We arrived in Santa Fe and it has really grown since I was last there. The growth has made it lose some of it's charm for me, but it is still a great place to visit. We enjoyed a trip down to the plaza to see the Loretta Chapel and had a great New Mexican buffet lunch at La Fonda. We used the free Santa Fe shuttle from the Railroad Yard as parking down toward the plaza is difficult. Enjoyed visiting with the first shuttle driver as he use to train race horses when I worked at the race track, so we reminisced.
We drove up to Taos one day. The drive was beautiful and the mountains had lots of snow on them. Lunch was at Ranchos Plaza Grille which is located in an original part of Ranchos de Taos. Bonnie said it was the best chili rellenos so far on the trip. They also serve huge sopapillas that were delicious. The plaza also is the home to San Francisco de Asis Church.
The highlight of my trip so far finally came early one morning in Santa Fe. (5am pickup) I did not sleep much either because I was
so excited or I was afraid I would oversleep and miss my pickup. I finally got to go up in a hot air balloon and it was definitely worth waiting for. The balloonist was Johnny Lewis who is a real character and an excellent pilot. He is from Texas but spends 6 months flying in Santa Fe. He took us up to 1000 feet then got us down in a canyon really close to the ground. Just when you thought the basket was going to hit a tree or the ridge he would skim right over them. When it came time to land he set it down with out even jostling us at all. We were then treated to Champagne for a toast to the ride and snacks. It was one of the most amazing things I have experienced and I was meant to fly with Johnny Lewis. If you are ever in Santa Fe make sure you fly with Santa Fe Balloons.
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