It’s all about
Flying into New Mexico
is an amazing experience. I have become so accustomed to the rolling
hills of New England covered with deciduous trees, that the terrain
I first saw from my plane window, as we made our approach into Albuquerque,
blew my mind.
desert-like space extends for hundreds of miles. This vast expanse
is occasionally broken by enormous mountains poking from the dry
earth to reveal thousands of years of development and erosion. The
terrain is speckled by sage and an occasional evergreen. Although
sparse, the land is also very inviting. The incredible openness
incites an overwhelming feeling of freedom and escape.
We flew into the Albuquerque International
Airport, because the airfare into the Santa Fe airport was twice
as much. Plus, the 60 mile drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe provided
a great opportunity to experience the vast openness.
Upon arrival into Santa Fe, you can
see the immediate difference between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Santa
Fe does not have any sky scrapers or modern buildings. The city
has retained its classic architectural style and maintained the
atmosphere of the small western town. Santa Fe has a culturally
rich and diverse history. The Pueblo, Spanish and Anglo influence
is still visible today in the interweaving of old and new architecture
has approximately 75,000 inhabitants, but tourists make up the biggest
population of people walking the streets of downtown Santa Fe. The
small downtown area is full of shops, restaurants and galleries.
If you are looking for a weekend of viewing fine art, sculpture
and photography, this is the place. The artist community is alive
and strong. While most of the art was well out of my price range,
I have to assume that someone is buying, providing the artists and
gallery owners their livelihoods.
There are many restaurants to choose from when it
gets to be grub time. This is a place where there is a specific
and proud distinction between Mexican food, Southwestern, Spanish
and, my favorite, Northern New Mexican. Considering that you are
in northern New Mexico, I would recommend going this route. As a
“Mexican” food connoisseur of sorts, I was amazed by
the food at the Burrito Company located on Washington street in
the heart of downtown. By every definition, this is a fast food
burrito joint, which in any other city, would fall in the same category
as Qdoba or Chipotle. Let me tell you the last two restaurants mentioned
do not even deserve to be listed anywhere near the Burrito Company.
A bean burrito is a bean burrito, right? Wrong. You have not had
a burrito until you have been to the Burrito Company. Did I mention
the Burrito Company? Go there!
If you are in search of a weekend that is full of never ending excitement,
a rush of information and sites to absorb, New Mexico might not
be the place for you. Santa Fe is slow. That is part of the charm.
You must force yourself to slow down to New Mexico time and relax.
Breathe in the clean, dry air. Soak up the sun and enjoy the clear
Santa Fe is surrounded by the Carson National Forest
to the east and the Santa Fe National Forest to the west, both great
places to check out that blue sky and surrounding vistas. The Sangre
de Cristo mountains are nature’s playground and an important
part of what makes Santa Fe so amazing. The 13,101 foot Truchas
Peak takes the prize for being the tallest of the Sangre de Cristos
and is often climbed by avid hikers and mountaineers. (Continued
on page 2, below.)
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