Before my trip to Santa Fe I was very skeptical - just the name of the state - New Mexico made me feel like I am going to the end of the world. But I was very surprised - this city became one of my favorites in the US after San Diego and San Francisco.
We went to Santa Fe with a friend of mine for Christmas. We drove from Denver to Santa Fe and back. We visited the Grand Sand Dunes on our way to Santa Fe - a huge amount of sand in the center of the mountains. You can see a picture at the end of the post.
On the way to Santa Fe there were several small pueblos, which we visited. They have these funny rituals and dances around Christmas, unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos. People there still live without electricity and still bake their bread in front of their homes. They make their own jewelry and clothes - very impressive. The rituals were amazing - those songs and dances were great. They even picked me together with 5 other women to dance on the stage, so that the chief of the village can pick a wife :) It was very funny how we competed for him, too good he didn't pick me, cause I am not sure how long I can live without Internet :)
Then we drove to Santa Fe. Around Christmas this city looks great - they have these paper bags with little candles in them lined up couple of feet from each other in front of every house, church, store and hotel and this dimmed light looks amazing, especially in the evenings. The fire department is very busy for several days, but the view is amazing. We had our Christmas dinner and went around the city the next day - amazing bookstores, jewelry stores - I was really surprised.
I would recommend this city to everyone who wants to escape from the big city life for several days.