A Summer Weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico

July 10-13, 2014

The travel bug always hits us this time of year, while temperatures hover in the triple digits while we wait for the monsoon to begin in earnest. Our destination for this trip was Santa Fe and the International Folk Art Market with our best buddies Susan and Matt. It was a surprisingly easy ride in Susan's van, switching drivers and trading off riding limousine-style with one row of seats replaced by a cooler full of goodies and lots of leg room. The sky was that perfect 100% cyan that you only see in New Mexico, with cumulus clouds blowing up like popcorn every afternoon.

Our home for the weekend was the El Rey Inn, a classic 1930s motor court just a few miles south of the Plaza. The rooms were individual and nicely decorated, but the grounds were fabulous — clouds of hollyhocks and Russian sage and cosmos and petunias and geraniums and other deliriously lush summer flowers overhanging brick pathways between the thick-walled adobe casitas. Daytime temperatures in the 90s felt surprisingly warm to summer-hardened Tucsonans, but at night the air was deliciously cool.

Santa Fe is for walking, and we walked miles every day, all the way to the plaza one day, and all around the center of town, marveling at the inviting outdoor spaces that are the hallmark of Santa Fe. Something about the bisque-colored adobe walls with accents of brilliantly colored tile and glass and flowering plants.

One of the highlights was Whoos Donuts, where we cooled our hooves and nibbled on donuts with flavors like pistachio cake with white chocolate and lemon ganache. Whoo hoo!

Dennis and I had a mission to find a graduation gift for his father to give to Dennis' neice, which gave us an excuse to hang out near the vendors who spread their treasures on colorful blankets on the veranda of the Palace of Governors.

Our all-day hike included a great lunch at the Plaza Cafe, and a tour of some of the galleries that line Canyon Road.

I've wanted to spend some time at the folk art market for years, but was dismayed to find that despite spending $50 apiece for early bird tickets, there were already hundreds of people in line at 7:00 am. We managed to get around to all the exhibits before the gates open at 9:00 and the crowding became unbearable, but we found the prices for most items to be astronomically high, ecompared to the prices we typically see for similar goods at Tucson's annual Gem and Mineral Show. We had some raspados and a gaufrette and took the bus back to the Plaza.

The best find of the trip was dinner at Mu Du Noodles, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall that we passed on our walk to town where I had the best cold noodle salad I've ever eaten.

All too soon it was time to head home, with great memories of the colors and flavors of Santa Fe.