Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hoofin' it through New Mexico

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. 
Those two posed for us, paranoid as to why we were taking their picture, yet posing all the same. 

Whereas Albuquerque was low key but charming, Santa Fe was intensely rich and touristy. I didn't mind so much because thanks to Jimmy's lovely and special lady, Leah, we visited a Japanese spa called 10,000 Waves. For $18 we got a relaxing dip in some hot water. I did the naked all ladies room and Jimmy went to the "clothing-optional" communal pool. It was really divine there. The weather was still a bit overcast and drizzling, and the small pools were outside in a Japanese garden setting. The mix of the cool rain and warm water was actually really relaxing. I think most things seem relaxing but aren't, but this was a place you could genuinely bring it down a level.  

Santa Fe is situated among red hills covered by fragrant pinon trees and decorated with public art. You know how some cities are just into public art, like Berlin or Reykjavik, Santa Fe is on that list. Instead of taking pictures of the artwork, I took a shot of this dog in a sidecar with sunglasses. That's art. 

We munched on street food, roasted corn with chili powder. The town square was packed with a Memorial Day crowd watching flamenco dancers and a little parade. We went into a Haagen Dazs where they served food to meet my ravenous appetite and the cute kids working there were playing Arcade Fire's Funeral. 

Basically, we booked it to Las Cruces which was a few hours south. Just out of Albuquerque I noticed a lush area with orchards and I was like - why the hell is it so green right here? Well, obviously it was because the Rio Grande ran through and made for good tree growing. 

As we drove I-25, there were signs to beware of sand storms, and before it started raining, the wind swept ribbons of sand across the road in front of us and I got a little nervous. We pulled over so the dudes could pee near Belen and also snagged a bottle of wine to give to our hosts. I asked the lady who worked there what to do in case there's a sand storm, she said to close the vents on your car, pull over and wait, in case you wanted to know. This frightening lady then came in after me, a regular with dirt smeared on her face and a torn Metallica tee. Luckily we didn't get any sand storms, because it was the wet season and raining... which should be a big obvious sign. We did see a beautiful sunset just north of Socorro, probably one of the most impressive I've ever seen.

We stayed with the wonderful Katie and her kind parents in Las Cruces. Her dad had The Dude and of Walter Sobchak dolls. Jealous?

Katie and her mom showed me this little alcove in the old town, dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. As someone who was obsessed with Young Guns II back in the day, I was excited that we were hanging on Billy the Kid's old stomping grounds. 

1 comment:

Emily Sue said...

Love that link to the spa w/the naked asian man pouring water over his head. And is that sidecar dog real? Awesome!