Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Mexico (lots o' photos)

Since it's been almost a month since I went to New Mexico, I thought it was about time to post some photos from my trip and show off a few goodies I purchased. We were primarily in Santa Fe, but we wandered over to Albuquerque and Taos for a few days. New Mexico is so beautiful! Despite it being in the southwest, the weather was pretty chilly and I found myself a bit unprepared, having brought only shorts and short sleeved tops.

The flight over was great and as we were passing Colorado I looked out and saw snow covered mountains! In humble little Minnesota, we don't have any mountains so it was a new sight for me to see.

New Mexico is almost an entirely different culture from the Upper Midwest. The art, food, and general atmosphere are influenced by Native culture as well as Mexican and Spanish traditions.

The history museum in Old Town Albuquerque had a magnificent sculpture garden.

Adobe walls were everywhere!

On our way up to the mountains, we stopped at Chimayo, an old church which attracts thousands of tourists because of the miracles performed there. Speaking of miracles, this little restaurant on-site has miraculously good tamales! I devoured a chicken and chile one.

This little guy was living outside Chimayo :)

Up in the mountains, it was super windy and chilly. I definitely could've used a sweatshirt (and hey, this IS a Minnesotan talking!). The forests were almost Minnesotan, even if the elevations were not.

At the top of one of the mountains, in a tired little run-down artists' town. It was so secluded and desolate, all the buildings were run down and the only businesses were a sleepy general store and a few galleries scattered throughout.

After driving through the mountains, we headed into Taos (Julia Roberts lives here!) and ate some pizza and subs. I also wandered into a leather store and bought myself a vest from the kid's section. Ah, to fit into children's wear!

Also in Taos was this lovely little sculpture garden. Doesn't everything look so grand with the mountains in the background?

The people of Taos laying down the law.

I broke down and got this Taos sweatshirt. I knew that another trek through the mountains would warrant such! I also bought many pairs of New Mexico socks ;)

Next stop was at Bandelier National Monument. I'd been there many years before and had a terrible experience in the hot weather. I figured that it wouldn't be so bad in the fair weather...and I was right! A slight sunburn proved nothing to some of the magnificent ruins.

Bandelier National Monument's history extends some 10,000 years back to nomadic hunter-gatherers. Many of the structures dated to 1150 CE when the pueblo peoples began building more permanent homes.

They built their home in ridiculously high elevations. Skinny pathways and crumbling stairs would lead them higher and higher up the steep rock.

This remaining structure is the base of a 4 story building. You can see pegs where ceiling and floor joists were set in, and holes in the rock served as cool storage.

Ladders allowed you to climb into some ancient rooms. Once inside you were free of the sun's harsh rays and the temperature would drop dramatically. The last part of the monument is a 140ft climb to the alcove house. The ladders seem never ending and the narrow pathways make traversing even more difficult. It's amazing to think of all the people who originally built these pathways...and would walk them daily!

At the top of the Alcove House is a ceremonial kiva. You can climb down there and feel the temperature drop dramatically. Scientists think the kivas were used for ceremonial or political purposes.

After Bandelier, we dropped into Los Alamos, New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were created. It continues to be used as testing grounds for atomic and nuclear sciences. In Los Alamos is the Bradbury Museum, all about atomic bombs. Above is a replica of the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

A replica of the Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki. It was difficult to go through the museum, given my opinions on such violent and destructive war tactics. The museum celebrated all the efforts that went into the bombs, as well as all the death which led to America's win.

Our last day was spent in Santa Fe, traipsing through downtown for some last-minute shopping as well as checking out Jackalope, an outdoor mercado which sells some amazing art. The handpainting on the sculptures is so remarkable and alien to Minnesota!

I didn't actually buy anything for myself from here, but the colours are so brilliant! I can't say it'd all fit into the decor of my house, but it's beautiful to look at.

In downtown Santa Fe I picked up this kitschy little t-shirt.

I also picked up this sun dress. That being said, the sun hasn't made much of an appearance so far this year! We had a couple days 100°F days in a row, and now Minnesota has sunk back to 60 - 70°F with a chilly breeze and no sun. Where are you, summer?!

Of course I couldn't leave the Southwest without a cowboy hat!

A mirrored jewelry box I picked up at The Rainbow Man in downtown Santa Fe.

Day of the Dead mirror also from The Rainbow Man

A dreamcatcher, wooden feather earrings, and a pin of the Thunderbird. When you're buying Native art, you have to be careful. A lot of dealers will sell you knock off pieces which were not Native made. It's important to go to trustworthy dealers, check for inscriptions, and get a note of authenticity.

And flying back to Minnesota! I'll be back on an airplane on June 28th, when I'm flying into Amsterdam to spend 32 days in Europe! We'll be hitting Prague, Munich, Geneva, Lyon, Paris, Nantes, London, and Amsterdam! Please give me suggestions of where to go, shop, and eat. It'll be my first time in Europe and I want to do it right!


alex boutrous said...

wow! new mexico looks quite beautiful.

all your purchases are great as well.

xoxo alex.

Jamie Rose said...

So many great pictures! I've never been to the southwest, but these are making me want to go. I really love the ones of the ancient city built right into the mountains. All that old stuff is fascinating to me. And you managed to look super cute while treking around the whole trip!

Amber Rose, Laughing With Broken Eyes said...

It looks like such fun! Those dolls are really creepy, though.

Bad Taste Toast said...

Wow, looks like a really cool trip and lots of fun! With everythign having a Spanish or Mexican touch there I think I would have felt like running through a huge Mexican theme park :)
I totally LOVE these Ney Mexico socks with the native prints! And all these crazy colourful art objects, really cool!
This nuclear bombs museum however seems terrible to me, I understand why bombs are displayed but... hm I dunno. I understand other countries national pride but I will never understand why nations of the world are proud of having killed each other.
Anyhow, your photos made my wish for a USA road trip come back :) It must be so awesome to live in such a huge country that combines so many different landscapes and cultures!

Em said...

Looks like you had an awesome time. I don't know where you went shopping but I thought Santa Fe and Albequrque had a bitchin' selection of thrift stores. I found a pair of black doc martens for $15 and a pair of cowboy boots for $25!

You look adorable, as always. xo

erica marie said...

I love your purchases, especially the sun dress. Great photos!!

Maria N said...

The photos are beautiful.. I love your outfit too, you have great legs!


schietree said...

I just came back from New Mexico too! Went to a lot of the same places, it's such an amazing state.

When in Amsterdam, please try to find a recommendation for the best Rijsttafel (pronounced 'rice-taffel')- it's a dutch-indonesian dish of many little plates of deliciousness. You will not be left hungry.

Check out Brick Lane in London for some of the best curry houses in the UK (curry is pretty much the national dish of Britain, going by popularity). My fav dish is Saag Paneer. Yum!

Also, Le Sofa in Paris (have to google it, we found it by chance) has awesome service and, for the daring, sine amazing Steak Tartar.

Hope this helps!

The American Minor said...

Love your blog and all of the pictures! New Mexico looks beautiful.

In London, definitely try and see a show at the West End. In Paris, definitely go to the Louvre, because besides hours worth of gorgeous art, there's places to go to shop! And head to the Montmartre district, cause there is soo much to do and they have great places for food.

Laura Natalie said...

girl, this place looks so interesting! :O
i lov the fact that you started posting about your life too, not only fashion stuff :) ♥

and i cant wait to tell myself 'shes here' when youre in prague haha :D

pulin et ondine said...

that purple dress is so beautiful and it won't need much accessoires to give a nice look, because it definetly does do now! and i like that batic art on it!