I coached soccer for about 14 years, entering my teams in many soccer tournaments. There is, or at least was, an annual tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Driving Interstate 25 we always passed by Santa Fe and always thought, one day we need to make time to stop there for the day. Well, the boys got older, too old for club soccer, and we stopped making that drive each year. Lisa’s birthday passed by a week ago and it seemed like a good time to finally make the trip, so this last weekend we made arrangements for a bed and breakfast, researched some of the things to do and headed down there on a Friday afternoon.
We’ve never stayed at a B-n-B prior to this trip and were a little curious how it would work out. What a difference from the hotel-type stay. The B-n-B, Adobe Abode , was in a quiet neighborhood, included parking and was only blocks away from the main sites in the plaza area. Our room, called Cabin in the Woods, was a modest bedroom and included a bathroom. We had a common eating area where the 6 guests ate a breakfast prepared by our host Nellie-Joy and there was a common living room area where we could sit and relax.
After our arrival on Friday night we walked four blocks over to the plaza area to look around and find some dinner. There were plenty of people walking around and the restaurants seemed pretty crowded. El Meson was packed and had an hour wait. We headed south and saw the plaza then went east over to St. Francis cathedral.As we walked around we remembered that the B-n-B suggested The Shed, so we walked over there. It was 8:15 and they told us that the was it was also an hour. Surprised I asked when they took reservations and he told me they typically start on Wednesdays! That was a shocker. Thinking that we just need to find some food we left and headed over to Thunderbird’s on the west side of the plaza. It had a second floor open air balcony with heat, so we sat outdoors overlooking the plaza and at the many people moving about. We had fish and a couple of beers and headed back to our room.
On Saturday we had a nice breakfast and then walked back to the Cathedral. It was very sunny, warm and overall pleasant. The cathedral was built in the 1880s and is quite nice.
Built around the same time as the cathedral, and just down the street, is the Loretto Chapel. This is the place with the famous staircase.
After the visit to the chapel we walked over to Canyon Road. This is the place with all of the, well . . . high-end art. Lisa liked the wind movement/wind art/wind sculptures of Lyman Whitaker at the Wiford gallery . . . interesting stuff. I like the more historical stuff, like some Navajo (actually a specific tribe whose name now escapes me) blankets made in the 1920s. Unfortunately, for me, they go for around $10,000. Oh, well. Neat stuff, though.
After more shopping and walking and lunch we returned to the room to get the car. We drove over to St. John’s College on the east side of town and went for a hike on the Atalaya trail.
One thing we discovered while visiting the local shops was that if you like Santa Fe but also like it not so busy, THIS was the time of year to go. We were fortunate that the weather was in the 60s both days and the busy season doesn’t get going until April.
We ate dinner at Tomasita’s near the Railyard and that was good then got back to the room by 8PM to relax after a long day of walking.
Tomorrow we go to Bandelier National Monument which I’ll cover in the next blog entry.
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