Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Santa Fe Reunion

What a wonderful weekend!

I spent Easter weekend in Santa Fe with two of my best friends. Renee and Mary Lee worked together with us when Bill and I were posted at the American Embassy in (then) Moscow, USSR, back in the late 80s. We have gone to various postings around the globe on foreign serive assignment but have kept in touch. Mary Lee has retired and now lives in Durango, C0lorado. Renee is a Diplomat-in-residence at Duke University in Chapel Hill. I see Renee occasionally when she passes through Washington but we both have not seen Mary Lee since her retirement almost ten years ago, so this was indeed a special trip.

Santa Fe seems a perfect place for such a meeting.

On Canyon Road in Santa Fe. I, Mary Lee and Renee. This is probably one of the largest congregation of fine art galleries in the US and a fine place to blow a big hole in your wallet. Boy, did we do that!

We visited Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, where Georgia O'Keefe spent the later part of her life living and working. The view was spectacular. I have never seen anything like it before.

This is image-heavy, so it might be slow to load...The pictures cannot quite do justice to the real thing but they are as close as I could get them for you to see...

This one is partially hidden in the haze, but the mountain in the back in Mount Padernel, which Gorgia O'Keefe fell in love with. She said that if she "paint it often enough, maybe God will give it to me."

Ghost Ranch is now a conference center and a hotel where you can stay. You can also make an appointment to visit O'Keefe home. It was open only on weekdays and by appointment so we did not get to see it.

Here is an interesting rock formation.

The sun was quite strong and Mary Lee misplaced her sunglasses!

We visited Georgia O'Keefe Museum. Opened only in 1997, it houses but a few of her works. It is quite unfortunate but understandable. Most of her major works are in large, well-funded museums all around the world. A small musuem such as this simply cannot afford to buy back such works. It is interesting to see some of here early works nonetheless.

We stayed right in the center of town. I found the southwestern archintecture so intriguing. it fits the landscpae so perfectly. From one of the gzillion boutiques that line the streets of Santa Fe:

To the Museum of American Indian Art...

To the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi..
And a local parish church.

Or even a walkway just outside our hotel room!

Everything blends in with nature and the landscape around. No skyscraping eyesore here.

In the center of Santa Fe is the plaza, ringed with shops, restaurants and other attractions. Merchants and artists gather in the plaza every day and especially on weekends to sell arts and crafts. It is like a giant flea market. Everything from paintings to wood carving to rugs to jewelry to pottery.

I love the sand art.

And all the turquoise you'll ever need.

But our downfall was indeed Canyon Road and the fine arts galleries.

And particularly this Chunga palm leave woven basket.

This Woonaan basket was woven by the Darian people of the rainforest on the Panamanian-Colombian border.

Entrelac in 3-D.

There were so many things to see but we only had the weekend. And it was the Easter weekend; thus a lot of things were closed. We managed to get to Taos, about 40 miles away. It was five o'clock Saturday afternoon and it was Easter eve and stores were closings all around us. Renee and Mary Lee did not have a choice. In Taos is La Lana Wools.

I will show you what I got later (did not take pix yet. That's blog fodder for another day!) Suffice to say, another substantial hole in the credit card. But totally worth it. Totally.

Santa Fe. Beautiful City. The weather was beautiful. A wee chilly but I can't really complain. It was sunny all weekend. People drive fast there.

The posted speed limit is 75 miles per hour! Still I managed to finish my artichoke socks.

And just in time for dessert at the Old House Restaurant,
one of the finest restaurants in town.

That was, er, their version of the Black Forest Cake. As Mary Lee told our waiter: "It was good. But you pastry chef obviously has never been to Austria."

It was a wonderful weekend indeed.

No comments: