Since Sharon and I didn't have a chance to get into the Old Town when were up there a few weeks ago, this was all new territory for both Ed and me. We didn't know what to expect, but at least with Ed's normal sized conversion van, we were confident we could not only maneuver through tight streets, but find a place to park it.
Once we got into the Old Town section, I was extremely glad I didn't try to get in there with the 44-foot combined length of our RV and trailer! What little parking there was is definitely not designed for RV's of ANY length! Below is a typical street in the Old Town area. They are very narrow.
|A typical narrow street in Old Town Santa Fe.|
If we could have found a space on the street large enough, we could have paid our parking fare with credit cards! This was my first time for actually seeing a credit card parking meter, but with today's technology, it doesn't surprise me! By the way, they charge $2 per hour, with a two hour minimum. You can leave your quarters at home!
|A parking meter that takes credit cards!|
$2/hour with a 2-hour minimum!
I chose a lighter plate, with two open beef patties covered with cheese, and a few chips plus two different sides for dipping. They served garlic toast with it.
|My lunch at the Shed Restaurant, Old Town Santa Fe.|
|Ed Helvey's smothered burrito at the Shed Restaurant, Old Town Santa Fe.|
|One of many sculptures within alcoves along the streets of Old Town Santa Fe.|
|There are always many beautiful handicrafts for sale in Old Town Santa Fe.|
|A bronze Elk stature at the Santa Fe East Gallery in Old Town.|
|More bronze statuary at Santa Fe East Gallery in Old Town.|
|A bronze horse and dog at Santa Fe East Gallery in Old Town.|
|One of several pieces of large driftwood at one art shop in Old Town Santa Fe.|
|The Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Old Town Santa Fe.|
|Loretto Chapel in Old Town Santa Fe.|
|The historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel, Old Town Santa Fe.|
|The Lensic Performing Arts Center in Old Town Santa Fe.|
|"The Original Trading Post", in continuous operation since 1603!|
Oh yes, much of the artwork is astoundingly beautiful, and many would see value in that. For Ed and I (and Sharon if she were not in Alaska at this time), we look at it and can appreciate the talent and work that went into it, but we realize that it serves no practical purpose in our lives! The more of that useless stuff that people buy, the less they can spend on experiences, travel and memories. But as they say... "everybody has to be somewhere". If collecting art is their passion in life and they have the money to do it, and are willing to sacrifice other things in life for it (if they have to at all), then more power to them. It's their lives to live as they choose.
We did find a well-hidden plaque in the back of one of the alcoves that says the building there was the meeting place for the people who designed and built the atomic bomb. Apparently they met here and were bused up to Los Alamos to the northwest of the city, where the actual labs were.
|A plaque at the building where the people who designed the atomic bomb met|
before being bused to Los Alamos Laboratories.
|A plaque on the site of the original Santa Fe Jail|
that held Billy the Kid before his trial.
|The Palace of the Governors, with it's famous marketplace on the porch.|
|The Santa Fe Obelisk in Santa Fe Plaza.|
|The "disclaimer" plaque on the Santa Fe Obelisk.|
|A musical trio playing in the Santa Fe Plaza.|
Some day I would like to come back, but with a small car that can get around easily and be able to park anywhere easily. I am into history as much as the artistic culture, and what we discovered on this day was only a very small fraction of what this city holds. I'm sure I could come back and spend a week here... as long as I could avoid the expensive hotels while I was there!
Normally, I would research all the proper names and details of everything I saw, but this post already went online once without the photos because I couldn't get to it in time to over-ride my scheduled publication time. I had to copy it, delete the original and then paste the content into a new post, with a new schedule! I hate when that happens!
We are currently stationary for a week. We are at our planned destination to get our vehicle tags and licenses up to date. But we also have had a minor problem on the way here, and now, a new problem.
First, we blew out the right side exhaust manifold "donut" on the way here and had to put up with noise all the way from just west of Post, Texas to Breckenridge. That was the first town large enough to have a garage that could make the repairs. I called the Chevy dealer as soon as we arrived, and they got us in the next morning. An hour later and $108 lighter, we were on our way again, and actually earlier then we would have been if we had not had an 8 AM appointment! Ah... quiet at last... more so than when we bought the RV!
But that wasn't the end of the problems. We started the air conditioner on the way here at a lunch stop (using the generator), and I immediately smelled burning plastic. Then the air conditioner suddenly stopped dead! I think it's an electrical connection, but it's not in the ceiling part. It must be up on top, on the roof, and I don't even have a ladder long enough to get up there. This RV didn't have a roof ladder on it when we bought it, and I only have a 6-foot step ladder. So I called an RV parts and service place about two miles away, and we have an appointment for two days from today.
Meanwhile we are trying to tolerate temps between 86 to 94 degrees with high humidity. Thankfully, we seem to be getting very mild afternoon monsoons that cool things off a few degrees, and lower the humidity. We have three fans, plus the Fantastic Fan in the bedroom, so we have been getting by nicely. If it doesn't get much worse than this, we can tolerate it.
Sharon and I both grew up on farms, and neither of us had any air conditioning at all, but we could tolerate the heat and humidity much easier when we were younger... and "had" to. Now, we have the freedom to just drive out of it and go to higher elevations... which we plan to do as soon as we leave here!
Another thing I noticed about this RV is that the front shocks are nearly worthless. Since we have to have it worked on anyway, I have told them I want a good grade of shock absorbers for the front end. I was once told by a well-educated auto parts factory rep that you can't possibly buy on the open market, a shock absorber that is as cheaply made as what comes on vehicles as original equipment from the factory. Having already been forced to change shocks on a brand new Dodge Maxi-van, and seeing what a huge difference going to Monroe Gas Magnums made... I believe it!
This RV has about 59,000 miles on it now, and even good shocks only last about 60,000 miles, so it's time that these were replaced with something that will undoubtedly be MUCH better!
But in the meantime, I still have one more post to write about a trip to the top of Sandia Peak... and no... we didn't take the tram. We drove to the top!
After that, I am still determining how much I want to say about the place that we parked with Ed, while Sharon went off to Alaska on her cruise with her sister. As the old saying goes, if you don't have anything good to say about it, it's probably best not to say anything. That's about where my mind is... it was that bad.
So as always, thank you to those who have used our links to make online purchases. Every little bit we make helps to offset the surprise expenses like we have had on this leg of our journey.