Monday, September 22, 2008

Captivated by the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico earned the nickname "The Land of Enchantment" because of its incredible scenic beauty and rich mystical history. My Mom & just got back from an amazing long weekend in Santa Fe new Mexico, and I must say- I am Enchanted!
To see the full gallery of pictures visit my flickr gallery

We Stayed at the gorgeous Plaza Real Hotel right off of the town square. This lovely hotel was quintessentially “Santa Fe”. The warm adobe building and painted white wood, add to that a splash of color with the vibrant red chilies hanging everywhere- I felt like I was waking up in a postcard every morning as I enjoyed my coffee and took in the view from our balcony.

The intoxicating aroma of chilies in the sun is all around you as you make your way through the quiet streets.
The Mysterious Staircase of the Loretto Chapel
This chapel was built in the last 1800's by some smart design, without the main staircase to lead up to the choir loft. So the nuns prayed for days that the Lord would send them someone to help. Their prayer was answered when a mysterious man showed up soon after with a donkey and some tools asking for work.Using only a saw, a square, and some tubs of water (to shape the wood), the carpenter built this incredible spiral staircase. When the job was complete, the mysterious carpenter disappeared, with out pay or even thanks. Adding to the mystery, no one ever saw wood delivered to the chapel, and local lumber yards sold no wood to the mystery man. Oh, and did I mention the staircase has 33 steps, the same as Jesus' age at the crucifixion?

I had a breathtaking moment while taking in this miraculous staircase of the Loretto Chapel. This tourist attraction is usually swarming with people, but as my mom & I were busy taking pictures, everyone cleared out and we were able to enjoy the tiny chapel all to ourselves for a while. I was able to spend a nice quiet moment alone with the Lord to appreciate this beautiful work of art and give thanks for these precious peaceful moments.

The local Indians set up everyday in the town square and surrounding streets; proudly displaying their handcrafted jewelry, pots or rugs. I have never seen so many beautiful pieces of turquoise jewelry in my life!
I could have spent the whole weekend touring all of their shops, and talking with all the Indians about how they made each piece, but there just isn’t enough time in the day. I finally walked away with a ring and pennant.
Our last night there we strolled up Canyon Road to soak up the art scene, and tour all of the open galleries. I expected to only see a bunch of landscapes, and cowboy paintings, but was pleasantly surprised to find such a bustling arts community, and diverse range of talented work. I later came to find out that- next to NYC- Santa Fe is noted to have the best private galleries in the nation. We ended our gallery tour with dinner at the top of the hill on Canyon Road, at Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant & cantina- El Farol. This unsuspecting restaurant had some of the best Spanish tapas I have ever enjoyed. The back patio is quite the romantic setting- with garden lights strung all throughout, and music streaming in from the cantina in the front. It was the perfect closing to our relaxing, weekend getaway.

When we got back to our hotel Friday night, it was surprisingly busy in the bar- so we had another drink and enjoyed the local entertainment- Tony C'de Baca playing his guitar and singing for the bar.
Out of nowhere some random man with a harmonica jumped up and started jamming with Tony.... the two had never meet or played together before... but you'd never know it! They sounded great. Just another reason why I absolutely love this laid back artsy city. Everyone is so open to artistic expression and collaboration. Tony & Harmonica Mike tore the house up!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

very nice - I especially enjoyed the last video where they played the Santa Fe version of Billy Joel! Thanks for sharing. I feel like I was there with you now. Also I noticed your new jewelry on Sunday night and I LOVED the ring. Can you go back and get me one?