Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Me on the way to the opera, "Turandot" in Santa Fe

What is it about Santa Fe?

I don't know!

Could be that there are many retirees there, and the climate is so beautiful and the scenery so relaxing. So much of what you see (as a tourist, but for miles) is adobe - in shape and color, which is very calming. It almost gets boring. Living in a town where the Historical Preservation Society (known to some annoyed residents as the Hysterical Preservation Society), I was impressed at the sway the local one holds in Santa Fe. Miles and miles of houses that "are okay as long as they look like adobe from the outside".

We did see some sterling EQ practised at the Albuquerque airport. As you know, if you've been traveling, the restrictions get worse, and tempers flair. Also at this airport there are perhaps more than the usual amount of "seniors" traveling. Many are "well off," and therefore "entitled" -- we observed. The staff at the airport must have had special EQ training, as they handle it all with smiles, humor, and just the right touch.

Santa Fe is a town that relies on tourism for its economy (like the town where I live, San Antonio), and they know it. When I served on our Chamber's Tourism Board, we tried to get some actions into affect that were more congenial for tourists, and my town does a good job, but Santa Fe does an excellent job. They know where their bread and butter come from. Now isn't that EQ smart??

The hotel we were at had TWO concierges working full time, and they were more than accommodating. Many people did not bring cars and were relying on the various shuttles, and there was a lot of work for the concierges in that area. They were competent, smiling relaxed and confident -- both females -- which helped the travelers to relax a little!

The opera was grand opera at its best. Go Puccini! The opera house is open air and it got very cold. (It got down to around 50 at night.) We were glad we had been told to bring blankets, and the manager of the hotel had also "saved" two Pendleton wool blankets just for us. (See what I mean how nice they are? This is the El Dorado Hotel and I recommend it highly.) It got both cold and windy at the opera as the night wore on, more the first night than the second.

Again, many were reliant on the shuttles, and the staff was so pleasant and accommodating. Travelers get anxious -- who wants to be left stranded at the opera, many miles from any hotel? The relaxed and confident drivers, who never lost their aplomb nor their senses of humor, were an example of EQ in action. The drivers were all well-versed in opera, as well, and talked intelligently, and also used their EQ as some of the people going, of course, thought they were authorities on opera.

If you're planning a trip to Santa Fe, and want some tips, do email me. And do go! It's lovely. And you don't want to miss Ten Thousand Waves - a world class spa up in the hills. Outdoor hot tubs! You can book a private one if you like. Lovely. Very Japanese and you can hear the wind in the trees as you relax in the hot tub.Then enjoy a massage or facial and you'll turn to butter.

And, yes, the sunsets are as advertised. The sky, in fact, is always something to watch, changing, beautiful and colorful. I saw some clouds with the most "silver linings" I've ever seen -- and I live in Texas!

When I got back to San Antonio, there was a rainbow in the sky. No rain in sight, just a rainbow. Now that's a lovely sign!

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