15 September - Santa Fe: rest day

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Odd burgh, Santa Fe. Architecture is interesting but a tad overpowering. It's not like anywhere else I've been or seen. It is Santa Fe.

Santa Fe architecture

After yesterday's exertions, today is a day of rest.

Due to an on-going medical problem, Wifey had to get one of her regular blood tests today. Being the planner that she is, she phoned ahead to the Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre. She was advised it was a walk in service as long as she had an order from her doctor. They confirmed her medical record book would be good enough and that it would cost roughly $45. Great.

Not.

Don't know what I expected, but I did expect it to be quicker and easier than in the UK.

We arrived at the Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Centre shortly after 9am. After finally finding out we needed to go to the ER (information prised out from the most unforthcoming of receptionists).

Triage. Exactly as the UK. No Wifey's details aren't on your systems, we're from the UK. They did have a sense of humour cos they said they couldn't understand people from the North of England. I did laff.

Then things kind of slowed to NHS pace.

Wifey was called through after 30 mintes.

I sat.

And I sat.

And I sat.

In the middle of a group of a family who's father had been admitted the previous evening but about whom they were not being told anything. The group kept getting larger and larger. Must have been 30 relative is a slmallish ER waiting room all waiting to hear.

Anyways, after waiting some more, bringing it up toi 2 hours without wifey, I put my forceful head on and asked, cos I was getting worried, what was taking so long for a very simple and basic blood test.

Oh, ah, yes, let's see. I was taken through into the ER to find Wifey waiting. She'd seen 6 different people and they'd taken at least 3 gallons of blood when al that was required was an ampoule. Anyway, they'd just about finished and how would we like to pay?

Now, she had rung ahead. We had waited nearly 4 hours. We thought it would be about $45. Not $500. Ouch.

Best thing about the experience was the guided tour by by taxi driver on the way there. Catherine, you were fantastic. I did give a big tip.

Right, now I can talk about Santa Fe.

Interesting architecture. Pueblo style I am told. Everything is built that way. Houses, garages, schools, government building...ok so not everything. As we only had the afternoon left we got a scoot on.

Did the cathedral, St Francis of Assisi Basilica, my confirmation saint, some very nice stained glass. Round the corner to the Loretto Chapel with it's 'mysterious staircase', oooooooo.

Then wandering through the souvenir boutique shops. Very boutiquey kind of town. Reminded me very much of Jackson Hole but on a larger scale. Boardwalks very similar. Spent a small fortune. Lunch in a small greasy spoon to compensate. Actually, pretty good food.

Bimbled through the town square, looked at the stalls outside the Palace of the Governors selling v expensive Navajo silver and rugs.

Quick once around the Palace as it was closing. Some rather morbid Mexican style Holy Family effigies, but on the whole, very interesting, would have liked to have more time. Did by a book - A Land So Strange (ISBN 978-0465068418) by Andres Resendez about the journeys of Cabeza de Vaca. Look it up.

Another scam in the street and another in the town square left a nastier taste than it should of done. But it is everywhere in the States unfortunately. Oh and another on the way to dinner.

Back to the hotel for a rest before dinner in the rooftop cantina of the Coyote Cafe. Had the “Maybe or Maybe Not, Hot” Jalapeno “Shooters” for starter with the Grande Chimi for main course. Lovely jubbly as Jamie would say. Very warming on a cold and damp evening. I'm sure Sarah Jessica Parker was sat behind us.

Early bed. Again. Lungs not liking the thin air.


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