Next Stop: Santa Fe, New Mexico

It is far more likely that first time European visitors to the U.S. will want to visit the West rather than the Atlantic seaboard after a de rigeur visit to New York City.
For us Americans also, we seem to have an innate urge to head west. After St. Augustine, Florida, Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the United States, well established by a group of 500 Spanish settlers by the time either Jamestown settlers or th Mayflower pilgrims arrived. I ‘m designating Santa Fe as a spiritual sister to Paris because for me it’s America’s capital city of the senses. The eyes and the tastebuds are assaulted with an explosion of color and spice.

Chris and I are visiting Heidi Loewen . Her skill with porcelain pottery design is apparent from the moment that you walk into her studio on N. Guadelupe Street in Santa Fe. We are lucky to have Heidi as our guide in this town which is so chock full of galleries that you really begin to wonder where people go for simple things like groceries.
The second best thing that happened to us in Santa Fe was ending up at the Water Street Inn
What is so unique about the Water Street Inn? Mindy. Mindy has created this haven of epicurean indulgence in bitesize proportions. Part of the deal about staying at the Water Street Inn is being invited to breakfast as well as ‘Happy Hour’ which lasts from 6 pm to 7 pm. Within that time period, one is treated to numerous refills of Santa Fe regional wines accompanied by Mindy’s variety of home made appetizers including a delectable mushroom and cheese canape and mango chutney (all recipes are TOP SECRET).
‘Happy Hour’ could very easily become a happy habit and for some return guests, it apparently has become their home in Santa Fe.
For us, Mindy has become more than just a talented hostess and chef, she has also entered the realms of angel goodness.
On our last night in town, a cherished opal necklace I’d been wearing disappeared. Apparently it slipped off somewhere – after our departure, Mindy tracked down its location.
Happy hour is served on an upstairs deck. The necklace had slipped through the wooden slats to a three foot void. Somehow she was able to find and retrieve the necklace. I can only imagine what this entailed, but thanks to both Heidi (who fed Ex’d the necklace) and Mindy, the opal necklace is on its way to LA.
There are nice people and then there are the exceptionally nice people in the world.
Santa Fe is a town that you cannot miss seeing for many reasons. And given the kind of welcome, it’s a place you’re likely to revisit.