The biggest groups of balloons are on the weekends, but there is still a good bit of activity through the week if the weather is right. This particular morning (and the next) created a bit of a problem as the winds had shifted and instead of blowing them north it blew them south right over the city. I laughed as I was listening to the news--"this is one of those mornings where you could be enjoying your morning coffee and look out and see a balloon landing in the cul-de-sac!"
Santa Fe is home to the biggest per-capita group of artists, and also home to some phenomenal art galleries. Canyon Road is a fantastic place to go check out art if that's your thing. I found it of particular interest that many of these galleries don't even represent local artists, but artists from all over the world. We had a nice chat with two of the ladies at one gallery and they advised us not to try and see all of them, that it can be overwhelming--they were right. Fortunately (I guess!) my knee was really bugging me after wandering around for a while, so we decided to end our tour there, but I have to say that I am really glad that we did, what we did see really "stuck" with me.
These are a few of my favorite pieces:
I limited my photos in the galleries as it is kind of frowned upon, and was horrified to learn that one of the reasons is unauthorized reproductions are being made! I was told that it is especially bad with paintings and drawings, the digital age has made it very easy for artwork to be photographed and reproduced in mass quanitites. I was very sad to hear this, both the artist and the owner of so-called art are being ripped off.
We decided to head back towards Albuquerque via the Turquoise Trail and see if there was anything we had missed the day before. We stopped and got some pictures of this cool rock formation:
We also saw a lot of small churches throughout our travels and we stopped at this one to check it out. When I say small, I mean small!!!
After this we headed back to Albuquerque, primarily to check out a small museum I had found out about. The Turquoise Museum is a very interesting place, and not at all what you would expect--it is in a strip mall which seems kind of odd, but it does not disappoint. We learned all about different colors of turquoise, where all the different places around the world are that it comes from and how to tell real turquoise from fake. It's hard to tell!!!! I was also VERY surprised to learn that the majority of the turquoise currently sold in the southwest is not native turquoise, it comes from Mexico and China. The mines in the southwest aren't totally tapped out, but because the amount available in them is so small now, it isn't financially feasible to keep most of them open. If you want a piece of turquoise jewelry totally made in the southwest, you will have to find someone who deals in estate jewelry and has older pieces.
Day 6--not a good day as we were SUPPOSED to be flying home. We did agree that for as many miles as we have logged in an airplane, we have been really lucky not to have ever had a flight cancelled up to this point. American did put us up in a hotel not far from the airport and gave us some food vouchers--only problem was that the food vouchers were only good at the airport and Albuquerque Sunport is a SMALL airport--lucky for us the New Mexican restaurant we fell in love with had a restaurant there :) Just talking about it is making me hungry for a really good taco......dinner isn't cooked yet......hmmmmm............... We also did some shopping there and found some neat little things to take home, so it wasn't a complete and total loss. We were definitely happy campers though when our plane took off right on schedule the following day and we were able to get home. The only real drawback was that we had to fly through Chicago O'Hare instead of Dallas and I HATE O'HARE!!!! Oh well.
Another little tidbit of info--I did send an "official" e-mail to Budget about our cigarette smelling car, and was very pleased to get a response. They credited our account for $73.24 for our trouble. How in the world they came up with that dollar amount is beyond me, but I'm not going to argue! I just hope they cleaned the car thoroughly so someone else doesn't have to smell it.