The Land of Enchantment

I’m writing now from the cozy bed in our actually quite lovely hotel room, just outside of Austin, TX. This is the first time in a few days that I’ve been able to get working wi-fi, so I’m taking advantage to catch up on various emails and boring reality that can’t be completely ignored just because we are traveling.

I’ll try to sum up the last few days as succinctly as I can…and if you are following me on Instagram @thisqueerfemme you can see the photo of me standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon wearing a faux fur vest and heels. So fun to do that little photo shoot inspired by my Great Grandma O’Keeffe. According to family legend, when she sees the Grand Canyon for the first time, she exclaimed to her husband Raymond, “What’s the big deal? It’s just a giant hole!” I would love to have met her.

I had more of a reaction of awe than my Grandmother; standing on the edge of such vast and immense beauty was truly breathtaking. We also stayed a night in Sedona, and it was, of course, picturesque and stunning with an adorable town and friendly people. Despite this, I was glad to leave Arizona and enter the Land of Enchantment–New Mexico. Our stay there has been our favorite so far. We enjoyed two blissful evenings at the Ojo Caliente Spa, about an hour north of Santa Fe. The combination of fresh from the garden food with four different types of mineral hot springs and gorgeous scenery, provided some much needed nourishment and relaxation.

After reluctantly leaving the spa Monday morning, we stopped at a fantastically amazing art collective in Santa Fe called Meow Wolf. I totally fell in love with this place and I don’t think I can describe it fully without writing page after page. All I can say is that it was like walking through room after room of a dream (some may say nightmare depending on what was in the room!), and each hidden door or passageway led into something even more magical than the last. I was incredibly impressed with the amount of work and creativity that went into creating this space that had adults wandering in wonder as much as the children.

We both loved New Mexico immensely and the energy everywhere we went or drove through felt very peaceful compared to Arizona and now Texas. Perhaps a bit of our fear of both of these states’ political leanings and reputations for intolerance colored our view, but I also felt that it was because of a stronger Native American presence and less cowboy. No offense to cowboys, but there is a bit too much swagger and gun holstering for my taste.

I admit that I went through a mild case of Enchantment withdrawal as we have spent the last two days driving over miles and miles of Texan asphalt and flat land. I perked up briefly today when we stopped at a darling old fashioned soda fountain diner and drug store/gift shop called Owl Drug in Coleman, TX. If you’re ever driving the mind numbing expanse between Lubbock and Austin, I highly recommend taking a pit stop here for some home cooked goodness and friendly service!

Next stop, Houston, for a three day visit with cousins and probably lots of bbq.

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