International Writers Magazine - Santa Fe Vacation
An Enchanted City Any Time of Year
an annoying metronome, the wipers slap in time to Michael Bubles
rendition of Come Fly With Me as they clear the fresh cache of snow
from our windshield. "Whats with this?" I say to
my husband whos sitting next to me in the drivers seat
of our rented Chevy. "I thought wed be escaping this
not crooning like Buble, I had ironically suggested this very idea to
him a few weeks earlier. "Lets ditch BCs wet west coast
and take off for some higher and drier ground. Santa Fe would fit the
bill." I had heard that this New Mexico destination at 7,000 feet
boasted 300 days of annual sunshine and only 14 inches of precipitation.
What were the odds wed be rained on, let alone see snow? Fortunately,
unlike our Vancouver home base, the temperature patterns in this high
desert oasis change on a dime. By the time we check our map and highlight
a few must-sees, the wall of cloud has dissipated giving way to glorious
Santa Fe rays.
the weather, change is no stranger to this culture-loving capital.
We saunter around the Railyard, a modern upbeat addition that fringes
the citys classic core, and browse through the cluster of
galleries that lure the more cotemporary crowd. The fifty-acre plot
is anchored by SITE Santa Fe, a warehouse-style venue that represents
short walk away is the upscale Sanbusco Market, hosting twenty-five
chi chi shops. And on Tuesdays and Saturdays anything home grown
and organic can be picked up in the popular Farmers Market.
At the heart of it all, and bridging the past to the present is
a historical depot and the Railrunnner, a commuter train that whisks
Santa Feans to Albuquerque in just over an hour.
Bordering this area is downtown Santa Fe. "Its sure not
your typical metropolis," I comment, as we veer onto the main
road of Paseo De Peralta. "Theres not a high rise or
a neon sign in sight." The low-slung, flat-roofed adobe buildings
appear to be hewn from New Mexicos landscape as they rise
from the okra soil like giant sleeping camels. The curvaceous shapes,
housing hip galleries, trendy boutiques, and amazing museums are
linked together by sliver-thin streets.
Our drive circumvents the twenty-square disorderly blocks and offers
us brief glimpses into the busy vortex. Weve heard that the
best way to explore the interior grid is to get out our walking
shoes. And thats exactly what we do.
Like most visiting newbies, we start at the heart of it all, the
plaza; a meeting ground that predates to the early 1700s when
the Spanish conquistadors first arrived. Although the surroundings
have certainly been upgraded since those early days, its still
a popular place to celebrate, schmooze and sell. The activities
fans out from a pyramidal-type obelisk that commemorates the citys
rich culture and history. Towering evergreens rim the squares
perimeter and in shady comfort benches provide reprieve, musicians
entertain, and local vendors display their goods: turquoise beads,
silver bangles, splashy jewelry.
pitches continue along the adjacent breezeway of the Palace of the Governors,
where a line-up of indigenous craftspeople hawk their treasures. I walk
away with more than my suitcase will hold.
We check out the interior gems of this historical haunt as well. The
palace, and oldest civic building in continuous use, was constructed
in 1610. It houses an excellent installation that spans the history
of the Southwest and Santa Fe everything from the Spanish Colonial
War to tales of the wild west when Billy the Kid and Kit Carson rode
into town. Up until this past May, it had been so chock-a-block full
that eighty percent of the collection had to be stored. Now, hugging
up to this divine depository is the New Mexico History Museum, a premier
showcase that displays these irreplaceable collectibles. Its a
timely debut, with Santa Fes 400th birthday bash coming this Labor
Other museums line up cheek to cheek with savvy shops, ethnic restaurants
and over two hundred eclectic galleries. Its a cultural melting
pot thats full of intrigue. We browse through the airy Georgia
O'Keeffe Gallery and gaze at over a hundred and forty of this masters
incredible works, then venture through the Museum of Fine Arts, a Pueblo-Revival
jewel that was founded in 1917.
Stone sculptures, wooden carvings and metal masterpieces flank the tree-lined
street of acclaimed Canyon Road, and after a short drive up Museum Hill
were captivated by five more forums that would appease any factoid.
The Museum of International Folk Art boasts the worlds largest
collection of whimsical figurines and truly brings a small world to
life, while the adjacent Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian totally
immerses us with indigenous culture. A scenic plaza links the two together
and provides an awesome vista lookout of the Sangre de Cristo peaks.
blown away by the same visual overload later in the day from our
private patio at Bishops Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa. This
chic retreat that nestles into the lush flora of the Tesuque Valley
is only ten minutes from Santa Fes bustling throngs, yet feels
light-years from civilization. Its for this very reason that
the first bishop of Santa Fe, Jean-Baptiste Lamy, came here more
than a century ago. A chapel and humble retreat, listed on the National
Register of Historic Places, still remain on the property as a legacy
to his past.
Today, the four
hundred and fifty fabulous acres provide sublime pleasures for any luxury
loving traveler. Some come for the award-winning spa, others for a trail
ride in the hills and all for the reprieve; exquisite lodging, fine
dining, silver service. What more could you ask for? "Did you know
there are half a dozen ski resorts within close range?" my husband
asks. "And I hear were in for snow tomorrow." Its
hard to believe that this destination offers the best of both worlds.
From windswept mesas to snowy trails, it truly is The Land Of Enchantment.
I make a mental note to bring a pair of skis on my return visit.
Pure Escapism at the Arizona Inn
Where to stay:
Bishops Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa
1297 Bishops Lodge Road
Tel: (505) 983 6377
Toll free: (800) 419 0492
What to do:
Santa Fe Tourism
New Mexico Tourism
Jane Cassie 2017
It’s late Thursday afternoon and the gray ribbon of highway before us is cloaked with bumper to bumper gridlock. We inch along in our little red rental, butting up to suburbia vans, luxury Lincolns, and rust-bucket half tons, all who have the same purpose in mind. To get where they’re going, and as quickly as possible.
An Eco Adventure
lush 180 kilometer strip of shoreline, sandwiched between Pacific waves
and coastal peaks, receives around 2,400 hours of annual sun.
Personal View Of Whistler
a Vancouverite, Ive always had a soft spot for North Americas
A Peak Experience
Were standing with other skiers at the top of Sunburst Express.
In spite of the chilly mountain breeze, both of my hands feel hot &
clammy.This is clearly fear factor.
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