyone else and dancing embarrassingly. It’s what I do.
Mesilla has some really cute restaurants, but I’ll have to try them on the next visit; I was still stuffed from my farmer’s market treats from earlier in the day.
We had wanted to go to Fort Seldon, but the place was rained out from our torrential downpour of the previous week. Instead, our final stop in LC was Veterans Park.
This green swath of land was dedicated to veterans of Dona Ana County in 1999. The memorial wall lists the names of all Dona Ana residents who served in foreign conflicts.
There’s a separate monument behind the wall for those who were in the Bataan Death March. The cement in front of and behind the statue is filled with footprints of survivors. This small memorial was very impactful and I’m even more determined to participate in the Bataan Memorial Race in March.
By this point in the day, we were tuckered out. We loaded back up in the car and headed toward El Paso. We took a moment to stop along Transmountain road for a one last photo op.
Thus concludes our day in Las Cruces!