The Santa Fe Skip

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My nose was an hour past an icy knob and the coffee in my hands radiated warmth. The somber violin swept the west side of the plaza, reminding all cheerful shoppers of the history, the culture, and the depth of humanity. Artisans lined the east side selling trinkets and jewels, each with a smile on their face for the tourists.  A moment later, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi’s bells sounded the passage of time.

I took a deep breath of the cold air and eagerly gazed around.  The sienna brown pueblos, laden with fresh snow and luminarias, signaled a certain time of year:

Christmastime in Santa Fe.

There is a place of magic for everyone.  For me, there is no place equal to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is the small capitol that takes an hour to get to from anywhere it seems. The drive leads you on a grand adventure and the moment you see the city, being so unlike any other American capitol I’ve ever been to, you cannot help but beam in joy.

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The mom and pop stores reside next to ritzy establishments and the conglomeration of town folk, being the uber wealthy and artists, join together luxury and philosophy in a way that would surprise you.

The reason for the sojourn would be none other than a quest for Christmas. The snow has yet to fall in Albuquerque, despite our own gleaming luminarias and caroling. Caravan we did, in search of the Christmas spirit and cold.

From the first step into the slush and snow from the car, the first stop would be for coffee. Soon after began the stroll through the plaza where every step of mine had a bounce. We skipped through parks, gazed at Cathedrals, Chapels, and Missions, and tromped through the snow. Surprisingly, I seized the opportunity to also serenade strangers with my favorite carols (only way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear?). Our heels had been covered in snow from the paths and we waxed poetry of the gorgeous scenery before us.

foto (4)foto (3)We trotted, trolled, and toured the gorgeous city and stopped for some green chile pizza (so hot!). The burn in our throats complimented the bite of the cold on our faces.

If you’ve never had real green chile (yes, it is green), it is a magical substance that adds the perfect amount of heat to anything. Burgers? yes. Pizza? yes. Any breakfast food? you bet. Steak? My mouth is watering.

By the time our hands were glittering with near frostbite, we made our way back to Albuquerque and to the River of Lights.

It is a magical land decked by robotics and rope lights, examining the world around us by way of Christmas illumination. There were T-Rexes, automobiles, lions, sunflowers draping downwards (as it was night, that would technically make sense), and all of Albuquerque’s children running a muck.

Joining them seemed the most natural thing to do.

The botanical garden in Albuquerque welcomed us with open (and quite cold) arms. The air reflected the shrill freeze, hanging ever so softly above our heads. Within moments of arrival and hearing the faint voice of Bing Cosby, I was waltzing in the courtyard. Down, up, up, down, up, up.

Through the maze we went, down the rabbit hole and up the stairway to heaven. But it was the underwater seascape that stopped me completely in my tracks.

The entire field was covered by an underwater adventure. The giant blue whale, the fish and seaweed, and the octopus created a merry party I’ve always wanted to have (underwater tea parties anyone? Anyone else have an awesome childhood?!)

It seemed only necessary to literally skip through the park singing Octopus’ Garden by The Beatles.

I’d like to be under the sea  
In an octopus’ garden in the shade  
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been  
In his octopus’ garden in the shade

We would sing and dance around  
Because we know we can’t be found  
I’d like to be under the sea  
In an octopus’ garden in the shade

Sing and dance around we did. The stars twinkled and the man in the moon chuckled along with each step we took. Who said adults can’t have a very merry Christmas?

Here’s hoping you have your own adventure and possibly let your hair down for this merry time of year. May I suggest skipping?! Merry Christmas all!

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