Posted by: Nancy | July 13, 2009


Had the opportunity to spend a few days in Santa Fe over the holiday weekend, where I found delight in unexpected surprises.

bandalier combo

Here’s a few:

  • Hiking at Bandelier National Monument. What a wonderful park — it’s beautifully designed, with gorgeous WPA/CCC buildings at the entrance, then self-directed trails that offer lots of great information about the ancient people who lived there. Such fun to climb into the caves and imagine the (hard) life of these people. I loved the large caves and the astounding petroglyphs.
    • The wildlife there was wonderful, too. Encountered a mule deer, some hummingbirds, ravens, hawks, squirrels and rabbits and whole array of birds. There was a particularly sweet black phoebe that kept circling us. Plus butterflies, and finches!
    • The trails are filled with Pondersa pine and pinion, I had no idea the air could be so fresh and fragrant. I learned a wonderful trick — if you scratch the bark of a Ponderosa, you’ll be rewarded with the scent of vanilla. True!
  • Hiking the Lower Teseque was also fun, but very different. Lots of great variety in the rocks there — we found pink quartz, petrified wood and flint (I think), plus a bunch of fossils. More birds and gorgeous wildflowers, even a gila monster (or something like one).
  • Hiked the Aspen Point trail too, where we got caught in a sudden thunderstorm. Temperature dropped about 15 degrees and I was certain that the sharp raindrops must’ve been tiny icy hail. (Just cold rain hitting my goosebumps!)
  • Do I even need to mention art? We walked through sculpture gardens and visited a glassblower’s shop and forge. We explored the O’Keeffe Museum and other galleries in town, including the photography galleries. Heartwarming.
  • Do I even need to mention food? We were on a “dive tour” but even so had fabulous meals. Great fun at the roadside restaurant and Evangeline’s joint. Loved the city market with all it’s wonderful fresh vegetables, meat, chicken, eggs and flowers. Loved the flower necklaces and brought home some locust honey and raspberry ginger preserves.
  • Pleasantly surprised at a wine tasting event! Found a lot to like, including the sparkling Gruet, some mildly fruity and light Rioja and some gentle Port.

No big shopping, no fancy restaurants.

Lots of chatting, reading, hiking, resting and simple cooking, producing deeper friendships and appreciation.

Felt more energy there than I have in a while, and I didn’t even realize I needed the jolt.

It was a great reminder to open my eyes a little wider, breathe a little deeper and enjoy the moment.

(Thanks to Janet for sharing her photos!)

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