As you are probably by now aware, I have been disgustingly sick and thus had to cancel my fall break plans to Las Vegas! I was super devo.

However, not to be disheartened entirely, the doctor told me I could go on a mini trip, as long as it wasn’t far and it wasn’t going to be crazy… Like Las Vegas would have been!

So after deciding that we wanted to see more of New Mexico, Brittney and I jumped on a train early Saturday to Santa Fe!

New Mexico is like Australia: barren. You can drive for hours and see absolutely nothing except a few horses/cows and some desert grass. Except for the mountain range in the distance and a couple of trailer parks, I felt pleasantly at home with the familiar deserty sights – funny how I travelled half way around the world to a place that looks almost identical to Australia, isn’t it? I love the desert, don’t know why you’d wanna live any place else!

It wasn’t long before we reached the state capital, Santa Fe, which has to be the tiniest capital I have ever seen! Think Rome, cut it in half, now maybe in half again… It is itsy bitsy teeny weeny, but incredibly picturesque and chock full of things to keep you entertained!

Brittney and I were starving by the time we reached the station, and headed off quickly to the little bakery just outside the Plaza, where we bought some delicious baked goods that we consumed by the fountain in the middle of the little Plaza.

The Plaza is the centre of Santa Fe, it is constantly bustling and hosts markets most weekends. There is a fountain, a gazebo and endless benches made of what I believe to be wrought iron with a distinct Spanish flavour to them for lingering on. Most of these benches were occupied, which was unfortunate, but sitting smack bang in the middle of the square gave us optimum views for people-watching and sorting out exactly what we intended to achieve from our mini trip.

We wandered along the mini-markets that had been set up for the weekend (some weekends they are much larger), browsing for the perfect gift of turquoise jewelry (a specialty of New Mexico), before wandering up and down the tiny tiny tiny mall that snaked off the Plaza, housing mostly shops that did not interest us (see: old ladies clothing).

We found a vintage cowboy boot shop, which I was thrilled by, until seeing the price of a pair of those leather beauties: $500! I’d have to give up food AND booze for the entire rest of my trip if I were to fork out for a pair! With sadness, I left the awesome boots behind, although scored two super cute pairs of turquoise earrings for next-to-nothing which certainly made up for my no-cowboy-boots.

From there, Brittney and I went in search of lunch. Our sandwiches, although absolutely delicious and quite satisfying in size, were expensive – even by my usual rip-off Perth price standards! Santa Fe did not want us to eat cheap, though we were lucky the quality and taste well made up for the big dents left in our wallets.

We stumbled across the cutest little bookstore, which pleased me endlessly, as I have yet to find one that is easily accessible from where I am in Albuquerque, and we spent a substantial amount of time just enjoying the cosiness of the place. The best part of the bookstore, undoubtedly, was finding a GIANT sized copy of Fancy Nancy (my favourite book!) which I insisted on reading aloud to Brittney, who conceded that it was infact an amazing book!

I wanted to go to the Georgia O’Keefe art gallery, having studied her in high school art (also because the two of us happen to share the most awesome name ever!), however the gallery was charging $10 entry, which after our $$$ lunch, we didn’t have!

Instead, Brittney and I hit up the many local churches, which were absolutely stunning and mixed Spanish/American architecture with the more traditional “churchy” French/Italian style you so often see. We were lucky enough to be able to sit and enjoy the choir practising at one of our church-stops. There is nothing quite like the acoustics in an old church, I didn’t really want to leave!

We wandered the streets some more, just generally admiring how pretty Santa Fe was, before heading out to find some quick dinner before the last train back to Albuquerque!

After being told we couldn’t sit in the beer garden and eat $6 food at Del Charro (because it was after 5pm and Brittney wasn’t 21… made no sense, we saw HEAPS of children around!), we ended up at an upstairs burger joint, where I finally had a decent burger in America! (Seriously, for the land of the burger, they just don’t do them very well here…) It didn’t last long – mostly because it was delicious, but also because we were in a little bit of a rush – and we made speed towards the RailRunner train station on the outskirts of the tiny capital.

I swear the ride home was longer than the ride to Santa Fe, but one can never be sure… It was definately a fun day though, and whilst I am still a little disappointed about not being able to go to Vegas, my Santa Fe trip with Brittney certainly cheered up my weekend significantly! Yay Brittney!