Santa Fe deserves a post of its own.
Despite being quite travel weary when I arrived, I didn't spend much time of my first day in Santa Fe standing still. I arrived in town at around 2 o'clock and lost the entire rest of the day wandering the beautiful streets of what is the oldest capital in the country (it was founded some time in the 1600s by spanish conquistadors).
The first thing anyone will tell you about Santa Fe is the food. And my god do I understand why. It's impossible to order anything, even a burger, without being offered some green chile. As a non-native, you might at first be put off by the idea of singeing your eyebrows any time you eat anything, but once you make the right choice once and answer yes to that very important question, you'll never look back. The bars out here are good fun as well. There's a wide variety of types ranging from sports bars to dark, dim speakeasies. I went to a sportier one called Junction to watch the Champion's League final on Saturday and was delighted at how talkative everyone was.
Oh, that's another thing; strangers relish a good conversation out here, which is a delightful change from the almost automaton-ish way that most southern californians act. I got caught in a thunderstorm on that same Saturday and was running towards cover when I got to chatting with another displaced east coaster who was also looking for protection from the sudden thunder, lightning, and hail that had taken over the afternoon.
The real stars of this city for me, however, are the coffee shops. They each have a wonderful personality all their own and I'm convinced I'm going to gain 100 lbs this summer from the amazing baked goods they all sell. My favorite place is a coffee place/bookstore called Collected Works. The barista, Ashley, makes a spectacular americano. I've begged her to tell me where they get their beans but it's apparently some big secret. I'll have to hone my charming skills over the next 10 weeks to see if I can find out more info.
Anyway, I'm trying to avoid talking about LANL because I'll be posting about work-ish type stuff on Friday. For now, I leave you with this piece of advice; if you ever EVER have an excuse to come to Santa Fe, do it.