Albuquerque, New Mexico: It is over an hour drive (in our tow car) from our campsite east of Albuquerque to Santa Fe, and we arrived just before noon. The weather was perfect, but I had forgotten how touristy the old town area can be - and how crowded. It took us 30 minutes to find a place to park. Still, Santa Fe is so charming, as every building is built in the pueblo-style, with logs jutting-out from the roof lines, and every thing is painted in the browny-beigy-pinky hues of the desert. Throw in turquoise-colored accents and you have Santa Fe.
We have been to the Palace of the Governors museum several times previously, so did not visit today. We have also been to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, the Loretto Chapel, with a mysterious staircase, built by a mysterious mystery man, and to the State Capitol building, the only round state capitol building in the United States. There is so much to see and do in Santa Fe, and all we wanted to do was have lunch at the historic La Fonda Hotel.
There is a lot of shopping in Santa Fe. Much of it is turquoise jewelry set in sterling silver. We save a fortune in the SW, as I am allergic to silver. There are also many art galleries, featuring western and Native American paintings, sculpture and handicrafts. Lots of cowboy clothing, hats and boots. But mostly, jewelry. Jewelry. Jewelry. Jewelry. It was time for lunch - at La Plazuela in the lobby of the La Fonda Hotel.
The hotel's signature dish is their Tortilla Soup. It is served with the tortilla strips, shredded chicken and cheese mounded in the center of a soup bowl. Then the hot tomato-lime-spicy broth is poured over. Fun! Very good soup as well, and only $9. While I enjoyed my soup, My Chauffeur had the Chile Rellanos.
Two roasted poblano chiles, stuffed with cheese, dipped in a batter and fried. DT asked for his rellanos to be served "Christmas" style (one topped with green chile sauce, the other topped with red chile sauce). This a a good way to taste each sauce at a restaurant. This dish is usually also served with a bowl of posole (pork) and beans, both of which he declined. I tried both rellanos and could not decide which was better, but I will say they were some of the best rellanos I have ever tried. Sturdy. Rich. A great lunch.
We walked-off our lunch by walking to the Nambé store. Nambé is made from a metal alloy produced in New Mexico, and they make all sorts of serving platters, dishes, bowls, etc. They were having a ridiculous sale! 50% off! I went up and down every aisle, touched every dang thing, but could not find one item I needed or even wanted (Dave says it is because I already own every thing Nambé produces. Not true!)
Though I did not come home with a new piece of jewelry, nor a new serving platter, I did come home with a jar of ground New Mexico chile, a much better prize in my opinion. So excited to try it out.
We arrived home at 5p. No dinner again for us tonight. Cocktails and appetizers. Tomorrow we are going to drive Historic Route 66 through town, and then watch the Ducks v BYU on television. Tune in. Probably more photos of food?
Until my next update, I remain, your spicy correspondent.