Santa Fe and The Faraway

Little Chick and I have just returned from a long weekend in Santa Fe celebrating Mother’s Day with my mother’s side of the family. We had four generations represented: my grandmother, my mom, my mom’s two sisters, my two Santa Fe cousins, my Colorado cousin and her two sons.

We had several churches outside our hotel room and while their bells were lovely, it proved a bit confusing since I have set the church bell chime as my ringtone on my iphone. I found myself jumping a lot to answer non-existent calls. But what a view to wake up to on our first morning…


First things first, my cousin Ashton and I (representing the overwrought, multi-tasking, 40-something mommy demographic in the group) kicked off the vacation with massages…


Later that afternoon Little Chick and I had an incredibly enjoyable walkabout…

pepper cart

The highlight was visiting the newly renovated St. Francis Cathedral Basilica. Breathtakingly beautiful inside and out…

basilica interior

basilica candles

Later that evening we feasted on a home cooked Italian meal at my Aunt Cita’s house. Despite the fact our family is not one iota Italian, we tend to gravitate toward Italian fare. My mom can cook some seriously good Italian food and we turned the whole night into a big celebration. Here I am with my cousin Ashton (awkward cropping is credited to someone from the 4th generation who was serving as photographer.) We are standing in front of another cousin’s painting, Dick Mason, who was a magnificently talented artist in Santa Fe.

dick mason

The next day we ventured slightly out of town to one of my favorite haunts for lunch, The Tesuque Village Market. On our way back to Santa Fe we strolled through the Shidoni sculpture garden and bronze foundry.


That afternoon I did a little gift shopping at a delightfully ornate candyshop called Todos Santos.

todos santos

I also made a point to stop in on one of the best spots in Santa Fe, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. My aunt had tipped me off that an interesting exhibit had just opened the day before, “Georgia O’Keefe and The Faraway: NATURE AND IMAGE.”

georgia o keefe brochure

It was well worth the visit. O’Keefe landscapes are iconic but this tiny exhibit really brought to life how much she truly loved being outdoors – not just to see a beautiful image for the purposes of painting it, but to be outdoors. The sheer power and joy of it. I realize now Georgia was quite the outdoorswoman.

The exhibit coordinated O’Keefe’s southwestern landscapes of Ghost Ranch and Glen Canyon with photographs of her camping in those very places. Mixed in were letters she had written about “sleeping under the stars” and her time in nature, which she called going to The Faraway.

I was particularly intrigued with the camping gear and clothing they had on display. The had her blue jeans, tennis shoes, denim shirt and a navy polka dotted scarf. Turn the corner and there are pictures of her camping in that very scarf. They also had her tent, sleeping bag and a variety of gear. It was pretty wild to see, I have to say.

Since for me it all comes back to rivers, I was most entertained by details and images of her on her multi-day rafting trips down the Colorado River to Glen Canyon, Utah. There is so much about this photograph that I love. The navy polka dotted scarf that I had just seen in the previous room, the look on her face, and most of all, the fact that Georgia O’Keefe was using those most talented hands to dig in and get the raft moving on some relatively flat water. Georgia on the sticks….too cool.

georgia o keefe rowing

It was a fantastic trip and a very happy mothers day. Here we are, four generations, heading home through DFW…

four generations

Between Georgia O’Keefe and my mothers day weekend trip, it seems a fitting end to this post to share a wonderful quotation that a friend sent to me yesterday…

“Excellent women: May we be them, May we know them, May we raise them.”

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