The images at right are taken from "A History of Kansas" with the caption "In Early Santa Fe." The accompanying text reads: "The 'Great American Desert' lay between Santa Fe and the settlements of the western border of the United States. But Captain Pike's interesting descriptions of the wealth and resources of the Spanish country stirred up enthusiasm...and traders, on their journeys to the Spanish city wore a pathway that crossed the length of Kansas. This pathway came to be called the 'Santa Fe Trail.' (See "Early Kansas Expedition," 10-1-2015 in the blog archives.)
|Santa Fe Street scene|
The settlement of the Great Plains disproved the original assumption of the region being the Great American Desert, but travelers continue to 'wear a pathway' to Santa Fe. The winter holiday season is an extremely popular time for visitors, and we recently joined those travelers. We did not see any burros in the streets, but we certainly enjoyed the interesting architecture and continued the tradition of trading!
Our favorite adventures were walking the streets to enjoy shops and galleries (and stopping in a few), dining in some of the wonderful restaurants, and pausing to take photographs. In this blog, I will share some of our photographs. Remember, you can click on the photographs to enlarge them.
|Photo Credit: Lyn Fenwick|
On the north side of the New Mexico Museum of Art the shadows preserved the snow-capped walls. On the south side the sun had begun to melt the snow, but the icicle cast its shadow, as did the tracery of the tree branches. The photographer was caught in the act of preserving the lovely shadows!
|Photo Credit: Lyn Fenwick|
|Photo Credit: Larry Fenwick|
Wandering through the many galleries in Santa Fe occupied much of our time. Our first stop was the Joe Wade Gallery, to thank them for their generous cooperation with the recent Vernon Filley Art Museum in Pratt, KS for an exhibition by two of their artists, Roger Williams and Robin Laws.
Like the early travelers of the Santa Fe Trail, we saw wild life...but our sightings were of bronzes and paintings! This sleeping bear on a bench in front of the Manitou Gallery caught our eye, and inside we met Andrea Vigil and Bob Nelson. Nelson may be familiar to some of you from PBS's Arizona Collectibles, but much of our conversation with him was devoted to Lindsborg College, which he attended, and Burger Sandzen, whom he came to admire while a student there. (See "The Natural Bridge," 8-28-2014 and Part II, 9-4-14, in the blog archives.)
In truth, most of our collecting can only be viewed on the scales! Dining well is an honored tradition in Santa Fe. We sampled the local Mexican fare, the pastries and delicious bar small plates in the La Fonda hotel bar, and other delicious meals. Among our favorites were dinner at the always wonderful Geronimo's Restaurant on Canyon Road and the sophisticated and intimate Inn of the Anasazi on Washington just off the Square. Both offer lovely surroundings, excellent service, and most importantly, food so beautifully presented and amazingly delicious that either one of those meals would have been worth the trip!
|Lunch at the Inn of the Anasazi|
Our lunch at the Inn of the Anasazi is pictured at left. I had salmon, prepared to perfection. Larry's meal was shrimp and scallops, equally perfect, according to him. Having been raised in the farming region known as the bread basket of America, (formerly known as the Great American Desert), I appreciate delicious breads, and the Inn did not neglect the importance of that portion of our meal!
|Dessert at Geronimo's|
Our party at Geronimo's consisted of 4 adults and 2 teenagers, and our server, Arianna, made the occasion a delight for all of us. The young man with us was curious about a rather complicated appetizer of small pancakes with scallions, caviar, and other things new to his palate. Ari's explanation as he ordered and as it was served made that dining experience a special one he will remember, and when his sister coveted (and received) one of his pancakes, Arianna brought her a small tray of them for herself. By the way, the young man was also brave enough to select Geronimo's special dish, elk, which he enjoyed. Only because I was so full did I remember to pause for a photograph of my citron dessert with meringue kisses before spoiling the presentation in my eagerness to begin eating.
|Angels & Ancestors Tree|
One of the highlights of our Santa Fe visit was the performance by the Aspen / Santa Fe Ballet of The Nutcracker at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. We have seen The Nutcracker in various cities over the years, but this was our favorite. First, The Lensic Theater is a lovely old movie theater from the era when interiors were ornate and magical. The theater setting framed the ballet beautifully. Second, the stage settings and costumes were wonderful and in character with the ballet. And, third, the dancers brought the story to life perfectly. As is often true of attending the Nutcracker, watching the fascination of young children in the audience is part of the joy.
It is no secret that I am a child myself about Christmas trees, and when I joined the 'other children' crowded around the table in the lobby selecting the perfect souvenir Christmas ornament, I spotted the exact Clara already on my tree. I gave my spot at the table to a child awaiting the chance to select her own favorite, content that I already had my favorite souvenir waiting on the tree at home!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, however you celebrate the season!!