Albuquerque and Santa Fe 2013

Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City's Creative Heart by Janelle McCulloch
Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart by Janelle McCulloch

Woohoo! Long-stay visas were granted, and we leave in less than a month, but we’re STILL packing, including the beautiful book you see above, so I decided it was time for a little more reminiscing of past adventures.

Shortly before heading off to France last spring, I decided to replace my point and shoot with a decent camera. I had been addicted to photography in my pre-mom days, but when our girls were growing up, I discovered it was impossible to simultaneously host the birthday party, carry the cake out to the waiting hordes, and artistically document it all with a completely manual SLR camera, with everything that involved: light meter, f-stop, depth-of-field, focus, separate flash attachment, interchangeable lenses, etc. Yikes. Not enough arms or time.

But now that they’re grown, it’s time. So I found a great deal on an entry-level DSLR, and after playing with it (and fire) a bit at home,


I decided to try it out on a weekend road trip down to visit family in Albuquerque in March of 2013.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Lots of super photogenic sights, like the beautiful chiles above, but after David’s patience had been pushed to the limit, we decided to look for a place for some guacamole and maybe a couple of margaritas. Not sure how we got the nerve to go into this place — It’s called the High Noon Saloon and it’s pretty sketchy looking on the outside, but look what we found inside:

High Noon Saloon, Albuquerque
High Noon Saloon, Albuquerque

And — bonus — the food was great. Now it’s our favorite Albuquerque spot.

Turns out you can also go wine-tasting in Albuquerque, as there are quite a number of vineyards, but we only went to the Casa Rondeña Winery. It was so beautiful, we just sort of hung around the grounds (and took a few photos, of course).

Casa Rondeña Winery, Albuquerque
Casa Rondeña Winery, Albuquerque

The next day, on the way back to Colorado, we stopped in Santa Fe for a look around, and happened into this place.

Miraculous Staircase of Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Miraculous Staircase of Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This is the Loretto Chapel, and the story goes that there was no way up to the choir loft and all the carpenters consulted concluded that there was only room for a ladder.  The Sisters of the Chapel made a Novena to St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters, and on the ninth and final day of prayer, a man showed up with a donkey and tools, looking for work. Months later, the beautiful staircase complete, the man disappeared without pay and without a trace. Aside from the mystery of the carpenter,  some of the design considerations perplex experts to this day, enough that it was featured on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.*

May your journey lead you also to beauty, story, mystery, and of course, fabulous food and wine.

*Adapted from the Loretto Chapel website.

3 thoughts on “Albuquerque and Santa Fe 2013”

  1. Sunny, your pictures are stunning! I am going to tell Tom about your camera. He used to take fabulous pictures years ago when we lived in MA. He’s wanting something new for Scotland. Your very creative side is coming out and before you know it, you’ll have a travel channel on TV!!!

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