Happy New Year!

Trip Start Dec 29, 2006
Trip End Jan 13, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Monday, January 1, 2007

    I finally made it into Albuquerque today, only to drive on once we joined everyone briefly in the Albuquerque hotel. The drive to Santa Fe was parts fog and parts clear views of the mountains of the Rio Grande Valley. In Santa Fe, we walked to the Plaza, where we shopped the Native American vendors in front of the Place of the Governors and then had a good lunch. The afternoon was free, so a group of us wandered over to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. Its seven galleries had five of O'Keefe's works, including several flower oils, several southwestern landscapes, several watercolors, and some sketches. The final two rooms were photographs from 1930-2 in New Mexico by a friend of O'Keefe's. Then we went to the Cathedral of St. Francis, which was a lovely mix of adobe and romanesque architecture. The stations of the cross were painted in an indigenous style and there was a gorgeous carved screen behind the altar. They had a big organ in back and stained glass windows of new world saints. I particularly enjoyed the large Christmas tree.
    Next we went to the museum in the Palace of the Governors. There they displayed the Segesser Hide, the first known depiction of encounters between Native Americans and Europeans. One of them showed a camp, and the other showed a battle. There was an exhibit on printing in New Mexico, which ended with modern printed broadsheets of poetry, including one by UVA's own Rita Dove! The rest of the museum was a more typical museum of New Mexican history. There were two rooms (an office and a reception room) which looked as they had when the building had actually served as the Palace of the Governors. Highlights from this part of the collection included a stagecoach, lots of guns, a bust of Lew Wallace (who in addition to writing /Ben-Hur/ and serving as a Civil War general apparently also was territorial governor of New Mexico), and lots of guns. Finally there was a small but very impressive exhibit of Mesoamerican stone carvings and gold pieces. I was very impressed.
    After a brief stop at Starbucks, we went into a pottery store. I especially appreciated some of the bird designs from Acoma. The pottery is really expensive. A medium-sized, painted pot that I really like cost almost $6,000! Then we went back to the hotel for afternoon tea and sherry and to rest up for dinner.
    We had dinner at Maria's where the food was delicious. After dinner and a brief de-briefing meeting, we watched the ball drop in New York at 10 in my room and then watched Talledegah Nights. I was drifting in and out of sleep. Happy New Year everyone!
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