A few years ago I celebrated my 60th birthday in Santa Fe, NM and declared then that it was my last trip to the Land of Enchantment. Truth be told it was my 13th trip and I felt I had been there/done that. That is until SAQA announced their annual conference would be held in Santa Fe, NM. I could not make reservations fast enough!
Initially hubby was going to go along and we were going to drive as the country between here and there is vast and glorious. About a month ago he decided he would rather stay home and plant his summer garden than ‘kill time’ in a place he had been to 5 times. So I booked a flight and have just returned from the most wonderful, relaxing, indulgent, stimulating and soul-enriching week in the city different. It may have been my final trip there or not …
Because I have been so many times before I did not even bother to take a camera. Instead I used my iPhone from which I have learned to embrace Photo Stream…no more tedious downloads. I also did not take an excessive amount of photos which really was a relief as I already have so many. This trip however seemed to carry a central theme and that was… food. Lots of great food!
We watched with interest and intrigue as the two chefs prepared an entire meal of chocolate & chile delight and then served us the results. Gay quickly became my Lactaid dealer allowing me to fully embrace the NM dairy experience. The warm Mayan chocolate pudding was possibly the best chocolate anything I have ever eaten! We left with full bellies and itemized recipes (which¬†I seldom use but in this case will… at least once). We bought spices in the shop and vowed to take a local culture cooking class wherever we travel from now on. And we jotted down the chef’s recommendations of the best food in SF and managed to get to several before leaving. I felt sad for the conference attendees who dined only at the hotel restaurant. They missed so much!
I indulged in a three-hour spa treatment at Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese spa higher up in the mountains. My treatment included¬†a facial and I committed to remembering the names of the 8-9 luxurious organic processes layered onto my skin but alas forgot them! This morning while walking I tried to again remember the names but only came up with it felt just like a PB&J to the face! Ymmm…
We went to Bobcat Bite for the best green chile cheeseburger in the state. As one who seldom eats beef, I decided to go whole hog (or whole steer) and add bacon to my GCCB! Fabulous. On my way to the airport I stopped at the Range Cafe in Albuquerque¬†for a last ditch green chile indulgence of huevos rancheros! Sure beats airport food.
Over the years one thing has been consistent in my Santa Fe photos…lots of doorways and passageways.
In fact my first award-winning work was inspired by a Santa Fe doorway. I also took a requisite number of texture and pattern shots.
Even the freeways are beautiful in New Mexico!
Beyond the food of course was the conference, a chance to reconnect with peeps who speak my language, perusing galleries, a wonderful art quilt exhibit at the state capitol, wearing my favorite Native American art and the acquisition of more….it’s my birthstone after all!
The best part of this trip for me was a chance to just be myself and relax after a tough two years. I feel grateful that all my post-surgical rehab and hard work enabled my body to function as it should, grateful that my husband gifted me this time to recharge my batteries, grateful for good friends to share this adventure and blessed to be energized to get back to art-making.