Thanks Karlee for doing this interview! I know that families who are looking at moving here or who are new to Farmington, can learn some great tips on how to adjust here and what to appreciate about this area. Thanks!
Where did you move here from, what year, and what brought you here?
We moved from Edmond, Oklahoma in June 2009 to buy our practice.
When we first started looking at options of where to go after graduating from school, I had to put it in my mind that I could make it work for our family wherever we were as long as our basic needs were being met. When Farmington came up as an option, I half jokingly told my husband, “It’s got a Sam’s Club, a Walmart, a Target, a Hobby Lobby and a Lowe’s… that’s more than I could ask for!” Had I not gone into our move with this attitude, I am sure I would have focused on all the things I didn’t like and made myself miserable.
Did you and the family easily adjust or did it take a while?
It took a while.
What do you love about Farmington?
Honestly I am not sure I can totally say I LOVE anything yet. But here is what I can say I appreciate: I have met some great people, I have everything I need here, Farmington is really pretty central to a lot of places that I like to go. We have good weather (not too cold, icy or snowy in the winter, not too hot in the summer and no crazy tornadoes!!). We have some pretty scenery and sunsets and we are close to a lot of different activities and learning/historical places. There really is something for everyone here; you just might have to take some initiative and find it.
What are some things that your children enjoy about Farmington? Are they involved in any sports or activities?
Lots of parks! My kids were pretty young when we moved here so they really have adjusted well and I really tried hard to find the positives and focus on that when we first moved here. So I think it’s been easier for them. They are involved in volleyball, baseball, softball and music right now. They have done golf and my son wants to start soccer.
What are some of your favorite activities to do in Farmington or the surrounding areas?
We camp, go 4-wheeling, hunt, snow ski, water ski, golf, hike, go to the shooting range, volleyball, baseball, and softball.
What are some of your favorite date places?
Uhhhh….. we are kinda boring and usually just do dinner and a movie.
Are you involved in any clubs or activities?
I play on a women’s league volleyball team; I have recently started learning to play tennis. I golf and am involved my church. I do lots of crafting and wood working (she’s amazing!).
What are some things that you do not like about Farmington (just keepin’ it real)?
For the most part now, there is not much I don’t like but I still do struggle with variety and accessibility. I grew up in a big city so I am used to having a lot of variety and always being able to just run out and get whatever I wanted/needed right then. Its been a bit of adjustment for me – I have to plan better so I can find it online and get it here in time.
Today Jenn is sharing her story with us. I loved reading it and hope you will too!
Jenn’s Story – Written by her. (Thanks!)
After moving to Farmington in 2012, I felt a little disappointed by the lack of restaurants, shopping, and attractions that I’d grown accustomed to in Utah. I never wanted to settle here and it took quite a change of heart and a couple of years before I felt comfortable with the idea that this was going to be my home for now and the foreseeable future.
My husband, who is ever the optimist, encouraged me to have a good attitude about the move. He said I should give Farmington a second chance. I took the challenge, partially because I knew I needed to do something proactive that would show my husband I was trying and partially because I felt a deep peace inside that it was right to be here at this point in our lives.
Though my husband and I both grew up here there is much of Farmington that we haven’t experienced and there are many changes that have taken place over the years, creating a different atmosphere than the one we grew up in. So, I decided it would be fun to go to a new restaurant every Friday for our weekend date but we wouldn’t just go to eat.
The Rating System
We would go with a rating system. We would rate the atmosphere, the food, the service. We would rate everything from the extra things they do that make dining special to how family friendly they are. We would not look for the negative. We would look for the things we could fall in love with about Farmington.
St. Clair Winery & Bistro
One gem we found is St. Clair Winery and Bistro located at 5150 E Main St, Farmington, NM 87402. Here are the ratings we gave this nice little place.
Atmosphere: (10) The ceilings are high, offering an open mixture between old world France and the modern industrial world. Paintings on the walls, wine glasses and cloth napkins add a touch of class.
Food: (10) Before they even bring you your meal you are offered a loaf of light bread. It’s crispy on the outside, moist and airy on the inside. Top it off with a bit of whipped butter that melts instantly and your taste buds will be ready when your fresh salad arrives. Most people I know say that St. Clair offers the best Green Chili Macaroni on the planet, but it was the Meat Loaf that swept me off my feet. It’s not your mother’s meatloaf. The flavor and texture are more like an oh so tender steak that’s been drizzled in a sweet and spicy Chipotle sauce. Ooh la la! Trust me it’s worth every penny.
Drinks (10) With it being a winery and all, there is an abundance of alcoholic choices. You’re probably going to laugh at me, but all I order is lemonade. Seriously though, it’s the best lemonade EVER. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. It’s the perfect mixture of tart and sweet with an aftertaste that makes me think of raspberries.
Service: (10) I have no complaints. Everyone is very friendly and quick so please. I particularly like that the waiters are willing to whisper their favorite food choices. It helps me decide and it’s the reason I was brave enough to order the meatloaf in the first place.
That little something extra: (10) On Friday nights my favorite tables are out on the covered patio. There are live bands that never fail to amuse. The music’s not so loud that you can’t have a conversation. I like singing along (quietly) to familiar tunes. I just wish the patio was a little larger. You have to come early to get a seat.
Parking: (4) It seems there is a downside to everything, unfortunately. The parking lot is too small and crowded. Sometimes we have to park in front of one of the neighboring establishments and walk over.
Price: (8) The prices are quite fair based on the healthy portion sizes. My hubby and I often share one order. You can expect to pay similar prices to Chili’s and Outback Steakhouse.
Overall, this is a great place for a first date, an anniversary, or just to enjoy a great meal. Change out of your ratty jeans and step up the class here in Farmington by visiting St. Clair Winery and Bistro. (End of Jenn’s words.)
Where did you move here from? Phoenix area, Valley of the Sun, in 2001.
What were your first reactions to Farmington? Good, small. Not so big, but not so small.
Did you immediately love it here or did it take a while to adjust? Not too long, but not immediately.
What brings you joy in living here? Not snowy, not trapped by the snow. The snow is all melted by 10. No heavy traffic. (Lynne-Hear, hear! I love it that I can drive across town in 15 minutes.) There are four seasons.
Are there any social clubsor activitiesthat you belong to in Farmington? Church, Filipino Club. I meet a variety of people at work (she is a substitute teacher).
What are some of your favorite things to do in Farmington? I like gardening. I really enjoy learning about all the plants that grow here really well. In Phoenix, you can’t grow anything but citrus trees. Here, you can plant a large variety of trees.
What are some of your favorite date places and why? I tend to avoid restaurants because they can be noisy and crowded. My husband and I like to take walks on the River Walk or go to parks. (Lynne-How romantic!) We like the shows at the Civic Center. They are pretty reasonably priced too.
What are some of the things that your kids enjoy in Farmington? In Arizona, there were no music programs in middle school because of budget cuts. Here, there are music programs. It is easy to drive my son to his friends’ homes because everything is pretty close.
What are some things that you do not like about Farmington (just keepin’ it real)? The wind. I thought Chicago was the windy city. You really have to watch your opinions and what you say because everyone has family. Your words could come back to you. It is also hard to make friends at first because everyone has family.
Disclosure: I did not have a recorder so some of Anita’s words are things that I paraphrased. I wish I could have captured the fun that we had during the interview!
Anita, thanks for giving me things to be really grateful for for living in Farmington-like not being trapped in the snow and for the traffic that we have (don’t get me started about having to drive around in Denver!).
What are some of the things about Farmington that you are grateful for?
(All pictures are copyrighted and have been taken by me.)