Heading for Taos, the last of our planned stops before embarking on a faster pace to Kentucky, we made a short stop in the lovely art town of Santa Fe. No one told us about the narrow streets in Santa Fe’s Old Town and heads were shaking as we dodged historic overhanging eaves, looking for space in coveted parking lots. We finally tucked Lilypad into a side street and were grateful to be close enough to walk around this beautiful town.
Our first stop was Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill, voted Santa Fe’s Best Fish Taco, according to the sign outside. While eating a delicious lunch, we asked a local about visiting the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. She gave us directions and advised us to watch BOTH the videos there. Then in the middle of our meal she brought over a slip of paper with a list of other best restaurants in Santa Fe. We didn’t have the heart to tell her we’d only be there for one meal. But if you’re headed there, try: the Pantry on Cerillos, Cowgirls Barbeque on Guadalupe, and La Plazuela on La Fonda (especially for the guacamole.)
At the museum we enjoyed seeing O’Keefe’s early work and a great exhibit of her big paintings featuring trees. Most of her New Mexico work was not here, but fortunately some had been loaned to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and we had seen it there!
The takeaway from our fleeting visit to Santa Fe was that we want more. We’d like to find some immersion experience in Santa Fe to gain a deeper understanding of the history of culture in that fascinating place.
We then cautiously threaded our way out of Santa Fe and took Highway 64 up to Taos. This narrow twisty road bordered the Rio Grande River and brought us through the heart of the recently minted Rio Grand del Norte National Monument. Established at the same time as the San Juan Islands National Monument, this beautiful piece of public land includes a high mesa scoured by the gorge of the Rio Grande. Climbing up to the ridge of the mesa and looking out over the river gorge was breathtaking.