Today was a sightseeing day. Santa Fe is an amazing city. It is the oldest capital city in North America. It seems more Spanish than Mexican, although its history combines the two. Last fall Lexi and I (Toni) went to visit Deni (our sister) who was living in Albuquerque, NM at the time. Now she is in Chicago.
We toured many beautiful areas in the southwest including Santa Fe. Deni suggested I read “Death Comes for the Archbishop” by Willa Cather. It revolves around Archbishop Lamy in the mid 1800’s and life in this area. It kind of brings this area to life and its easier to imagine the history of all these churches and buildings.
It started as a girls school and of course a convent. The choir loft did not have a staircase built, which was not uncommon. Ordinarily the choir members, usually men, would just climb up a ladder. This was not easy for the nuns and girls, so they prayed to St. Joseph (patron of carpenters) to help them. Legend has it that an unknown carpenter showed up, built the circular staircase with only very basic tools and used his own wood. He left when it was completed and did not ask to be paid. The wood is not from this area and the staircase has been featured on “Unsolved Mysteries.” Regardless, it is an amazing sight. The school closed in 1968 and a private family purchased the chapel. They have been very kind to it.
Next stop was of course lunch! Food is also a major attraction here. We had a delicious buffet lunch of what I would call Spanish/Mexican food. Desert was some kind of white, creamy pudding and anisette sugar cookies. Yum. Now that our strength was back, we continued our sightseeing.
On to the Palace of the Governors, now a history museum, and the Mission of San Miguel.
The Mission is considered the oldest church in the US…although I think I have heard that claim before. At any rate, it dates to 1610 and although it has been renovated through the years, it still has the original adobe walls.
Santa Fe has many little shops, but we didn’t shop today. It is also home to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. I had been there before and Julie saw a traveling show recently, so we passed on it.
Tomorrow we leave for Wichita Falls, Texas with a quick stop in Oklahoma. At this point, we have been to 41 states. By the way, it is freezing here. Mom said it was 90 today in Orlando…