Perusing the TV schedule last evening, a familiar name leaped from the page. Could it really be that Gordon Ramsay was going to pay a visit to the Meson de Mesilla? The origin of so many of our “travellers’ tales” and scene of one of our most memorable road trip experiences?
Indeed, he was. We set the programme to record in case Mary couldn’t see it in the USA, then sat back and watched as it all came flooding back.
We were there in June 2008, on our way from San Antonio to Santa Fe, and spent one night at the hotel. At the time, I was having camera trouble, so didn’t take as many photographs as I would have expected and as a result, I made only a passing reference to it in my blog post. Neither did we write a Trip Adviser review – how surprising, when there was so much to say!
I did, however, make reference to some of the individual idiosyncracies of the Meson in my journal. Like the “evil woman manager” and the total lack of food on offer there that night. Actually, that’s not strictly true, because we were offered tapas in the bar, which prompted a comment from my hero that he hadn’t “driven eight hours across a b*****y desert to sit down to a plate of tapas”. So there. As recorded in the journal, we went out in search of food, eventually finding pizza in a nearby town because everything in Mesilla closes on a Monday!
What wasn’t mentioned last evening was the extraordinarily high beds. We had a small step to help us get in, but dear Mary’s room was step-free. This called for – shall we call it a helping hand? – from my hero and that particular action has been referred to as “the Mesilla Lift” ever since, proving useful on Swiss trains too.
The rooms were indeed beige and furnished in a peculiar style. What concerned me most, however was the security of the place, because for all there was a standard, locking hotel room door into the corridor, there were also unlockable French doors onto the balcony.
The balcony which wrapped all the way around the building, and overlooked the car park.
Which was right on the main road from where any Tom Dick or Harry could have strolled in.
I think the swimming pool was possibly more secure than our room!
Breakfast was offered in a charm-free venue and was recorded in my journal in the form of a list.
We assumed that there was one other guest overnight, not that we saw them in person and the blue shaded box records my hero’s reaction to the offering.
Early Tuesday morning didn’t appear to be any better a time to find food in Mesilla than Monday evening and though we’d normally reject a place like Denny’s in favour of some cute coffee shop, on that particular morning, Denny’s hit the spot. Whether or not Georgia the waitress recognised the work she had to to to lift our spirits or whether we were, by that time, responding maniacally to the experience we’d just had, I don’t know. But it was one of the best breakfasts we’ve enjoyed and it continues to prompt an “Aaah, Dennys” comment when we pass one by, even though I don’t think we’ve eaten in one since.
So many memories – and we didn’t even hear Cher sing.