Santa Fe was a happy surprise and a lap of luxury for us. We stayed with an old friend of my dad's, Dana, and her husband Doug. They have this fantastic authentic Santa Fe mud hut that they had renovated to be super suave inside. We were given the keys to their guest house and permission to use their fabulous waterfall shower. Ah.. this was living. Dana poured the "mandatory" welcome shots of tequila and we relaxed outside for a bit, chatting about the trip and old times.
She was booked to shoot an art show in town that night (Dana is a photographer). Check her out at www.danawaldon.com She invited us to come down for a bit, check out the opening then walk around downtown Santa Fe. Considering we had nothing else to do this sounded like a good bet. So after cleaning ourselves up a bit we headed down. The gallery opening was nice and afterwards Dana walked us around downtown before running off to meet Doug at a big dinner of sorts. We were left on our lonesome.
We decided to start with a margarita at a quiet spot we were told was a gay bar. The experience was slightly uncomfortable, not because it was a gay bar of course, but because the bar tenders were real sticklers about our IDs. I mean for petes sake we were only trying to split one tiny cocktails AND we were both of age. After a lot of questions and explanations we were served.
A well dressed older man who had been sitting at the bar beside us and had been listening in to the whole ordeal took pitty on us and told the bartender that he'd like to buy our next round. We started in to conversation with him and he turned out to be a very interesting character. Turns out he worked for the White House and had the most peculiar job. He was the appologizer. This wasn't his official title but as he explained, his job was to go around explaining and appologizing for certain administrative decisions that had been made that perhaps hadn't gone over too well with the general public. I wasn't able to get a fully fleshed idea of what it was he did but that was what I was able to construct in my mind. What a bizarre job! To go around and say sorry? Holy hell. We thanked him for the drinks and went off to aid our rumbling stomachs.
Santa Fe is not exactly a town for the young and certainly not a town that caters to people on a budget, it was not easy to find an affordable meal. But after some asking around we found a bar that served greasy fried food and tacos. They were having a "indie" night with a string of pretty miserable performances but we bared our teeth and sat through it.
Now it turns out... and I am not attempting to brag by any means, but as I said Santa Fe is not a town for the young. And certainly not a town for the young and good looking. Annie and I attracted the most ridiculous amount of attention. A hilarious looking older man with a long beard and sun glasses sidles up next to Annie at the bar. He had a raspy voice and an even raspier laugh and boy did he LAUGH! Everything was hysterical to him. Which in turn was hysterical to us. It was like a garden gnome came to life, smoked a joint and went out to the bars. Someone came up to me and said, "You know that guy played in ZZ Top right?" We googled it the next morning and it was true! Annie even got his phone number. Who would have thunk?
I spotted a guy by the bathrooms that I recognized as the doorman from the art show. He was a towering long haired latin man. I approached him and introduced myself. I was surpised by his boyish voice in comparison to his intimidating stature. He said he had fallen in to the ”bouncer/doorman” job based on his size and on account of he had had to have a bone in his hand replaced by a metal plate. Yikes. But besides this we discovered he was quite the teddy bear at heart. He took us under his two large arms and informed us we were to see Santa Fe the only way there was to see it, with him. A long night of bar hopping and dancing followed. Yes... I danced once again. Strange strange place Santa Fe. We made it home late and collapsed in to bed, smiling and exhausted.
The next day was for the most part a day of recovery. Unable to do very much at all we lounged in front of the TV watching Iron Chef America and uploading pictures. Late in the day we managed to venture out to a Whole Foods and serve ourselves heaping portions from the salad bar then went to satisfy Annie's endless appetite for “Fro-yo.” Frozen yogurt. Boys... if you plan on attempting to take Annie out for a date I would suggest you end it with fro-yo cause the girl cannot get enough. She's crazy for fro-yo. If I learned anything about Annie on this trip this would be it. Not really... but it's true! Froo yooo. That's all I have to say about fro- yo.
The next day I woke up next to a gigantic black fuzzy caterpillar in a terror for I was certain it could have, if it wanted to, devoured me whole in the night. But luckily it had not even taken a nibble and I was alive. Dana had told us about a beautiful scenic chairlift in the area and we decided to go see what it was all about. We got a bit lost on the way there due to not so trustworthy GPS but after abandoning technology and going about it the old fashion way of simply asking for directions we were told to drive up a mountain until we got to the top. And so we did. Santa Fe is absolutely gorgeous. It was cold at the top of the mountain, we weren't as bundled as maybe we should have been but we got some hot coffee and pushed on. It was actually quite a brilliant thing that this ski lodge did. When it wasn't ski season they would charge 5 bucks a person to ride the ski lift up and down and look out onto the beautiful fall colors of the Santa Fe mountains. I have never thought of myself as someone who had a fear of heights but this was not exactly a pleasure ride. Annie and I held on to each other for dear life up the mountain, crying out in fear at every jolt of our lift chair then laughing at how ridiculous we were compared to all the other riders who were leaning back in their seats without a bit of reluctance. But all in all the ride was breathtaking. We had arrived at the peak of New Mexican leaf season and boy was I glad to see it! I had missed the fall colors of North Carolina the past three years I'd been in New York so it was nice to see them here.
That night Dana and Doug offered to take us out for Mexican food and margaritas. The place was right down the street so we walked over but while we were eating it began to rain, so the walk back wasn't half as nice. Dana went to bed early but Doug stayed up with Annie and I drinking wine and talking about success. Doug owns quite a few turqoise mines in the area and apart from selling the stone he also designs jewelry. Www.douglasmagnus.net Doug was a kind and humble man it was a comfort to listen to him talk about beauty, life and perseverance. I went to sleep that night feeling inspired and ready to be back on the road. Our next stop would be Prescott, Arizona which was I excited about because it was the home of my dear friend Evan who I hadn't seen in a number of years.