Skip to main content

Drunken Shenanigans at Day 2 of the Taos Wine Festival

Before we get too far into this post, I need to clarify that the drunken shenanigans mentioned in the title have nothing to do with myself or my Sexy Nerd. I already told you exactly what I'm referring to in my previous Taos Wine Festival blog post. Oh, you thought I was joking? Well take a look at this:

funny chipmunk photo for a funny blog post
Party chipmunks, running amok all over the Taos Ski Valley. Just wait until the first snowfall. When they get on their little skis with their spiked hot chocolate, they're downright dangerous.

Gangs of drunken chipmunks placed all the focus of the Taos Wine Festival on drinking, stealing attention from the other joys on offer, such as hiking, yoga, and fine gourmet dining. Yours truly would never get carried away with her wine, even at a wine festival. They should call it the Taos Behaving Politely Festival, I thought, looking down on the rowdy rodents both figuratively and literally.

Although, I suppose it would be rude not to have at least one glass...

oversized bottle of wine - drinking humor
Fact: I don't remember much from after this photo was taken. Two hands!

When I told my friends and family I would be attending the 2017 Taos Summer Wine Festival, they all made a big deal about how envious they were and how much they wished they could go too. "It's not far from Albuquerque," I pointed out. "And the price is really reasonable. You should go!" No takers. I even got one "What's a Taos?" You're all a bunch of boring crumb-bums, I thought. Don't be like my friends and family.

Let's start with the negative. There were quite a few things we disliked about the festival. Sexy Nerd is the biggest crumb-bum of all, and sure enough, he was reluctant to join me. He really ticks me off sometimes, the party pooper. Oh, that reminds me. Happy birthday, my love! Don't read the sentences before this part.

Taos Wine Festival Problem #1
You have to drive forever to get there.

The Saturday morning activity we selected, Mushroom Foraging Hike with Turquoise Tours, began at 9 am, which meant my alarm went off in Albuquerque at 4 am so that we could be in the car by 5 am so that we could be in Taos just in time for our adventure. There was another activity I preferred which started an entire hour later. It was called Yoga Instruction Followed by Chokola (chocolate!) Seminar with Madeira Wine Tasting. That's right. Sexy Nerd chose fungus over wine and chocolate. You thought I was being mean earlier when I called him a crumb-bum on his 35th birthday, of all days, but now you surely see that it could not be avoided.

Mushrooms over chocolate and tipsy, wine-fueled yoga. They wouldn't have even made us scavenge for the chocolate ourselves. SMH.

a power nap
We arrived with a few minutes to spare before our hike and seized the opportunity for a power nap.

Sexy Nerd is quick to point out that he'd suggested driving up the night before to stay in a hotel, which would have solved this problem. He conveniently forgets that the festival actually started the night before but we couldn't attend what was surely an amazing dinner with wine and dancing because he had to work late. It would have only salted the wound to arrive just after dinner ended.

4 am me was none too happy about any of this. 

Taos Wine Festival Problem #2
Taos, NM and the Taos Ski Valley, NM are two different places.

taos ski valley, nm
This is the Taos Ski Valley.

Imagine my surprise to discover our centrally located Super 8 (we like to travel in style) was actually 45 minutes from the wine festival. Oops.

arroyo seco, nm
This is Taos. It is quirky and weird and full of hippies and is one of the gems of our state, but it did not host a wine festival last weekend.

Sexy Nerd just informed me that the above photo is actually Arroyo Seco, NM, not Taos. There is an entire city in between where I thought we were going and where we actually went!

Quick side note just in case anyone took offense to my hippie comment: In Taos, we overheard a shop owner giving advice to her friend. "It's so important that you be careful during the eclipse," she warned. "You can't eat, drink, or sleep during the eclipse or it will do harm to your soul." Her equally hippie friend nodded in agreement. I am not making this up.

Taos Wine Festival Problem #3
Foraging for mushrooms is a romantic idea until it actually comes time to eat the mushrooms.

I'll go into the details of mushroom foraging a little later in this post. And actually, I'm going to gloss over the details right now as well because the details are disgusting. We did find edible mushrooms. We did take them home to eat. We did scream and shriek and we did wave our hands in the air in a panic and we did place our foraged mushrooms in the outside garbage can (the inside garbage can would have been too creepy), as they were absolutely crawling with maggots.

mushrooms held still
Frankly, I'm surprised these mushrooms held still long enough for me to take this photo.

