I wanted to share how our week long trip to Santa Fe worked out utilizing wonderful suggestions from this forum.
We attended a week long meeting in Santa Fe Oct 21-26. The meeting was placed at the La Fonda on the Plaza. This was our first trip to Santa Fe . Because of the extended nature of our stay we elected to stay at Lavender Sunsets on Gomez Drive which caters to longer term stays. Our unit was furnished with a kitchen and we had access to a HT and W/D which were did not get to use. We walked daily to our meeting in the early brisk morning which took about 20 minutes. We enjoyed the walk as we would be sitting most of the day !
Santa Fe's Old Town is very charming and full of shops and eateries. Some of our favorite meals were at Cafe Pasqual's-southwestern cuisine (need reservation unless you don't mind eating at a "community table" which actually looked fun) ; the Shed-Mexican, which seems to be on everybody's list and lived up to it's reputation ; El Meson- Spanish (terrific paella and live jazz music ), Il Vicino- wonderful pizza in perfect individual sizes.
Away from the Plaza but still nearby are La Choza, another great Mexican establishment and The Tune Up where we had the best breakfast.
We were lucky to find the Saturday Open Market as we drove out of town to Taos. This is really the mother of all open markets ! The quality of the products, which ranged from produce (heirloom tomatoes), fresh cheese, baked breads, raw goat milk, hand crafted soaps, was mesmerizing. In addition there are artisans with their leather works, silversmiths, weavers...wonderful.
We drove up to Taos as recommended via the High Road. It was pleasant though I am afraid we missed the colors by just 2-3 days. We visited the Taos Pueblo which I highly recommend . The guided interpretation lasts for about 20-30minutes and provides perspective for those unfamiliar with the Spanish and American involvement in the local history.
The Rio Grand Gorge Bridge is just 7 miles outside of Taos and is beautiful to see, I imagine ,any time of day. We did this near dusk and was fortunate to see lovely sunset colors on the foothills as we drove back to Taos.
La Cueva is a small Mexican eatery where we enjoyed our dinner in Taos. It was delicious and generous.
By great luck we happened to be in Taos for the annual Balloon Rally ! This annual event draws about 30 private and commercial balloonists for the weekend . We watched the mass ascension in the early morning as well as the "balloonmenshine" which occurs the night before. Both events were an eye opener for us novices !
The Enchanted Circle was highly recommend and we did enjoy the drive the following morning. We began up Rt 64 towards Angel Fire and stopped at the Enchanted Circle Pottery owned by a couple , the DeKeusters , who have a beautiful studio . They live on the property and are pleased to show their working kiln and speak about the process they use to fire their lovely pieces, some very large and others small . They were very considerate as they packed our purchases with care so to survive our trip on plane back home.
There are several small ski mountains tucked away in this part of New Mexico, in addition to Taos, which we passed on the drive. Because we were at 10000 feet the leaves had already fallen the week before. As we descended back down and made our way via Lower Road along the gorge to Santa Fe from Taos, the colors returned and were spectacular.
We will certainly try to return to this part of the country. The casual atmosphere of Taos and the more upscale effect of Santa Fe were both fun. The two towns are very different and both have a lot to offer.
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