So, Santa Fe. Sure, you’ve got your sun baked adobe downtown teeming with upscale stores and locals selling silver and turquoise off blankets around the historic central square. You’ve got Georgia O’Keefe’s Museum, and several others all in a tight walkable area. There are restaurants galore (go to Café Pasquale and order the Carne Asada).
But where do you go to really feel it? And I’m talking about the road; the travel; how far you’ve come to get here?
There is a song that’s been humming in your head since you turned left at Bakersfield (Hey, we’re from the NW). You keep running into these cities, and you tick off the lyrics, in reverse order. Kingman, Arizona, don’t forget Winona, Flagstaff, Gallup, New Mexico. That’s right, you’re on Route 66.
So when you travel the “Mother Road” you are bombarded with signs saying, “Historic Route 66”. How do you know if it’s going to feel real, or if it’s going to be another of those places with more cheap trinkets?
Karin and I were driving into Santa Fe when we spotted it. The El Rey Court. Yep, a motor court that stepped out of every 1940’s Black and White movie you’ve ever seen of people rolling down the highway in the west. Family vacation movie, screwball road comedy, noir murder mystery/chase. If they had anything to do with travel in the west, you know they all stopped at a motor court. That’s the El Rey.
After touring Sante Fe, and making dinner, Karin and I headed out to the El Rey to soak in the atmosphere, and have a drink at their great bar, Le Reina. The bartender there focuses on agave and mezcal cocktails, but they pull a good microbrew as well.
When we stop in Santa Fe again….we’re going to check in for at least a night.
Clearly giving visitors a feel of the old Route 66 motor court was the vibe the owners were thinking about when they bought and remodeled this thing. As they say in this article, it was more about peeling back they layers and letting the adobe do the talking.