Day 13

Trip Start Sep 12, 2010
1
14
15
Trip End Sep 25, 2010


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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, September 24, 2010

Today, as promised, was Jenny's day in Santa Fe. Before we embarked on an exploration of the historic town plaza, though, Mike J took the time out to teach the parking lot attendant - who was very interested in English customs - how to say "sod off", leaving the attendant giggling to himself!

We then went our separate ways as Mike J and I had just visited Santa Fe a few months earlier and we wanted Jenny to have the run of the town. Santa Fe is unparalleled in richness of history, heritage, arts and culture. It's nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the foothills of the Rockies, and immersed in natural beauty, with an average of 325 days of sunshine and blue sky - much like Colorado. It is also home to the amazing Georgia O'Keeffe museum, celebrating the life and works of the influential American artist.

Both couples took time out today to visit Loretto Chapel, at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail. Inside the Gothic structure is the fascinating staircase often referred to as miraculous, inexplicable, marvellous and is sometimes called St. Joseph’s Staircase.

The stairway confounds architects, engineers and master craftsmen. It makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands 20’ tall and has no center support. It rests solely on its base and against the choir loft. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails. No one can work out how it remained standing. Today it has support but I took a picture of a poster showing how it used to look - see what you think in the pictures below.

We all met for lunch at the historic La Fonda hotel in a small French pastry shop which serves wonderful crepes, then split again to continue our afternoon. Mike J and I found the local library, where I managed to catch up on some major blog writing and Mike settled in a comfortable corner for a few hours, reading John Steinbeck's Life In Letters and the introduction to James Baldwin's collected non-fiction. We were both immersed in our favourite ways of relaxing.

At 4pm, we met Mike B and Jenny once more on the steps of St Francis Cathedral and returned to the mini-van for our short journey to Taos. Daniel, our trusty GPS, took us on the most wonderful scenic roads, perhaps the best of the whole trip. We just had to stop on the way to take pictures of the breathtaking Rio Grande Gorge.

We arrived at our hotel just as the sun was setting on Taos and made our way to the smaller, but just as picturesque, historic plaza to find a place to eat. We found a gorgeous, friendly restaurant in Bent Street, where Jenny braved her first-ever margarita complete with salt around the rim, and Mike B practised his newly-found skill of saying "tomato" so that it rhymed with "potato", much to the delight of our server.

Tomorrow, D H Lawrence's art and back to Colorado!









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