You can drive from Denver to Santa Fe and back to Denver all in one day, but why would you?!
I was looking for adventure last week and I found it in the form of this grueling day trip. Six hours getting there, six hours spent there, six hours back. I know. Loved ones discouraged me but I wanted adventure with a wide open road ahead of me, and I got both with this awesome trip. I'd do it again in a heart beat but next time I'll bring along a few more heart beats to share the drive and the panoramic vistas.
**I've been visiting Santa Fe every autumn for the past 18 years so I know my way around this wonderful place like the back of my hand. When I pulled into town I felt I had arrived home away from home for the afternoon. First thing I did was visit all of my favorite bakeries. Santa Fe is known for its food and it's no wonder that some of the countries best bakeries (or so I hear) are in this Boulder-like New Mexican town. I knew I probably wouldn't be back until October so I snagged as many goodies for the road as I possibly could. Boxes of the huge and impossibly good Cinnamon Melts from Sage Bake House and delectable Butter Cookies from Clafoutis found their way into the back of my CRV. Early the following morning I delivered these pastries to my Colorado people so they could enjoy them with their breakfast coffee. Service with a smile.
Community tables are a super fun alternative to dining alone!
I don't know about you but up until this solo trip to Santa Fe I had never dined alone at a restaurant community table. I had my chance last week in Santa Fe when I was hungry for lunch and found myself right in front of my favorite Cafe Pasquals. Those of you who have been there know that this place is an institution. Pasquals is a farm-to-table cafe over flowing with New Mexican decor and flowers and filled to the brim with diners from all over the world.
** I decided to take a chance and try a seat at the community table. Luckily several others were seated at the same time so we actually shared a meal together. Once we were all seated there was a shout out from a gentleman who smiled at us "I'll be your Uncle for the next hour" that's when I knew I was in the right company! Also at the table was a young woman who is a chef at the Swedish Embassy in Rome, along with her adorable brother who was in from Sweden, both here for a pending family wedding in Pecos. Then there was the silver smith from San Diego with her mother from Phoenix, the ladies from Crested Butte; our temporary uncle and his wife were from Amarillo.
What do you talk about with strangers? We talked about the food of Santa Fe compared to the food of Rome and the fact that our chef friend was so tired of pasta! pasta! pasta! all the time (I've never seen anyone happier to see chilies and avocados). We talked to the young Swede about how he wanted to move permanently to the american southwest and snag a job in finance as he was so determined to do. Our 'uncle' from Amarillo must have told us every one-liner joke he knew, he also showed us a photo taken while he served in Vietnam in the 1960s. My mind declared him the character 'King', he was endearing and enthusiastic in every way possible. There was chit chat about the pending wedding in Pecos, the profuse wild flowers of Crested Butte, and the upcoming Indian Market. There wasn't a moment we didn't learn something about each other or Santa Fe. Time flew by, good byes were said. What an amazing experience.
**I started writing this last week. My week off was actually the week of July 4th. It is amazing all the things I squeezed into my 'stay-cation'. The day trip to Santa Fe was a highlight, for sure, but there were many other bright lights too!