Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Santa Fe Plaza and Surroundings

The Plaza of Old Town Santa Fe is set up as a square. In the middle of the square is a beautiful park, with trees that were showing off their fall foliage, and benches that invited you to sit a spell.

In the center of the park stands a tall memorial to the fallen soldiers of previous battles. Circling the memorial is a cement bench, making it ideal to people watch.

Dogs are everywhere in Santa Fe. They aren't allowed in restaurants, but it's a dog friendly town. Here's a big guy that I met. He's part white shepherd, malamute and husky. He was a very calm dog.

While I was talking to his owner, a couple of women walked by with dog carriers slung over their shoulders. Inside were a couple of small dogs, yapping away. The big dog's owner didn't know about the dog carriers and said to me, "What, are those people crazy?"

I said, "Why?"

She said, "They're barking like that!"

I laughed and explained that they had dog carriers with them. It was kind of funny.

Jim and I continued walking around the plaza. These two gentlemen were waiting to peddle people wherever they wanted to go.

We got to the next corner of the square and I saw this big old bloodhound. It isn't too often that you see one of these dogs. I stopped to take his picture. All of a sudden I heard those little dogs start barking their heads off. It seems that the little dogs (cha-hooey-hooey's as I like to call them) had been taken out of the carriers and were running around (leashed). The bloodhound owner was oblivious to the little guys, but oh my, the bloodhound sure knew. He stopped dead in his tracks pulling so hard on the leash. He would not budge. The owner turned around and looked at him like, "What the heck is going on here?" I laughed so hard. This big old dog was afraid of those little ankle biters. And I mean that in the nicest way, Meeko!

Surrounding the square on three sides are shops and restaurants. On the four side is the Palace of the Governors History Museum. Built in 1610, it is the oldest continuously occupied building in the United States. The front porch, or "portal" of the building is used by the Native Americans to sell their wares. All vendors, with very few exceptions, are members of New Mexico pueblos or tribes. There are over 1,000 authorized sellers in the Native American Vendors Program. All items are hand made and each participant had to of demonstrated their mastery of craft skills as part of the application process. They do not have to pay for the selling space, and I had read somewhere that there is a lottery system as to who sells each day. I thought if I took the picture far enough away, I wouldn't offend anyone. All the merchants are sitting on the ground.

This is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It was so wonderful to hear the church bells ring out while we were walking around outside.

This is a photo of the altar.

This is one of my favorite statues. It's called "St. Francis of Assisi Dancing on Water" and is located outside of the church.

Carved all over his robe are different little sayings. I just LOVE this one!

Santa Fe is an art lover's dream. There are art galleries galore. When Jim and I took a walking tour of this town a few years ago, our guide told us that Santa Fe was number three out of all the cities in the United States for selling art, New York City being number one, and I think Los Angeles was number two. At that time, Santa Fe was selling over $2 million in art per year.

You could easily spend two-three days here in Old Town alone just going in all the shops and galleries that lead off of blocks from the main square. You could find all different thing to buy, such as this purse made out of pop-tops.

I saw this statue on the sidewalk in front of a store. It looks like its from the Egyptian period. That's all I've got to say is, who knew they had silicone boobs back then? 'Cause those certainly aren't the real things. Real boobs do not sit up at attention when a woman lies on her side. At least mine don't!

There are many restaurants to choose from, and certainly you can get your fill of the Mexican cuisine. But to try something a little different, I'd recommend this place.

It is an authentic French restaurant, more of a bistro, really. Nothing fancy. Just sandwiches and crepes. Jim and I both ordered the chicken and mushroom crepe in Bechamel sauce. Yumm!

For dessert we ordered a crepe spread with Nutella (chocolate hazelnut) and sliced bananas, and topped with whipped cream. Delish!

We could have had one of these:

Or one of these:

Well, I can go on and on and show you a dozen more photos, but I think I've shared enough. We spent longer than we planned in Santa Fe due to some maintenance on the truck. Tomorrow we leave bright and early for Show Low, AZ. Not sure what the name means. It could mean:

a) Lie down while flashing;

b) Lift up my skirt while flashing (if I were wearing one);

c) Lift up my shirt without wearing a bra; or

d) None of the above.



Rae said...

You make an excellent tour guide. Maybe you should write for some travel magazine. Great photos and I love the narrative.

Betty said...

It is a great pleasure for me reading your post.
Amazing pics!

Meeko Fabulous said...

Do you know the way to Santa Fe? La la la la la la la la!!! :) I love traveling with you! No offense taken at the ankle biter. I know she is my annoying little sack of poo . . . LOL!

Gail said...

I was enjoying the scenery, then the art, now I am drooling on my keyboard. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful church. Great pics as usual!

It's a shame you don't have a dog. You can really tell you like them.

SquirrelQueen said...

I agree with Rae, your tours are better than any tour guide I have ever seen. I love the statue of St. Francis dancing on the water. All of your photos are great.


Carletta said...

The square reminds me of my hometown courthouse square when I was a little girl. There were benches and a fountain and people sat under the trees. Today it's a sterile looking building with a glass front and a bare yard in front.
I want those boobs. LOL! Sheesh....