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.
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 road.......now 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!
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!
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