Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Wedding in Santa Fe

First: another dear friend graduated! Congratulations to Dr. Luc! He and Meg left Princeton today for good and started their road trip to California. Best of luck to them! I'll miss them!

Congrats, Dr. Luc!

July 24-26, 2011

This summer, I visited Santa Fe, NM, for the wedding of my lovely friends, Laura and Adam.

I left hot, sticky, gross NJ and arrived in hot, dry, fabulous NM with about an hour and a half to spare before the first wedding event. The hour-long drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe was gorgeous. The open space of the southwest was refreshing.

After a quick change and attempt to fix travel-hair, I walked a short five minutes to the art gallery for the dinner and jazz reception. Weddings are typically fantastic reunions: several former classmates were there! We thoroughly enjoyed the food, music, and art.
Me, Nate, Monica at the reception the night before the wedding
Fun art at jazz dinner and reception.

This statue startled pretty much everyone with his eerily realistic face:
Nate and a very realistic statue.

Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early to run. My goal was to run 6.5 miles along this route:

View Larger Map

After huffing, puffing, and almost fainting through a very slow mile, I remembered that Santa Fe is over 7000ft above sea level. This sea level girl decided that a walk would be just fine. Plus, it allowed me to stop and take tons of photos.

I saw lots of artwork:
Love the artwork

Pretty neighborhoods:
Desert neighborhoods

And desert:

I was incredibly thirsty and out of water by the time I got back to downtown, so my sweaty self bought an Odwalla green juice and bananas in a grocery store next to my hotel. Best idea ever. Then I swam in the pool for a few laps. Second best idea ever.

Laura and Adam did a wonderful job of choosing the hotel, chapel, and gallery all within a few minutes' walk of each other and downtown Santa Fe. For lunch, I found a cute cafe near the main square serving green chile nachos. (Okay, based on empirical evidence, every restaurant in New Mexico serves green chiles.)

Soon it was time to get fancied up for the afternoon wedding ceremony at the Loretto Chapel!
Famous Loretto Chapel: site of ceremony
More Loretto

This beautiful Southwestern chapel is famous for its "miraculous" staircase, which was supposedly built by a strange man who disappeared without asking for pay once it was finished, and is apparently a marvel of engineering.
The Miraculous Staircase

We eagerly anticipated the arrival of the bride.
Getting ready!

Soon, the ceremony began!
Bridesmaid and Groomsman

And beautiful Laura walked down the aisle, escorted by her parents:
Bride and her parents!

(I didn't realize how poorly my camera settings reacted to the lighting until too late.)

They said their vows:

And got MARRIED!
They did it!

Princeton classmates rejoiced:
Princeton contingent!

The reception was held at the Hacienda Dona Andrea, a lovely 45-minute drive out into the desert. They provided buses for the guests, from which we saw the big Albuquerque fires:
Fires near Albuquerque

What a perfect reception location! It was gorgeous!
Amazing views
Down to the bar
Pretty tables

Dinner was delicious, toasts were lovely, dancing was fabulous, and the night pretty much perfect.

First dance in the setting sun!

The next morning, we enjoyed a brunch reception at the wedding hotel and said goodbye to the gorgeous Southwest!

Princeton friends!

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