Santa Fe is a unique American City. All the buildings in this city maintain the earth tones and style of the original adobe even when using other building materials. Even the State Capital building is not a copy of the U.S. Congress as are all other State capitals. It is a round building, it does have a few columns but it is only one story and its rotunda is a sky light and the entire building is in earth tones and not white. Outside the State Capital and on loan from the Artist, Bob Haozousis a memorial to the Native American Tribes that have been destroyed or otherwise went extinct since Europeans came to this continent. He calles it "Gate/Negate 2000" (the picture does not adequetly portray the names but the barrier is covered with names)

The main attraction in Santa Fe is the town square which is also the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail and part of Route 66 the "Mother Road".

While we were in Santa Fe we went on two guided walking tours and had breakfast in a Zagat rated restaurant. We stayed in a campground that had WIFI (Wireless Internet) that allowed us to consult Zagat's online rating service which I subscribe to. We located several highly rated , above 26 for food, restaurants that served Southwestern cuisine. While, Zagat also rates service and decor we generally ignore those ratings and concern ourselves with the food rating. Of these Santa Fe restaurants one of them Cafe Pasqual was recommended for breakfast. We love to go out for a well done breakfast in fact it's our favorite. Cafe Pasqual did not disappoint us either in food listed below or conversation. We had a lively talk about Fahrenheit 9/11, which we had not yet seen with the Long Island waitress and the Californians at the next table.

I had Breakfast Quesadillas- Two Griddled Whole- Wheat Tortillas Filled with Jack Cheese, Guacamole and Scrambled Eggs with Salsa Fresca and Apple- Smoked Bacon. Debby had Durango Omelette - Our Famous Omelette of Ham, Jack Cheese. Scallions, Guacamole, Fresh Sauteed Mushroom, Sour Cream and Green Chile. She had Chorizo instead of ham and enjoyed every bite as I enjoyed mine except for the two bites of each others dishes we exchanged, we enjoyed these as well. If you are ever in or near Santa Fe I heartily recommend Cafe Pasqual.

The first walking tour took us through the town square describing the architecture, a brief history of the town, its buildings and the native American Uprising about 1680.Two of these stories caught my attention. In the first the Bishop who built the main Catholic Church not far from the square included the Hebrew name of G-D in the portal of the main entrance. It is said that he did so at the request or to honor the Jewish merchant who loaned him the money to complete the church. the Bishop kept running out of money and never completed the church and I doubt if he ever repaid the merchant.

The other story involves another nearby Catholic church and the Nuns that ran it. The Bishop had brought some Nuns over from Oklahoma City in order to teach the Indians. These Nuns who wore wide brim hats and big flowing skirts had trouble climbing the ladder to the second floor balcony so they asked the Bishop for a staircase. The Bishop who it seems never had enough money refused them so the prayed for nine days, I think its called a Novena. At the end of the nine days a man came out of the wilderness with tools and material. Over the next two years he built a circular staircase that to this day defies the imagination since nobody is sure how it is supported. (the railings were added later). When he finished he left as he had come, with nobody even knowing his name.

The next walking tour pretty much covered the same area but took us to several area homes one converted to an Art Gallery and the other, part of an Inn. The orientation of this walk however was Jewish History and migration to New Mexico. It seems that Crypto Jews were amongst the first Spanish colonizers to come to New Mexico. Crypto Jews are "hidden Jews" who were forced to convert during the Spanish Inquisition. There seems to be evidence that a large number of the Spaniards who came to new Mexico were of Jewish origin. The guide informed us that the State historian has been studying these families and will soon publish a book about his research. The second group of Jews to influence the founding of New Mexico were the German Jewish Merchants who came with the Santa Fe Trail but didn't settle until the trains came. It was their homes that we visited and it was one of them that befriended the Bishop and loaned him money to build his church.

Of course you notice the first indoor plumbing fixtures in New Mexico. If you go, don't miss this tour.

On-Going: Jewish Legacy in New Mexico Tour
Dates:    Thursday, May 13 2004 to Friday, Dec 31 2010
Times:    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Occurs:   Weekly on Thursday
Location:    Haagen Dazs
City:    Santa Fe
Address:    PO Box 1601
Description:    Come on the original Santa Fe tour with a unique cultural perspective. Explore New Mexico history a little more in depth with a local historian and find out how Jews were both Hispanos and Anglos. See the store and homes of the Jewish merchants who settled here in the golden era. Find out about the twentieth-century Jewish community in the area. $18/pp. Thursdays 10 AM or by arrangement. Group rates available. Reservations essential. *Endorsed by the NM Jewish Historical Society
Contact:    Stefanie Beninato
Phone:    505-988-8022
Ticket Prices:    18/pp. Multiday and group discounts available.
Ticket Phone:   505-988-8022

After the Jewish Tour and a prearranged late checkout at the campground we drove to Albuquerque.

The RV Lifestyle | June 19, 2004 - July 28, 2004