Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Family Day Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips
Touring “the City Different”
In a recent post, I talked about the wonderful shopping opportunities available at the old Governor’s Palace in Santa Fe, NM. After we had finished perusing the large variety of wares available at the Governor’s Palace during our recent impromptu visit to “the City Different” (Santa Fe, NM), we took a turn about the plaza to see what was happening. In New Mexico, and many Spanish communities, the center of the city or the town square is referred to as a plaza. (Don’t call it the square or they will know you are a tourist and not “in the know.”) Generally a central shopping area, plazas have much to offer in terms of things to see and do.
In strolling through the Santa Fe Plaza, we come upon the marker commemorating the end of the famous Santa Fe Trail, the road or route followed by many of the earliest settlers to the area between the years of 1822 and 1879. Erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Territory of New Mexico in 1910, the monument evokes a small bit of history set right in the middle of a bustling city.
Continuing around the plaza, we encounter vendors of many types of delicious smelling food. As we had had breakfast just before leaving home and had been munching snacks in the car on the way down, we were not particularly hungry on this trip, but everything did smell delicious! In the future we will know to plan to have a meal from one of the vendors on the plaza. Great meal for a good price!
Around another corner, we encounter a troop of mariachi musicians entertaining a crowd of people for the coins and contributions they would toss into a guitar case. Dressed in authentic Spanish garb, they were a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The music plays on as we continue on our way, but follows us, entertaining us long after we have left their immediate vicinity.
We also enjoy the beautiful landscaping on the plaza, with various flowering trees and plants providing a riot of color and texture. I was taking photos as fast as I could, but don’t feel I was able to capture the true ambiance of the place. While this was a day in which all of us were disappointed and not really in a traveling/touring mood, we did a bit of both. Our plan, however, is to return next year to do a better job of the shopping, eating and truly enjoying the Santa Fe welcome!
For more information about where to stay when visiting New Mexico, read about New Mexico campgrounds and things to do in New Mexico.