Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Road Trip to Santa Fe and Beyond

After more than a month of being a homebody, it was time to hit the road again. This time not for a marathon, but for some R&R in Santa Fe and then a long weekend volunteering with other riding friends at a bonus rally event in Grand Junction.

Santa Fe, for me, is one of the perfect little towns to settle in for a few days and relax. The lovely villa at Villas de Santa Fe is comfortable and very nicely located within an easy stroll from the historic town center and plenty of things to see and do, and plenty of resources - Starbucks, grocery store, CVS, fun little shops.

It was a long, boring drive to get to Santa Fe, with an overnight stop in Snyder TX along the way. But I did finally arrive in town around 2-2:30 PM and stopped at Albertson's to buy groceries and wine for my few days' stay and drove around to the other side of the shopping center to get myself a Starbucks cappuccino. Finally! I'd arrived! I moved right into my villa, unloading the car and stowing the groceries. Then I plopped down on the sofa to enjoy my cappucino and watch the news and then the night's Olympics coverage.

The next morning I walked down to that Starbucks - a 1.5 mile round trip - and brought my drink back to the villa and had breakfast of Cheerios and fresh strawberries. I caught a bit of the morning Olympics coverage, then walked to the pretty central square in historic Santa Fe, enjoying the beautiful weather along the way. Pleasant temps, low humidity, such a refreshing change from the oppressive weather I left behind in S.E. Texas!

Fun little duo on banjo and guitar. They were fun to talk to

Tops on my "to do" list was to get to Senor Murphy's candy shop to buy my favorite chocolate candy: chile pistachio dark chocolate bark! I discovered this shop several years ago on my first trip to Santa Fe. Each time I return to this quaint little town, I make a point of stopping in. And when I'm back in Texas craving it, I order it online from their website. It's addictive!

Oh yeah, come to mamma!! Chile pistachio dark chocolate bark

Some more Senor Murphy delectables

Wonderful aroma coming from this chicken fajita food stand

As I passed by the central square, I noticed that the food carts were starting up their grills, giving off their tantalizing aromas, so I walked back that way to check them out and to listen to some of the live music being performed in the shade of the large trees ringing the square.

The best chicken fajita wrap ever!!

The chicken fajita cart caught my interest, so a chicken fajita wrap for lunch it will be! As I sat at one of the tables along the edge of the park, I ate my lunch and enjoyed the most excellent blue grass music coming from a delightful duo playing fiddle and banjo.

Excellent blue grass duo to entertain during lunch

I slowly made my way back to the villa, taking the roundabout way through the town, checking out the shop windows along the way. But I confess to being eager to return to my rooms so that I could watch more of the Olympics. I'd already missed two full days' worth while on the road. So back to my villa, TV tuned to the coverage and thinking about dinner. I'd bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, and plenty of vegetables for a big salad.

I got onto my laptop computer and planned out a running route for the next morning, one that would be scenic and with a coffee shop stop near the end. I came up with a 3.5 mile route and was actually eager to get out the next morning to do it. I'd been getting soooo bored lately, doing miles in my own neighborhood. I was looking forward to the change of scenery.

7,200 feet above sea level! Yes, I was well aware of this from the moment I arrived in town and had to haul my luggage to my villa! But the exercise will do me good!

It took very little effort to get out the door early the next morning for that run! I was so eager for the newness of the locale. My route took me east and then south along Paseo de Peralta for about a mile, a gradual uphill climb past neat banks and businesses which began to give way to private residences. I turned left on Palace Ave, which continued the gradual uphill climb through a beautiful neighborhood filled with mature homes with large trees,and lovely landscaping. Huge mounds of morning glories were everywhere, their giant white blooms nodding in the morning sun.

Wednesday morning run route...3.5 miles including Starbucks

I then turned right onto El Alamo Street, a short connector street to Alameda Street. Homes lined this street to the north, while a lovely landscaped park - Santa Fe River Park - ran the length of the street on the south side. The Santa Fe River ran through the middle of this park, with its lovely small waterfalls and little white water cataracts burbling and gurgling along. A pedestrian path with occasional benches lined the park perimeter. It was lovely!
Google street view of Alameda Rd and Santa Fe River Park
Then I was back onto Paseo de Peralta, as it curved west and then I was passing the state capitol building, with it's modern yet very attractive exterior design. I turned north on Don Gaspar Ave, heading into the little downtown area and the Starbucks which is just one block off of the little town square.

Hot cappuccino in hand, I finished my outing, walking the last few blocks to my villa and to breakfast.

I enjoyed my little run so much that I repeated the next morning, my last morning in Santa Fe. I shortened it a bit, but it still felt good! I'd packed up most of my things the night before and had moved most of it out to the car. All I needed to do was shower, have breakfast, pack the perishables, and check out.

Repeat part of Wednesday's route on Thursday morning.

Grand Junction CO is the next stop on this trip so I headed the car north of town on U.S. 285. Next stop: The Meadery of Colorado in Palisade, CO and then on to the hotel in Grand Junction for the next few days.

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