Buh-bye, santa fe!

On the road again

The second half of our time in Santa Fe was filled with long walks, some gallery visits, a couple more day trips, and lots of cozy time in our casita. We got a lot (well, for us at least) of snow, so it was tempting to just stay in.

The view from our casita’s front door

One of the things I find fascinating about long walks is the interesting (strange) sights we see. One day while walking back to the casita, I came upon this notebook. I wonder what the words mean? Was it a game?

Was this a word game?

And on a day trip to Madrid (pronounced with a short a and emphasis on the first syllable, unlike the Madrid in Spain), we saw this:

Wait, Heaven is going out of business?

 

By the end of our sojourn in Santa Fe, we’d seen some fabulous art, met some very nice gallery owners, and even got to dine outdoors a couple of times at restaurants with patio heaters (still chilly!). Our favorite gallery experience was at Jones Walker Gallery in Taos, where we chatted with one of the owners. I love those brief encounters where despite the brevity of the connection, there is a true friendship that forms before you say goodbye. Jones Walker might be my favorite art gallery ever. And speaking of art, while I am not and will never be artistic, I’ve always wanted to try throwing pots. In Santa Fe I got my chance, at a delightful pottery co-op across from our casita, Paseo Pottery. Chris, our instructor, was taking a break from his doctoral studies in art history, and he proved to be very patient and a great teacher. Throwing pots is a workout!

This is not an artist.

By the end of the class (socially distanced, with four students) I’d managed to make a little family of imperfect pots. The best two will be shipped to me in a few weeks–if they survive the firing and glazing processes!

I made these!

Finally it was time to say goodbye to Santa Fe. The night before we left I peeked out onto the patio and saw our parting gift: the biggest icicle I’ve ever seen!

Santa Fe icicle

The next morning we headed out early, grabbed coffee, and drove to the Grand Canyon. I’d only seen it from the air, and being there on the ground was awe-inspiring. We walked the paths for a while, took way too many pictures, and then drove on to Sedona for the night.

GRAND Canyon!

Sedona was magical! We had very little time there (definitely planning to return!), so after checking in to our hotel, we walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner. The dinner was forgettable, but the area was so cool! Imagine an ice cream shop with art!

Can you tell the lights are “ice cream cone” art?

The next morning we got up early and headed to the Airport Vortex to watch the sunrise. As the sun illuminated the famous red rocks, we were again dazzled.

Sunrise illuminating the red rocks, with the town of Sedona below.

And then it was off to Phoenix, to visit  dear friends in their new home. We packed a lot of fun into less than 24 hours, with a group lunch on a farm, tours of model homes in their beautiful brand-new development at the foot of the mountains, and a special dinner with friends at the Arboretum. And we got our fur baby fix with their dog and two cats!

Unforgettable friendships, memorable dinner

And then it was off to our next adventure. We’re so excited to begin our stay in Sunny California!

winter doldrums

We’re in Santa Fe, but. . .

Well, we’re halfway through our time in Santa Fe, and honestly, we’d be happy to leave now. It’s not that we don’t like the area; it’s stunningly beautiful. But it’s cold! And all the museums and restaurants in New Mexico are closed due to the pandemic! The few restaurants that are open offer only carry-out or outdoor dining, and who wants to dine on the patio when it’s 30 degrees? I’m not very inspired to cook in this tiny kitchen with only 1 saucepan, 1 dutch oven, and 1 skillet (a stainless steel one to which everything sticks). First world problems, indeed. We realize how priviledged we are to be healthy, happy, and experiencing this great Roaming life. But we still occasionally get a tiny bit whiny.

Phil waiting for our Farmers’ Market coffee. Why yes, that is a giant beet over his head!

On our first Saturday here we walked to the Farmer’s Market at the Railyard, just a couple of blocks from our casita. We’d just made a grocery run, so we didn’t need anything, but we managed to grab excellent coffee and pastries.  From there we headed out to the Chama Wildnerness, a favorite place Phil wanted me to see. My favorite sight was when we got down close to the Chama River, but the whole thing was thrilling (and scary, on some of the S-curves where our car tires were inches from a deadly dropoff!). On the way we stopped at a general store for burritos, and on the way back I got a glimpse of Georgia O’Keefe’s house; it was closed, but we could peek over the wall to see the rooftop.

A scene from our first day trip, to the Chama Wilderness

Like everyone else of a “certain age,” we have been trying to get COVID vaccinations. The over-65 group is not yet eligible in New Mexico, so on Thursday afternoon I decided to check in Texas. And voila! Amarillo had plenty of availability on a first come, first served basis. So 30 minutes after my last call that day, we drove four hours to Amarillo, spent the night in a hotel, and were in line at 7:15 the next morning. Everything went extraordinarily well, and we received our first shots at 9:02. We headed back to Santa Fe, with Phil driving so I could do my video conference calls. We’ll be in California when it’s time for the second shot, and we’re checking that website daily for appointment availability.

Kudos to Amarillo’s public health department!

 

One of the things I love about Santa Fe is that art is everywhere. Even the bus stops and overpasses are beautiful! It’s easy to see why artists want to live here. I especially like unexpected art that startles, in an otherwise mundane setting.

At a coffee shop, the television wears a beautiful silver frame. Art!

One of the few recreation opportunities we have here is walking, and we’ve done a lot of it. The architecture here is beautiful, so different from other parts of the country. And the random art on walls is amazing!

On a walk this week I encountered a thoughtful swinging elephant.

This trompe d’oeil is startling!

Interestingly, the galleries and shops are mostly open. We can’t really shop (as Phil likes to say, “That’s great, honey, but we’re all out of wall space in the car!”) but we love wandering through galleries. And we truly are enjoying our cozy casita. We’ve also been able to see a few friends, which has been wonderful (socially distanced, but still fun!). But honestly? We’re looking forward to heading out to sunny California. Our plan is to leave here a couple of days early, visit the Grand Canyon, make a quick stop in Sedona, spend a night with friends in Phoenix, then start our sojourn in the San Diego area. 

How are you handling the winter doldrums?