Thursday, March 12, 2009

Santa Fe Spring Break

With one daughter on a church youth group ski trip and the other on a mission trip to rebuild a park destroyed by Katrina in Mississippi , my husband and I found ourselves footloose and fancy free for our first grown up spring break. We celebrated with a 4 day trip to Santa Fe. We found a special package at the lovely la Posada de Santa Fe and off we went. The historical hotel and spa has become a Rock Resort in the last few years and with it's renovation it has become quite a beautiful example of Santa Fe charm and quaintness, coupled with luxury and sophistication.

The lobby is beautifully furnished. Of course, I love this area with the Spanish Colonial art work, but other areas have works by contemporary artists as well.

While we were there we took early morning walks, briskly, I might add! It was chilly, in the 30s,in the mornings, and then warmed to a perfect temperature in the 50s during the day.One morning we walked by Back at the Ranch before they opened and peeked in the windows. I had to get a shot of this great neon sign! I think I need it in my house.

People think of Santa Fe as all adobe and Indian, but the truth is there are a variety of architectural styles to be seen. This lovely English styled church was across the road from us and we were able to hear beautiful voices singing one morning during a Lent service.

The plaza in old downtown Santa Fe - early in the morning before it filled with people and vendors.

There are people in my life - most of them, I am afraid - who might say "and WHY did you take this picture of the ceiling?" Of course, if you are design nut like I am, you know I took it because I love the board and batten, the beams and the lantern, and I might just need it for future reference!

While there are Navajo rugs and turquoise jewelry spilling out of many shops in town, there are also modern places like design warehouse. Very, very cool.

I love the clean lines of this building - the muddy color of the stucco with the contrast of the crisp white trim.

Another building with straight lines and white painted posts. Many of the buildings in Santa Fe were designed by architect John Gaw Meem. He is known for his role in the development and popularization of Pueblo Revival style as well as Territorial style. Meem's influence on the city of Santa Fe was huge. He chaired the committee which authored the 1957 Historical Zoning Ordinance that ensured all future buildings in central Santa Fe adhere to either the Pueblo or Territorial styles. Lucky for us, as those styles continue to add to the charm of the city many tourists visit today.

Above photo, a close look at the wonderful brick work along the edges of the walls of a territorial building historic to Santa Fe, Sena Plaza.

The beautiful Sena Plaza, home of the Sena Cafe and many wonderful shops and galleries. Love, love, love the old stucco and the blue paint , the brick and woodwork, the imperfections of age .

Now, on to the new and glorious work of glass artist Peter Wright. Just one of his amazing pieces we discovered at a favorite new gallery.
Photos can barely do these pieces justice. They look like something beautiful and alive that one might see under the ocean.
One morning on our early, very chilly walk, we passed this new gallery. I pressed my nose to the window and declared that everything else would have to wait - we were coming back here as soon as possible! The paintings captured me as well as the incredible glass sculpture.

Evoke Contemporary, owned and directed by the charming Kathrine Erickson, was formerly home to an Ann Taylor store.It has been completely gutted and re-done and is now a beautiful, perfect gallery space, open for just a few months. We were greeted by Kathrine when we walked in and proceeded to spend a good part of our day with her.

These are glass, too . What beautiful color and form.

We were completely taken with the paintings of Louisa McElwain and when I asked if there were more to see, we had the pleasure of being taken to that wonderful place in galleries where more fabulous art is stored. What a treasure trove we discovered. The day was one of the highlights of our trip!

Take a seat and just try to take it all in - great paintings, amazing sculpture, intricate and beautiful handcrafted jewelry - all in a most lovely setting, Evoke Contemporary in Santa Fe!

Our next stop, 225 Canyon Road, sits at the base of the famous old Santa Fe known for it's galleries, chic shops and well known restaurants. I always love to visit my favorite shops here. One in particular is La Mesa of Santa Fe. I was particularly taken with the hand forged fireplace tools made by Christopher Thompson ironworks. They come in different sizes and different finishes and are very handsome.

Handmade ceramic wall sconces made by Juliana Young also caught my eye. They are used throughout the compound of shops in a variety of shapes and designs. Wouldn't it be fun to have one style on your front porch and a different one on your back porch - or more formal at your front door and whimsical at your back door!

To see more of the great art at La Mesa visit their website, or better yet, visit them at 225 Canyon Road!

Sweet bird sconce on one of the buildings in the compound.

Need I say more?

