For 6 days, my mom and I ventured into the northern region of New Mexico to explore her family history and see what the desert country was all about! With over 600 photos, a few souvenirs and stories with twists and turns, I am so thrilled to share with you my trip to Taos and Santa Fe!
Taos, “the soul of the southwest,” is a quaint mountain community filled with artists of all kinds. Taos means “red willow” and is also known for it’s ‘old town’ feel and ski resort. It’s essentially a tasteful canvas with both colorful and detailed architecture. Legendary artists RC Gorman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Pascarella and Tennessee Williams were known to have frequented Taos.
The most popular landmarks in New Mexico are known for being some the oldest buildings in the U.S., and the most sacred to practicing Catholics. San Miguel Mission Chapel in Santa Fe is the oldest church structure in the U.S. To think the wood architecture, paintings, tapestries circa 1630s and Indian dwelling floors (1300s) still exist beautifully, is beyond me. Built in 1610 by Tlaxcalan Indians from Mexico, the chapel’s “reredos’ or wooden altar screen was designed by Laguna Santero, a popular artist in the 17th and 18th centuries. In downtown Santa Fe, Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, and the Loretto Chapel also contain artifacts dating back to the 1600’s. These sites are proof you don’t have to venture internationally to see ancient ruins!
Finally, we have to talk about the food! Authentic New Mexican cuisine will change your life. New Mexicans paint their town red with ristras- a common garnish or wreath of dried chiles for decor and consumption. Red chile is largely what makes New Mexican cuisine so popular and I managed to bring a small enough amount for the plane ride home! El Protrero Trading Post is one of the best places to purchase organic dried chile. This family owned business first opened as a grocery store in 1921 and they now offer a variety of folk art and jewelry!
Thank you for following my southwest journey with #SROnTheRoad! To learn more about my trip, head over to The Local Lady! You’ll find a full blog post PLUS a free download of my southwest travel guide!
Happy Trails, Libby