Taos Wine Festival Problem #s 4-11
Life isn't perfect! Ack!

There wasn't enough dessert. The mountain roads made my ears pop. It was too hot. It was too cold. The traffic was sometimes a little bit congested on the way to and from the festival. I had to socialize with other people. There was a dog that we saw on Saturday and when I saw the exact same dog on Sunday, Sexy Nerd said I was wrong and that it was a different dog. (It was totally the same dog.)

Oh, and then there's this:
18,344 steps! Such a far cry
18,344 steps! Such a far cry from my usual 475. According to my FitBit, the Taos Wine Festival caused me to get way too much activity. Let's make that Festival Problem #12.

chevy volt drives to taos, nm
Problem #13: We were pelted with hail on our drive home. Thanks a lot, Taos Wine Festival. (Hey, we can't blame Obama anymore.)

The point of all this complaining, which I'm sure will come as a relief to event organizer Cecilia Cuff, who was kind enough to invite me to blog about the Taos Wine Festival and who I can only imagine has been mortified reading this post up until this point, is that we still had the best time ever. JUST GO! I expect to see all of you friends, family, and blog readers at next year's festival. You'll have an amazing time and you won't regret it. Just look at my always-serious Sexy Nerd, who didn't think he would have any fun:

the many faces of wine consumption

And it gets even better. Apparently, Sexy Nerd stole my camera after our "Wine & Swine" pig roast lunch, extra emphasis on the wine, and captured a few upside down selfies.

upside down selfies
Mechanical engineers don't wear their hat backward.

I never noticed the resemblance between my husband and Walter White until this moment.

Now, enjoy living vicariously through me for the remainder of this blog post.

Hunting for Shrooms in Taos, NM
No, not that kind of shrooms, although someone did actually find one of those and our guide called it an Alice in Wonderland mushroom and he told us not to eat it but then he didn't throw it away and I think he may have placed it in his pocket for later.

A hike was the perfect start to our day. In addition to mushrooms, there were gorgeous wildflowers everywhere.

color coordinate_chameleon
Can I color coordinate with an activity or what? Just call me the Taos Ski Valley chameleon.

poppies smells

Taos Wine Festival Problem
It made for a fun photo, but these poppies smelled like nothing.
Ooh, that can be Taos Wine Festival Problem #14!

Red color_attracts

mushroom foraging hike
The trees were spectacular. My favorite part of the mushroom foraging hike wasn't actually anything to do with mushrooms, but just being in nature. It's such a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. All my life, I've been told to stay on the trails when in the wilderness and I've never dreamt of doing otherwise. I was a model Girl Scout. Imagine my surprise being told we have to leave the trail in order to forage. I felt like such a rebel!

being in nature
Thank goodness I joined the hike. Who else would have held these two trees apart?

I hear you over there, wondering about the mushrooms. We found so many! There were lots of different kinds.

mushrooms every where
Yum, yum.

These are a delicacy.

Santa Fe Farmer's Market
I'm certain I've seen these guys at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market.

elusive mini mushroom
Behold, the ever elusive mini mushroom.

Bag full of mushrooms
Ta da! We filled an entire bag with mushrooms. We then showed our finds, triumphantly, to the tour guide, who kindly informed us that we'd picked an entire bag of poison.

mushroom thrown away
Even the most beautiful mushroom we'd found needed to be thrown away. It turns out it wasn't even a mushroom! To be fair, we had kinda suspected when we were unable to pick it from this log and had to resort to cutting it off with Sexy Nerd's pocket knife. When our guide saw it sitting in our mushroom bag, he all at once seemed surprised, amused, and to have lost a little faith in humanity.

Harmless mushrooms
Taking pity on us poor city folk, our guide helped us find some mushrooms that wouldn't kill us if consumed.

bag with edible boletes
Our bag was soon refilled with edible boletes. Hooray! Just ignore what I told you earlier in this blog post and you'll really enjoy the above photo. Don't they look yummy?

Wine & Swine Lunch
Oink, oink.

shuttle ride
After our hike, we rode a free shuttle to The Bavarian Restaurant. This was one of the highlights of the trip. No, not the lunch. The shuttle ride. It was like Disneyland! The driver apologized for the bumps, then sped up to hit them harder, sending all of the passengers flying into the air. Sexy Nerd said afterward that he feared for our lives. I think he just needed a little wine.

