Earlier this month, I celebrated my birthday by going to New Mexico's International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. It's always been something that I wanted to go and see, and let me tell you, it's absolutely amazing. :) The sight of hundreds of balloons in the air at once is simply stunning. Even got to go on the field and see some of the balloons get packed away (yet another amazing feat -- how they fit the balloon in this tiny sack). Here's my favorite picture from the balloon fiesta from my library.
At the balloon fiesta, there were many booths selling lots of different things to take away with you as a souvenir. There was also an art and craft tent next to the fiesta. Here are a few pictures of a balloon ornament and card, as well as a himalayan salt lamp, some interesting beanie hats (with mohawks), wine bottle hangers, metal cutouts, puppets, scented salts, and glass paperweights.
We also spent a day in Santa Fe, NM. For starters, a day was just not enough time to spend. Santa Fe is a nice town of old town charm, architecture, art and spirituality. We explored the plaza and it's vicinity. There were lots of craft booths everywhere, tho, I was unsure if this was a normal occurrence or if we just came on a craft fair day (I didn't see any signs of a particular craft fair, so perhaps it was more of a normal occurrence). In the next collage of pictures, you'll see a really cool flower polymer clay necklace, rugs, and baskets, wind chimes, a chili cart, more clay products, some potholders and baked potato steamers, colorful painted wood animals, and a strange collection of skeletal figurines.
Also in Santa Fe, we visited the Loretto Chapel. What an amazing story with an amazing architectural feat. The staircase goes up 20 ft and does two revolutions with no nails and no center support.
We did more looking around at the shops in the vicinity. Some of the common things you see all over New Mexico are bull skulls, and Kokopellis (the dancing flute player) and dream catchers. There also seems to be an abundance of turquoise products.
We also took a tour of Santa Fe where we drove by a bunch of galleries that would have been really cool to see (seriously need more time next visit). The next group of pictures were taken at both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. That top left pictures is a guy carrying an ipod. The bench was just really interesting to see. The R2D2 mailbox was just awesome, had to take a picture. The cranes were a homemade greeting card. The lady with the star quilt was one of many sculptures in this small park we drove by on our tour. The last picture of the yellow/orange rose was something I found and bought from the balloon fiesta. It's actually made of thin wood glued together into the form of a rose.
We had an absolutely awesome time in New Mexico, as well as having our fill of the New Mexican cuisine... so good!