03 August 2011

Santa Fe, NM: A mini getaway. Part II

I wised up on Saturday night and used both earplugs AND a sleep mask and slept about 150% better than the night before.  Still woke up early, but refreshed this time instead of bleary-eyed.  DH and I were up and out of the hotel by 8:00 but were quite surprised to see that the little coffee shop & bakery across the street from the hotel was closed, so we turned around and decided to break our fast at the hotel's restaurant, Amaya, which gets good ratings on various travel forums.  We opted for the continental breakfast at $11 pp, adding some eggs (DH) and crispy bacon (me) for $4 apiece.  We ate outside in the pleasant courtyard and read our books and thus passed a very enjoyable morning.  I didn't take any photos of my own at breakfast, but here is one of the courtyard from the hotel website:
Hotel's photo, NOT mine. 
After breakfast we walked back downtown to the Plaza and poked around for a few hours.  It was very hot that morning, and though I was happy that I remembered to slather on the sunscreen, I was definitely wishing I had remembered to bring along a hat.  We have one major regret from that morning and that is not buying a CD from a woman playing guitar on one of the side streets near the Plaza.  The music was haunting and beautiful but we had no cash on us.  We walked around a bit in search of an ATM or a bank but didn't see any, and after a while we were too tired to persist.  With luck, my DH will be able to find her again sometime this week while he's still in Santa Fe and will bring home the prized CD.

Here are some photos from our wanderings downtown on Sunday:

These beautiful doors were in a courtyard with other gorgeous woodwork

I'm a sucker for brightly colored glassware

After a few hours wandering around downtown we were starting to drag our feet, so we went back to the hotel for an hour or so to read & recharge before heading over to St. John's campus to check in for the Glen Conference and inspect the studio where DH would be teaching for the week.  After that we headed to Museum Hill and chose the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture somewhat randomly from the four to choose form.  In retrospect, I wish we would have chosen the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, but there's always next time.  MIAC was a very impressive museum, nicely appointed and designed.  But as with the Spanish Market, I found myself getting museum fatigue all too soon because to my untrained eye, many displays looked nearly identical.  The various diorama were very interesting and thoughtfully put-together, particularly the cross-section wickiup, and I would have enjoyed seeing more of those.
Koi pond at St. John's

View from DH's studio at St. John's

Museum Hill

Museum Hill
After stopping for a cold drink at the outdoor cafe on Museum Hill, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our 5:30 dinner reservation at Amavi.  It was necessarily early because originally Karin and Linford were joining us but felt compelled to leave in time to attend the welcome reception for the Glen, which started at 7:00.  As it turned out, Amavi exuded its allure on them and they stayed with us through the entire meal instead of leaving after appetizers.  Well, we all just loved it, me especially.  I had done a little research on travel forums, particularly at Trip Advisor, and this was one of the places recommended to me.  Its Mediterranean cuisine combines the best of Spanish, French, Italian, and Greek culinary traditions to provide tasty and inventive dishes.  We had the chilled cucumber gazpacho (DH), the Mezze Salad Trio (Linford), the arugula salad (Karin) and the sweet red pepper panna cotta (me), all of which were passed around.

I'm startin' with the man in the mirror (DH)
They thoughtfully provided a palate cleanser in the form of a cucumber-mint sorbet, which let us dive into our entrees with a renewed sense of anticipation.  All of their meats are locally farmed, cruelty-free, FYI.  We ordered the beef & lentil stuffed eggplant (DH), the grass-fed lamb tortellone (Karin & me), and the summer vegetable fettuccini (Linford).  Everything was excellent, but my personal favorite was my own dish.  Karin and I also had a couple of rounds of the Snap Dragon cocktail, which was a delightful and refreshing vodka & ginger liqueur concoction and the gentlemen drank wine & martinis.  Much to my own disappointment, we had neither the room nor the time to sample dessert, which is truly a pity since their dessert menu is one of the most interesting ones I've run across in simply ages.  Four appetizers, four entrees, four cocktails and one glass of wine brought our grand total to only $198, or basically just under $50 per person.  Add in the fine company, the cheerful atmosphere, and our very engaging server, and I'd call that a bargain.

My sweet DH

The congenial bar
After dinner we made a brief appearance at the college before heading back to the hotel for me to pack.  My flight left ABQ at 8:30 so we had to get up pretty early to check out of the hotel, return the rental car, rent a new one for DH, and get me to the church airport on time.  I'm not normally very chipper at that time of day, but the stunning sunrise that greeted us on the open road made slight amends.  I wish I had been better able to photograph it!  Flights home were relatively crash free AND on time, so I have no complains.   I also finished the Harbach book, The Art of Fielding, and got a good start on Pie Town by Lynne Hinton, which I finished when I got home.  The latter isn't very good, and for the first third of the book I was kicking myself for not test-driving the first chapter before purchasing it.  It improved a bit on acquaintance, though I probably would not have stuck with it if I'd had an alternative to read.  That being said, my July reading slump seems to be over because including The Emerald Atlas, which I read on the way out to Santa Fe, I read over 1,200 pages in the last 60 hours, and that's even with a pretty full schedule!

Sunset at St. John's College

Sunrise reflected in a raindrop-ridden rearview mirror
Too bad about the resolution on this one but I had try to shoot this rainbow sundog. 

DH driving me back to ABQ.  We were both a little sad.


  1. I was in Santa Fe for a grand total of one day (most of my time was spent in Albuquerque) and I loved it. I think I remember thinking 'I could live here.' But then I was 17 and an idiot, so who knows if that's true.

    I seriously love your travelogues. And now I feel rather guilty for not being more adventurous in my eatings-out.

  2. Aww, thanks, Alice. I was in Santa Fe for less than 2 days last year and I liked it. I was there for less than 3 days this year and I *really* liked it. Who knows--If I ever make it there for a week I might think I want to live there, too! :)

  3. Another great installment. We are debating whether to stay one night or two in Santa Fe. We will be on our return trip to Texas from Colorado. The more I research places to eat, the more it is looking like it will be two nights. We were there for one night/day a few years ago, and I remember thinking I could not live here. Only because there's just so much adobe EVERYWHERE! Just not my personal style. That said, it's an awesome place to visit for its uniqueness, culture, history, food... Looking forward to eating a LOT of great food!

  4. Karen, it's definitely a good eating town! I actually really admire the southwestern style of architecture, but I grow weary of it when I'm there. I never would have thought that a Federal-style turn of the century two story brick building would have looked so lovely, but when I saw one in downtown Santa Fe (clearly grandfathered out of the modern building restrictions), it looked wonderful standing out amidst the adobe. I find most of Santa Fe to look too same-same, which is too bad. Or like a Southwest Stepford. Too bad they didn't ask us before passing the building restrictions, eh?

  5. You and DH look fantastic! So glad you had such a fun time (and such great food).


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