This trip had been planned and then rescheduled. It almost was rescheduled again since Will got sick and could not go to the arranged childcare, but Ryan (thankfully) stayed home to watch the kids so I could still go.
First up was Pecos, New Mexico. Tegan had told me there was a Civil War Battlefield that had taken place not far from us, The Battle of Glorieta Pass. Since I'd grown up on the West Coast I'd never experienced true Civil War battle locations... and I was thrilled! Tegan, of course, basically grew up across the street from Civil War battlefields.
We drove up to Pecos National Park and discovered that, yes, there was the battle field but much of it was spread out and mostly accessible by a rather long walking/hiking trail. We didn't exactly have enough time to do all of that and Tegan had baby Daphne with us, so instead at the Park Station we discovered an awesome ancient Pubelo dwelling and 400-year-old Spanish Mission ruins to check out. It was a great paved trail with plenty of additional information provided about the area. The rangers were quite informative as well.
|The Spanish Mission ruins in the background with an image of what it used to look like|
|Tegan going down into a reconstructed kiva... and yes, that is a baby strapped on her chest|
|the Spanish Mission|
|Standing about where the alter area would be looking out to the Sangrio de Cristo Mountains|
|I think I'm ancient Pueblo size!|
|adjourning rooms to the mission which were the residences of the priests, mission workers, and servants|
|the Spanish Mission ruins|
|There were supposed to be wagon ruts from the Old Santa Fe Trail here, but we couldn't see them|
|Civil War Monument|
I'd been to Santa Fe Plaza a couple times but never had the chance to take my time and enjoy the sites. They were amazing!
We first went to Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis Assisi. Beautiful! The Catholics build some gorgeous churches! I first spend some time out on the grounds walking the labyrinth then joined Tegan inside to admire the building.
After that we took a short walk to the Loretto Chapel to see the miraculous staircase. My pictures don't do it justice... it is probably the most breath-taking staircase I'd ever seen. No side or center support and no nails used. Two complete 360 degree turns to the loft above. At one point I just sat in a pew and stared at this engineering marvel.
And finally we then walked a couple blocks to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. When I was in 3rd grade I had a teacher who loved art and had many art books for us students to look at. I remember first seeing Ms. O'Keeffe's work then. Over the years I'd gleaned information about the woman and found much of her paintings fascinating. I saw my first original when we went to Roswell, New Mexico the summer after Alanna was born.
I was a bit surprised that I wasn't in awe of many of her paintings. Several of them did stop me and I could stare at them for quite some time. Strange how that happens. Anyway, both Tegan and I loved learning more about this interesting woman, seeing her work, and acknowledging her love of the land around us.
Before we left Santa Fe we had to stop to get some treats at a sweet bakery, the Burro Alley. We split 2 desserts and had a nice chat with our waiter.
It was a wonderful trip! I wish I would have done it much sooner, but oh well. Just gives me more incentive to jump on opportunities wherever the military sends us.