Days 277-278 – Back to Santa Fe

There isn’t much to see between White Sands and Denver – our next destination – that we haven’t seen before. We decide to spend a couple of days in Santa Fe again. We were here last September and enjoyed the city: great food, nice walking town, lots of neat shops and one of my favorite bookstores.

Gunstock Hill Books is a little pricey because all of the books are first editions but when I stopped in last year, I had to restrain myself from buying more books than would fit in the car. I mostly read non-fiction science history with some historic exploration like mountaineering, polar expeditions, etc. I walked out this time with a book on avalanches, another on Antarctic explorers, one on the creation of the metric system… you get the picture.

We were shocked after the warmth of southern New Mexico to find that Santa Fe was experiencing more springlike temps in the high 40s and low 50s with breezes and clouds. So we settle into our room at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, where we stayed last fall, clean up and head downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner. We are so glad we did because when we look out the windows, it is snowing! Not heavily but I’ve been living in shorts and light dresses for the past 10 days and this comes as a bit of a system shock.

No matter. We take our time getting up the next morning and by the time we head out to explore the town, the snow is gone from all but a few shady grassy spots. We wander town, stopping at Sequoia Santa Fe, a wonderful furniture store. We had visited last time and we are just as interested now, even though we still have no house for these pieces. I’m torn between the raw-edged wood dining table, the tree root consoles, the onyx fountains and lamps, and the elaborate monkey-wood coffee tables. We learn that they will store any purchases (we’ve found many art and antiques stores will) and ship to us whenever we do have a house. We take a few pictures and head out.

Since we’re not really into the southwestern art and jewelry that fills the shops around the plaza, we head to nearby Canyon Road, which we didn’t visit last time. I’ve read that it has dozens of art galleries. Walt’s a little skeptical. We both like art galleries but most of what we’ve seen in other places – Sedona, Charleston, etc. – is either unappealing to us or so expensive that we’d have to love a piece in order to buy it.

But it’s nice out and it’s a nice walk.

We don’t get too far up the road before Walt sees a sign that says “contemporary art” and heads in. We are delighted by what we find: just a half a dozen artists in a bright gallery. There are a couple of paintings I like and a sculpture I love. Walt stops by one painting and doesn’t move. I circle back to him and realize it’s by the same artist whose other works I’ve admired. We discuss the artist with the gallery’s owner, get some information on his work and head out, pretty sure we’ll be hanging one of his pieces in our new home, some day.

While we skip many of the galleries – we know what we like – we do find a few more with sculptures, fountains and paintings that we like. We have cards, pictures and dreams…

Walt stays back in the room to make dinner reservations while I zip across the plaza to my bookstore. The owner is pleased when I tell him how much I love his store and how I plotted to visit again when I knew we would be back in New Mexico this spring.

Dinner is at La Plazuela, a very nice restaurant that we had tried and couldn’t get reservations for the last time. We both choose from the “Northern New Mexico Specialities” portion of the menu and enjoy a very tasty meal in Santa Fe.


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