May 19

Here's where I stayed last night, all tricked out in the Southwestern motif with Indian blankets, baying coyote table lamps, and Georgia O'Keeffe prints.

I picked this place because when you get off the freeway and are deposited many miles from the center of town those miles, on both sides of the road, are shoulder to shoulder every chain hotel and motel in America and every chain store ever built.

This one, although overpriced, was at least still itself.
This I-am-the-man kitty looks like a bobcat. Wow, I wonder if he could actually be a bobcat?

I'm having trouble finding things to like around here except I really am hot for this cat.
I'm sitting on a curb trying to catch a shot of this Scottish Rites Masonic Temple...
...and this guy pulls up. He says 'er whho doennx eos?' I say 'sorry?' He says 'er ouww ggorw jews?' Am I one of those Jews? I say 'sorry?' I point to my camera, he nods, I shoot, he says 'have a nice day' and roars off.

I'm ignorant of the Masonic world so there might be something in that. Or something.

This is the largest church in Santa Fe, St Francis Cathedral, begun in 1869, designed by French architects in the Romanesque style and constructed by Italian stonemasons.
I've seen plenty of European cathedrals and this one is just weird. The reviewers go nuts for it so that just goes to show.

ShoppingShoppingShopping opportunities until indeed you BEG for mercy.

San Miguel Mission, the oldest church in America. This one wasn't so bad.

Santuario de Guadalupe, 'a humble adobe structure built by Franciscan missionaries between 1776 and 1795, this is the oldest shrine in the United States to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint.'

Loretto Chapel where you have to pay $2.50 to go inside. 'A delicate Gothic church modeled after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, Loretto was built in 1873 by the same French architects and Italian stonemasons who built St. Francis Cathedral.' Maybe one of these days I will go in.

So let's see:

Am I having fun yet?
May 20

Driving up to Taos, from the side of the road I was drawn to this place, the Poeh Cultural Center and Museum. It was a big building constructed in the pueblo style and great inside.
You can see the path and the 1/2 size diorama that you walk through. Zigzagging through the building with headphones telling the story, it was pleasantly surprisingly cool.
This is the view from the bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge.
This is one of the larger buildings in Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can click here to read all about Taos Pueblo.

The main part of the present buildings were most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D. and appeared then much as they do today.
They haven't brought utilities into the pueblo and around 150 people still live here. The whole adobe thing is perfectly effective for the environment, warm in winter and cool in summer, but what a Lot of Work.

The bricks are made from dirt, straw, and water. Then the plaster that protects the brick is also made from dirt, straw, and water. The thing is you have to reapply the plaster every 6 months or the whole structure starts disintegrating.
Still in the pueblo, here are resident vehicles, the Ford F150 and her big brother, the F250.

Several of the houses and on many tables around the site folks were selling food. I didn't know this at first, not before I opened the door to a home with a sign and enjoyed a yummy Frito pie with the residents. Now that was fun. Too bad the picture was Not.

I should mention that the fee to wander around was $10 and another $5 to use a still camera.
Back in the town of Taos it feels a little like mini-Santa Fe. Quieter, smaller in scale, but still pressed from the same mold. And cars. All the cars that fit.
May 21

I've been talking about the churches and Shopping, but I haven't yet mentioned Galleries(!) which take up 50% of the real estate around here, because the galleries fall right in there with the Shopping experience.

Meet the artist. These are her two favorites.
Take this picture and think PhotoShop Filters and you've got an idea of a lot of what you can enjoy at the galleries.
The New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This is a chapel...
and inside there's a movie and some displays. I need a paragraph about this...
I took a big circle drive from Taos back to Santa Fe passing through a lot of country like this, also miles of red dirt mesas, and ski country of scattered skinny pine trees and big rocks.
Nancy sent this lovely and dignified photo of her family. Hello all! (I should be getting a picture of Kaitlin soon too!)
May 22

I spent a lot of this day hanging out in my cool room and patio at the Santa Fe Motel and Inn watching the lightning, watching tv, watching videos on my computer - sweet!

Now 'Big' is on tv. That Tom Hanks is just too cute. Back then anyway. I also took a 10,000 step walk around town.
Part of a stroll along the gallery mecca of Canyon Road. The galleries here all occupy stylish buildings. This one's got the adobe gate for that authentic feel.

That flat look is because it was raining! It was 15 degrees cooler than the day before yesterday and for that alone I was one happy gal.
There is A Lot of sculpture around. This sculpture garden is nice.
Another example of gallery space. Some are up on the street like this one, some have Spanish style courtyards, some have cafes in front.
The last of the historical churches. I saw them all! This is the Cristo Rey Church. I think this is quite a handsome one and wouldn't have made it were it not for a lovely woman who saw me trudging up the road and offered me a ride.

From Fodor's: 'Built in 1940 and designed by legendary Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's exploration of the Southwest, this church is the largest Spanish adobe structure in the United States and is considered by many the finest example of Pueblo-style architecture anywhere.'
Remember the big buildings in Taos Pueblo? This is a hotel in Santa Fe rather successfully going for that look.
You can click here to start at Part 1:
Spud and Kathy and Baseball, Las Cruces, Alamogordo/White Sands.

Or you can click here to continue on to Part 3:
Canyon de Chelly and Sedona.
HomeUSA the West • New Mexico • '06 May: Santa Fe and Taos

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