New Mexico - many apologies to the rest of New Mexico (truly the Land of Enchantment) - we only got to spend the one short night in Albuquerque, then most of the day in Santa Fe before moving on.
But what a day! up by 6am (mountain time now), in Santa Fe old town by 9.
Santa Fe has an actual central park! With benches! And a bandstand! This park marked the end of the Santa Fe trail.
Right across the street is the hotel La Fonda (in Spanish, this means "the end" - as in the end of the trail).
We walked around goggle-eyed at galleries, museums, and architecture, and had a lunch of French crepes.
Even "practical sculpture" :)
with stained glass windows
Even luxury condos...
Then we took the Loretto bus tour (this was excellent, and very informative!).
The Loretto church, with "the miraculous stairway" - the circular stairway has two 360 degree turns, with no center support.
Life-size sculpture of a Santa Fe trail mule wagon and trail boss:
We saw the state capitol building - its shape mimics the state flag - round, with lines raying out from four sides. It is a Zia symbol, and captures ideas like eternity, the four ages (infancy, youth, adulthood, and maturity), and the four directions.
We also saw the memorial for the Bataan Death march. New Mexico sent 1800 soldiers - 900 returned at the end of World War II. 300 of those died within a couple of years due to the ill effects of being prisoners of war.
After the tour, we walked around some more.
San Miguel is the oldest church in the USA.
As we walked around old town, we saw a lot of "chili-chains"
The altitude was getting to Mom, so we skipped some stuff (a *lot* of stuff). Leaves more for us later :) We found our hotel (no where near old town, and still pretty expensive) by 4:30. We pretty much decided to have dinner near our hotel instead of going back to old town. I definitely want to keep Santa Fe on our list for living for a month or two - something clicked for me (already).
We ended up not walking through the capitol building the next morning (lots of art and descriptions of the state and town history) - I'll save that for my future (long) visit. Instead, we hit the road - still a long way to go.
We *did* stop long enough to prove that I know how to sit on a post - can't make up my mind - should be go East or West of the Continental Divide?
To add to my list:
The Flying Tortilla in Santa Fe is a candidate for best food ever! I couldn't decide whether to have the Green Chile Stew or the Posole, so the waiter (Gabriel) brought a sample of both - oooh. The Posole was pork marinated in spicy red chili sauce, then slow-cooked with boiled corn (hominy). The Green Chili Stew was pork and potatoes slow-cooked in a spicy green chili sauce. Both tasted sweet at first, then left my mouth tingling all over! It was a tough decision, but I got a cup of the Green Chili Stew - oh soooo goooood!