Sunday, July 12, 2015

Day 7: Santa Fe to E-ville

Day 7: Santa Fe to Albuquerque to Oakland 

Weather: Perfect to slightly too warm, raining in Albuquerque, perfect in E-ville

QOTD: How do you measure the butt brush factor?

Fitness center and breakfast: THB’s pancakes come out before the Greek yogurt, berries and a decaf cappuccino; DB had scrambled eggs, black beans and fried bananas and coffee, included.

The Inn shuttles us up to the top of Santa Fe for the International Folk Art Market. This is not quite Yogi’s quote: It’s too crowded, nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded and everybody is still going there.

Our tix ($10pp) let us in at 9am. There must be 300 people in line to enter at 9:15. When we leave at 10:30, there are still mobs on their way. There are booths from around the world. THB would like to tell you what was in those booths: he never got close enough to many of them to tell what they were selling.

All is not lost: the Museum of International Folk Art is amidst all the booths, and it is just as THB remembers it: one of the best museums in the world. One guy, Girard, collected folk art from around the world (though most of it from Latin America) and about 1/8 of his collection is displayed as tableaus, each one a perfect miniature story. The museum is free today with your admission to the Market, and very few people are taking them up on it.

If you come to Santa Fe, don’t miss this one, it is special.

After attempting to walk back to Santa Fe in the wrong direction, THB and DB reverse course and take a bus back down the hill to gallery shop along Canyon Road.

We stop for an excellent lunch at the Compound: rare hamburger and salad for DB; Thai steak salad and focaccia and crackers, for THB. With ginger soda and an ice tea, $50.

Back to the Inn to pack and rest up for drive to Albuquerque. The rental car companies have worked out a deal: no gas stations within 2 miles of the airport; very clever! Plus, there’s construction going on at airport (as always) and if you follow the signs you go through the airport to return your car 2 miles away (so 4 miles from a gas station).

Dinner in the airport: chicken salad for DB, drenched brisket and stone cold fries for THB, one local brewski, $50.

Flight back is only 1/4 full and on time.

·       Go to Lightning Field
·       Go to Santa Fe and make it to the Museum of International Folk Art
·       Go to Lightning Field
·       Go to Vinaigrette for lunch, not dinner
·       Go to Lightning Field
·       Visit Ghost Ranch and make sure to go to the GOK museum in Santa Fe first
·       Go to Lightning Field
·       Compound is an excellent restaurant

Go to The Lightning Field!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Day 6: Santa Fe

Day 6: Santa Fe

Weather: Raining on the way to Abuquiu, clearing just as we are about to start our walking tour, then beautiful skies (very beautiful)

QOTD: I said it was in Edible, not inedible

Breakfast: THB repeats the blue corn pancakes with berries and Greek yogurt (even though THB is trying hard, it appears that the Greeks are not redeeming enough US yogurt dollars to offset their Euro deficits).  

No fitness center this morning, we’re on the road early (thus no time to watch the Wimbledon men’s semis or TdF live) to Abiquiu (pronounced Ab uh cue eeee…THB just made that up, he has no idea how to pronounce Abiquiu, nor spell it). Near Abiquiu is GOK’s Ghost Ranch; we’re taking a walk in GOK’s shoes, thankfully not in her mud boots (we walked in Walter De Maria’s boots already on this trip).
One of THB's fave authors and one Cormac's best

THB has not seen the movie, one of many filmed at Ghost Ranch 

It is 1.5 hours to Ghost Ranch from the Inn, and we are there just a few minutes early. For the last 15 minutes of the drive, the rain has started and increasing. Uh Oh!

After we arrive and don our jackets and sign in, the rain is slacking off and then stops as our guide for the walk, Karen, gives us an overview overlooking the vista facing south and west. The rain clouds have passed over, and as Karen talks, the skies turn blue and beautiful. THB has fond memories of Santa Fe skies from his last trip here (something like 25 years ago), and this is definitely bringing back those memories.

We’re doubly fortunate: the rains three days ago wiped out several Ghost Ranch buildings and yet the road in is still passable. The trails are a bit muddy, so we aren’t going to walk as much as usual; still, it is not like LF mud (phew!!!). The drought has gone on for 7 years; in the first half of 2015 they are already over the annual norm on their way to a big year (THB and DB are showing California envy). And, Ghost Ranch is a big enterprise: 450 people staying there; many, many classes and tours available, a pool, horseback riding, and a ton of support staff.
What the cowpokes do when the horses have to use the road
GOK factoid: only 13% of her paintings were the iconic large flowers. Karen is an inspired guide, showing us many sites that GOK used for her a number of her other 87%. Having been to the GOK museum the day before really helps (or was it two days ago…in any case, it really helped).  The Walking Tour in GOK shoes: $45pp.