The Bavarian Restaurant
Much better.

needed a wine
This is the way I like my mushrooms.

Taos is big on hippies?
We were entertained by live music, which most of the crowd really enjoyed. Our tablemate called it "so zoney," which he meant as a compliment. I did mention that Taos is big on hippies, right?

Game time
There were games of corn hole and ample dog watching. Is it me or is the pup on the left very fancy and maybe a little stuck up?

chairlift rides
There were even chairlift rides for festivalgoers who didn't balk at the $18 per person charge.

$36 per couple to ride the ski lift. In August. With no snow and no skiing.


nature walk
We elected to continue our nature walk after lunch. 

 fun with a little wine
It was even more fun with a little wine in our systems. We were joking and meandering and Sexy Nerd told me to turn around because there was a deer, but even tipsy me is too clever to fall for that.

 turn around_deer

too clever to fall

stash of bolete mushrooms
Sexy Nerd added to his stash of bolete mushrooms and talked endlessly about all the delicious ways he was going to prepare them. (Tragic.)

fresh mountain air
And we took a few more photos, enjoying the fresh mountain air.

fresh mountain air


Love is love

natural beauty

Taos Summer Wine Festival

Taos chipmunks
The Taos chipmunks are actually very sweet when they're on their own, not anything like the furry, obnoxious frat boys they become in a group. That's peer pressure for you.

People really eat these things. I kid you not.

The Seattle Fish Company provided two different types of oysters for VIP guests in an all-you-can-eat pairing with Gruet champagne. Lounging on outdoor sofas and mingling with the who's who of the wine industry, it made for an unforgettable experience.

oysters for VIP

Unforgettably good for one of us. Unforgettably yucky for the other.

a trigger warning
I feel like I might need to go back and add a trigger warning to this photo after I publish this post. We'll see.

a dozen oysters
I think you can guess which of us ate a dozen oysters. He slurped them right from the shells, whole. It was awful.

I tried a bite
There. I tried a bite.

To be fair, I've only had two other experiences with oysters and neither was like this. Both were in 2017. Culinarily, this has been a big year for me! My first taste was Valentine's Day at a "fancy" restaurant (at an Albuquerque race track/casino - who are they kidding?) and the oysters were coated in flavored salts to mask, unsuccessfully, the fact that they were past their prime. Actually, I'm not sure they were ever in their prime.

The second experience was much more positive but ruined me on fresh oysters forever. We attended a beer-pairing dinner at Albuquerque's fancy (no quotations) restaurant, Seasons, and were served chicken fried oysters. Amazing! Now, I demand all my oysters be breaded and fried to a golden brown deliciousness. If I can tell it's an oyster, no thank you.

Side note: We ran into one of the beer reps from our dinner at Seasons at the Taos festival, along with a few other folks we recognized from wine tastings in Albuquerque. We're slowly getting to know the community, social anxiety and all. Huzzah!

Indulge: The Grand Tasting Event of the Taos Wine Festival
There was purple cheese. I didn't get any photos of it because I ate it all.

The Grand Tasting Event

If you're going to attend a food and wine festival, make it the one in Taos. All of the vendors were so friendly and there weren't any lines. When you found something you enjoyed, you could have as much as you wanted. Which actually was a bit of a problem - we left sooo full.

a food and wine festival

Here's a taste (hee, hee) of what you missed this year:

ceviche! I hate seafood
The very first thing I sampled was ceviche, not realizing what I was being handed until it was too late. I hate seafood! The blue corn tortilla chips and little cubes of avocado tricked me into thinking I was getting something good. Somehow, I managed to choke down this and two refills.

Yerba mate_energy drink
Energy drinks! We ate our food and drank our wine at top speed.

goat cheese and pinon-sprinkled hummus
You're seeing bacon-wrapped dates and pitas topped with goat cheese and pinon-sprinkled hummus. Suddenly the drive to Taos doesn't seem that far, does it?

 Zia Beverage
New Mexico's own Zia Beverage was present, providing samples of their unique, yucca-containing drinks. They were across from an empty table reserved for Coca Cola, who was a no show at the festival. Maybe Coke realized they couldn't compete?

