Taos Pueblo – Chimayo – Santa Fe

I woke up well before my alarm, turned it off, lit a candle, rolled out the yoga mat, brushed my teeth, rolled up my yoga mat.  Dawn and fresh air were beckoning, I knew I would not be able to concentrate on yoga.  I got dressed and tip-toed out of the bed and breakfast, careful not to wake anybody as it was not yet 6:20.

As soon as I opened the hotel door, the crisp, cold air slapped me in the face, along with the smell of skunk.  I got in the car and drove out the pot-holy driveway where I found the skunk scurrying across the street!  Such a beautiful creature.

I drove towards the Taos Pueblo and found a cafe (The Coffee Spot) open so I popped in.  I think I have found the best dirty chai, yet!  I have a thing for dirty chais and I go around all over everywhere and order them, I have my favorite in Monterey (Bright Coffee at Lilify) but I have found one better!  Must come back!

The barista clarified that it was a shot of amaretto SYRUP, not the spirit…bummer

I got back on the road and drove to Taos Pueblo.  I was trying to get to the church but every road was blocked with a “Closed” sign, so I kept driving around trying to find a back way in.  Eventually, I saw a kid walking and slowed the car down to ask for help.  As soon as I lowered the window, he pulled his hood off his head.  I was very impressed  by his manners.  I told him my issue and he politely gave me directions.  As he walked away, he put his hood back on.  I really liked that gesture of his.

I parked in the church’s driveway and walked in.  It was just as Alice said it would be!  I was probably the only person who didn’t have a blanket wrapped around me. It was dimly lit and the pews were packed, there were even people standing in the back.  The mass was lovely and the homily the priest gave was beautiful, about love.  He spoke about how we ought to show love everyday in our lives, and not just to our romantic partners, but to everyone, we ought to live in love, with love, by love, etc.  I really appreciated the message.

After mass, I lit four candles at the alter and said some prayers.  On my way out, I noticed that the church was giving away books, “Resisting Happiness,” and it put a smile on my face because mama is currently reading that book.

I was disappointed to find, back at the bed and breakfast, that Alice had decided against making green chili, she said they had a big group of “youngsters” and so she had made French Toast.  Boo.

“Did you find that bar last night?” Jeremy, the innkeeper asked me.

“Yes, it’s called Don Carlos, but I decided against going, when I got there it was a bunch of dudes and being female and traveling alone, I try to be cautious.” I responded.

“I totally understand,” he said.

I went in the kitchen to tell Alice that mass this morning was everything I’d hoped for and more.

“Good! I knew you’d love it, sweety, it’s so peaceful, isn’t it?”  She said as she gave me a good morning hug.  “Aww you didn’t go to Don Carlos?  That used to be my hangout but I’m not allowed there any more.”

“What? What happened?” I asked.

“Like you say, all those dudes! And pool sticks, you know.” She laughed.

I guess I had made the right decision to avoid the bar with all the dudes last night.

I thanked her and Jeremy with big hugs and told them I’d be back again one day, I might even bring someone with me next time! They said, “you’d better!”

The back of The Blue Water Retreat at San Geronimo says “’til we meet again,” I love that, not only as a sweet detail but as a life’s philosophy

I got on the backroad and drove to Chimayo, per Alice’s suggestion. It was lovely, but the main attraction was a church, it is after all a sacred holy site.  I walked around, admiring peoples’ prayer wishes but didn’t go into mass, I had had enough priests and preacher-ing for the day.  The open road called.

Let’s go!
View from a lookout on the side of the road, a little south of Taos
Some run down houses in Truches
Candles and rosaries left with prayers and hope at Chimayo
Crosses tied to the fence at Chimayo
Chilis in Chimayo

Back on the road, next stop, Santa Fe!  I returned my rental car and took an uber to my hotel.  The room wasn’t ready yet so I left my luggage at the front desk and walked to the plaza where I found Draft Station, where I sit now writing this, enjoying an Oatmeal Stout from Blue Corn Brewery here in Santa Fe.

I eventually checked into my hotel room, had a bath, refreshed my soul, and then went out for a walk around the plaza and downtown Santa Fe.  There are so many fun and funky shops here that you could spend an entire week just exploring them.  I found a great wine shop that sold one of my favorite sparkling wine’s (Gruet) that’s made right here in New Mexico! The sweet girl, Mary-Francis who sold me my bottle even told me that Gruet has been voted some of the best American sparkling wine! (For a couple fun articles on Gruet, read this and this.)

I was stopped dead in my tracks by a pair of suede fuchsia pumps, ugh how I love high heeled shoes.  I went in the shop.  “Those shoes are beautiful!” I told the shopkeeper.

“You’re beautiful.” he responded.

Good salesperson, I see.  We started chatting and it turns out he’s Syrian!  I took a closer look at his other shoes and it was reconfirmed to me that I have expensive taste.  The cheapest pair of pumps was $700.  Well, not today, I guess.

I went to the hotel’s happy hour.  I parked my laptop at a table facing west, in hopes of watching the sunset, and asked a woman if she’d keep an eye on it while I ordered a drink.  She was very sweet and said yes.  When I came back, I thanked her and struck up conversation with her and her husband, they invited me to join their table and I did.  I ended up chatting with them for 2 hours!  They were charming.

Lights in the plaza

Afterwards, I decided I needed dessert and headed to La Boca which had been recommended to me, several times now.  I was really craving sweets so ordered two desserts.  The one I wanted (chocolate pots de creme) and the one the busser, hostess, and waiter unanimously suggested (gateau Basque).  The Gateau Basque is HANDS DOWN one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life.  It is now my life goal to recreate it.

Dessert at La Boca

Buenas noches.

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