Two hours later, THB and DB feel like this was an inspired choice of activities: we shed the jackets, applied sun tan lotion, and gained much appreciation of GOK.

Lunch on the outskirts of Santa Fe at the Tesuque Market. THB has an unusual chile relleno (stuffed with sautéed mushroom, pinons, and a few other things, no cheese inside), DB has pork shoulder stew (spicy, no pork shoulder!), and we share guacamole and chips (small guac and huge number of chips), an ice tea, $52.
$8 of chips, $2 of guacamole

As the chile relleno comes, one of us mentions it looks like a dish at Dona Tomas and the waitress gets an odd expression on her face: it turns out she is from the East Bay and has the Dona Tomas cookbook and loves the place. THB regales here with stories of working his way through the cookbook: great food, takes a lot of time to make a meal.

And, DB tells THB that Tesuque Market is in Edible (free magazine). To THB it sounds like as she looks at the food she is saying it is inedible. Clarification supplied; if you’re in Santa Fe, get Edible (free!) and see if the places you’re planning on eating at are in Edible.

Back to the Inn to rest up, then DB has a spa treatment and THB goes to the fitness center.

Dinner at Vinaigrette with cousin Linda. It doesn’t go well: food takes forever and the salads aren’t as good as before (the night chef is not as good as the lunch chef?); Linda treats.

The opera, Rigoletto, is about what THB and DB expect: the plot isn’t much (even with subtitles), the music isn’t our style, there’s not a great sky show out the back of the stage, and there’s no reason for us to stay for the 2nd half. The seats are good, still not good enough for THB and his weak eyes to see much of the facial emotions of the singers.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 5: Santa Fe

Day 5: Santa Fe

Weather:  cool in early morning, then mid-60s to mid-70s depending on cloud cover

QOTD: Should we go to Vinaigrette again?

DB and THB use the Fitness Center together, riding for miles side-by-side on elliptical machines. THB watches Tour de France and during commercial breaks switches to Wimbledon. Breakfast of fruit bowl and huevos rancheros, and coffee for DB; blue corn pancakes with pinons, berries and Greek yogurt (really good combo), included.

photo taken by hubbie Alfred Steiglitz

In the morning: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (and we go to GOK ranch tomorrow to walk in her footsteps) and Museum of Contemporary Native Arts to see the Christine McHorse show (we had seen this same show several years ago at the JCCC (not a typo)) museum and it is well worth another viewing.

 Some non-iconic work by GOK that THB liked

And, Christine McHorse:

After attempting to eat at the restaurant Five Graces uses for room service only to find it closed at lunch time,  we decide (with enthusiasm) to go to Vinaigrette again for lunch. Good decision! THB has the salad DB had yesterday, this time with burratta  to go with the peaches, arugula, prosciutto, and sweet corn. AWESOME, DUDE! DB has kale and shredded chicken, and black beans, also terrific. With ice teas, $48.

Several more gallery visits and then it is time to head back to the Inn for a rest up.

Shots from around town:

THB was flagging, so the rest up was a real necessity. We bought (spur of the moment, yesterday) tickets to the Art Santa Fe opening night Vernissage. THB has no clue what this word means, maybe just something to make the people paying $100pp feel they are getting their money’s worth.

We’re there right at 5pm, almost the first two inside. We walk the first aisle and we are positive we’ll also be the first two people to leave. Down the second aisle and there are two galleries from Japan: Osaka and Tokyo. We don’t recognize either one.

On the outside of one (and on the inside of the other) they are selling work by Yayoi Kusama, one of DB’s all-time faves. Inside the Osaka booth are several artists we recognize including three limited edition “sea horizon” prints by Hiroshi Sugimoto, one of our faves from Naoshima.

Snap them up, a grand total of $2700, and they are going into our new downstairs bedroom at the beach. THB has a saying: if you see one thing at a fair/show/etc. you consider buying, it is worth the price of admission (and time and effort to get there). We’ve succeeded!

From the show we head to The Shed (not the hair cutting place out front of the loft in E-Ville), a famous New Mexican restaurant in town. So famous there is a 45 minute wait. Two Silver Coin margaritas ($25), pollo adobo with a cheese enchilada for THB, grilled shrimp, green salad and guacamole for DB, $41. This place is doing 3 times the business of any other restaurant in town: basic fare in large quantities at decent prices. However, THB's plate is smallish and the soup from the adobo and beans is spilling over the edges and you cannot see the cheese enchilada. While it tastes good, it has to be one of the most unappetizing presentations ever. The margaritas were very good, so that may be the secret sauce.

More pics from around town:
Outside a well-established gallery, these look like rejects from the piece near the plaza