Posts Tagged ‘Bell Tower Bar’

I am often talking about how important it is to find some down time while living in the chaos and fast paced city of Manhattan. So, when my good friend Carol of the NYCityMama blog invited me to join her on a trip to Santa Fe, I jumped at the chance. Not only would I be able to explore a new part of the country, hang out and catch up with Carol, I would also get a much needed escape from the fantastic craziness of my life πŸ˜‰

After a few delays caused by weather and the usual insanity of air travel we finally arrived in Albuquerque late Thursday night/early Friday morning. The first thing I noticed once we ventured out into the night was how incredibly cool and crisp the fall air was. It felt like when you took a deep breath you could almost taste the fresh air. Β I am sure my lungs were thanking me. On our one hour drive to Santa Fe I couldn’t stop looking at the bright stars overhead. The long stretch of highway was pitch dark and virtually empty. We definitely were not in NYC! We arrived at our lovely resort La Posada de Santa Fe, New Mexico- A Rock Resort in the wee hours of the morning very grateful for the amazing staff that quickly showed us to our room and made sure that all was well. We were equally grateful for the gas fireplace warming our bodies as we crashed into our luxuriously soft beds.

The next morning we awoke bright and early eager to check out the resort as well as the beauty of Santa Fe. We were greeted with a spectacularly sunny and crisp day. The first thing I noticed when we left our casita was how incredibly bright blue the sky was. I don’t think I have ever seen such a gorgeous colour of blue. As Carol commented many times throughout the trip, it is impossible to take a bad picture in the outdoors of Santa Fe! It is no wonder that so many artists have made Santa Fe and New Mexico their home.

The beautiful view from our room at La Posada de Santa Fe

Our Casita at La Posada de Santa Fe- very private and cosy

On the Friday morning we met with Steve Lewis from the Santa Fe Tourism Board. He was a knowledgable, relaxed and gracious host. After a hearty breakfast (we soon realized all meals in Santa Fe are hearty!!) Steve took us on a tour of the city pointing out many of the historical sites as well as the newest additions. We decided that we would definitely have to explore the Plaza shops and Art Galleries, wander through the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and of course stroll through town looking at the classic Adobe/Pueblo architecture and Native American influences.

Carol and I in Hyde Park- thanks for the great pic Steve!

After a fabulous morning with Steve we met with Kristin Lepisto (Director of Sales & Marketing for Rock Resorts) and had an absolutely delicious lunch at the historic Staab House at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort. Kristin told us the fascinating history of the Staab House- a Victorian Mansion built for his wife by Abraham Staab, a successful Army merchant in 1882 as well as the rest of the story and construction of La Posada. La Posada de Santa Fe is built on six acres of land and includes 157 Guestrooms and Suites, the award winning Feugo Restaurant, a conference centre, the world-class Rock Resorts Spa and most memorable to me, a multi-million dollar art and sculpture display with an on-site curator. It is truly a gorgeous resort with friendly, hospitable staff and an unbelievable collection of art. I loved the pieces by Kirby Kendrick.

Kirby Kendrick talking about her artwork on display at La Posada

The Library in the Staab House (La Posada)

For the rest of Friday afternoon Carol and I ventured into the Plaza area of Santa Fe where we explored the sites, perused a few shops, took many, many pictures and of course found time to stop for a margarita =)

Cheers from the Bell Tower Bar at the La Fonda Hotel

A view from the La Fonda Bell Tower Bar- look at how blue the sky is!!!

That evening we went back to La Posada where we were invited to a chef’s reception at 4 pm. Guests and locals alike gathered in the spotless kitchen to meet the sous chef and munch on delectable delights and sip delicious wines. After the reception we were led through the Staab House and beyond by curator Sara Eyestone who talked about the numerous pieces of artwork and artists on display. The variety of contemporary and traditional artwork in the resort is visually stunning. Every time I walked into a room, I found my eye drawn to the walls. It was almost like staying in a museum- a very relaxed, friendly and chilled out museum!

Tasty delights at the chef's reception

That night we had dinner at the acclaimed Fuego restaurant at the resort. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful my meal was. I started off with the corn/goat cheese soup and had the Cavatelli pasta as an entree. I would have loved to sample the desserts but at that point Carol and I were practically in a food coma =) We meandered back to our casita and enjoyed the warmth of the fire as we lounged in our room.

The sun setting on the beautiful grounds of La Posada

The next day I was up bright and early waiting for the sun to rise so that I could go for a run. I fully blame the time change and not any new found excitement for exercise for this anomaly =) Needless to say, I pulled on the sneakers and made my way to the Farmer’s Market at the Railyard as the sun began to rise over Santa Fe. I didn’t see another person the entire way, the New Yorker in me found this both disturbing and exhilarating. I met Carol at the market and we checked out the many vendors selling produce, bread, sweets, jam, chilies, clothing, plants etc.




After the Farmer’s Market we walked back to the Plaza area and had a great breakfast at a local spot Tia Sophia’s. We needed sustenance for our upcoming art class and afternoon at the spa πŸ˜‰

I have to admit when part of our itinerary included taking an art class I was a bit nervous. For those of you that know me, you know that my creative abilities do not extend to the visual art side. I am lucky if I can make stick people recognizable. So, when I arrived at Sara Eyestone’s Oil Painting Workshop I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I am happy to report that I survived, more than survived. She is an absolutely amazing teacher and I can’t even begin to explain how much I learned in the two hour period. Please visit her site to check out what an incredible teacher and artist she is: Sara Eyestone.Β This workshop was a highlight of the trip. And I think that my apple is very recognizable as an apple, even if it is a bit more on the abstract side πŸ˜‰

A Sandra Guirguis original =)

Well, painting class can be hard work so Carol and I made our way over to the Spa at La Posada and spent the afternoon being pampered. It was a tough job but someone had to do it! The Spa at La Posada is lovely. The woman and men working there are extremely professional and friendly. We both enjoyed attentive service and the massage I received was both relaxing and rejuvenating- thank you Nathan. The Margarita pedicure was heavenly. My New York feet have never been treated so nicely! I just hope they don’t get too used to it πŸ˜‰

On our last night in Santa Fe we wandered through the city admiring the views at night, inhaling the intoxicating smell of the wood burning fireplaces and of course had another great meal at a tapas and wine bar- La Boca.

It was an action packed weekend. My only regret is that we didn’t really have time to see the Galleries. I would have loved one more day to really head out and explore all of the amazing Art. As a destination from NYC, I highly recommend at least a 4 or 5 day stay. The travel time is a bit long even for an extended weekend. It was wonderful to be able to explore the Southwest, a beautiful area of the U.S. Most of all I had an amazing time exploring, laughing and sharing with my good friend Carol. Thanks for inviting me along on this much needed and appreciated adventure. Love ya babe!!!

And now, back to reality… although, I know that every once in awhile I will be daydreaming about Route 66!

I love that my mom reminded me that the last time I traveled on Route 66, I was 4!

Disclosure: Lodging at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort, lunch at Staab House, dinner at Fuego, the Margarita Pedicure at The Spa at La Posada and the Oil Painting Workshop were complimentary. No request that I express a particular point of view was required. All opinions are strictly my own.Β 

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