Thursday's Child: Destination Taos, New Mexico

Friday, August 17, 2012

Destination: Taos, New Mexico 

When we visited: July 2012

Why to go:  We knew we were in Taos when, within five minutes of arriving, we heard someone use the phrase “Jungian archetype” in conversation.  Taos is a small town filled with galleries, shops, and an abundance of New Age ambience.

What to see:

Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the residence that has been continually inhabited for the longest time in the United States.  Built nearly 1000 years ago, the pueblo is constructed entirely of adobe. Originally, the buildings were accessible only through the roof (by ladder) to assist the natives defend against invaders.  

San Francisco de Asis is one of the loveliest churches in the US and a National Historical Landmark.  If you think you've seen it before, you probably have, as a subject of either a photograph (Ansel Adams) or a painting (Georgia O’Keeffe).  

Just northwest of Taos, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is one of the tallest bridges in the country.  The Rio Grande lies 650 feet below (see the view in the photo above).  There must be something about that height that makes people nervous; in the short time we were there, we saw both a lens cap and a pair of glasses come calamitously close to going over the edge.


And one of our favourite stops in the area was Arroyo Seco, a village located just east of Taos.  We loved its tiny galleries, the mercantile and Taos Cow ice cream shop.  

Where to Stay:  
We were happy with all the places we stayed on this trip, but if we had to choose a favourite, it would be Casa Gallina, an enchanting bed and breakfast just outside of Taos.  It was close enough to town that we could drive there in a few minutes, but in every other way it felt as if we were in our own world.  Our balcony had chairs and a hammock, and another covered sitting area near our front door featured a second hammock.  Our room was beautifully decorated with work made by local artists, and the New Mexico evenings were cool enough that we could open the windows for a lovely cross-draft.  Our host, Richard, was friendly and very knowledgeable about the area, helping us get all the reservations we needed and pointing us in the direction of several sites that we might otherwise have missed.  We prepared our own breakfasts with freshly-laid eggs and produce from the garden, and whatever else we chose to pick up at Cid’s, the local grocery store.

Where to Eat:  El Meze is a tiny restaurant located just north of downtown Taos, and is superlative in both food and service.  At our request, the waiter took us through each of the dishes and gave his recommendations.  The seasonal starter of Spanish-cured ham, Manchego cheese and white nectarines was breathtaking, and the rest of the meal (fresh pasta with vegetables, almond semifreddo) was equally good.  The backyard view over the Sagre de Cristo mountains was gorgeous.  And when one of us accidentally left our VISA card there the owner came back the next morning to retrieve it for me us.

We also had a terrific meal at The Love Apple, an even smaller restaurant that serves organic and locally-grown food.  Not being overly hungry that night, I ordered a simple salad, and it was as good as salad can be when prepared with the freshest and most delicious ingredients.


29 comments:

Valerie said...

How wonderful to see a place that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe! I'm about ready to pack my bags and visit right now!! :D

Kayte said...

When I was in college I took a history seminar on Far Western History...Taos featured heavily because of its location and the part it played, especially for the trappers. In fact there was a book we read that was entitled Taos Trappers...we lovingly referred to it as Tacos Trappers...because in college you are rather silly anyway, of course...but it worked its magic on me and I cannot pass by anything in writing or in viewing that has to do with Taos (and other venues from that class study as well)...so fun to see it here. I need to go...really, I do, don't I? If nothing else, just to see what taco trapping is all about...lol. ;-) Very nice read, thanks!

yummychunklet said...

What a gorgeous and peaceful looking destination!

Lorraine said...

Wow, the Pueblo is just amazing! I would be nervous by the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge! Looks scary to me!

Bonnie said...

Beth, Taos is such a lovely place and you captured it beautifully. We frequently go to Santa Fe and when there is time we drive over to Taos. The ham and nectarine salad is beautiful. Have a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

Ellen B Cookery said...

Looks like a setting out of a movie! Beautiful photos!

Gloria said...

What nice place and lovely pictures Beth!

Barbara said...

I love Taos. I took 25 women there a few years ago. I bought several wonderful Santos while there, plus lots of other odds and ends. We stayed in Santa Fe, but traveled various places via tours. And went to one collector's home....I have an entire scrapbook from his home alone!
Thanks for bringing back the memories.

CakeWhiz said...

what a beautiful place!
i told hubby last week that i want us to take a trip somewhere. he is on board. we have been deciding where to go. wait till i show him these pictures :D

openid said...

That looks like a spectacular salad--I love eating organic/local and believe it should be the only way to eat. Looks like you had a blast, I hope to go one day too =D

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Beautiful photos, looks like you had a lovely time!

Kittie Howard said...

Great photos, Beth. That B&B really made me pause -- we've driven thru NM several times but have never really stopped and enjoyed -- so many rave about Taos. Think it's time hub and I looked into going.

Raina said...

I have always wanted to see New Mexico. Looks beautiful:)

Angie's Recipes said...

As I have said before, you have been to everywhere! Taos is beautiful.

Pacheco Patty said...

Just loved visiting this part of our world, great info and photos-makes me want to visit again;-)

Kitchen Riffs said...

New Mexico is a great state - every place we've been there is so pretty. However, we've never been to Taos - I'd like to visit it someday. Guess I need to read some Jung!

Julie said...

New Mexico is on my bucket list! Your post just made me want to go even more.

Janet Johnson said...

How do you find all these amazing places? Places I would have disregarded without giving a second thought, yet, wow. Love your travel posts!

Lizzy Do said...

This is an area of the country in which I haven't traveled. I will put it on my bucket list...we're overdue to get back to the SW~

Guru Uru said...

What a beautiful place to visit my friend, you are a one awesome traveller :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Cindy said...

And a good time was had by all! What a beautiful place to visit.
I've been to NM a few times but not to places I'd want to return!

Cucina49 said...

I've always wanted to go to New Mexico! The sentence about "Jungian archetypes" totally made me laugh.

Miriam said...

How beautiful!!!
Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Food Gal said...

I love Taos. It's been many years since I've been. But it's like they say -- the sky is just bluer and clearer there. It's a magical place.

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

Taos looks lovely! And ooh, Georgia O'Keefe? If it's good enough for her... :)
You just added another place to my "must-go-before-I-die list!"

grace said...

what cool landmarks! i've heard only good things about taos, and, as you might expect, it's on my list of places to see before i croak. incidentally, 'the love apple' is a darn fine restaurant name. :)

Kristy said...

What a great place to visit! I'm going to add this to my "must visit" list. The food sounds delicious!

Kristy said...

What a great place to visit! I'm going to add this to my "must visit" list. The food sounds delicious!

Kathy said...

Such a lovely travelogue…your photos of the Pueblos and old church are stunning! I have never traveled out west, but viewing your photos leaves me thinking of how wonderful it would be.

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