New Mexico!

Day Two - Jackalope's, Old Town Santa Fe & Gabriel's - Wednesday, April 19th

It's remarkable how well you can sleep after driving eight hundred miles. Morning comes and eventually we pull ourselves out of bed, get a quick breakfast at Andrea's (it's included in the room), and then drive off down the street to Jackalopes...

Jackalope's Santa Fe
...and for the next couple of hours, that's where we are, checking out the tons of pottery, furniture, and decoration that cover the place's five acres.  Lot's of cool stuff - and it's really only the fact that we couldn't see driving all around New Mexico with, say, a big clay chimenea rattling (and breaking) around the back of the car.  We do get some really good green chili salsa, though... Prairie-dogs at Jackalope's

Oh, they have their own prairie-dog colony on the grounds.

Finally leaving Jackalopes, our next destination is downtown (old town) Santa Fe - but not directly.  We've read about a restaurant called "Gabriel's" that is supposedly very good and is also supposedly about ten miles north of Santa Fe.  Since this sounds like a good place to eat dinner, we want to make reservations.  However, we also want to know where the place is so we don't miss those reservations come dinner time.

So we head on up the 84/285, out of town, pass the Santa Fe Opera House, pass the flee market, and eventually - pretty much next to nothing at all - we come across Gabriel's.

The place looks good, so we head in and make our reservations (and check out the menu) for that evening, then head back to Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Plaza Cam

It's kinda a gray day - and cold - as we reach downtown and begin driving about, pretty much randomly, to check the area out.  Santa Fe may have more galleries per square foot than any other city on Earth.  Literally every other building on most of these streets is somebody's gallery, displaying/selling everything from pottery to paintings to jewelry to sculpture.  And what isn't a gallery is often a museum.

BTW, calling the Santa Fe River a "river" is kinda amusing.  Even by the rather forgiving standards of Southern California (where "river" usually just means it has water in it most of the year), the Santa Fe River is, well, a brook at best.  It runs basically east/west through downtown Santa Fe, bordered by a narrow park.  Okay, it's nicely scenic - it ain't a river... Palace of the Governors

The vendors For one brief moment, it tries to snow on us - but the effort is minor and fades out quickly.

After driving about for a while, we finally park near the "Palace of the Governors" and commence to walk about.  We visit the "Palace," and the big Cathedral, and the tons of shops/galleries/whatnot. I even manage to visit the Santa Fe Public Library briefly.

Santa Fe, I must admit, is a beautiful small city.  Much of its older buildings are still in existence and well maintained and most of the newer ones actually not only make an effort to blend in, but frequently succeed at doing this.  It proves to be yet another "Place I Could Live In."
The Cathedral Old town
A beautiful bronze at one of the galleriesAnd another bronze

Back in the room, Dee Dee hides from the camera... Hours later, we head back to the hotel briefly to get ready to go to dinner (passing the "New Mexico School for the Deaf" - which to our surprise also has a prairie-dog colony on its grounds).  Soon, we're on our way back north, heading for Gabriel's.

I must say right off the bat; Gabriel's is absolutely fantastic.  They serve southwestern food and everything we had there was pure yummy.  Their signature dish is fresh guacamole, made right at your table, and if you go there, you better try it.

It takes the guy doing it about two minutes to make a bowl of guacamole, starting with whole avocadoes and ending up with a nice smooth dip.  It's utterly fascinating to watch him do this (and Dee Dee commented "how come it takes me an hour to do that?") and it's darn good on the house tortilla chips.

Décor is nicely southwestern, the staff is fast, cheerful, and helpful, and this is one of those three lone places Dee Dee got a good cup of coffee.

'Course, it's pretty annoying that one of our favorite restaurants is eight-hundred miles away from home...

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