Always take the scenic route….

Did you catch all the clues I posted recently?

Did you wonder why I was decorating with farolitos and baking bischochitos?

I know you friends and how astute you are so I am sure some of you guessed.

Yes, we went to Santa Fe for Christmas again.  It had been three years since we spent Christmas there and although this time our experiences were much different than in 2011, we still had a marvelous time.

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We started our trip on the 23rd and soon ran into snow.

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I highly recommend the scenic route.

nm 104

If you are coming from the east on I-40, get off at Tucumcari and take NM 104 to Las Vegas, NM.   It is an unbelievable drive.   We just happened upon it coming home from Taos one year.   I thought (on the map) it looked like an interesting drive.   Leaving Las Vegas (get it?), we were sorely disappointed as it looked like we were in for a flat drive.   About twenty miles east of Las Vegas, the terrain changes dramatically and is beautiful. You drive into canyons and up again to view hills, high dessert and even a lake.  This 110 miles is a beautiful drive either way, east or west.  This time we drove into Las Vegas on a snowy day with a bit of road challenges.  It was still worth it.

104

Truly, we met about four vehicles on this drive, mostly locals, I think.  There were at least two feed trucks with bundled-up, courteously waving ranchers.

But, let’s get back to the scenery on this drive on the first leg of our Christmas trip.

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Rocks and crags….

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Hills and windy roads….

2014-12-23 11.06.49And, buena vista views (I know that is redundant)…

At the end of this scenic trek, you end up in Las Vegas, NM.

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The Plaza Hotel on the Plaza (Las Vegas, NM)

The Plaza Hotel has recently been going under renovations.   I would love to stay here and explore the town more on our next trip.  Maybe a stopover?

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“El Campesino” (by Peter E. Lopez)

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There’s still room for more revitalization here.   We are taking investors if you’re interested to fixing this place up with us.

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While we were there, we shopped at el Zocal0 cooperative art gallery.  This in itself was worth the stop.   I bought one small santos painting from Meredith Britt.  Please check out the website for her cut paper collages. They are unbelievable.   Meredith was working in the cooperative the morning we were there so we also got the pleasure of meeting her.

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This is hanging in the kitchen now above a chili cross I bought many moons ago at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.

We were truly tempted to buy some more works here but we were saving our gallery touring for Santa Fe.  (In retrospect, I wish we would have spent a bit more time here in the other galleries.)

As we crawled back in the car to leave Las Vegas (smile again), I had to snap a picture of this….

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He was patiently waiting for his owner to return to the truck (and he really didn’t like me disturbing him).

My posts of this trip won’t be quite as extensive as our last Christmas trip to Santa Fe, but there will at least be a few more.

Our mantra for the new year is “to always take the scenic route.”   Hope you can too in 2015.

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »