The Santa Fe Chill

Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
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Trip End Dec 18, 2009


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Where I stayed
The Old Santa Fe Inn

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Morning was in Flagstaff and I made my way down the long road to Santa Fe somewhat cautiously.  I started out with a little bit of snow and ice and then it went to a little ice and then no snow or ice at all, very dry actually and then back to some dusty snow.  The refreshing part was there were few mountains on this ride. 

I can't mention enough how much focus is involved in driving the curvy, mountainous terrain.  It is a very draining ride, throw in some construction and some traffic and you find yourself mentally wiped by the end of the leg.  Thankfully, things straightened out quite a bit on this leg, the strange thing was that I was driving at about 6,000-7,000 feet and I was feeling the effects.

I slight but, persistent sinus headache and an emboldened sensitivity to alcohol were the first affects I noticed.  The other aspect was that whole asthma thing and I believe I've already written about this and now I am boring you.

I got to Santa Fe around dinner time and checked into the wonderfully appointed, modern yet quaint Old Santa Fe Inn.  I already felt some of the stress of travel just roll off of me and the city brings a certain stillness to it.  Don't get me wrong, It's not a boring place at all. I'll get to that in a bit.

I got a copy of the Old Santa Fe Inn Times, their self published introduction paper and perused the surrounding scene.  I then went to my Let's Go Road-tripping tome and searched for dinner.  I ended up at Maria's New Mexican Kitchen.  Heaping portions (I got the enchilada platter) and famous Margarita's.  I'm not a Margarita guy but, when they say they are famous I have to try them.  Kelley Brunssen loves Margarita's and always seems really happy with one in hand so I figured I'd follow her lead and see if I like the famous ones better than the ones that everyone always gets.

I had a tasty traditional yellow one, with salt and it went right to my head prompting me to text Kelley about it.  It also prompted me to use the word "garrulous" in a text to Kevin Laake surrounding what it is I can't remember right now.

I retired from Maria's and hit the sack back at the Inn.

The next day I put on my pack and hiked a whopping 3 blocks up to the Plaza.  The Plaza is a very chill shopping area in Santa Fe and it is Adobe-Mania running wild folks.  The hue give a certain relaxing vibe, kind of like the tones of Italy.  I remember visiting Italy back in 2005 and thinking there was something to the color schemes of those towns that just made your shoulders drop to normal levels and your jaw slack (in a good way )

I walk a little and do some window shopping.  The Plaza is dense with shops and restaurants I think I could spend a week going through each one of those places.  There was a bakery that actually baked french bread in the shape of desert animals.  I walked down past the big church.  A basilica of Santa Fe.  On my way into the basilica I'm approached by a pan handler who I didn't believe for a second even though he had a metal leg and a pitchbook with the medications he is taking and a petition for something or other he was sending to the state about prescription drug benefits.  The guy's inflection was superior and his near tears were Oscar quality so I gave him a buck and went into the basilica to see what's what.

I walked in and sat down a children's choir was practicing for a Christmas celebration.  They were singing in Spanish and it was beautiful.  I stayed for a while and moved on.

It's 2:00 am (Thursday) in Sallisaw, OK.  I've been driving all day and am currently doing laundry at the Super 8 Motel so If my thoughts are scattered please forgive me I've done 750 miles today and have lots more to go tomorrow.

Incidentally, this entry is completely non-chronological or you might say temporal of the day at hand. 

At Maria's the night before I found a brochure for a psychic that I read about months ago.  She actually traveled with Bob Dylan years ago and since I love me some dabbling in the psychic realm, I called her up.  I had an hour long session which she extended by a half an hour (I'm that compelling) and it provided much food for thought and even more cooling out.  The long and short of it is she said I should keep on with this writing thing even though It doesn't seem like It's worth it sometimes. 

I walked on after this session and visited some more shops and the place where all the Indians are selling their stuff.  It's kind of like a flea strip where they lay out their goods and if you are into that Southwestern scene, arts, jewelry and such you are a luck cat this is your place. 

I'm sorry, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford are you kidding me?

So I'm kind of hungry now and I'm looking into a late lunch.  The Plaza seems to have all these sub-plazas with layers of shops restaurants etc layered behind them.  I mosey into one of these sub-plazas and find a place to dine.  It's Las Casa Sena 
http://www.lacasasena.com/main_dining.html

I am greeted by a native New Mexican or perhaps an actual Mexican with a serious accent.  It was very charming.  I sat there in this regal dining room to have some lunch.  I decide on a sampler platter of some sort and it is quite good.  I also get a glass of wine which is tremendous an smooth drinking.

It is a red wine.  I think it is called "heart-breakers" or something like that.  I depart my late lunch and found their wine shop.  I walk in and ask the fetching lass running the show what's the name of the wine I just had and liked so much.  She knows exactly what it is and I get two bottles of it and then proceed to embark on some mild and over-reaching yammering at this gal who will remain nameless because she is from the  land of parishes and is not only operating under aliases but, is running from the law.  (this is a long story that I promised not to reveal). 

Not withstanding the previous revelations the gal is captivating and knows how to put an outfit together.  She had both an artsy and traditional visage and pulled off the unique spectacles and white beret divinely.  So of course I have to yammer incessantly for about 10 minutes after I cease to be interesting but, this is the fine art of self destruction and I am an artist.  She was too, I correctly guessed that the was a one time actress taking some time off to peddle wines.  I know a thing or two about taking a year off, even if it wasn't necessarily voluntarily.  But, I'm not bitter. 

So now I'm trying to figure out how to both stay in Santa Fe and follow the ether of wine girl and continue on my trip to Jackson, MS.  The former loses in this game and yet, I'm still wondering If I can get back to Santa Fe before the heat comes to town and the Feds take her away. 

I'm no savior that's for sure but, enjoy laboring under false pretenses when there is nothing to lose.

I am wiped out and after the church and some walking and the lass, I'm back to the Inn and it is freezing and I'm needing to do laundry but, It's freezing and would be a walk to the laundry and It's freezing so nothing happens but, a subtle yet consistent fade to sleep and a face- off with the next day. 


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