Pulled pork sandwiches
Pulled pork sandwiches, anyone? Did I mention you could have as much as you wanted for three entire hours?

purple cheese, Shamrock Foods
The same folks who provided my beloved purple cheese, Shamrock Foods, had an endless supply of chocolates from Columbia. Every time I went back for more cheese, I'd grab one small chocolate and slip it into my purse for later. THIS IS HOW MUCH CHEESE I CONSUMED.

pesky chipmunks
And, of course, you knew those pesky chipmunks would make another appearance at the grand tasting. They really overindulged. It was cute at first, but when they started running around, squeaking "Chip and Dale, beyotches!" enough was enough. I even saw a group of chipmunks lighting their farts on fire.

Actually, that part made me laugh. I'd had a lot to drink though.

A lot to drink though

Popular posts from this blog

Cake Mix Pancakes

This reader-favorite recipe is *almost* as popular as my Cake Mix Cookie Bars recipe .  When making Cake Mix pancakes , the scrumptious possibilities are endless. Red Velvet cake mix pancakes. Chocolate cake mix pancakes. Butter Pecan cake mix pancakes. Funfetti cake mix pancakes. (Yes, Funfetti cake mix pancakes!) With this 2-ingredient recipe, you can turn your favorite cake mix into your favorite pancakes. Pancake making at its finest. Cake Mix Pancakes Personally, I think my funny napkin is the icing on the (pan)cake. It's Sunday morning and you're planning to do all the things today - scrub those grody baseboards, polish your quartz countertop that was supposed to be low maintenance but actually isn't at all, sort through the disaster that is the freezer.  While on your superhuman kick, you think I'm going to make my family pancakes for breakfast. Not just any pancakes - the best pancakes ever. I may even serve them as breakfast in bed! You pu

Chemical Peel Before & After

This article has been updated! My new chemical peel post, which includes pricing, Jessner peel before and after photos, product recommendations, and a helpful timeline for scheduling your treatments, is at the bottom. My original Jessner peel post (one of the most popular on my site of all time) is at the beginning. Original Chemical Peel Article Considering a chemical peel? I recently underwent my first Jessner peel and thought I'd share my results, post a Jessner peel review, and answer some frequently asked chemical peel questions. (I'm guessing that "Does a chemical peel hurt?" is a biggie!) I'd been planning to order an over-the-counter peel when we were in Iceland , but my computer led me a different direction. I decided to do this on a whim after Groupon greeted me one morning with a great $40 chemical peel deal. Now, I can read your mind. You just gasped in horror and thought  You trusted your face to a  discount  chemical peel?!  You're wondering w

How to Move a Mattress

My site is popular for reviewing memory foam mattresses. With today's bed-in-a-box options lasting much longer than the traditional 7 years of a spring mattress, there's a good chance you'll eventually need to move one. But how? This is  how to move a mattress  without damaging it - even by yourself!  When we were faced with the challenge of moving our beloved Amerisleep AS3  to our new home, it seemed like my readers would enjoy the details. This handy tip should work for any memory foam bed, including Casper, Leesa, and Nectar.  I'm happy to report there is an extremely simple way to do it. Apartment and dorm dwellers rejoice! How to Move a Mattress At first, I wasn't sure how to move our king-size mattress down a flight of stairs. It's a problem we've dreaded solving ever since we made the decision to build a new house.  The answer? It was right in the back of our truck.  Ratchet straps . This solution could also serve as a 'How To' for returning

10 Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks

You're in for a treat. Today I'm sharing my best canned cinnamon roll hacks and improvements for turning store-bought cinnamon rolls, like the Pillsbury Grands ones or even the store brand, into something special.  Dry cinnamon rolls? No thank you. They need to be OOEY and GOOEY. That's just Cinnamon Roll 101. All of these ideas keep Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls soft, company-worthy, and delicious. These are also great for taking homemade cinnamon rolls up a notch, but what a pain that is. With these better-than-homemade canned cinnamon roll hacks, you'll never bother to bake them from scratch again. Test out some of these ideas tomorrow. Won't it be nice to dig into a mouthwatering cinnamon roll for breakfast? You can't get a better start to your day than that. Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks Actually, make that 11 easy ways to improve store-bought cinnamon rolls: you can top them with homemade coffee whipped cream . Yum! Nope, make that 12 canned cinnam

