“Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona such a fine sight to see. There’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.” This is from the famous song “Take It Easy” by The Eagles on their album which came out in 1972. It seems like such a long time ago, but this song is ageless. Of course when we realized we would be in the area, we could not pass up a chance to stop and get a picture or two. It is part of the historic Route 66 and the corner is pretty cool. The rest of the town doesn’t live up to the powerful song, but we did find one other gem. In a gift shop I asked for dinner recommendations and was directed down the street a bit to the famous La Posada hotel with The Turquoise Room for dinner. Another amazing surprise. The hotel is beautifully decorated and was designed by the architect, Mary Coulter, who is responsible for many buildings throughout the Southwest, including many of the buildings in Grand Canyon National Park. The food was great too and set the stage for what was waiting for us once we arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It was a bit of a pilgrimage for Mike and I as we had been to Santa Fe once before about 20 years ago. There is so many cool things about this city, but the one we remembered above all else was the food. New Mexican food is unbelievably good. We love everything from the red and green chile sauce, to the margaritas, and the sopaipillas (delicious pillows of warm bread served with honey). We did a lot over the last couple of days but honestly is was kinda just killing time until we could eat again!!
We visited the Palace of Governors which is located in the center of town off of the Plaza. The front of the building is filled with Native Americans selling their wares while tourists stroll and buy. Inside is filled with the history of the area. Archeologists have traced Native Tribes to the area from 7000 years ago which is amazing all by itself. The Palace was built by the Spanish in the 1500’s and maintained by them for over 200 years. Next Mexico took it over and it stayed that way until the United States decided we wanted it to become a territory and state. It stayed a territory for 62 years before it eventually became a state in 1912. A lot of history here!
We also took a trip to the community of Chimayo which is on the high road to Taos. This is another of the spots which we visited years ago and really wanted to see again. There is not much of a town, but they are known for their weaving, their chile peppers, and their famous sanctuary- El Santuario de Chimayo. The story says that a priest in the area found a cross in the dirt and dug it out and carried it to be part of the church. The next day, the cross was missing and he found it back in the same spot in the dirt. He tried to move it several more times until he finally decided it should remain in the dirt. They build a church around this spot and it has become a place that people worship and visit in times of need. It is filled with crutches and pictures of people who need healing help or have been helped. People can actually get dirt from the same hole where the priest found the cross. What an unforgettable place. We finished with dinner at Rancho de Chimayo which has been around since 1965. Did I mention how good the food is???
Finally, our last day in Santa Fe started by attending a cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. It was actually just a demonstration, but the aroma coming from the cooking was heavenly and we learned a lot. Both of us learned some new techniques and if you are invited to our house once we get back home–it might be New Mexican food on the menu! As you can see, we are a bit obsessed with this place. Such a fine sight to see…