"Why?" you may ask.
A question to which I respond, "Because I convinced my future employer that I needed another week to get some appointments out of the way before I started work."
I decided that one such appointment should take place in Santa Fe, since I will not receive time off for an appointment in Santa Fe for a while after working, and here I am.
My mom and dad are partially (mostly) bankrolling this southwestern expedition of mine as a sort of "Hallelujah, she's employed" gift. Also, I've been so incredibly stressed the past few months, looking for work, being relentlessly shot down, etc... that I haven't actually been relaxing. In Santa Fe, I hope to do just that.
I spent the past two hours walking around the plaza that fronts the Governor's Palace. The shops around the plaza are a great place to go to get fleeced by merchants who are trying to sell you art, not informing you that the $4,000 photographic print you're looking at is NOT one-of-a-kind, but is in fact reproduced and sold in multiple galleries for this artist around the country.
There is also a lot of turquoise jewelry to be found in Santa Fe, the colors of which tend to be chemically enhanced. This is a fact you will not find out - in all likelihood - unless you ask the merchant. The merchant will frown at you and then inform you that, no, the coral is not naturally that hue ("I thought it lacked natural variation") and that the veins in the turquoise have been darkened. And the turquoise has been dyed. Tsk tsk.
If you go to Santa Fe by yourself, and you happen to be a well dressed single white female with excellent posture, you will find that entirely unacceptable men will say "Hello" to you out of nowhere and that couples in their 60s will smile at you for no reason.
You will also decide that the zydeco musician outside the bar on the corner is cute and throw a buck in his hat. At the end of the next block you will realize you gave him a five and kick yourself for your inadvertent profligacy.
Tired, and with sinuses full of cottonwood tufts and a back aching from the airplane trip and the world's most uncomfortable car seats (curse you, Chevy HHR! Stupid rental car! Hey, that kind of rhymes...) you proceed back to your room at the lovely La Quinta Santa Fe to continue reading Gai-Jin and to write a bonus blog post...
(Public Domain image found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Santa_Fe_1846.jpg)