santa fe, new mexico

Friday, September 4, Santa Fe, New Mexico

I should be sightseeing right now, maybe checking out the galleries on Canyon Road, or poking around the beautiful shops, or wandering through one of Santa Fe's many museums. Instead, I'm sitting in bed with my foot on a pillow with a bag of ice on my ankle.

It hurts. A lot. But that's nothing compared to my disappointment that I may not be able to walk and hike on this vacation.

Yesterday was a long travel day, as expected, but everything went perfectly smoothly. Drive – fly – wait – fly – drive. No delays, a minimum of annoyances, good directions. We pulled into the driveway of our casita, put down our bags and forced ourselves to go back out, hoping to get to the Trader Joe’s we passed before it closed. Perfect timing – we got our coffee and tea, and a few things for breakfast, just before closing time. Then back to the little house to collapse.

Allan had the option of joining the groom and his male friends for the enlightened-male version of a bachelor party, but he was too wiped out. I thought that would be the case.

Just before bed, we discovered we don't have an internet connection, even though the place is supposed to have one – yet another in a long line of travel accommodations where that's the case. Also before bed, we got a Red Sox score – they won. And then I was out like a light.

This morning we had breakfast here at the casita, then decided to head downtown early in search of internet. There was a Starbucks, but it was very crowded and not set up for hanging out with a computer. Good thing, too, because just down the street we found the Complete Works, a beautiful, airy bookstore. We needed a map of the state, and while buying it I asked if there was a place nearby with internet. The very friendly, helpful bookstore guy suggested we sit in their little cafĂ© area and gave me the store’s password. So we took turns getting online and browsing, and I bought a book because I felt we should.

It was still very early, so we were debating how to spend the morning. Later on we were going to meet my sister and brother-in-law to do something in town together. We were on our way to sit in the plaza when my ankle turned over and I was suddenly in tremendous pain. No hole, no missed step, no nothing. My foot just turned over and it hurt. The kind of pain where you are temporarily blinded and instantly sweaty and nauseated.

I couldn't walk at all. Allan helped me sit on the curb. Several people asked us if we needed help or a call to 911. Eventually I was able to get up, and Allan helped me hobble over to the plaza to sit and think what to do next.

At first I was determined to continue as if nothing had happened – and tried, several times. No. You try to fight with your body, your body will always win.

Eventually we came up with a plan, bought some ice – later went back out for an elastic compression sock – and now here I am.

Allan has been taking care of me, and trying to console me, and just being all-around great. I tried to talk him into going into town and meeting up with some of our people, but he will have none of it. He's more content to sit here with a book than seek out anything else to do.

Right now I am sick at the thought of this vacation being ruined. We can't afford this trip in the first place, but since we had this Very Important Wedding to attend, and an opportunity to spend time with family, we planned other fun things around it. The thought of spending the week doing nothing is extremely unappealing. Doing nothing is great sometimes, but that’s not what I came to New Mexico for.

Maybe I'm worrying prematurely. Maybe this will all pass very quickly. But my own history of joint problems, and the balloon-like swelling around my ankle doesn't bode well for that theory.

* * * *

The wedding is at Bishops Lodge, a well known Santa Fe resort ranch and spa. The wedding party and many wedding guests are staying there, but it's well out of our price range, and not really our cup of tea anyway. So we've rented a casita - Spanish for "little house" – from Two Casitas. It's a lovely large studio with an efficiency kitchen, a patio and a hot tub, in a residential area only a few minutes from downtown.

All the houses here are low, one-story adobe structures, the natural sand-colour, not whitewashed. Some have high wooden gates, sometimes with tile insets. It's really different. I've been to the southwest US before, but as a child with my parents, and probably didn't see residential areas.

Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the United States, currently celebrating its 400th birthday. Downtown Santa Fe is all adobe – much of it probably simulated adobe at this point. But the city plan is still the original streets. The downtown is completely tourist-oriented – an enormous number of shops selling pottery, jewelry, clothes, art, gifts, you name it, all with either a Southwestern, Native American or Hispanic (their word, not mine) motif, with a huge corresponding number of cafes and restaurants. There are many historic and cultural sites mixed in, but the overwhelming impression is shopping.

The city is famous for Canyon Road, the third largest art market in North America. I hope to see it...

Saturday, September 5, Santa Fe

After spending the afternoon treating my ankle, I was able to put my shoe over the compression sock and hobble to the rehearsal dinner. The restaurant was outdoors, in an inner courtyard, a beautiful setting with lights strung up in trees. Most people seem to have gotten here many days ago, taking their vacation first and ending on the wedding, going back after Labour Day weekend. So people are talking about how great Santa Fe is, the perfect weather, the desert, etc. etc.

It was wonderful to see everyone and get a little caught up. I didn't do too much schmoozing from table to table, not being too mobile, but did manage a little socializing. Since I love the wedding couple so much, it's no surprise that I like their friends so much, too. It was especially wonderful to sit with both my siblings and their respective partners.

My brother and sister-in-law, parents of the groom, are in heaven. My nephew D is the first of all our nephews and nieces to get married. His partner E has been part of our family for many years; this wedding is a celebration of what we already know.

One of my nieces (sitting next to me) had baseball scores on her iPhone, so we learned the Sox lost and the Rangers, our wild card rivals, won. Even Allan and I are realizing the division is all but impossible now. But the Sox haven't been eliminated, so there is still hope.

Today, if I can do it, we're going to see a little of Canyon Road, and tonight's the wedding. This morning my ankle is very swollen, but hurts much less. Of course, that’s upon waking, when it's been resting for eight hours. We'll see.

Some of our photos from Santa Fe and Canyon Road are here.


deang said...

Hope you get better, Laura! I'm still trying to understand how an ankle can just turn on a level surface. Did it sort of collapse? Did your foot hit the ground at some strange angle? Anyway, hope you recover soon.

Amy said...

Oh, Laura, I am so sorry about your ankle. That just really, really sucks. I know what it is like to plan a vacation and then feel sick or in pain and unable to enjoy it. And sometimes it is worse when you are surrounded by people who just want to make you feel better.

I hope it heals quickly and that you are able to salvage some of your time away. Enjoy the wedding, even if you are not able to dance. It sounds like a very special couple. Mazel tov!

Mara Clarke said...

Oh, L, I am so sorry to hear about your ankle! I am sending you quick-healing thoughts across the Atlantic and hope you are soon on the mend.

Emily Medvec said...

Laura, gosh what a way to start a vacation in Santa Fe! I do hope your ankle improves enough to enjoy your visit here during the start of our 400th year birthday celebration and certainly the wedding celebration at Bishops Lodge. If I can be of assistance, visit emilymedvec.com and send an email or call.

johngoldfine said...

FWIW (and you know by now I'm not a doctor but my experience of ankle sprains is extensive): they puff up over night and improve with very light exercise (well Ace-bandaged, of course) during the day. So, if it felt better this morning, I bet it will feel even better tomorrow morning. Anyway, hoping that is so for you and Allan....

And f'godsake, don't decide to ride a motorcycle from West Chester Pennsylvania to Boston Massachusetts before it's well-healed--like some fools might have done once upon a time....

L-girl said...

Thanks, all. My foot did just sort of collapse. It's the same ankle I sprained very severely a few years ago, and it's often a bit swollen. In the last few weeks my ankle has been turning over 3, 4 times a week - on flat ground, in sneakers. The various health professionals in my family tell me it was probably weakening and becoming more inflamed every time.

I am so relieved to be walking! More posts coming soon.

L-girl said...

And sometimes it is worse when you are surrounded by people who just want to make you feel better.

Yes! :)

Everyone was so nice and solicitous and asking about my ankle, and I just wanted it to go away and not talk about it!