Thursday, August 15, 2019

Santa Fe Opera Tour #6

And so our trip came to an end on Sunday as we headed home. Lots of fun, and excellent facilitation by Heather, a volunteer from the Vancouver Opera Guild, who accompanied us on this journey.

Donna and Erica at the Opera

Group Shot at departure time

Santa Fe Opera Tour #5

On Friday, we had an excursion out to the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden were we watched an introductory video about Allan's life and then had a conducted tour of many monumental sculptures spread over 15 acres. Another extremely hot day.  We also spent time in the Gallery/gift shop.

Santa Fe Opera tour #4

From there we went on to Taos, where we enjoyed the many shops and had lunch.  Then we continued on to the Taos Pueblo, considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the US. 

Pueblo is defined as: "a North American Indian settlement of the southwestern US, especially one consisting of multistoried adobe houses built by the Pueblo people." For more information, view its website here."

It was a very hot day and difficult to spend nearly an hour outside having a guided tour of the Pueblo, but it was very interesting.  

Above picture shows the ruins of a Catholic Church which was destroyed in the War with Mexico by the U.S. Army in 1847. This church was first built in 1619 then destroyed in the Spanish Revolt of 1680 but soon rebuilt on the same site. 

The white gate in the above picture is the entrance to the Saint Geronimo (or St. Jerome) Chapel, built in 1850 to replace the Catholic church destroyed in 1847.  I took refuge from the extreme heat by sitting in the church a couple of times. There was a thunder and lightning storm in the hills while we were there and some welcome rain fell on us.

Stock Picture of church:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Santa Fe Opera Tour #3

On Wednesday, July 31 as part of the tour, our bus took the group to Taos. On the way, we stopped at Chimayo, and saw El Santuario de Chimayo, a Roman Catholic Shrine, which still receives over 300,000 visitors a year and is an important pilgrimage site in North America.

 El Santuario de Chimayo

In Chimayo, we also visited the Potrero Trading Post next to the shrine which is renowned for its red and green chillies. 

And also part of this village is the Santo Nino chapel, below, you can see the strong Spanish influence in the design and decoration:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Santa Fe Opera Tour #2

We attended four different operas during the tour at the magnificent Santa Fe Opera House, which is about 6 miles outside of Santa Fe on a hilltop.

(Stock Picture)



 View from our seats

View behind the stage

The operas we saw were:

The Pearl Fishers by Bizet (romantic)
Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart (fluffy & a farce)
Jenufa by Janecek (tragedy)
La Boheme by Puccini (sad and romantic)

My favourite was Jenufa because of the intense emotions, lots of action on the set and the drama between the players.

Santa Fe Opera Tour #1

From July 29 to August 4, 2019, I joined my friend Susy on the Vancouver Opera Guild tour to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We stayed at the Inn of the Governors, which is quite comfortable, saw four different operas in the Santa Fe Opera House, and toured Taos and vicinity and the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden. Great trip, but very, very hot which made it difficult to walk around the city for long. When we did walk in Santa Fe, we headed for the museums and galleries to get some air conditioning.

The Georgia O'Keefe Museum was very interesting and we spent a couple of hours there. First we attended an excellent lecture about the art work of Georgia O'Keefe, which included a guided tour of Gallery Room #7, some of her later works.  After touring the entire Museum, we watched a video about her life.  She painted for many decades, with her style evolving from close ups of flowers, to the desert and hills around her home, to scenes of clouds and horizons that she saw when looking out of airplane windows in flight.

A few of her paintings:

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Museum of Anthropology - Theatre of Puppets

Went with my friend, Janice, to the Museum of Anthropology on Sunday, June 30 to the special exhibit: "Shadows, Strings and Other Things - The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets".  I had no idea what this exhibit would be all about and was thrilled to see the displays from so many countries, the video shorts of puppets entertaining the audience and details of how puppets were created and operated.

There are puppets which are operated by strings, on poles, by hand and using shadows.  Quite fascinating.

Punch & Judy - UK


Day Trip to Langley Wineries

On Saturday, June 29, 2019 I went for a drive for the day, taking my friends Susy and Sharon and we went out to Langley to visit wineries.  Such a gorgeous, peaceful drive through farm and pastural areas. We loved it. First stop was the Chaberton Estate Winery at 1064 - 216th Street, Langley. We started in the tasting room/store where we had small tastes of the following wines from their winery:

1. 2017 Estate Grown Madeleine Sylvaner Fraser Valley BC VQA (good)
2. 2018 Estate Grown Dry Bacchus Fraser Valley BC VQA (quite dry)
3. 2018 Estate Grown Bacchus Fraser Valley BC VQA (I liked this one)
4. 2018 Estate Grown Siegerrebe Fraser Valley BC VQA (award winning)
5. 2017 Estate Grown Siegerrebe Dessert Fraser Valley BC VQA (fabulous)

Chaberton Vineyards

Chaberton wines I bought to try at home

Then went to their Bacchus Bistro for a fabulous lunch of Butternut Squash soup and Okra Quiche.  So delicious!

Next we drove to the Township 7 Vineyard & Winery at their Langley location at 21152 16th Avenue.  We did not taste wines here but bought one of their wines which has won lots of awards - Viognier:

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Side Trip to Grand Canyon, South Rim

While in Sedona, we took a one day guided tour up to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon and back, making lots of stops along the way. About a 12 hour return trip.