Muleshoe is a 3 ½ – 4 hour trip from Santa Fe, New Mexico, depending on speed driven and stops made, so it is a doable destination when the need to get out of Dodge hits. Friends and I go there quite often. This trip was with Hellen Adrian and was to visit the latest exhibit at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Jimson Weed Returns from the White House, and Georgia O’Keeffe: Beyond Our Shores.

Visiting the museum with Hellen is cool because it is like having my own private docent. She is a former art teacher, an artist in her own right, and a fan of O’Keeffe’s work and spirit, so she fills me in on what was going on in O’Keeffe’s life at the time of the paintings and points out details in the design that I, and probably most people, would miss. Art appreciation at its finest.

Then, of course, is the all –important question of “Where do we eat?” And we are really well-versed on that issue! As we drive down Cerrillos Road and can point out that we ate there, and there-and there, and then go down to the Plaza and do the same thing, the case might be made that we spend too much time in Santa Fe. Au contraire! We have merely learned the lay of the land and can now navigate the streets more confidently and can suggest where a visitor might want to eat. I wouldn’t begin to try to name all the places we have tried, most good, some exceptionally good, so I will just tell you that this trip we tried the Guadalupe Café, Gabriel’s, O’Keeffe Café, and Tomasita’s.

Other locations we like to shop and visit are Jackalope, Santa Fe Greenhouses, Manitou Gallery, and the myriad shops on and around the Plaza. We also hit a wonderful photography gallery/shop on the corner down from the O’Keeffe Museum that I can’t remember the name of, but would recommend you visit. And then, of course, there is Canyon Road, which is nothing but gallery after gallery along about a mile of narrow old street, which is also worth your time.

We parked and walked down Canyon Road. Cars were present but slow as they meandered around pedestrians and parked cars. The temperature was pleasant and had its own mountain air quality about it. The colors in the abundant flowers seemed more vibrant than at home, and the foliage was all lush and green. The four-hundred year history of the place becomes apparent in the old adobe structures and Spanish colonial architecture that Santa Feans guard with a vengeance and proudly display. This is the reason to come to Santa Fe-to be enveloped in another world, far from the hassle and noise and worry of our everyday world.

We had to come back home to some of that hassle and noise and worry, but the respite made it seem not so bad any more.

P.S.-For those of you who are Georgia O’Keeffe admirers, a movie about her filmed entirely in New Mexico will be on  this Saturday, September 19, on Lifetime at 8 pm Central,  but check your local listings to be sure.