Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Santa Fe, NM

We took a trip to Santa Fe, NM to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. I have been before, but it's honestly been so long that I hardly remember. We were looking forward to relaxing and eating some good food - and of course, hiking! Southwest doesn't actually fly into Santa Fe, so we jumped on a quick flight to Albuquerque and rented a car for the 1 hour drive.

We arrived and checked into our hotel - El Dorado. By this time, we were starving, so we took a quick walk around town square and grabbed some food at The Shed. This was a pretty traditional southwestern meal. We sampled the green chile stew, enchiladas, and huevos rancheros. The food was yummy and the drinks were even better. Jason and I are both new fans of the Santa Fe Brewing Company!


Santa Fe is a cool little town. There are artisans selling their jewelry and art in the square and churches on every corner. It is definitely an older town and many times, Jason and I were by far the youngest people around. We chose a fun time to go as well! A cold front came blasting through on Friday night and gave these Texans our first taste of winter this year.

On Saturday, we stopped by the Santa Fe Farmer's Market. This was a great place for the locals to go get their locally grown/organic fruits and veggies. I know there is a farmer's market in Dallas, but the ease of access made this something special. You could tell this was a daily part of life for the people there. We then drove along the famous "Canyon Road" with hundreds of art galleries. Obviously, we couldn't afford a single thing, so we ventured back in town to explore.

We made a stop at the Loretto Chapel. This gothic church is famous for the miracle staircase. This chapel (modeled after Sainte Chappelle in Paris) was tiny, but they needed a way to access the upstairs choir loft. Building a traditional staircase was simply not feasible in the limited space, so they prayed to the saints to bring a solution. Miraculously, a still unknown carpenter came and fashioned a spiral staircase from one piece of wood to lead up to the loft. No engineers can figure out why this works - there is no center or side support and it was able to support 20 people at a time for over a hundred years. It was a beautiful little church, but looked nothing like Sainte Chappelle :) 

Those are plastic rosaries hanging from the tree.

After this, like good Aggies, we watched A&M BTHO Alabama! After the game, we went to an amazing little restaurant called Andiamo! to celebrate our anniversary. We had an excellent meal, made sweeter by the Aggie win and the profiteroles we indulged in after.

On the last day, we woke up early to climb the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The great thing about Santa Fe is that it is so close to so many hiking trails and SO many people are active. The hike to the top of the peak took about 3 hours. It was snowing for part of the way and we got to hike through 1-2 inches of snow already on the ground. We were rewarded for our efforts with a great view of the town and the surrounding mountains.

Why yes, we DID climb to the top of that!

View from 1/2 way up

All the way at the top

On the way down, we decided to pick up the pace and run down. This was great until I slid on some ice and landed face first on the ground. The good news was the camera was fine and we made it down in about 30 minutes!

We really enjoyed our time in Santa Fe. It was a peaceful town with a lot to offer. I can definitely see why so many people retire here. We had a little time to kill before catching our late flight, so we watched Argo. It was a really good movie!

Travel Update: I did not go to NYC because of Sandy. I will be going for my conference that was rescheduled for December though. It will be nice to experience NYC during the Christmas season!

I'm hoping to take a trip for my birthday sometime in January. Orlando would be amazing and I have been super obsessed with the idea of visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and going on my 4th visit to Disneyworld (I can't get enough!). Also in the running are New Orleans and Key West. As always, it's up in the air :)

Thanks for reading guys!

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