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.

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