It’s taken me five months to get up the photos from our Santa Fe christmas vacation with elaine’s parents. Here are a few highlights…
After doing a bit of research, we decided to stay at the Fort Marcy condominium complex. It had the benefit of being close to historic downtown Santa Fe, and the condos sounded nice. We got a two-bedroom suite, complete with kitchen, kiva (fireplace), dining room and living space. It wasn’t The Four Seasons, but for our needs, it was great and reasonably priced. About the only thing that could have been better was the continental “breakfast.”
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is a spectacular site containing ancient cave dwellings carved into steep sandstone cliffs, nestled in a small valley. It’s about an hour’s drive slightly Northwest of Santa Fe, and absolutely worth the trip. We got a bit of a late start, which meant we were visiting the park as the sun made its way towards the horizon. The monument was beautiful in the fading light, but if I had it to do over again, I think a morning visit would have been best. Check out the flickr pics to get a better sense for this piece of ancient history. Oh yeah…one other attraction: some of the caves are full of bats!
What’s a trip to Santa Fe without a trip to Taos and the pueblos? We drove up from Santa Fe in the morning and had lunch once we arrived in town. It’s a pretty drive with a steady gain in elevation until you reach the plateau where Taos sits. After lunch, we went straight to the pueblos and spent a few hours just wandering the streets and sights. It’s a beautiful place in winter, even a little eerie when you walk past the large cemetery.
Chimayo and the High Road
We took the “High Road” back to Santa Fe from Taos. The drive offers some amazing vistas looking across the plateau, and there a few towns and sights along the way, most notably Chimayo. We visited the Santuario de Chimayo there, an old Catholic church whose dirt is reputed to have healing powers. People from all over the country and world come here seeking its secrets. After our visit to the church, we headed to Restaurante Rancho de Chimayo for some authentic local cuisine, then headed home.
Snow in Santa Fe, stuck in Albuquerque
A massive snow storm hit Santa Fe the day before we were scheduled to leave. It covered the city in a foot or so of snow, and generally created a mess. It would have been fantastic if we’d been able to play, but sadly we had to get to Albuquerque to fly home. We made the drive down in near-white-out conditions, finally arriving at the airport a few hours before our flight. Being early didn’t help the reality of the day: all flights were cancelled and the airport was effectively closed. We, along with hundreds of other people, were stranded and would spend the night in lovely, snow-covered Albuquerque. So, we turned it into a little adventure, enjoyed our last night, and were able to fly out the next day.
It was a terrific family vacation, filled with sights, snow, good food, and lots of “Big Two” in the evenings (Eric was the reigning champion, of course, and we never managed to unseat the king). We look forward to more winter vacations like this one!!