Mom and I sans our food, because I can never remember to take a picture before diving in!
We all had plenty of coffee as well, which fortified us for the day ahead. There was an arts and crafts festival happening on the plaza, so we checked that out and also went back to the Palace of the Governors, where only the native American vendors can sell their wares - spots are chosen by lottery each morning, so you never know what you'll see each day:
Early in the morning, while it wasn't very crowded.
Your knees get a good workout whenever you want to see something close up.
My purchases - top is a pair of denim lapis earrings, which my mom got for me as a late birthday gift. The blue color is just beautiful and I wear them all the time when I'm not wearing the bottom pair of earrings, which were made by a young artist whose Indian name means rain, so he incorporated that symbolism into the earrings with the circles, meaning rain.
I love how each artist signs their work on the back. I also picked up some liquid silver bracelets from a vendor at the arts and craft show - these were only $7 each, so I couldn't resist getting my favorite colors.
Cindi bought a beautiful silver bracelet from this man - it was inscribed with lots of symbols and he wrote all of them and their meaning on a card for her. What a fun memento to have from our trip!
Once we finished shopping, we found a free shuttle to the base of Canyon Road, which is where a ton of art studios and galleries are. Everyone kept saying it was a steep road to walk up, but we stopped so often at different galleries that it didn't bother us. There were so many interesting things to see, both inside and outside! My brother took a lot of cool pictures - here's a little composite of some of them:
Art everywhere you look, including artists at work!
We saw a sweet dog peeking out of the gate of his owner's studio, so naturally we had to go pet the dog and check out the art:
Miss Roe, saying hello.
I loved so much of the work of Roe's owner, artist Jeffrey Schweitzer. He has written several children's books that are a bit unusual for children, but in a good way. Many of his art series were compelling to me, but I couldn't stop looking at his "The Drifter" works, and I ended up buying a limited-edition print - I tried to take a picture of it on my wall but the glass in the frame was too reflective, so I took a screen shot of it from his website:
This one is called The Drifter: Sailing the Seas
Cindi bought a picture as well - it's an actual page from his next book, which is pretty cool. I was on a budget and didn't come home with any of his books, but I definitely want to buy some in the future. We spent quite a bit of time at his studio and ended up meeting his wife and new baby, so between the baby, the dog, and the art, it was pretty much my ideal day.
But wait, there's more! We were getting hot and thirsty, so we found a place for a drink - El Farol restaurant, which had just reopened the previous night, after a five-month renovation. We sat at the bar and enjoyed our drinks:
The bartender made my mom and I a non-alcoholic drink of muddled lime, tonic water, and bitters - it was refreshing and so good! I'm glad to know of another drink to order that isn't just club soda with lime.
We left and walked around some more art galleries for a while longer before returning to El Farol for a late lunch/early dinner, as we were going to the Santa Fe Opera that evening and needed to eat beforehand. The food at El Farol is outstanding. Everyone was happy with their choices, and my mom had a Santa Fe burger that she managed to stack up high with all the fixin's, something she is known for in our family:
I did manage to take a few food pictures, including the burrata and tomato salad, mom's aforementioned burger, and my acquate BLT, which included flash fried avocado, heirloom tomatoes, lime crema, smoked bacon, and living head lettuce.
This was also where we had our celebrity sighting! Who, you might be wondering? Well, we are wondering that, too. But at one point during our meal, a waiter (not ours) came through the door that's behind my mother and brother in the picture above, walked up to Jeff, clapped him on the back while reaching to shake his hand and said something like "hey man, it's great to see you here, I'm a big fan of your show and watch all the episodes" - and then he was gone. It happened so fast that all Jeff could do was shake his hand and say "thanks" - and then we were all confused, because WHO does he look like? Based on where we were sitting, the waiter had to only have seen my brother from the side and back, although we were facing a window and he could have seen him through there as well, I suppose. We still have no idea who my brother was supposed to be, but of course he went with the celebrity thing and had Cindy pay for the meal with her credit card so his real name wasn't exposed, LOL!
We took an Uber back to our condo after our meal, and my mom got to experience what a normal Uber ride is like, which is to say it was easy and flawless - well, except that our driver didn't acknowledge having a celebrity in her vehicle, but maybe, unlike the waiter, she was playing it cool.
One of the places my brother wanted to see when he went to Santa Fe was the Santa Fe Opera, which is a beautiful open-air venue, where you not only get to see a show, but a lovely desert sunset beyond the stage as well. As it turned out, because of the Fiesta events happening that weekend, there was a Mariachi Extravaganza at the opera, so he bought tickets, managing to snag front-row-center seats (as a celebrity would). Here's some pictures from our evening:
Panorama of the venue, from the front of the stage.
Arriving - fancy tailgating beforehand; some of the mariachi players walking in.
I have to say, sitting front-row-center was pretty darn nice!
There were four members of the Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles performing with the last band - oh the energy they had! It was so fun to watch them up close.
Three bands performed:
Mariachi Sonidos del Monte - they were from Santa Fe, and there was a lot of audience interaction with them - so fun!
Mariachi Garabaldi de Jaime Cuellar - they were the largest band.
It was the guy on the left's final performance with the band - he was moving on to another band, so they had him out singing a lot. But just about every band member had a turn at the microphone, singing part of a song at least.
At the very end of the concert, all three mariachi bands came onstage to perform together, and it truly was an extravaganza! We loved it but just wished we knew more of the songs so we could sing along with the audience. Must brush up on my Spanish mariachi songs for next time!
Our last full day in Santa Fe was a little less active - we hit up Tia Sophia's for breakfast one last time, and then my mom, Jeff, and Cindi went to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum while I wandered around the plaza - I'd been there two years ago so didn't feel like I needed to go to that museum again. We relaxed in the condo in the afternoon, and had dinner there; then we all flew home on Monday. It was a great trip, a great vacation, and it was really nice to spend time with my family. I'm very glad I got to go!