We have completed our first month in Santa Fe – it’s gone so fast I can’t believe it! This post includes: Santa Fe Indian Market, Los Alamos & Bandelier National Monument, Santa Fe Opera, Flamenco show, Wine Tasting, Amazing Sunsets, and more!
Cool sights around town
Sat 8/22 – Santa Fe Indian Market
- We heard a lot about this market and it did indeed take over the downtown area for the weekend – however it was not nearly as jammed as I thought it could be!
- Running since 1922
- More than 900 artists from 200+ tribes across the US (a few from Canada), 10+art forms, and more than 80K visitors (doubles Santa Fe’s population for the weekend)
- Picked up a gorgeous necklace with a strand of beads all hand cut and smoothed – amazing craftsmanship, Designs by Ellouise
- Also visited the smaller IFAM (Indigenous Fine Arts Market) event over at the Railyard – had younger up and coming artists, more affordable pieces
Sun 8/23 – Los Alamos
- Beautiful views en route!
- Visited the local brew pub for some beer and grub before hitting the local attractions.
- Bradbury Science Museum: Learned all about the Manhattan Project, instituted by the government to quickly manufacture an atomic bomb and to beat the Germans to the punch. Los Alamos was selected due to its isolated inland location, year-round good weather. The population swelled from 1,000 to 5,000 when the project started and the average age of the city was a very young 25. Thousands of babies were born during this period – all with same PO Box 1663 address (it is still the address of the Los Alamos National Labs!) Einstein (who initially warned FDR of the risk that the Germans could be making progress in creating a bomb) and Enrico Fermi were brought into Los Alamos as advisers.
- History Museum and Bathtub Row: interesting artifacts from the Ranching School (that was taken over by the atomic bomb lab), re-creation of a fall-out shelter, and a variety of commercial bomb-themed products. Bath tub row is where the more senior government officials and scientists lived during the Manhattan Project – the area got its name because the more modern homes had bathtubs in them!
- Bandelier National Monument: Dave and I had never heard of this place, but saw a sign on our way to Los Alamos and read a Trip Advisor review, and glad we happened upon it! We enjoyed the hike in the sun and up a few ladders to check out some old cave dwellings. What a treat!
Mon 8/24 – Santa Fe Opera (Cold Mountain)
The venue was pretty spectacular – modern beautiful building perched in the mountains with incredible views. We went to a lecture about the opera about an hour before showtime and it was pretty informative and entertaining. The opera itself was a bit ‘meh’ – you kind of had to read the subtitles presented to each seat as it was difficult to understand the singers (and not all of their voices filled the theater.) We are glad we went for the experience!
Thurs 8/27 – Gorgeous Sunset at the Cross of the Martyrs
One of the salespeople I spoke to suggested we check out the sunset at the Cross of the Martyrs, a quick hike just a little northwest of the Plaza, and we are so glad we did! I think the pictures speak for themselves. We are looking forward to going back!
Fri 8/28 – New Mexico History Museum & the Palace of the Governors
I decided to take the day off and we checked out the New Mexico History Museum – Telling New Mexico, Setting the Standard (Fred Harvey Co), Poetics of Light Pinhole Photography, and Painting the Divine exhibits:
lunch at the Thunderbird overlooking the plaza:
followed by a tour of the Palace of the Governors:
and dinner at Jambo Café (very popular African café run by Kenyans):
Sat 8/29 – Albuquerque & Wine Tasting
We drove down to Albuquerque to check out the city – and the place that we’re renting for the first week of Oct (looks fine, but in a bit of a busy/non descript area.) After lunch in Nob Hill (where we can walk to in Oct), we cruised over to Casa Rondena northwest of the city and enjoyed our visit. Most of their grapes and . Turns out New Mexico is the oldest wine growing area in the country (not the first AVA, that goes to Missouri!.) Following Casa Rondenda we visited Gruet, which is one of the larger (150K bottles) producers in New Mexico. I’ve seen their wines in the stores and restaurants. They specialize in sparkling wines and we liked and picked up a few. The still wines were not very impressive.
Sat evening we went to the Juan Siddi Flamenco performance presented by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at the historic Lensic theather downtown. It’s too bad we don’t have pics of the flamenco performance – it was pretty impressive. The music was amazing and the dancers were incredibly talented!
Sun 8/30 – Crazy Car Showcase
Oldest House in the country (1646, but could possibly date to 1250), San Miguel Mission (oldest church – 1610)