Santa Fe 0 Miles
"Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest."
Our Las Vegas friends Keith and Melody came to New Mexico to visit us today, and what a treat. Melody has a strange quirk; she plans things. We don't get it. But as we jumped into their car (a car!) and headed to Santa Fe, she outlined what she planned. No way we'll make it all. However, between planning and studying maps- two totally alien concepts- we saw it all: a basilica,church, art museums, shops, restaurants, and plenty of New Mexican culture.
The basilica rocked. Okay, bad term, but the arching ceilings, choir loft and pipe organ, stained glass and statues, all made for a magnificent church. Dedicated in 1886, it was a huge architectural, cultural and religious icon in Santa Fe. I felt like paparazzi, taking pictures in a place of worship.
Off to the Loretto Chapel, formerly a church and now a museum. Built in 1878, the only access to the choir loft was via ladder. The school was run by nuns, so the need for a stairway became painfully apparent. But the small church had no room for one. The nuns made a Novena (nine days of prayer about something specific), and a carpenter wandered into town on a donkey. Using a hammer, saw, square and a bucket of water to warp the wood, he worked six weeks creating the marvelous thirty-three step spiral staircase. Finished, he wandered out of town without accepting payment. Engineers and architects presently marvel at it's construction. Some concluded he was St. Joseph.
We toured the town and its myriad art studios, as Santa Fe is the third largest art collecting community in the country. Baby, that's a lot of art, from awesome to clever to modern blender vomit to junk, they had it all. Even a $90,000 crystal- um... shape that reflected light though grooves in the surface, offering unending geometric shapes and beauty. Ne
Next to Tomasita's Restaurant- a refurbished train depot- for lunch, Tex Mex style, and delicious if you like sweat on your forehead and upper lip, wow that's good. Oh yeah.
We launched afoot and found the Georgia O'Keefe Gallery, and we all agreed it was overpriced and under presented. Too much white walls. I'm not wild about abstracts and impressionists, so most of it disappointed. However, the photograph of Elvis' TV with a bullet hole in it looked cool,probably because I've had so many times I'd like to have done that. You the man, Elvis! Obviously, all the art wasn't G.O.'s.
We trolled more shops downtown and Quilter Girl bought earrings, even though I protested they were much too big and heavy and we had no room. She ignored my sage advice and bought them anyway.
We found (reading maps again, curious) the Folk Art Museum and QG scored again, as they featured Amish Quilts. With only fifteen minutes 'til closing, Keith convinced them to let us run through the place for free. Clever man.
Since we'd talked up Harry's Roadhouse Restaurant, they took us there for dessert. We ate a banana cream pie, hot fudge brownie sundae with caramel and lemon torte, grateful we hadn't passed out while waiting. Off to the tent with hugs goodbye, the whirlwind fun day ended. Thanks to Keith and Melody for a great day!
And now tired but happy, Quilter Girl!
What a nice city this is! We saw so much today. The art here is incredible, from huge outside sculptures to the tiniest stuff for the walls, it is all here. There were great wind sculptures that Melody and I both wanted and my favorite water feature was a fat green frog that spit water out of his mouth. There was a bronze boy reading a book and some great horses. The vendors were everywhere, with stuff spread out on blankets in one place. My new earrings were $10 and are small, pearl and turquoise and I love them. There was a whole lot more stuff that I was lusting after. Motorcycle traveling is good for the budget!
The Amish quilts were great, nine patch, log cabin, bowtie and the traditional square in a square and all but one done in solids. They would be boring for me to make, but they were striking in their simplicity. The hand quilting was very special on each one. What a special blessing to be able to see these quilts.
Tomorrow we ride. Somewhere. We may figure it out tonight. Or tomorrow.