Tag Archives: history

Today’s post brought to you by Spanish Explorers

(Disclaimer:  Kevin and I had a wonderful time in Santa Fe and plan on going again, but if that is what I wrote, who would read this?)

My husband and I recently spent a weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  My husband has an American Express card that gives him a free buddy pass if he pays certain fees.  Generally, my husband forgets about this until right before it is going to expire.  So about this time every year, on a Sunday afternoon, he pulls out his laptop and asks where I would like to go for a weekend.  We end up spending about four times what the actual ticket costs in hotel, food, and car rental fees, but Kevin still sees the ticket as free and therefore a great deal.

This time I said that I wanted to go to Santa Fe.  I know very little about Santa Fe.  In my mind, I saw adobe buildings with galleries, some turquoise and sun.  I thought it had to be warm to have adobe buildings.  I looked at a couple guide books and it looked just beautiful so we booked tickets and planned to go.  Before I packed, I looked Santa Fe on the weather website to see if I should pack a light weight jacket.

Where is the warmth promised to us by Spanish Explorers?

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the forecast was for 30 degree weather.  I was shocked.  Then I became angry.  It is complete false advertisement.  I don’t believe a state should have the word Mexico in it’s name unless it’s climate is the same as, say, Mexico.  More specifically the Mexican Riviera.  And the name Santa Fe conjures up thoughts of the sun.  Albuquerque does not say sun, but Santa Fe does.  I don’t care if Santa Fe actually means “Holy Faith.” To non-Spanish speaking people who live in -10 degree winters, it means “come in January because it is really just like Phoenix, Arizona.”  And the New Mexico flag is yellow with a red sun.  A SUN.  It was brought by Spanish explorers and when you think of Spain you think of warmth as well.   Maybe I just think of warmth when I think of the Spanish language and spicy food.  At least New Mexico has spicy food.

But then I found out that it wasn’t native spicy food.  New Mexican food is different from Mexican food because of the amount of chile.  Chile is one of the state’s biggest crops.  You walk down the street and see chile drying in all the windows.  They even have chile twinkle lights.  But here is the thing: the chile is not actually native to New Mexico.  Spanish explorers brought that as well.  Back in the 1600’s.  By this time, I became disenchanted.  I was cold and disenchanted.

To help myself feel better, I decided that I wanted to buy  some Turquoise jewelry.  I found a great pair of earrings that a silversmith had made and stamped his initials on the back.  I thought: “Here is something authentic and wonderful.” Until I went into the next shop.  In that shop the silversmith told me he made all his own jewelry AND cut the turquoise out of rock from his backyard.  And then I found out that certain turquoise is from different parts of the area and that my turquoise might not have been from New Mexico.  I wouldn’t call it discouraging, per say, but when I found fluorescent butterfly earrings that I could pick up at Claire’s perhaps, I no longer cared that they weren’t New Mexican and bought them.

I now have some of the ugliest butterfly earrings ever made (probably by Spanish explorers) from Santa Fe and they make me very, very happy.