August Get Away
A quick August two day trip gave us a look at summertime in Santa Fe. Mid-Covid-19. New Mexico implemented a hard shut down in 2020. At the present time rules are more relaxed. But evidence of the pandemic remain.
On our approach, highway warning signs proclaimed- Delta variant is here: Cases on the upswing- in blinking lights. So, tourists are forewarned. We took notice an acted accordingly.
Many of our favorite places remain operational. Once again we stayed at The Inn of the Governors. This non-branded hotel offers exceptional service. We noticed quite an increase in price. Since this is our first summertime in Santa Fe trip, it is unknown if the higher prices are normal or a sign of inflation. Before, we visited in the off season.
A few places were no longer around. Our favorite cheese shop closed in 2020. The bike rental place indicated they would not be open in 2021. (We hiked a 10K instead.) But all three of the restaurants discussed in Wintertime Santa Fe were thriving.
For the most part we relaxed and stayed away from crowded areas. We took advantage of the outside dining at Osterio D’Assisi. Coupled with a late dining hour, we felt quite comfortable sitting in the open air. It was nice to chat with the couple at a nearby table, all while maintaining social distance.
Our second night, we ordered takeout from Del Charro and relaxed in a small alcove outside our hotel room. The weekend crowds had built throughout Friday afternoon and that factored into the decision. Tired legs were also an influence. The hanging baskets, replete with hummingbirds provided ambiance.
Hidden Gem of the Summertime in Santa Fe Visit
The highlight of the trip was the discovery of a new place to grab a bite of lunch and escape from the hustle and bustle of life. And we found Ahmyo Wine Garden by chance. Serendipity at play.
Undeterred Friday morning by the inability to rent a bike, we explored the area north of Santa Fe by foot. Fort Marcy Park was the starting point of our trek. We meandered through the neighborhoods for about three miles before connecting to Gonzalez Road for the return to town via a trip down Canyon Road.
Our plan was to stop at The Teahouse on the upper part of Canyon, a street know for art studios and boutiques with just a sprinkling of eateries. Unfortunately, The Teahouse was packed. Tables close together and the wait list an hour long.
So we continued downhill looking for outdoor seating. About half way down I spied a sandwich board advertising the Ahmyo Wine Garden. It was almost lost among the many signs on Canyon Road. After walking through the art gallery, one stumbles upon a true hidden oasis.
We split a sandwich and a cheese board, drank our fill of bottled water, one sparkling and one still. And sampled a local New Mexico wine. The restaurant has been open only a few months with the addition of wine in the last few weeks. Very few people were there- a hidden gem that I doubt will stay unknown for long. But in this time of Covid-19, I was glad to find a place with tables spread out in a peaceful garden. The ambiance made up for a limited menu. Perfection, pure perfection. If you visit Santa Fe, make sure to take a break at the Ahmyo Wine Garden.
Signs of the Pandemic
In addition to the aforementioned Delta is Here highway sign, many people donned masks throughout the city. Currently there is not a mandate. Businesses had Covid related messages on their entries. The signs varied by request. I noted many “if you are vaccinated masks not necessary, but mandatory for unvaccinated.” A few asked all to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Compliance was high. But not 100%.
There were people coughing. I will admit this is a bit unsettling. And I wonder how long a simple cough will make me nervous. It truly is a curse to live in interesting times.
There were many signs of pent-up demand. Summertime in Santa Fe is full of tourists, pop-up art shows, musicians on The Plaza and a back to normal Saturday morning Farmer’s Market. Restaurants are full, as are hotels. Merchants must be relieved to ring up sales again.
Delta is lurking. Two-thirds of adults living in New Mexico are fully vaccinated. Will this be enough to provide protection from the influx of visitors? It is too early to tell.
Striking a balance is key. Enjoy the slideshow.