Last week we took a quick trip to Santa Fe, NM, spending three full days there. It seems like we had just gotten back from out west only to turn around and head back out there. Over the summer, when fall seemed so far away, my mom said she wanted to go visit our friends Louise and Dean who live in Santa Fe. She and I often take trips together so I said I'd like to go along. My dad and Kevin quickly said they wanted in too so it ended up being a family vacation.
The day we got there we had lunch, took a walk in their neighborhood, took a nap, caught up with Louise and Dean, and tried to keep our eyes open until 9pm MST after having gotten up at 4am EST to make our flights.
Our first full day there Dean, Kevin and I broke from the pack and hiked up Mt. Atalaya right in downtown Santa Fe. It was a short but steep hike up (about 2.5 miles to the top) and gave us great views of Santa Fe and the Rio Grande valley.
Our second full day we drove out to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu. We drove by Georgia O'Keefe's home and hiked a 3 mile trail that gave us a good view of the Piedra Lumbre basin, which O'Keefe frequently painted.
After Ghost Ranch we spent the afternoon at Ojo Caliente spa. It has natural hot springs they've cultivated into various pools ranging from 89-107 degrees. I hopped from one pool to another, stopping to lounge in a hammock a couple of times. It was really relaxing.
Day 3 (last full day) we drove up the Sangre de Cristo Mountain to the ski resort base (a winter trip may be in our future). We hiked along a trail there for a bit and then wandered around downtown Santa Fe. We stopped to eat a frito pie, which had recently been a source of much uproar after Anthony Bourdain's bad review.
Overall it was very relaxing and great to catch up with Louise and Dean as well as spend some time with my mom and dad. Living so far away from Louise and Dean means we don't see them that often. I am glad Kevin came along and got to spend some time getting to know them. At 67 and 74 respectively, they are our models for aging. They are still very active, hiking up mountains, doing yoga, playing basketball and traveling around the world. Later this month they are headed to South Africa and Madagascar for a 5 week trip.
It was also nice to go the the Southwest. Kevin and I agree that while we like visiting deserts, we wouldn't want to live in one. I would like the 300 days of sun though, that would be nice.