Saw a spider eating a dragonfly in my dad's garden.
Garrett found us a very lovely vacation rental apartment above a high-end gallery. It was slightly intimidating to look around and realize they'd decorated it with stuff by the same artists they were representing downstairs, with many of the pieces being in the $30,000 range. I took a lot more pictures than I'll make you scroll by here, click on any of them and have a look around at flickr.
The only specific agenda item I had was to visit Shidoni, for sure, and Site Santa Fe if time permitted. We'd taken the long way to Santa Fe and stopped for lunch in the East mountains, but still had plenty of time before check-in time, so Site Santa Fe came first. Unfortunately, they were between exhibits and only had one gallery open, so we were there all of five minutes. I got a little inspiration for my own jewelry in their gift shop, though, and it was cool to stop by while they were celebrating their 20th anniversary and realize that I'd been going there since 1997.
Over at Shidoni the next day, I was delighted to find that the piece I'd like to own someday is still there.
If you zoom in, you'll see that the clothes are made of metal and have logos from cars on them. I love it. It's $15,000, which I think is pretty reasonable for a piece that size. I'm sure it'd be another few thousand for packing and shipping. If I'm ever in the position to drop that kind of money on some artwork, I hope it's still there waiting for me. There are lots of other delightful sculptures on the foundry's many acres. Of course, click any of them to find my full set.
I'm so happy with all this grey in my beard. Bring it on! I wish the hair on my head would hurry up and go more grey, I'm totally ready for it.
Our rental is about a mile from the main square in Santa Fe, and there are three restaurants nearby, but they're very expensive. We had a happy hour dinner in one of them the first night at the bar, but wanted something nicer, foodwise, but in a more casual environment for our second night. Garrett found us a very lovely wine bar, 315, which we liked very much. Enough so that we've decided it'll be a regular stop for us whenever we go to Santa Fe.
We took an even longer way back to Albuquerque than we'd taken to Santa Fe, because I wanted to visit Clines Corners. It's a big truck stop that's about 45 minutes outside of Albuquerque, and we usually stopped at the start of road trips to buy puzzle books and toys so my brother and I would have something to do in the car. My dad used to try to drive all the way from Albuquerque to Fayetteville, Arkansas, without stopping overnight, and we'd at least get to Elk City, Oklahoma. Long day either way.
The gift shop there is awesome, and I showed admirable restraint by only buying a Christmas ornament, a zipper pull with Garrett's name on it, and a purple toy pony with a pink saddle and bridle. I was hoping to find one of those toys from the '80s that's shaped like a little can and makes a specific animal noise when you flip it over, but no such luck. They had a lot of the classic truck stop toys, but not that one.
Dad made us a pot roast for our last night there, and we were joined by my oldest sister and her son for dinner. We were a little worried they might stay late, but thankfully my sister was tired and my nephew had calculus homework. We had to be up at 2:30am to go to the airport, so it was good to get in bed as early as possible.
We had plenty of time to kill while waiting for our first flight, so we relaxed on the observation deck for a while. More airports need observation decks.
I have nothing positive to say about the Salt Lake City airport. Utah is very strict with alcohol, so there were no drinks to be had before 8am, and we couldn't order doubles. And the view from the bar was a smoking lounge, which is a rare site any more. The gate area was an utter nightmare. They cram about three times as many gates into the area as they should, and they all had flights leaving, so the entire place was packed with people. I'm a little surprised the fire department allows it.
It was nice to see Seattle on our way by, and thankfully there wasn't much traffic. There was an accident earlier that morning, but it had been cleared out by then.
And of course, it's great to be home. Travel is wonderful, but getting back is the best.