Santa Fe.

I left home dark early Monday morning and slept in my own bed Thursday night. Looking back at the photos, I’m really impressed with how much I saw in that short time. Lauren and her husband Bill are wonderful hosts! I had only three things on my must-see list: the Cathedral (since I read Death Comes for the Archbishop this spring), Collected Works (one of the independent bookstores I follow on Instagram), and Chimayo. plus I wanted to walk the trail that Lauren walks when we have our weekly morning walking call. We did all of that and a few more things!

Monday afternoon (following a quick lunch at home – Lauren made gazpacho – delicious!) we drove downtown to walk around. We saw the outside of the cathedral (it’s closed for cleaning on Mondays) and Loretto Chapel, and browsed Collected Works (it is fantastic and I didn’t buy a single book) and the vendors along the plaza. I only took pictures of the churches … and one of us outside the cathedral.

We were back home for dinner, and then our Big Night Out at the opera! Lauren and I are both opera fans, and neither of us had seen The Barber of Seville. It’s a wonderful production and the setting just could not be beat! The opera house is open on the sides and affords fabulous views (and plenty of healthy fresh air!) Sunset is just after 8pm and that was perfect timing. The whole evening was a treat (and also helped me adjust right away to Mountain time).

Tuesday morning started sunrise early (6am local time – thankfully I didn’t sleep through it!). The back of their house faces east – with a full 180 degree view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Lauren & Bill are obviously #teamsunrise just as much as I am!

Lauren taught Pilates in the morning (while I puttered with my phone, a book, and my knitting) and after lunch, we set out again for downtown, this time to visit the artist shops and galleries along Canyon Road. I was enchanted with the street scenes – colors! textures! flowers!

Afterward, we walked back to the cathedral to see the inside. I loved seeing John Baptist Lamy’s name at the top of the “Archbishop Wall”; he was the inspiration for Cather’s Archbishop. and of course the altar and organ did not disappoint.

Along the way we also walked by the San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the continental US.

Back home for a little relaxing on the deck – I had a hard time concentrating on my book (it’s Booth, by Karen Joy Fowler)!

and then dinner – Lauren & Bill made grilled chicken tacos with fresh tortillas. what a treat! After dinner, we visited the plaza for an outdoor concert. The people watching was top-notch … I think we all felt weirdly young (not aging hippies) and old (not quite up for dancing!) So we left early and got back home just in time to see the sunset reflected over the mountains.

Wednesday began in much the same way (#teamsunrise and puttering), except Lauren’s first class was an hour later so we could walk before hand. We went to the Santa Fe trail and walked along the river; what a difference from our Alpharetta park days!

In the afternoon, we drove out to Chimayo to see the chapels. The landscape along the drive was just stunning. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the desert scenery, but I did. The photo at the top of this post is one I took when stopped for gas.

For a girl who loves to see churches, this is a one-stop deal. wow! The complex is extensive

and includes outdoor monuments and worship spaces, a picnic area, lots of chapels, and a few gift shops (we didn’t see the one with the Jesus snow cones).

Back home we cleaned up a bit, and then went to Altar for a cocktail. Very cool vibe (we weren’t too old or too young) and the gin & tonics were delicious. Bill took our picture.

Lauren & Bill cooked another great meal … and then it was bedtime. and my last morning there. Another beautiful sunrise.

a little more puttering (and packing!). We left for the airport just after lunch. Lauren wanted to show me Reunity; they take in compost (Lauren dropped theirs off) and do so much cool stuff for the community. Aren’t the sunflowers gorgeous

That’s just the way I want to remember both of us!

The flight home was uneventful (and even arrived a few minutes early). We’re already talking about my next trip … a hike for sure, the Georgia O’Keefe museum, and maybe a drive to the mountains. Maybe in the fall to see the aspens. Looking forward in the best way!

If you made it this far, thank you for reading! I had a wonderful time and it’s nice to share the photos while I still remember what we did when.

16 thoughts on “Santa Fe.

  1. I’ve never been to New Mexico, so thanks for sharing all the photos and taking me along virtually! I’m glad you had such a good visit.

    1. Looks like you had a wonderful trip ! So many beautiful places you got to visit in Santa Fe, which is such a lovely place .

  2. I wasn’t sure about desert scenery at first, but Santa Fe can convince you quickly about how beautiful the desert can be. I hope you scooped up some healing mud at Chimayo!

  3. What an amazing trip! I’m so glad it went well and that you’re looking forward to visiting again. I love all the pictures of the church and the reminder that I should read more Willa Cather 🙂

  4. What a fabulous trip, Mary! And it looks rejuvenating, too. Thanks for sharing your adventure. XO

  5. Santa Fe looks so beautiful! I didn’t expect the desert to be so full of color. I’ve read about the staircase in the Loretto Chapel and it must be amazing to see it in real life.
    I read Death Comes For the Archbishop in high school and wrote an essay on it for my English Regents, but I can barely remember the book. It might be time for a re-read. Thanks for sharing, Mary!

  6. New Mexico is one of the most beautiful places on earth! I am in awe and my eyes never stop wandering along the desert landscape. Your pictures are beautiful and I love seeing and hearing how you felt about a place so different from your own landscape. How thrilling you planed another getaway and aspen season will be eye candy time!

  7. Well, you made me homesick for the West for the very first time! And in the best sort of way 🙂 So glad to read and see this ALL. Yes, Santa Fe! A great place to leave a little bit of your heart! And happy to hear you’re dreaming of next time.

  8. How very different from the east coast! Lovely photos and having friends to visit makes trips like this even more special.

  9. Santa Fe was amazing. I had been to the oldest house in the US, small place but beautifully decorated inside. The oldest church was closed when I visited, unfortunately, so great to see the inside pics from you.

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