Saturday, August 24, 2013


As I've mentioned before, summer in Santa Fe is tourist season, and we live just a few blocks away from the main tourist drag. That means for most of the summer, sidewalks have been crowded and restaurants have had wait times, but it also means that the town has been bustling with fun activities.

Sure, there are some days (er, lots of days) when I am walking behind a herd of slow-moving tourists (who don't seem to realize that some people in Santa Fe have places to be or even that other people might like to use the sidewalk) when I am annoyed by those who vacation here.

But the tourist population that descends upon Santa Fe in the summer has to get some credit for making/keeping our little capitol city interesting. For one, they bring lots and lots of money into our economy, which keeps lots of people employed. Santa Fe has a pretty low unemployment rate and the minimum wage in Santa Fe is $10.51 (second-highest in the nation - San Fransisco has us beat by four cents). And when it comes to what sustains our economy, especially in the summertime, it's the tourists.

Tourists in matching Hawaiian shirts!
Another benefit of Santa Fe's summer popularity is that there are lots of cheap or free activities in the summer. I guess people figure that if tourists are spending a bunch of money on food, lodging, expensive pieces of art, etc., there should be some activities they can partake in without spending money. I like this. I have seen live music almost every week, visited art exhibits and museums, usually without spending a dime.

Of course, I like tourists best when they are my family and friends visiting me! A couple weekends ago, my mom and brother visited for a long weekend and we got to do some of my favorite things together: visit the capitol building, shop at the farmer's market, play with Assisi, and eat tacos. It also gave us an excuse to visit some place I'd never been, such as the New Mexico Museum of History and the National Cemetery:

Mom at the cemetery.

I always seem to be visiting interesting cemeteries with my mom. This one is on top of a hill, so it had a beautiful view of the city, especially as thunderstorm clouds slowly moved toward us. This cemetery also has gravestones from the Civil War:

Didn't know that New Mexico was part of the Civil War? Me neither! The next day at the History Museum, we educated ourselves and learned that Santa Fe only spent 18 days as a Confederate territory before the Union took them back. Anyway, as always, it was great to have visitors and to show my family around our cute little high desert town.

Paul & I at the Oldest House in the USA.
Last weekend was the Indian Market, which happens in the plaza and is a GIANT market of American Indian artwork. It is so big that an estimated 150,000 people come to town for it. As much as we love looking at art, we weren't looking forward to all the crowds near our neighborhood, so we took the opportunity to visit our friend Mallory in Taos on Sunday!

Mallory and Eric - I made them pose awkwardly in the parking lot.
Taos is a cute town that is pretty similar to Santa Fe, with a plaza and some nice mountains in the background, but it definitely has its own unique charms. It is right next to the Rio Grande, and we spent some time at the Rio Grande Gorge, admiring the view.

We also drank some delicious beer at Eske's Brew Pub (go there) and went to a bookstore that had adorable cats in their windowsill:

LOOK AT ALL THE CUTENESS IN THIS PICTURE. Everyone knows that my two favorite things in the world are books and cats, so you can imagine my utter joy to discover these best friend kitties who live in a bookstore. Dream life.

Precious felines aside, it was real nice to escape the craziness of Santa Fe and spend a relaxing day in Taos. As great as the summer has been, I am looking forward to the fall: fewer tourists, cooler weather, and scarves! (I cannot tell you how weird it has been to go so long without wearing scarves, hats, and many layers of clothing.) So until next time, I hope everyone enjoys the end of August!

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