Back to Santa Fe


I wanted to go back to find the native who had this ring. It was a huge, rare Australian, square stone with a sterling silver band that he had sautered himself. After we ate more green chile at the Plaza Cafe, we meandered through the Native strip, but I couldn’t find the stone.

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We pretty much decided we did not want to backtrack to Taos and sleep in the hostel, so we splurged and found a room at Garrett’s Desert Inn right outside of the Plaza square.

The guy at the front desk haggled rates with us by writing down a price and sliding it over the counter. I felt like I was dealing with the mob. He wanted to offer us a lower price to stay in a room with a king size bed, but simultaneously Nick and I both yelled “No, doubles.”

I guess we scared him a bit, because he hesitantly and slowly replied, “Oh…you aren’t a couple? Well, you make a cute couple if you ever changed your minds.”

At this point we almost found the nearest Wal-mart to find supplies to make homemade t-shirts that read “We aren’t together”.

Instead, we hauled our luggage to the second floor of the Inn to find our own beds for the first time of the trip. No couches. No bedbugs. Heaven.

We showered and tried to decide if it would be better to nap or drink. We opted to walk to The Shed and drink a bottle of wine.

As we walked, we began to notice that the majority of the couples and general people in Santa Fe were older. It’s definitely not a college destination due to prices and shopping.

The young hostesses at The Shed led us to a cocktail table and we scrolled through the Wine list. After deciphering the prices and choices, we decided it would be better to try a single glass rather than getting stuck with a disgusting bottle of wine.

Thank you Lord for second guesses.

The Pinot Noir was almost like watered-down grape juice. We then realized we were in New Mexico and when we flipped the drink menu, there was a list of more marguaritas than I knew were possible. When in Rome, right?

After much deliberation, the $11 Gold were chosen. I really don’t know how I ended up consuming three. It must have been due to the fact that my mouth went numb after the first sip.

Let’s just say drunk dials were made for the first (and last as of now) time of the trip. We took our waiter Aaron’s advice and went to this bar called the Underground, which was below another bar, Evangelo’s. It was kind of a wake-up call though when we stumbled out of the Shed to see daylight.

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At this point, we still thought we were going to make it home early, since it was only 9 p.m. We had a cervesa, and decided to hobble back to the Inn. However, we were stopped by two older guys who were setting up a few instruments at Evangelo’s.

The older gentleman, Tone, was quite convincing as to why we needed to stay and see the show. I said I was tired and he said there was  Starbuck’s around the corner. When in Rome, right?

Nick and I went to the coffee shop: I got a double shot of espresso and he bought a cookie. The little girl behind the counter started flirting with him and gave him an extra cookie for later.

We went back to Evangelo’s where the crowd was nonexistent. We made friends with this cougar that took a liken to Nick. The band was actually really good and it didn’t take very long for us to start dancing. Slowly, other people started to trickle into the bar and eventually other people joined us on our home-made dance floor.

A couple ended up sitting at the end of my table and we started chatting. The woman, Freddie, is an education professor at the University of Arkansas and her husband, Ebenezer, is a journalist for corndancer.com. Freddie had such a light about her and she was just a dancing in her seat. It didn’t take very long for her to break free from the chair and join us on the dance floor.

Nick and I did jitterbug for one song and we blew everyone away. We were the only two on the dance floor and everyone wanted to know what kind of dance it was. Had I not had so many ‘ritas, I probably would have offered lessons.

I stepped outside to take a breather and ended up talking with the 6’3 door-guy. He explained that the bar was actually quite historical. The original owner was the first Greek-American to fight in World War II and made the cover of Time magazine…the proof was on the door.

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I went back inside and taught belly-dancing moves to Freddie and watched Nick dance with the Cougar. By the time the band finished their set it was 1a.m. and I was exhausted.

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Freddie told me I was a Renaissance woman. I laughed and told her America hasn’t had one of those yet and she told me I needed to start it. I thought it was one of the best compliments I had ever received and am thinking of taking up the chore.

As Nick and I started to say our farewells, Tone flagged us down and gave us a hug. A few other band members followed and thanked us for coming as well. Even the doorguy hugged us. They said we were the most fun the bar had seen in a while. We told them to recommend ‘ritas at The Shed to get the party started next time.

We walked back to the Inn in awe at how late we stayed up and how much fun we had. The night was crisp and clear and for the first time on the trip, I looked up and saw a blanket of dazzling stars.

I was so glad to be back in Santa Fe. This was the feeling I had imagined when I planned the road trip…but it was real.

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