USA - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sometimes last minute opportunities come up and surprise you more than expected. I was able to take a last minute trip with a friend to Santa Fe, New Mexico. With a two day notice and feeling weird about asking off for a Tuesday on a Monday, my friend was a good sell and I figured why not. We had a fabulous time!
We arrived early afternoon and visited the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum after settling into our hotel. This museum was perfect. My friend and I like to visit museums, but neither of us like to spend a lot of time in one either. The size and content of this museum was simple and lovely. Georgia O'Keeffe spent most of her time in New York City and New Mexico, finally settling in Santa Fe. She is a role model for all, especially women and is infamous for her paintings of flowers, among other works of art.
After the museum, we went to see the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, which is in the city center and is known for the yellow limestone which changes color depending on the time of day. After walking around the city center and popping into some shops we had a fantastic dinner at The Shed. It was typical New Mexican food and was delicious, it exceeded both of our expectations.
The following day we started with brunch at Chez Mamou, a French Bakery and Cafe. It was exquisite! We sat outside, which was lovely and the food was delightful. We also picked up a little treat in the bakery for a snack later in the day.
After brunch we ventured to Meow Wolf. I had heard of Meow Wolf but never really looked into it, my friend really wanted to go and it seemed like something interesting to visit. I had no idea what I was in for. It is in an old bowling alley, to give you an idea of the size. Once you purchase tickets and go in, you see a normal two story house that you walk into. Everything seems like a house you would live in, until you see someone pop through the fireplace. After following them, we are in another room with a dinosaur, well the ribs and bones of a dinosaur (fake of course). My friend picks up some drum sticks and starts to hit the ribs and they light up and play music. We continue and end up in another room filled with pillows that leads into another space. Room after room you touch everything! Open drawers, hit things with your hands or tools that are around. Things play music or light up. We end up in a pitch black room with red laser beams that go from ceiling to floor, when you run your hands through them a piano starts to play. There are bright rooms, dark rooms, colorful rooms, you go up and down. You can dive through the washing machine and you end up in another room and before you know it you are popping through the refrigerator back into the house. There is actual food in the kitchen, beds in the rooms, items in the dressers, but you go through a closet and you are in a fairy land. Every space is different and everything is interactive. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. After hours of interacting, our brains are on overload. We leave and I have to be honest, I am feeling a little over stimulated. It takes me several hours to get out of my fog of overwhelm. I am very excited that in twenty twenty, Denver is getting it's own Meow Wolf. I cannot wait to visit!
After a coffee stop, we went back into town to see the the Loretto Chapel which is famous for it's staircase. Built by a French architect and inspired by Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The story goes like this, the architect passed away before the staircase was built to connect the bottom floor to the loft. The sisters of the chapel prayed to St. Joseph for guidance, soon after a carpenter came to the chapel and he built the winding staircase. There was not a center support beam nor handrails in the original staircase. Once complete, the carpenter disappeared with no payment received. Legend has it that this was St. Joseph himself who completed the stairs. It is also said that there are thirty three steps on this staircase, which was the age of Jesus when he died which seems to have great significance. The railings were added later to the staircase you will see in the pictures as it was hard to walk up and down the stairs without the railings. Interesting story and the staircase was very beautiful. Definitely a nice place to visit.
We took a train tour of Santa Fe. I was not a huge fan, but my friend loved it! Once completed we stopped into The French Pastry Shop & Creperie for a snack. This place was too cute! We did one last bit of shopping and ended up getting pizza that evening at Rooftop Pizzeria, it was very good and the rooftop was great!
Santa Fe was a great place to visit and perfect for a long weekend or a couple of days and is only a six hour drive from Denver. We saw a lot in two days and I know there are many other things to see. Maybe one day I will return.