It had been a number of years since I’d visited New Mexico. And man…have I changed. This time I felt such a connection to the land. I can only assume it’s my love of photography that has made such a difference…and perhaps a little aging? <smile> I can easily see why artists and photographers flock to this part of the country with the dry plateaus and canyons…snow covered mountains…wide open spaces…blue skies…and the light…oh, the light.
There were drives along the backroads…and in particular a thirteen mile forest service road on a windy, steep, narrow and very dusty passage that followed the Chama River to a monastery. Unfortunately they were closed upon our arrival…but the drive in and out was totally worth it!
***Who knew that New Mexico is the first state in the nation to have an official cookie…the “biscochito” and often referred to as the cookie of the Conquistadors as it was introduced by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Oh my…I’m a lover of anise…so this sugar cookie of anise and cinnamon spices had my name written all over it…
***An unplanned dinner at the restaurant bar at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa was superb…and now all I can think of is returning to stay for a few days in this remote refuge and take in the mud pools, hot springs and spa treatments. Listen to this as a sample spa treatment…the Ancient Echoes…based on East Indian Head Massage techniques, this therapy will take you on a voyage that explores a variety of massage and energy balancing techniques of the upper back, shoulders, arms, neck, scalp, face and ears finishing off with a luxurious foot massage…SIGN ME UP.
***The village of Chimayo nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains is home to high quality weavers and specifically Trujillo’s Weaving Shop…and we’re talking eight generations of family weavers here. Carlos Trujillo is a gem and will spend quality time sharing his weaving and pottery knowledge. Love my earth-toned rug purchase that will always remind me of the colors of New Mexico and this sweet family. While in the area take in Santuario de Chimayo…a National Historic Landmark famous for the story of its founding and as a contemporary pilgrimage site. If you’ve ever been to Lourdes in France…this is a mini version. The area is filled with crosses, candles and rosaries…
***The Giving Tree in Santa Fe is a wonderful shop filled with treasures…items ranging from old to new with a blend of traditional, upcycled, vintage, handcrafted and primitive finds. My kind of place! The owner, MaryKay, is just delightful!
***I’ll be the first to admit…I’m not a B&B person…but spending time at The Madeleine in Santa Fe won me over! Not only is the 1886 Queen Anne-style structure comfortable and well appointed, but the breakfast is hands down some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Top that off with an owner (Carolyn) who has her finger on the pulse of her business, not to mention adorable…you’ve got an experience that you won’t forget. And I didn’t even make it to Absolute Nirvana…her on-site luxurious spa that keeps a steady stream of customers all day long.
***Have you ever had an amazing restaurant experience and then show up again ten years later and hope for a repeat? Well I’m here to tell you the dining experience at Geronimo in Santa Fe is exquisite and hasn’t change one bit in all those years. A charming adobe home built in 1756 serving perfection, as well as a generous pour in the cocktail department!
I’ll leave you with the note placed in our room at the Abiquiu Inn by the owners…along with a package of biscochito cookies!
May the beauty, grace & spirit of Abiquiu
embrace you, charm you & caress your soul.
Carry it with you when you leave.
Let it lead you back time after time.
And speaking of Abiquiu, New Mexico…the entire trip centered around channelling Georgia O’Keeffe…I’ll share why…and those experiences…in my next posting! So stay tuned!