Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Santa Fe Plaza



“Pretentious as it sounds, and as tough as it is to prove, there does seem to be something about New Mexico which not only attracts creative people but stimulates their creativity.”
                                                                                    Tony Hillerman, author





Yes, there is something specia about New Mexico.

After seeing Palo Duro we headed straight for the state line. We could see and feel New Mexico coming! The sky seems to wrap you in a blanket of life-giving blue like a huge turquoise shawl.

We have stayed several times at the Sage Inn in Santa Fe and we returned again. This time we took advantage of their shuttle so we did not have to move our car or fight to find a parking place in the center of town. The shuttle left every hour on the hour making only one stop directly to the town square or plaza so it was super convenient.

We have stayed several times at the Sage Inn in Santa Fe and we returned again. This time we took advantage of their shuttle so we did not have to move our car or fight to find a parking place in the center of town. The shuttle left every hour on the hour making only one stop directly to the town square or plaza so it was super convenient.


Of course the first thing I go to is the Native American market under the portico. Here juried Natives compete for spaces to sell. There is a lottery every morning and only a certain number win. So every day you see new vendors, new jewelry. It is an amazing collection of silver, turquoise, and other stones. I love seeing the silver spread across the woven blankets and talking with the people selling. This year it was extra fun as a friend sent her money and asked me to shop for her. How much fun is that, spending someone else’s money! But it was a responsibility and I had to look at everything to get it just right!


We also revisited the cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi. The first church on this site was adobe of course and built in 1610. In 1860 a French priest, Father Lamy, decided to build the present gorgeous structure. Willa Cather drew a picture of the priest and times in her novel Death Comes to the Archbishop. I do not remember being allowed to take pictures inside before, but many people were this day. So I did too, but the pictures do not capture all the beauty.







There is a side altar devoted the Virgin Mother Mary. The original statue has quite a history and was brought by the Spanish when they came in 1626. This Conquistadora is taken out once a year in September and honored with a parade to celebrate the conquering of the area by the Spanish. She has a full wardrobe of clothes that change with the church calendar.



In the church yard stands a statue of the saint Kateri Tekakwitha who was the first Native American saint. She was a Mohawk and her statue is gorgeous.

After walking all morning, we were ready for lunch. We ate on the Plaza Café where we have eaten several times. Simple in décor the food is wonderful. Waiters are young and quick New Mexicans dressed in crisp shirts that flatter their dark Spanish skin. The house tea is one they blend themselves of black tea and mango flowers. We were seated early and I had a wonderful Indian taco. By time we left, there was a long line of people waiting to be seated with a wait of 45 minutes.




We returned to our room in the afternoon and then went to eat that evening at the Cowgirl BBQ. It was a chilly night so we sat inside and while nice, lacked the special ambiance of talking with locals like we have done in the courtyard in years past. The food was very good, but we were very tired and did not linger. We were comforted passing the through the courtyard that the patrons were less numerous than in the past. Maybe we did not miss anything on this night! 







5 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

What a delightful outing.
Thank you for taking us there.

Rebecca said...

I think there must be a certain pleasure in REvisiting a place like this....
How fascinating!

Patricia A. Laster said...

We were there in 1992 for the Couch Reunion and ate at the Coyote Café. I have a yellow mug from there. It was the first time I'd ever seen blue chips. I bought a turquoise ring that I wear to this day when I wear aqua. Lately, I found a pair of clip-on earrings of Mom's that I wonder if she bought at that time. I wondered about the phrase "juried vendors" until you told us about the lottery. And the church with the winding staircase? Did you go there? Or is that where you went? Good travelogue. Thanks.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

New Mexico is one place I've never been but would love to go. Thanks for sharing your trip!

Susan said...

Oh Bookie, what a WONDERFUL TRIP! Brought back so many memories. That was one of my favorite places to visit. Susan