Last, but certainly not least, another favorite stop is Leslie Flynt's wonderful shop full of everything I love! Mexican, New Mexican, Guatemalan, folk art, textiles, jewelry, tin work, pottery, Dash & Albert rugs, Pine Cone Hill linens, David Marsh furniture...........the pictures will speak for themselves!

After visiting her store numerous times, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Leslie, a former Texan, who moved to Santa Fe years ago and found it to become her home. She has a great eye for color, art, and charm and it shows everywhere you turn in her wonderful shop!

Yes, I did want to buy the turquoise cupboard with the saints hand painted on tin insets, but it was already sold. It can be ordered, though!

I can't wait to visit Santa Fe again. If you like beautiful weather, great food, tons and tons of art and history, and very nice folks, you should visit. I didn't even touch on the museums and they are worth another post all to themselves. What a great spring break!


  1. I don't know quite how I found your blog today but I'm glad I did. I want the cupboard with the saints too. I don't think I have the right house for it though, maybe in another life. Thanks for getting a picture of it.

  2. Thanks for the words of encouragement. It truly means alot!! It just get discuraging when you love something and it doesn't quite turn out the way you had hoped!! But I will keep movin!!

  3. This is so YOU!!!! You must have been in heaven. I've never been there -thanks for the tour - I feel like I have been now!!!

  4. It has been a long time since I have visited beautiful Santa Fe. I appreciate you taking us with you. It brought back so many fond memories and introduced me to a few places that will make me go back for another visit.


  5. Thank you for taking us along on your trip to Santa Fe through your beautiful photography! I used to have a boss with offices there and sure do miss the annual pilgrimage to visit.

  6. How nice for you two to escape... The last time I went to Santa Fe was a few years ago, with girlfriends. I think it's time to go again!! Have fun.

  7. I thought of you every single day you were there, and was green with envy while I sat in a hotel room all week cooped up with a sick kid over spring break. I think I need a therapy weekend in Santa Fe! Great post, Ann... next best thing to being there!


  8. I haven't been to Santa Fe since I was a little girl, would love to go back! I remember talking to the Indians along the storefronts with all their beautiful silver!

    I have you as a fave on my sidebar, but the link is not current...can you send me a link to correct this?


  9. It's been so many years since I've been in Santa Fe and I enjoyed the post so much! Thank you.

  10. Who is the poor fellow at the gallery that looks BORED out of his mind? Could it be the same man that was sitting in Anthropology in NYC that looked BORED out of his mind? You can't continue to abuse him this way. I would'nt put up with your crap for one minute. You're one crazy bitch girl! Keep the blogs comin',they make me feel so luxurious and sophisticated.

  11. Anonymous, If you are going to get into my bidness, then you simply must spell Anthropologie correctly!And you, little redneck bro, need to get a life!! hee hee

  12. Ann,
    Touche on your comment to Annon!

    On the sidebar thing...Color Me Happy and Patricia Gray had the same problem and sent me a different link. Maybe you could ask either of them what they did!

    I have heard peeps say that blogging on a Mac is hard, don't really know why. I use a pc for blogging but I do have a laptop Mac.


  13. Hi Ann! Nice to meet you! I grew up in SA, so the hill country is near and dear! It's been several years I'm afraid since we've been to Fredericksburg.
    Your Spring Break trip looks wonderful! When we lived in Dallas we would always come back through SF after our many treks to Colorado so that I could go to "Trader Joe's" (grcoery store!) It's a wonderful big/little town. Love your photo of the beams and the light fixture! Most of mine from vacations look like that too!

  14. Wow - a grown up spring break! I have many, many years until that will happen, but you know what they say - the days are long, but the years are short. It will be here before I know it!

    I love the resort that you visited, and the art galleries look wonderful! I have heard such great things about Santa Fe. It i definitely on my list of places to visit.

  15. I just found your lovely blog today...enjoy all your beautiful photos.


  16. Love it...I want to join you. Is that your stone house at the top of your blog? Beautiful!!!

  17. Thanks for dropping by and the sweet comment that you left. They would have to pull me out of that stone beauty, kicking and screaming...

  18. I have just had a wonderful tour of Hill Country House and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. So nice to see someone post about Santa Fe. My family has a place outside of Santa Fe and i have grown up on the plaza, canyon road, the pink adobe & the Santa Fe Opera. Looking forward to another trip this summer.
    I miss living in Texas and am so glad to have found you through Red! Looking forward to more visits with you in the beautiful hill country.
    Lisa @ The Lisa Porter Collection



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