A Day in Santa Fe

Wow! It has been a long time since I blogged about a trip. F'ing Covid. 

Ghost Ranch Corral
It's not that I haven't travelled, I have travelled, but all for necessary things. From Corvallis, to Boise, to Logan, to Salt Lake City to Home. All in an effort to bring home my eldest from OSU, and show my middle possible colleges of the West. My middle wants to be west of the Continental Divide (maybe Front Range -- if she must) and she has always loved horses; however, she never became a proper cowgirl -- likely because her father is an L.A. city slicker. But, she is not ruling out the opportunity to meet a handsome young cowboy (or Aggie as the case may prove to be). More importantly, she wants to find her inner history-buff, education slinging, surfing, cowgirl.
Drive-by Campus Tours

Marcy Street
What I didn't do is blog about my trips, because they were not American sightseeing tours. I failed to take the time to appreciate the Great Basin wonders. It wasn't play time at the golden spike of Promontory Summit -- go, drive-by, go. 

I have travelled to Boulder, to see my 86 yo mom -- not nearly often enough. And SLC has become a port-o-business. We decided to invest in a 9-Unit apartment building, and it has become a flight-hopper for the rest of the Country. Salt Lake City is in our discussions far more often than Denver. The Divide is real. 

So, my darling girl was regaled by St. John's College in Santa Fe. At first, we tried to discourage her, at 400 undergrads the school seemed too small. Her HS graduating class is lucky to be fifteen strong. A "big" campus to her is nearly half the population of an average high school. (Hell, my graduating class in 1990 was 400.)  The comparison is all about perspective. 

St. John's College is associated with the third oldest college in the Americas in Annapolis, MD. The education is classical -- Goethe, Aristotle, Euripides; Greek and French mandatory; blackboards and Ph.D. Tutors (they do not call them professors). John, my husband, being a history buff himself, raised by religious schooling, was intrigued with St. John's forum-style teachings. Students can also sabbatical in Annapolis. So, we made the trip to tour the college. 

John and I have visited Santa Fe before, and quite honestly, who doesn't want to stand under a street sign with your name spelled correctly? Not that big of a deal for all the John's of the world, but Marcy -- that's unusual. It's a very artisty town and pleasant to meander through. So, we packed up our unassuming rising-senior and drove the seven hours. (Six-and-a-half in our eldest's Mini!)  

Santa Fe Trail

Lovely country to drive through, the drought-like heat wave had graciously broken over the Continental Divide, and while still June desert hot, certainly bearable. Unfortunately, we still did little stopping or taking in of our Country's natural wonders. We hot-footed it for a 3pm campus tour. 

Loretta Chapel
The campus is surprisingly large. However, there are cracks in the appearances -- the weight room has literal cracks in the mirrors, the benches have black duct-tape wrapping the thinned vinyl, western weeds peppered the landscape, but the landscape and koi pond were quaint with water lilies (symbolically, like the flower, lovely in appearance, murky upon closer inspection). My daughter's impression was unimpressed. She felt an oppressive vibe of nerdiness and cloistering. Students are expected to live all four years on campus, their outdoor ed equipment is homogeneous to our basement, nothing felt exciting for her. Disappointingly, this was more like a desert East Coast prep school than an American college of the West. 

More bust than boom. 

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Unfortunately, we had little time to take in the sights of Santa Fe, but we knew enough to book of hotel in the City Center. The area was tourist busy. Luckily, we found bar-top seats for dinner at 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar -- the food was fancy french cuisine, but mostly all flavored the same. We walked around the stuccoed churches and covenant "enhanced" Santa Fe Plaza and Market. The covenant control keeps the downtown looking authentic to a time of settlers and indigenous people, before the artists discovered this escape from New York winters. 

Someday, maybe, I will actually have more than a day in Santa Fe, and tour some museum's and art galleries. But, most everything was closed and the cruising had started. Once upon a time, beautiful restored cars would circle the plaza. A cultural rite-of-passage outside the Sundays-are-for-Church socialization. Now, it's mostly tourist in nothing-value cars interrupting the cultural scene because they are too lazy to actually get out and immerse themselves in the historical architecture of Santa Fe. It's a crying shame, and I am embarrassed by the obesity of the matter.

NM Museum of Art, Pueblo Revival
We took in breakfast at the quintessential Plaza Cafe, it has lost a little bit of its Route 66/Alien feel, but all eateries and bars are just trying to rebound, maybe character will return as the unvaccinated zombies recede into the medical abyss. We walk back and pack-up for home. 

Unvaccinated Zombies

Ghost Ranch Promontory 
On our way down, we passed Ghost Ranch, I often entertain my husband's mesmerized white-stipe driving with local FYI factoids. Ghost Ranch has a whole wikipedia page, suffice it to say, lots of cliff-desert  movies have been filmed here, it was the grounding-force that brought Georgia O'Keeffe to New Mexico, and it has a paleontological and hang-em high history. We made a pit-stop, but friends visiting Ouray enthused as to carry on. Not without a few moments to visit the set of City Slickers and appreciate the views O'Keeffe so masterfully captured in many of her Santa West landscape portraits. 

City Slickers & O'Keeffe
O'Keeffe Cliffs

The next full day at home, my back had come undone, I rested on the couch and watched the Billy Crystal movie. Remembering my one thing. Hoping that my aspiring college student finds her one thing. If you don't understand my reference, watch the movie -- then go out and take in that which gives you life. 

Find your ONE thing!