What a relief to leave NYC and visit another place with no agenda whatsoever. Even flying into Albuquerque is relaxing. The way the airplane soars over a huge mountain only to find the city just below. Thanks to my cousin Angie, I used the Expedition which is kept at the airport.
I arrived in Santa Fe on a Wednesday afternoon. I pulled up to my hotel and it started snowing. I was sort of bummed that my vacation started with snow and harsh wind, but I made the best of it. I layered up and hit the pavement to explore. I wandered through the downtown streets to the Plaza, where there was not a person in site. Very odd for the most touristy part of the city. Usually there are dozens of Indian families selling various hand crafted jewelry and such.
It eventually cleared up a bit and allowed for some beautiful weather. The city is breathtaking in it's beauty. It is so obvious that the people care about their city, unlike NYC. The streets are clean and there is a sense of pride about the land in which they live. Most buildings are made of adobe often trimmed in light blue or red. Absolutely gorgeous. You can't walk thirty seconds without seeing some sculpture somewhere as every block is immersed in art.
I also spent some time at a few museums. I especially enjoyed the Georgia O'Keefe museum. I absolutely fell in love with that artwork and decided to take a trip toward Abiquie when heading out of town. When Friday came, I took a detour out west a bit to Abiquie. I wanted to specifically see Pedernal mountain, which O'Keefe drew time and time again. I wasn't really sure how to get there or if I would find it. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous and as my aunt calls it, "God's Country". She couldn't be more correct.
As I drove I kept seeing mountains and wondering if that was Pedernal. However, when I did see the real thing, I knew it instantly. I pulled off and drove down a dirt road near Abiquie Lake for quite a few minutes, until I was fairly close. I parked the car near this ranch and just sat there in the breeze for probably an hour.
I have to say that there is a charm to northern New Mexico like no other place I have been to. I could easily see myself living here with a giant dog.
For more pictures, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockforceone/