Dreaming of a White Christmas

In 2014 Marie, Chuck, their son Charlie, Jim and I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico for Christmas.  Marie and Chuck rented a Home Away house and we stayed at La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza.  We had such a great time we vowed to make it a tradition.  We broke our promise and didn’t make it in 2015, but we did go in 2016.  Marie and her family rented a house again because they prefer their own space and homey atmosphere.  Jim and I stayed at La Fonda again.  It is one of our very favorite places to stay, as we have stayed there numerous times over the years.  The La Fonda is a very busy place in Santa Fe.  Not only is it right on the plaza in the center of downtown, but visitors gather there for it’s excellent restaurants and bars and also to warm up from the cold or to use their very accessible restroom.

Marie and Chuck live about four hours closer to Santa Fe than we do, so they drove and we flew and met them there.  Plus Jim and I left home two days earlier in order to go to the Artesian Hotel and Casino in Sulphur, Oklahoma.  I thought it might get us into the Christmas spirit and it did.  Gorgeous boutique hotel with gorgeous Christmas decorations.  And I won a little money and came out $600 ahead.

Jim and I spent the night at the Artesian and had a wonderful dinner, played at the casino, slept like rocks, and drove back to Texas the next morning.  We spent the night at the Hyatt DFW so we could be close to the airport and not take a chance on missing our 11:00 flight.  You know that saying about the best laid plans.  Well, we made it to the airport just fine, got to our gate early, ate breakfast, and sat down to wait and people watch.

So we watched and sat and watched and sat and watched and sat.  There were several announcements about a flight being late arriving and calling passengers to check in.  But nothing about our flight and nothing calling us to check in.  About fifteen minutes before our flight was to depart, American Airlines flashed a notice on the screen of our gate that our flight had been moved from gate 4 to gate 40. In panic mode, we caught a transport to gate 40 and just as we arrived, the agent closed the flight.  Needless to say Jim was fit to be tied.  They were able to put us on another flight, but not until 5:00.  We were late getting to Santa Fe, but we made it and the rest of the week went smoothly.

We all got to do what each of us wanted.  Jim shopped and shopped and shopped.  He loves to shop.  Marie and Chuck walked and shopped.  Charlie and I sat a lot in the lobby of La Fonda, watched people and had drinks.  Charlie lives in New York City and I don’t get to see him very often so we had time to get caught up.

We had some lovely dinners during our stay.  We ate one night at Terracotta Wine Bistro.  We had a delicious meal with lots of attention from the owners and wait staff.  Don’t know why we deserved it, but it was lots of fun visiting with them all.  Another night we had dinner at Casa Chimayo.  This is one of the restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  It is supposed to be known for its mole’ sauce.  I was not impressed with the mole’, but my enchiladas with red hatch chile pepper sauce was excellent as well as the posole I had.  Delish!  Jim had a goat soup which he liked, Charlie had goat stew, and Marie and Chuck had enchiladas with mole’ sauce.

Every morning Jim went to the Plaza Café in the square for breakfast.  It is his favorite place to eat.  He had mimosas and breakfast and sat for several hours and visited.  Marie, Chuck, and Charlie met him there most mornings, but not me.  I never made it to the Plaza Café this trip.  With all the travelling in November and getting ready for this trip and shopping for my grandkids Christmas, I did exactly what I meant to do – take it easy.  In La Fonda there is a restaurant called The French Pastry Shop and Creperie.  It is fabulous and I went there for breakfast instead of the Plaza Café several times.

After dinner at Terracotta, Charlie and I went to Buffalo Thunder casino for a few hours but there is nothing exciting to report.  It is about fifteen miles north of Santa Fe and there is a wonderful Hilton Hotel on the property.  It has lots of machines and plenty of the newer ones, but we didn’t have much luck.  I think we were too rushed.  In the past we have enjoyed it, but this trip was too rushed to really appreciate it.

On Christmas Eve, Marie, Chuck, and Charlie took the Canyon Road tour.  On foot is the only way one can take the tour because the roads are blocked off.  The museums and stores are decorated for the season and they offer wassail and cookies to all who visit.  It snowed on Christmas Eve so I am sure the tour was beautiful.  The beautiful churches in Santa Fe were open for touring and on Christmas Eve for midnight mass.  Marie, Chuck and Charlie went for the carols.


On Christmas Day we ate a late lunch at La Plazuela.  They have a traditional Christmas dinner every year that is very good.  I don’t remember how much it has been in the past, but this year it was $59.00 and worth every penny.  It was the best meal of the whole trip.  We had turkey with chestnut stuffing, lamb, roast beef, cheesy polenta, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, salads, and lots of desserts.  It seemed to be more of a “Yankee” Christmas dinner, but it was all delicious.  This is a picture of the front of La Fonda from the movie “Any Which Way You Can”.

We were all leaving the next day, so after lunch Marie and Chuck went back to their house to get things ready to leave and Jim and Charlie and I retired to the hotel lobby to visit and sit and enjoy our last day in Santa Fe in 2016.  We met some very nice people, lots from Texas and others from as far away as Florida.  Lots traveled by car and one had a chauffeur.


The return trip went much smoother and we were super glad to get home.  Monkey was happy to see us.  We hadn’t put up a Christmas tree because we were afraid he might get hurt so on our first day home we put it up with a minimum amount of unbreakable ornaments on it.  As you can tell he was a happy kitty.  Marie’s cat Cinnamon worked an entire 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle while we were gone.

Also our son Greg and his family came to visit so we could have our family Christmas.  Tanner is 12 and fished every day.  Raegan is 10 and helped me in the kitchen.  Jim has a project he needed help from Ginger on and there will be more about that another day.

Until our next adventure, Happy New Year to all from Marie and Dianne





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