Thursday, May 31, 2018

Visiting old town Santa Fe

We had errands to do this morning (blood draw for labwork for me, get tires rotated on Jeep, and drop off prescription to be filled for Dwayne), and then we headed to the Santa Fe Visitor's Center. I thought I had understood that we could get a walking map there - and, I guess we did - but I was looking for one that said, "Start here, turn right there, visit this building on the next corner..." - and that wasn't what we got. But the map we got had good pointers of things to see, and the lady at the Visitor's Center said that we could park in the spaces that were indicated as "For Official Government Business Only" if we signed in at their register (because that made us "official"!).

Almost next door to the Visitor's Center were the Oldest Church and Oldest House...
San Miguel Church

Outside the church, there was a display of adobe bricks that had been recently made - I think by children
Adobe Making Experience
The Traditional Way
Adobe. Sun-dried bricks made from sand, clay-rich soil, straw, and water are one of the oldest building materials known to man.
Several ratios of materials are tried to determine the highest level of clay content in the mix without the brick cracking when dried. The wet mix is placed in a wooden form that is immediately lifted to allow the brick to begin drying. After a couple of days, the bricks are stood on edge to continue drying. About a week later, they can be stacked for storage and will continue to dry for 3-4 weeks. Brick mortar is the same mixture but without the straw.
You may be able to see hand prints or other decorative touches on the faces of some of the bricks.
San Miguel Church

Exposed adobe block walls inside the church (this was formerly a doorway, now displayed to show the bricks and the thickness of the walls).

View toward the altar in San Miguel's

View toward the choir loft. All the beams were hand carved.
From there we headed down an alley to the "Oldest House" - we entered through a gift shop.

Entry to the Oldest House in the U.S.A. from the gift shop next door to it.

It was made up of two rooms - I don't know how Dwayne got these pictures with no people in them - there were about 6-7 other people in the house at the same time that we were there and it felt FULL!

The second room with kiva in corner.
We took pictures outside the Loretto Chapel, but decided not to go in. You might want to go to to see pictures of its famous spiral staircase. The pictures online look beautiful, but we decided we didn't want to pay the entry fee...

We walked on to The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi - this was the church that we parked outside of when we met Vivie and Dave for dinner in Santa Fe a week ago.

The gardens are pretty and peaceful...

Bell tower

Statue of St Francis

Prayer of St Francis

Inside the cathedral, looking from the altar area toward the pews.

A view of the doors with their raised panels.

The ceiling...

Rose window at the back


There was a labyrinth outside...

There were a couple of women walking it.
A view of the cathedral from the plaza

Market at Palace of the Governors

Palace of the Governors
Another view of the market - Holly told us that the vendors here change frequently, that if you see something you might want, you should purchase when you see it, because that vendor may not be at the location tomorrow.

The plaza
After walking through that part of old town Santa Fe, we returned to Chocolate Maven for lunch (the same place Celesta took us yesterday). We like it a lot and there are a number of interesting items on the menu that we wanted to try!
We enjoyed walking around in Santa Fe, but I have to admit that it was not comfortable to me to have to pay to visit churches... I realize that they are historic sites and need to have funds to maintain them, but... it just felt odd and uncomfortable.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

More visits with friends!

We had arranged to get together with friend, Celesta, today, and what a wonderful visit we had - with conversations ranging across varying subjects including domicile and moving, eschatology (end times) and Christian theological doctrines, cats and travel! The time flew by and I'm glad we're connected by email so I can continue with my questions as time goes by!

I have some guest-photos today as Celesta sent me some that she took as well!
Celesta took some interior pictures of Miss Doozie, which made me realize that we haven't shared pictures of the inside very much... so this picture shows the "kitchen" and beyond through the bathroom into the bedroom.

A view toward the front, with Dwayne in the driver's seat. We have taken out the couch on the side behind the driver's seat. The original plan was to create a desk-type area but we haven't gotten that accomplished yet...

We enjoyed sitting outside - before noon it was comfortable to sit outside under the awning.

Dwayne and I outside under the awning.

And a picture with Celesta and me under the awning.

Then we headed over to Celesta's condo and got to meet Romeo....

And Rascal! (He was fascinated with the sound of the shutter on my phone!)
They were such friendly kitties!

Not shy like our two!

They *might* be just a wee little tiny bit spoiled...

But they let Celesta live in *their* condo with them! Isn't that kind of them? Ha!

"Where did Mommy go? Is she coming back???" Such sweet boys!

Celesta's condo from the outside

Celesta took us to a restaurant called Chocolate Maven - you might think that they would only have chocolate (which would have been totally okay with me!), but instead they have a very diverse menu with lots of interesting and delicious sounding choices.

Dwayne got a Reuben, and Celesta got a salad, but I got this Brie and Chicken Wrap - it was DELICIOUS. I took this picture to remind me to research an option on the sandwich - it could be made with chicken breast or "chicken-style seitan".
I had never heard of seitan before... I looked it up quickly while we were at the restaurant and found that it is a high protein wheat gluten meat substitute. I decided to go with chicken breast, but thought seitan sounded interesting. If you want to read up more on seitan, here are some links I found interesting:
Since it is wheat - it has the advantage over tofu of not being a soy product (which I have difficulty digesting) but it then is completely wheat gluten, which is a problem for folks who have gluten digestion issues.

What a great day - spending it with our friend, and getting to discuss all sorts of things, and learning about something new (seitan) too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Moving into Santa Fe

Last night was a full moon and it was so pretty from our campsite - my camera doesn't do it justice...
Moon rising behind us...

The moon along with our flag flying at the back of Miss Doozie.
 We drove into Santa Fe at midday today. We had a slight scare this morning as the curb/passenger side front tire was showing very low air pressure. We were able to air it up from the on-board air by starting up the bus and letting air pressure build up. We raised the tire totally off the ground and put soapy water on it to see if we could see any evidence of air leakage. We didn't find any, and it has held air fine today - so we think that we probably did not get the TireMinder cap replaced tightly enough after we checked air pressures and temperatures as we were leaving Albuquerque. It's always something!!!

Coming off of I-25 onto Cerrillos Road - there is evidently a new traffic pattern. The satellite view on Google Maps doesn't show it, but the regular map view does:
Do you see how route 14 crosses over itself and then back? Coming from the south on CanAm Hwy (I-25), you exit and stay to the left on the ramp, and get onto route 14 on what would normally be the wrong way of traffic! You proceed to a traffic light and route 14 crosses back over. It was disconcerting to be merging onto what seemed like it would be on-coming traffic!!! I'm sure it is supposed to help with flow, but it sure was scarey for me until I was sure that the road I was merging onto was going the same way that I wanted to go! (google maps)

We arrived at Trailer Ranch RV Park and have settled in to our site. Dwayne headed out to pick up the additional V-belt that we needed to get from Autozone and an Amazon order that we had sent to an Amazon Locker at Whole Foods.

The sites are nice here - not as much separation as we had at the COE park, but full hookups and very well maintained park. They have "Marriage Savers" - guys who guide you to your site and get you parked. We are not accustomed to that level of service - it is nice!
We're looking forward to meeting up with our friend Celesta (and her two kitties!) and seeing more of Santa Fe over the next few days!