Santa Fe

North America
July 21st 2013
Published: July 21st 2013
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Santa Fe July 18-20, 2013

Dawn had a business trip in Albuquerque so we thought it would be great for me to meet her there and then take a little side trip to Santa Fe for a few days.

She was able to get me a plane ticket with her Southwest Airlines rewards so I flew out of Hobby. It had been a while since I flew out of Houston Hobby and I had forgotten how much easier it is compared to Houston Intercontinental. Everything is closer and faster and less hassle, except, of course, security.

I met her at the hotel where she was staying and then went to lunch in Old Town which was right next door. Old Town is worth a visit and while we didn't take the time to stop at the museums and park that are right there as well they looked inviting as well.

The one hour drive to Santa Fe is a pleasant one. There are plenty of mountain and desert views to enjoy.

We went directly to our hotel, the Villas de Santa Fe, and checked in. It is actually billed as a resort but I'm not sure I would go that far since it is a little short on amenities for a resort. But we were very pleased. The staff was very helpful, the room was a suite and very clean and well appointed. It has a pool and two jacuzzis and an excercise room. There is not a restaurant on the property but there is room service provided by a nearby restaurant. There are two computers and a printer in the lobby for guest use as well. But the best thing is the location, just a half mile from the Santa Fe plaza.

We walked the half mile to the plaza and browsed the shops. We sat down on one of the benches in the plaza and just enjoyed the perfect weather and the sights and sounds. While there we were approached by a roaving artist who was selling some drawings of his and after a very nice sales pitch I went ahead and bought one. He signed it for us and gave us our first purchase and nice experience of our trip.

I had been looking for some kind of wall hanging for a large space on my living room wall ever since we had been here last time a year and a half ago. The thing that made the most sense was a handmade Navajo rug but they were pretty pricey. A shop next to the La Fonda hotel had a nice selection and prices, so after a lot of careful comparisons and visualizing what it would look like at home I decided to go ahead and buy one. It is fairly large so they were nice enough to hold it for us while we went to dinner.

We had dinner at Rooftop Pizza. We had been there during our last trip to Santa Fe. It provides a nice view and the food is decent although it took a very long time to get served our pizza this time.

The Plaza, which is a very nice town square with lots of park benches and grass and trees was hosting what they call "Santa Fe Bandstand". The fun music attracted a large crowd some of whom were dancing in front of the stage.

After we had had enough we bought some fresh made caramel corn and headed back to the hotel to watch a movie.

The next morning we headed out to breakfast at Tecolote's which was recommended by a friend. It is a quaint, old place away from the central part of town on Cerrillo. The food was great but be aware that if you order the breakfast burrito you should probably split it with someone as it is massive.

We then headed to Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market which is just five miles north of town. There are some great bargains to be had there although some of the merchandise is Mexican and not native American so if that matters to you be careful.

I bought a couple of small items to hang on the wall after bargaining the price down a bit and also bought a nice dress for Dawn.

The temperature was very pleasant in the shade but if you stood in the sun for long it got quite hot even though it was only in the 70's.

After checking out all the booths at the flea market we headed north to just see what we could see. If you go northeast to Taos there are some great mountain views but we didn't go that far and headed back into town.

It started to rain about noon so that put a damper on our sight seeing activities so we decided to just go indoors at the Georgia O'keefe Museum. It was $12 to get in and worth it. There are two interesting short movies to watch as well as dozens of her works on the walls to view.

After that we also went into the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis just to see the magnificent architecture and enjoy the quiet and solitude for a bit.

Next, we next went up to Canyon Rd. which is known for having dozens of galleries but with the rain we called it quits after just one.

Lastly, we went to find a good burger joint and came upon Five Star Burgers in a plaza right by the hotel on Guadalupe. We had a lamb burger which was great but quite honestly didn't taste all that much like lamb but we've never had chopped lamb served like that. We also had a chinese salad which was quite good. Our server was bright and cheery and helped make the occasion enjoyable, her name was Shanoa Leigh and we promised we'd mention her in a review.

Upon return to the hotel we happened upon a nice elderly couple who were struggling a bit to get there things up the ramp into the hotel so we helped them out and had a nice chat with John and Ana. Another nice experience for us on our trip. That night we just watched a movie on HBO and finished our caramel corn that we had bought the day before.

On our final day we went to a place called El Camino Real on Cerrillo to do some more souvenir shopping. That place is huge and could be your one stop shop for souvenirs. Just be aware that it appears to be mostly all Mexican made as opposed to native American made. I had been wanting some tile house numbers and they had a great selection along with a framed holder. I had also been wanting a clay Kokopelli to hang on the wall and found one of those there. You can find some lower prices there but some of it is more expensive than what you can get at the flea market.

Dawn wanted to get her nails done so I dropped her off at a nail salon in the same plaza where we had dined the night before and I went back to the flea market to take one more look at something to go along with the rug. Something that would give it some color since the rug was all off-white and black. I wanted to find something with some red in it to go with some of the other things in my house. I found some Tesuque Indian made implements such as a cane, bow and arrow, quiver, and hatchet. They were beautiful and priced accordingly so I settled for something that was much smaller, a riding crop. Once again I was able to quibble the price down a bit.

While waiting for Dawn I also took a little drive out Hyde Park Rd. (Artist Rd. in town) which goes out to some hiking and camping areas as well as national parks up into the mountains. There is some beautiful scenery out there and well worth the drive. It doesn't take long to get into some heavily forested areas once you start heading up the mountain from Santa Fe.

When I picked Dawn up we still had some time before having to head to Albuquerque for our flight so we drive down Canyon Road again to just look at the galleries. While the weather was great again we didn't have time to stop so we just had to enjoy seeing the outdoor displays that many of the galleries have. These galleries are definitely upscale judging by the sculpture outside.

Finally, before heading out of town we wanted to see Museum Hill so we drove out the Old Santa Fe Trail on our way out and saw that there are about six museums out there that may have varying levels of interest for you depending upon what you like.

From there it was easy to get on Interstate 25 to Albuquerque and with 75 mph speed limits it was a quick drive. Be aware that we had a hard time finding a gas station near the airport to fill up before returning the rental car. Don't turn onto Sunport Rd. from 25 without getting gas first! Once you are on Sunport you are in the airport. We found ourselves facing the entrance to short term parking with nowhere else to go and had to back up avoid entering it.
(We weren't the only ones that this happened to, we saw two other cars doing the same thing while we were there!) We finally found one on Yale but experienced some frustration and stress before finding it.

Regardless, we had a great time and definitely plan on returning to Santa Fe.

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21st July 2013

I love recalling our adventures. Thanks for doing such a brilliant job of recording our wonderful life!

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