And now, to Socorro (founded in 1598!), to begin the last leg of our trip and a mighty fine Thanksgiving feast with some of our besties, Michael and Mary.

We spent Black Friday neither shopping nor among crowds, instead enjoying superb company and the wonders of science at the Very Large Array. Site of a music video or two as well as important roles in two of our favorite sci-fi fil-ums, Contact and 2010, the Very Large Array consists of 27 enormous radio telescopes (weighing 230 tons each) on a site larger than the island of Manhattan, arranged in varying configurations to help earthbound scientists better understand the universe. For an in-depth video on the work they do, click HERE.

San Miguel de Socorro – my friend Mary attends Mass here.

Let your heart light shine!

Driving northward to Las Vegas, no not THAT one.

Breakfast at the Plaza Hotel – delicious blue corn pancakes and a breakfast burrito. When in Rome…

Really good coffee!

The two sculptures in the historic plaza were made from dead trees, far better than cutting them entirely to the ground! Las Vegas is a delightful town, full of kindly people and sweet shops. It was Shop Small Saturday and we went at it like gang busters, buying books, art, sweets, puzzles, lotions, soaps, and more. A great end to a marvelous trip!

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Welcome to Sante Fe!

La Choza is our favorite New Mexican Restaurant of ALL TIME. Whenever we’re in Santa Fe, we eat here every day.

The El Rey Inn has been our home away from home in Santa Fe going on 25 years. We love it here.

La Fonda

Plaza pigeons

This interior and the San Miguel Mission above are two of the oldest structures in the United States. This dates back to the 1200s and the Mission to 1610. How often I forget the history here!

In sharp contrast to the adobe history of Santa Fe is the new art experience at Meow Wolf. I am dating myself here, but do you remember the game Myst? It was the only video game I ever really got into, actually playing it beginning to end. If you don’t, the player clicked on different objects and places on the screen to solve a series of puzzles. The Meow Wolf is like an in-person version of it. Wander, climb, and crawl around, through a myriad of highly artistic and intriguing rooms and spaces, poke around, see what you find. It is fascinating and a delight to the senses. It can be a bit overwhelming, too. Take your time. Enjoy a break or two, you have all day.

This post is dedicated to my Grandma Tess, who would have been ninety-four today. She loved Santa Fe and New Mexico as much as I do, maybe even more so because she met my Grandpa there. We love and miss you, Grandma!

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Taos Breeze

Remember,
a stranger once told you that the breeze
here is something worth writing poems about.

Shinji Moon

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Across the Rio Grande and down the road a piece lies Ojo Caliente, a home away from home going on twenty-five years now. It is as beautiful and restful as ever, and delight of delights, positively resplendent in the light of farolitos. It rained, something new for us, lying in the half light of evening, giant drops falling slow and steady on our faces as we soaked. A perfect ending to our stay, really, a nod to Portland, too.

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This land, this sun, the green gold of sage, tubleweed, and brittle grass is me. As much as flesh, as much as bone. It is love turned to dust to be blown and spread upon the fields. My heart soars at the Zia of the New Mexico highway sign, sign that I am home, faded light of the chambray sky filling every chamber.

This is what the West is to me. Nearly completely unknown until I moved across the country and withered in the wet of the East. The stench of pollution and the sadness of winter bare trees, hills leading to more hills, no snow capped mountains, no turquoise, no pinon. And so I was lost, save for the love of the hubster and my dear, dear friends. Profoundly, oddly. I thought I could live anywhere, my love for the world, my eager limbs ready to root. This is what it is to learn, to listen, to return to where we are called. Here! This place!

Our first stop on this Thanksgiving trip is Taos: choke cherry, chocolate (at chokola – deelicious!!), and colorful cemeteries. Twenty-four years since we were last there, and I, of impeccable memory, don’t recognize a thing. All is new and dazzling, yet again. We stay in the little geodesic dome on the outskirts of town, starlight dense and wild, the universe peering down on our sleeping, our sleeplessness, our laughter, through the triangle of light. The cat will cry at the door until we let it in and it cuddles like it is ours. Dogs do the same, bounding down the path. Coyotes sing us to sleep, a most thorough welcome home.

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