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Wednesday September 21- Santa Fe

We stayed in this morning doing chores. We washed the sheets in the laundry at the RV park and did some laundry in the motor home. Bob cleaned the fans and did some other chores. I finished yesterday’s blog and worked on cleaning out my email.

After lunch, we drove to Santa Fe and did more chores. We started at the Bank of America and closed out my business account. There are no BoA’s in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, or Idaho. What a pain! I had mailed a deposit in January for my articles and it never arrived. Swore I was not doing that again, so I am switching banks for the business. We literally went next door to the Wells Fargo and opened another business account. It was too much of a pain to do a checking account, as you have to also open a savings account and move money each month, plus lots of other rules, so I just opened a savings account. I can put the money in there and then move it to our personal account if I need to write a check. They gave me an ATM card, which I can use with a PIN at Staples or Office Depot. There are ways to get around the new banking rules!

After that we went hunting for a place for me to have my hair done, we went to Michaels and JoAnns but I could not find what I was looking for, so we continued to Smith’s ( a grocery store connected with Kroger) and picked up a USA Today and gas. We only paid $3.32 per gallon, the least we have paid in a long, long time! There were also long, long lines to buy the gas!

Now it was time for fun. We drove downtown to Old Town Santa Fe. First we stopped at Tin-Nee-Ann, a World Famous Tourist Trap. It was not what we expected, so we just cruise through quickly. That is how the place is advertised.

We parked in a city lot for $2 for 1 hour, then walked to the “Loretto Chapel”.

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The Chapel is best known for the “miraculous staircase”.007-1

Fashioned after Sainte-Chappelle in Paris, built in the 1870’s, to serve the Loretto Academy, which was operated by the Sisters of Loretto.

It is believed to be the first Gothic structure built west of the Mississippi. The Chapel was built with a design flaw; there was no way to climb up to the choir loft. Carpenters were called in for advice; they all thought that a conventional staircase would take up too much room in the small Chapel. It came down to either rebuilding the balcony or using a ladder.

The Sisters said a Novena to request guidance from St. Joseph, their patron saint. The legend goes on to say, on the final day of the Novena, a mysterious carpenter arrived to design and construct a circular staircase. He came only with a donkey, a saw, carpenter’s square, a hammer and tubs in which to soak the wood.

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This picture is how it looked before the Sisters asked for a railing to be added.

He constructed the staircase, which contains 33 steps and two full 360 degree turns. The staircase has no center support, nor is it held up by the sides. When he completed the staircase, he disappeared without payment.  The museum and Chapel are now privately owned, They charge $3/pp. for admission.009-1

Our next stop was the San Miguel Mission( $1 pp. for admission). This is the Oldest Church in the USA, built in 1610, when Santa Fe was founded. Archaeological digging has found Native American occupation of the site from as early at 1300 AD. Part of the structure was damaged during the Pueblo revolt of 1680, but the Mission was rebuilt in 1692. San Migel Mission

The alter screen dates from 1798 and is the oldest wooden ‘reredos’ in New Mexico. The top rectangular painting is of St. Michael, flanked by St. Teresa on the left and St. Gertrude on the right. In the center is the painting of Christ the Nazarene with St. Francis of Assisi to the left and St. Louis on the right. The wooden carved statue is of St. Michael the Archangel celebrating his victory over Satan. The statue dates from at least 1709, when it was brought to this site from Mexico. 013-1

The San Joe Bell once hung in the bell tower and the inscription reads “San Jose       9 December  1356”. 014-1

Behind the bell was this confessional.

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We walked back to the historic square,

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stopping to shop at a couple of shops. We returned to the car and went in search of Palace of Governor’s.

 

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This is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the US. Built around the time of Santa Fe’s founding(1700). It has served as a seat of the viceroyalty of New Spain’s colonial government, then was home to  Mexican and then American territorial governors. Three flags have flown over this building, Spain, Mexico and the USA.

We returned to the motor home, grilled chicken for dinner, and watched TV before going to bed.

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