Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Simply Southwest {Part 2}

This is part number two of the recap of our recent Santa Fe trip. If you didn't catch part one, read all about it here.

After spending hours exposed to the heat and high altitude during our morning hike, we were pretty worn out and weren't so much looking forward to extending our adventurous streak by going on our planned mountain biking excursion. So, we called off the whole biking thing and instead strolled through the main downtown area of Santa Fe. The city is fairly sparse population-wise, with less than 100,000 people calling it home, but during the Memorial Day weekend, a number of tourists, including us, descended upon the town. It wasn't so crowded that it felt unsafe, but there were just enough people to make it feel cozy and quaint. Santa Fe is the place to be if you're looking for art, food, history and adobe buildings (seriously, even the McDonalds was adobe). We took in most of the touristy sites around there, including The Plaza, The Palace of Governors, St. Francis Cathedral, San Miguel Mission, Canyon Road, Loretto Chapel (we didn't get to see the staircase though because there was a wedding that evening) and allegedly the "oldest house." Being a tourist sure does work up an appetite, so we ventured into the Blue Corn
Cafe for dinner, where I appropriately had blue corn tacos and hubby had the largest burrito known to mankind. Both were pretty standard, nothing too special, and they don't offer complimentary chips and salsa. After dinner, we took a final stroll around downtown and then stopped by the local Whole Foods Market to pick up our anniversary cake this year - we have a tradition of getting a cake for our far, the first year's frozen, year-old cake has actually been the best.

{Monday, May 30} Originally, we had booked an all-day whitewater rafting trip called the Taos Box for this day...but I was incredibly bummed when Kokopelli Rafting e-mailed me a few days before we left to say that the water levels on the river were too low to do that particular excursion. They suggested a half-day rafting trip, called the Racecourse, in a different area of the Rio Grande, so we changed our reservation and were set to tackle the rapids that afternoon. Earlier that morning though, we were able to squeeze in a little more siteseeing and explored the Santa Fe Railyard area. There are a number of shops (we only visited the REI), the farmers market (which was closed) and restaurants in the area and an interestingly-designed park with a subtle and clever train theme that incorporated industrial materials; you could tell some artist or architect put some thought into it. We then drove over to the New Mexico State Capitol (Roundhouse) to check out the free art displays throughout the building. Since we were a little pressed for time to get to our rafting excursion, we sort of just strolled through and only stopped for artwork that really caught our attention. No real lunch today, we had to drive about an hour and 15 minutes up north to meet our rafting guide on the river. Once we arrived, we strapped on all the equipment they provided (life vest and helmet), listened to a quick safety briefing, grabbed our paddles, and hopped into our raft with a rather chipper and humorous guide and two other brave souls. Off we go, okay, not so fast...this happened to be one of the windiest days on the river, like 50-60 mph wind gusts blowing in the wrong direction. We got our arm workout for the day paddling against the wind, got splashed a few times from the whitewater, and overall, had a really fun first whitewater rafting experience. Hopefully, we'll be able to go again sometime on a day with calm winds. For our final dinner in Santa Fe, we went to the Rooftop Pizzeria, sat out on the chilly roof, and ordered a pizza with an unusual but flavorful and tasty blend of toppings that included smoked duck, green peppercorns, basil, spinach and a garlic sauce.

{Tuesday, May 31} Good bye, Santa Fe! It's home to Oklahoma City early in the morning! I pretty much slept the entire car ride home; I'm not really sure how I slept so much and was still tired the next day.


  1. Sounds like you had a fun trip! We keep talking about going to Santa Fe, and it looks like we need to go for it!

  2. Yes, it was a fun little getaway...a fairly easy trip from OKC. Do it and report back! Have fun in Chi-town next week. You'll have to tell me all about it. Glad I got to see you and Tom yesterday!