The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Vacation Chronicle – Santa Fe, NM (Days 3-6)

Just over a year ago, Dave’s neighbor, Bonnie, and her partner, Pat, moved to Santa Fe. Since we’d never seen Santa Fe and now knew people there who could tell us a bit about the place, we decided to visit Santa Fe last year. We enjoyed it so much that we returned this year.

Where we stayed. We tend to stick with what works. Although it doesn’t generate the enthusiasm we have for Albuquerque’s Adobe Nido, Santa Fe’s Pueblo Bonito  is comfortable and close to the Plaza, with a decent breakfast and friendly and informative hosts, one of whom we find quite amusing. The rooms are quirkily decorated and fairly large, much moreso than the pictures indicate, plus we like having the option of building a fire. We’ve stayed in the Taos and San Felipe rooms, both of which we’d recommend. The bottom line is that very best thing about Pueblo Bonito is that it’s within walking distance of the Plaza. Everything else is a bonus.

Where we ate. Bonnie and Pat had been wanting to eat at Casa Sena for some time, so that’s where the four of us had dinner the first night. It was very expensive, but it was glorious, too. If you can afford it, definitely check it out. In the current recession (I don’t care what the economists say, I’ve been around long enough to know a recession when I see one), restaurants are hurting, but Casa Sena seemed to be doing well enough for a Saturday night. The next day, we had lunch at La Fonda, in La Plazuela . I love, love, love this dining room! The food is very good, but really, I just wanted to sit in this space. This picture is from their website and captures part of the magic of the space, but you really have to get close to the handpainted window panes to get the complete feel of the place.


That evening, despite being advised by a source who will remain unnamed that “any self-respecting chef would throw out patrons who showed up wearing light jeans” – which became our new catchphrase for the remainder of the trip – we visited Santacafe, another excellent restaurant. (And guess what? Practically everyone there was clad in light jeans, although the staff mostly wore dark jeans. Maybe it’s got something to do with the recession and the fact that people are cutting way back on restaurant meals. Or maybe some self-respecting chefs don’t care what their guests wear as long as they enjoy – and pay for – the food. Or something like that.) If you ever go there, take a slow walk into the bar and look around. I won’t spoil the surprise. On Monday, lunch was at the Atomic Grill, on the patio even though it was a bit chilly, and dinner was at a Santa Fe institution, The Shed , which we love for its good food, casual atmosphere (we wore light jeans!), and low prices.

How we entertained ourselves. Aside from bad jokes about light jeans? On Sunday, we visited two museums. I didn’t expect to enjoy The Palace of the Governors as much as I did, but it was pretty interesting. We were also fortunate enough to arrive just as one of the docents began her tour. Apparently museum management wants the docents to reduce the time they spend walking people through the place, but I think that would be a huge mistake. Our docent was delightful! Next, we visited The Museum of Fine Arts, right next door, which we also recommend.

Santa Fe museums are closed on Mondays, so we declared Monday our hiking day. We started out at the Randall Davey Audubon Center , which was a great little walk through an area with lots of birds, obviously. I’m not a bird-watcher as such, but we heard an awful lot of them. I recommend this walk to anyone who wants to get outdoors in the Santa Fe area. Next, we went to the Santa Fe Canyon, then ate lunch and drove north up toward Taos. The first three photos below are from the Audubon walk, and the fourth is from our drive north.

dave-on-santa-fe-trail1 me-outside-santa-fe trail-near-santa-fe-4 north-of-santa-fe-41

You should be able to click on these photos to make them larger.

Tuesday, we drove (and drove and drove), heading down I-25 to I-40, into Arizona for the next leg of our trip. It was a scenic drive, but it was also pretty damned long.

Next up: Winslow, Arizona.


November 11, 2008 - Posted by | birds, food, travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Did you eat at Harry’s Roadhouse? Did you walk Canyon Road? Used to live in Santa Fe. Miss it…

    Comment by baffled | November 20, 2008 | Reply

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