On Monday, we had the chance to do a little sightseeing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Travis had been there once before, but I never had been, so Aunt Shaye kept Ava for us while we headed north with Trav's Mom.
Let me just say up front, although I can appreciate the southwest style and architecture that is all over New Mexico, it is definitely NOT my thing. I could not live there and I could not imagine decorating a home there! I see the beauty of it, but it just reconfirmed my love for the midwest! Or Florida! I am just not a southwest girl :)
We did spend some time seeing some interesting things however. There is a lot more history in Santa Fe than I realized. This is the oldest active church in America. That surprised me, I would have assumed it would be somewhere on the East Coast, but apparently I was wrong.
This is the interior, adobe style. I also took a picture of this old confessional. Not exactly as private as I would have imagined!
And this is the oldest house in America...Although I can't tell you why. It was closed when we were there. I did peak in and would have loved to tour it, but no luck. I did love the turquoise front door however!
A little further down the street, we stumbled upon this gorgeous hotel and spa. So uniquely designed, I really did love it. I have no desire to see Santa Fe again, but if I did go back, this is where I would want to stay!
It was called the Loretto Inn and Spa. We had to go in and warm up by the fire because it was so cold out that morning! And windy too. Who would have thought??? I always assumed New Mexico was hot, but it's really not in the mountains!
This was probably the most interesting thing we saw. It was the Loretto Chapel and it's been featured on Unsolved Mysteries.
It has "miraculous stairway" that was built hundreds of years ago, by an unknown carpenter the nuns had prayed for. Apparently they needed a staircase and this man showed up and just built them one. The miracle is in how he did it. The picture below is how it looks today. The railings and support attached to the beam were added years later. Originally, it was just a curved, floating staircase with no support. Architects, engineers and contractors are baffled by it. It makes no sense as far as gravity is concerned! It's not only beautiful, but no one knows how it could have possibly been built, let alone stand unsupported. Some people think that Jesus came and built it. I can't say I'm one of them. But, it is fascinating!
And beautiful too.
The front of the Chapel
And the back. Amazing stained glass windows, huh?
This is a picture of the original staircase.
Later we found this great restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful lunch there.
And after wandering in and out of a few more shops, we went into yet another Church, this one a cathedral. I don't remember the name, but it's a famous one apparently.
Love the arches and barrel vault ceiling. Obviously New Mexico is very hispanic, thus the Catholic Churches on every corner!
Outside of the cathedral, looking down a street. In the distance, you can faintly see the mountains.
I did not realize how much shopping there was in Santa Fe, or how much jewelry was for sale. I saw many, many beautiful things, but I could not get over how expensive everything was! These are tons of street vendors who sit out all day selling their hand made stuff. It was so gorgeous, but even they were ridiculously expensive. We had lots of fun looking, but apparently my taste is a little too rich for my wallet!
We decided that this was the one store we could safely afford! Ha Ha!
Santa Fe was fun, definitely an experience, but I don't know that I'll be back! If I had to choose a vacation spot, I would choose a beach or a historic place on the east coast hands down before I chose the desert. I was not cut out for the Southwest! It is beautiful and rich with history, and I can appreciate that, but not my cup of tea. We did love the chance to have a day of walking around together, minus a stroller, a diaper bag and a wiggly little girl! She would not have lasted very long in Santa Fe I'm afraid. Quiet tours in cathedrals are not her thing either!
What about you? Have you ever been to Santa Fe? What did you think??