Hello Fresh Complaints

Hello, my bloggy friends. I have a HelloFresh complaint and believe they are pulling a scam. Yours truly came *this close* to falling for it.  Maybe scam is too harsh of a word. Sneaky? You can decide for yourself. The fact that there are so many Hello Fresh complaints online does seem suspicious. My main complaint about Hello Fresh has to do with their promotional rate, which seems like it is set up to be intentionally misleading (more on this below). Despite so many people complaining about being charged more than they thought they'd agreed to, Hello Fresh maintains this as part of their business model and continues to mislead. So it's intentional, right? I do not recommend Hello Fresh. For starters, the service is just ingredients-by-mail with recipes, not meals. You can buy your own ingredients for much less, especially now that most grocery stores conveniently offer pickup and delivery. Excellent recipes are easy to find.  Click here for a list of top-rated, reader-favorit

3 Minute Toaster/Convection Oven Smores

These are perfect when you're craving a quick, sugary treat. They work equally well in a toaster oven and a convection oven. Best of all, compared to eating an entire bag of Oreos (something I have never  done), they're quite healthy. What's that, you say? You already know how to make s'mores in the toaster oven? Well then, sit back and enjoy the ooey-gooey marshmallowy photos. (And if you're someone who works with me, please keep the "I've seen her polish off an entire bag of Oreo cookies" nonsense to yourself.)  Step 1: Put desired amount of graham crackers on a toaster oven/convection oven-safe pan.   Looks like it's time to clean this pan, Sexy Nerd Optional 1st step, which is Sexy Nerd's favorite: Spread peanut butter on each graham cracker (I'm not much of a peanut butter fan - WHAT?!? - so I skip this step.) Cover with yummy marshmallows. Top with chocolate chips. Place in the toaster o

Dental Memes

As the manager of two successful dental offices, my favorite memes are ones I can share with my dentistry dream team.  Happy Team = Living the Dream! You don't have to work in dentistry to enjoy these. After all, everyone is a dental patient. You have visited the dentist within at least the year...right? (No guilt if you haven't! I've scheduled patients who haven't seen a dentist since the 1970s. Dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental administrators have seen it all. We love this field because we love helping our patients. It's never too late to get back on track!) Funny Memes for Dentists Reminder: National Dentist's Appreciation Day is March 6th! Funny Memes for Dental Hygienists Reminder: National Dental Hygienist Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of April! Funny Memes for Dental Assistants Reminder: National Dental Assistant Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of March! Funny Memes for Dental Office Administrators Reminder: Ad

Sending NAKED Emails

Although SN and I started out in a long-distance relationship, with me in New Mexico and him in Michigan, drinking that famous Flint water, we haven't spent much time apart since before our wedding 6 years ago, when I took a family reunion trip to the Seychelles and Paris without him. (He "had to work", but I think the idea of 3 weeks nonstop with my mom terrified him. To be fair, it was pretty scary!) Now, he has been gone on a business trip for nearly 2 weeks and I'm kinda starting to miss him. He says he misses me too. So, I decided to have some fun and send him the following email: Subject: Here are some NAKED photos for you Message: Be sure to delete these after you look at them. The photos, one titled "hubba hubba" and the other "you know you love it": "I ain't afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it." "I'm sexy and I know it." Yep, that is a 100% collar-free, naked Pica . Sexy Nerd&#

Window Seat Idea - Dream Home Inspiration of the Day

See it? Waaay at the back of the photo?  I like how the window seat extends past the window all the way to the wall. How about you? If that's not your style, how about one of these lovely window seats? I'll seat you, my pretty, and your little dog too. How perfect would this be in a home office? I'd swap out that wimpy rug with a larger one.

Anonymous Flower Delivery

Anonymous Flower Delivery Sexy Nerd and I came home from a day of running errands on Saturday to discover an odd message on my phone. It was a girl from a flower shop calling to confirm my address for a delivery.  I called and said there must be a mistake, as I wasn't expecting any flowers, to which she pointed out that people don't usually expect flowers. Oh, of course.  As nice as it would be to have someone send me flowers, it seemed unlikely. Sure enough, she was unable to find any orders for me when I gave my name. She did have a Danielle though, and asked if there might be a different last name. I told her my maiden name. There really were flowers waiting for me!  She confirmed the delivery address - the rental house Sexy Nerd and I lived in 3 years ago. I updated my address and ended the call, anxiously waiting to see who would send me flowers. Who sent me flowers from FTD? My mysterious stalker has beautiful taste! Strange? I had no idea how str