Tumbleweeds, Prairie Dogs

Summer Travel Adventure Stop Numero Uno:  Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Eric and I arrived in Albuquerque Tuesday evening (last week) after three non-adventurous flights from Philadelphia (non-adventurous meaning no crash landings and minimal turbulence.  Woohoo!).  After we successfully spotted our backpacks at the baggage claim, my Aunt and Uncle picked us up and took us out to dinner at Farina, a wonderful pizzeria downtown.  Sharing family style, we split two insalatas and a mozzarella, goat cheese, leek, scallion, and pancetta pizza.  So yummy!

The fires in Arizona have brought considerable smoke to New Mexico.  On our drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe we saw a blood red sun disappear behind the mountains, the color distorted and magical.

Wednesday morning was spent relaxing at my Aunt and Uncle’s beautiful adobe-style home just outside of Santa Fe proper.  Their front yard has a magnificent view of some of the mountain ranges that surround the city.  We had our granola and yogurt breakfast outside in order to further enjoy the view and we’ve done this several mornings throughout the week, clear air permitting.

Now that it’s basically over, I can officially say that the first Summer Travel Adventure Stop has been so much fun!  My Aunt and Uncle have been incredibly generous with their time, taking me to all the coolest places.  Sadly I don’t have the patience, sorry Ma, to go into everything we did in detail but I’ll gloss (maybe more than gloss in some places) over the highlights.

(a note about the photos: they are all from Santa Fe and are in no particular order)

 On Wednesday, we…

  • Explored downtown Santa Fe and visited some of the old adobe buildings and historic churches.
  • Sent Eric on his merry way to Earthship Biotecture in Taos. 
  • Had a beautiful dinner at La Fonda’s La Plazuela where I received some awesome graduation presents including The Passion Test, which I’ve been meaning to read/actualize in my life.

On Thursday, we…

  • Celebrated my uncle’s birthday by travelling to Ojo Caliente, a mineral hot springs north of Santa Fe.  The springs have flowed from a subterranean volcanic aquifer for thousands of years and each pool has various combinations of four different types of mineral waters: lithia, iron, soda, and arsenic.  On the wall by each pool is a placard that suggests the restorative properties of the springs.  For example, the arsenic spring is said to relieve arthritis and heal a variety of skin conditions.  Woot woot!

To be honest I can’t remember Friday so I’m skipping it.

On Saturday, we…

  • Went to the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, which was incredible! Santa Fe boasts one of the most widely recognized farmers markets in the US and I’m not at all surprised.  (Side note: as I was typing just now a huge raven took off from its perch outside my window and no more than a few seconds later two small white pigeons took its place.  Such a difference in size and coloring.  This perch is a great flocking zone!)  So many vendors so little time!  In addition to the outdoor market, which has tall metal awnings to protect sellers and buyers from the sun, there is an indoor market and eating area. 
  • Walked around the Railyard Park which is located right next to the market.  Actually, the park and the market are all a part of The Railyard, which is a 13 acre protected space.  The park is absolutely gorgeous and full of boulders, trees, xeriscape plants, and modern outdoor architecture.
  • Went thrifting all over town, starting at Double Take and ending at Barkin’ Boutique, a non-profit that gives its sale proceeds to the Española Valley Humane Society.


On Sunday, we…

  • Did a mad search for the Santa Fe Quaker House only to not find it.  Hopes in no way dashed, we took off for the Santa Fe Friends Meeting on Canyon Road, which was easier to find.  What a beautiful Meetinghouse!

On Monday, we…

  • Went to Taos!  Unlike Santa Fe, which is surrounded by desert land with mountains on the horizon, Taos is situated at the base of a mountain range—the Taos Mountains.  We spent the afternoon visiting the Taos Pueblo, which is a living Native American community whose multi-level adobe buildings have been inhabited for the last 1000 years.  When we arrived at the Pueblo some of the community members were taking part in the San Antonio Feast Corn Dance (though I didn’t learn of the dance’s name until just now).  After the dance had moved to another part of the Pueblo, we walked around the buildings.  Because they are constructed out of adobe they require constant upkeep, meaning that the walls must be regularly replastered with a mixture of clay and straw.  And the structures are still standing!  It was truly remarkable to be in the presence of such ancient and beautiful homes.  Although tourists can explore parts of the village, most of it is off limits.  Additionally, tourists are restricted from bringing cameras and cell phones into the area.  I overhead several tourists complain about the limited view, which I found wholly ridiculous.  With foreigners taking over almost all of the land it seems fair, fair being a non-optimal word here, that there is a space that non-native peoples cannot enter.  The Pueblo is not just an attraction; it’s a home.  And we should unquestionably respect that.
  • Traveled over the Rio Grande Gorge to visit Eric at the Earthship World Headquarters!  After a week constructing, hiking, and playing in the dust, Eric was super sunburned and super happy.  It was so great to see where he’s been working and to visit the hive, a crazy Earthship where all the interns live.  I’ll post more about this trip later.

Tuesday (today) has been very lazy.  My Uncle and I went on a walking tour of Santa Fe this morning (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and I’ve been vegging out readinSkinny Legs and All and writing/editing this post since we got home around noon.  Very very chill.

Tomorrow I leave for Santa Cruz, California—the next stop on the Summer Travel Adventure.  Though I will miss the desert grasses, sagebrush, and beautiful mountains, I am looking forward to going home.

♥ Kylin


Oh!  And in case you’re wondering, the “Tumbleweeds, Prairie Dogs” title comes from the “Santa Fe” Rent lyrics that have been playing in my head all day:

Do you know the way to Santa Fe/
You know, tumbleweeds, prairie dogs/