Where The Wind Will Carry Me….

Where The Wind Will Carry Me….

Santa Fe breezes are known to gust in May, and I plan on being swept away this week and next to Santa Fe and an entirely new location the Amangiri Resort in Utah.

Santa Fe art inspirations include a new Ansel Adams landmark exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery; photographs of monumental size, remember AA work is predigital, his best known images taken from the 1920’s through the 1960’s will be on display, opening night Friday April 30, I will be there! New restaurants, hot cooking classes, a full report soon….

The wind will then transport me to a recently opened Aman resort, located in Southern Utah close to the border with Arizona; Amangiri is a 25-minute drive from the nearest town of Page, Arizona and a 15-minute drive to the shores of Lake Powell. The resort is in the center of the Grand Circle, surrounded by such iconic attractions as the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Grand Staircase – Escalante and Bryce and Zion National Parks. If you have ever stayed at an Aman resort you know departing is the most difficult undertaking. Escape into their tranquil world and one never wants to return to every day living.

The Grand Canyon area has been in desperate need of a superb stopping point and I believe the Amangiri might be the perfect solution. I will report back after a week; a personal site inspection is essential before I send you off to this blissful location. Even if you are not headed to one of the Canyon or local lake activities, it appears that the resort and spa will satisfy extreme adventure or a spa escape; a few offerings: rock climbing, fly fishing, hot air ballooning and kayaking experiences – oh of course, the spa is not to be overlooked. I’ve provided a petite taste of their spa offerings. I intend to invest time in achieving balance and become an expert in smudgings!

Savor the descriptions and wait for a full report…if I return!

Amangiri Spa Journeys

Amangiri has created four unique Spa Journeys that enhance awareness in the body and reconnect with the environment. The number four is sacred in the Navajo culture and is reflected in many symbols and traditions. Four sacred colors each represent a direction, a stone and a time of day as well as four sacred mountains and rivers, which are landmarks of the original Navajo territory. The four journeys are designed with these sacred elements in mind and to reflect Navajo healing traditions and holistic techniques. Each journeys last two and a half hours, and is closed with a Navajo chant to bless the body and restore balance.

Dawn Journey – White East Silver Dawn
The Dawn Journey is ideally done in the early morning hours. It begins with cedar smudging, which is used in the opening and closing of traditional Navajo ‘Hozho’ harmonization. Deeply breathing in the aroma cleanses the body’s energy and sets the intent of the session as well as the day ahead. Next, an invigorating body scrub helps to re-energize and boost the physical body and open the skin’s pores, followed by a rhythmic and flowing full body massage using organic oils.

An aroma essence facial compress completes the Dawn Journey, using a facial massage technique called Samandara, which is Sanskrit for “balanced consciousness.”

Midday Journey – Blue South Turquoise Midday
The Midday Journey is meant to comfort, soothe and hydrate the mind, body and spirit. Your journey begins with a full body exfoliation, preparing your mind and body for purification. This process is similar to the Navajo sweat house. Sweat houses were designed to remove toxins followed by drinking of Navajo tea, which contains herbs used to calm and promote healing. Staying true to this ritual, Navajo tea will be served following your experience in the floatation pavilion. The body, now calmed, is prepared for a Full Body Wrap of green clay to cool the body and draws out toxins. Following the Body Wrap, is a Facial to aid in concentration, intuition and perception by opening the Mind’s Eye. The journey closes with cedar smudging.

The Evening Journey specifically focuses on rejuvenation and begins with a cedar smudging. The feet are cleansed and exfoliated, opening the connection between an individual and the earth. Next, the therapist performs a full-body Hot Stone Therapy massage. This deep, soothing treatment relaxes and relieves muscle tension built up during the day. A hot facial compress, in combination with a head and neck massage, will promote awareness and rejuvenation, sealed with a cedar smudging.

Night Journey – Black North Onyx Night
The final journey focuses on grounding the body after traveling and promotes tranquility to aid with sleeping. Cedar smudging begins the grounding process. The feet, which are our connection to the earth, are then cleansed. The body will then be dry brushed to stimulate the lymphatic flow, opening up energy lines in preparation to absorb nutrients from the Red Clay wrap. The Red Clay cocoons the body in earth to promote healing and relaxation and is followed by a massage of the legs and feet. The treatment concludes with massage on the lower back, releasing tension from the spine and relaxing the body.

Think smudging and balance, of ultimate importance. Aren’t you relaxed now?

Petite gems Santa Fe – Art, Fashion & Fine Dining

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”


For many reasons, one of my favorite long weekend escapes is Santa Fe: dear friends who love to cook and sip bubbly, big open sky vistas (like Africa, but not so far!), museums, opera, marvelous indigenous art, excellent restaurants, first class hotels…the list is long and varied.
ART – A recent escape yielded several unique excursions. Santa Fe abounds with art, and I organized a few private excursions with my local friends. We began with a visit with a fashion artist who has become a friend Ewa (Ava), Kielczewska, her design label is sold under Ewka. I met Ewa at a juried art exhibit in San Francisco, before I escaped to Argentina last year; not only is she a uniquely talented fashion artist, she is a Tango dancer extraordinaire! We bonded and have remained in touch. Her beautiful hand painted suede and silk garments combine fine craftsmanship and styling with a unique subtle play of color and form, she sells in the US and Europe. We enjoyed ginger tea while she explained the process of her intricate textile designs: she hand carves linoleum blocks and then transfers the ink designs to suede, silk and velvet, she also hand paints delicate long lines on the jackets- her process as she described it, is brush – breathe- brush…when you see her work you will wonder how she achieves this perfect balance. Her jackets and scarves are elegant, yet casual and perfect travel garments, the suede and silk are delicate and light, yet very durable. http://www.artewka.com/

 DINING – Santa Fe has numerous excellent restaurants, when one closes, another marvelous restaurant opens…I have many favorites which have endured, but a bright spot is Restaurant Martin on Galisteo Street. Chef Martin Rios, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, grew up in Santa Fe and started in the restaurant business as a 17-year-old dishwasher, eventually working his way to executive chef at several restaurants and hotels. Chef Rios received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America and supplemented that with experience and training in some of the worlds most honored restaurants and with well-known culinary masters. His passion for food has taken him around the world in pursuit of culinary innovation, creativity and cooking experience.
RECOMMENDATIONS – Begin in the bar and chat up the staff, who will monitor your progress toward a table…great wine list and a few samplings of appetizers to try:
Ahi Tuna Tartare Avocado, Fresh Wasabi, Smoked Sesame Seeds, yummy little Jalapeno Blinis, Citrus Soy Air. So delicious, I was tempted to reorder it for my entrée!
Maple Cured Quail- Sweet Potato Sable, Prosciutto, Spicy Herb Purée, Shallot Aigre-Doux
Entrees – Maine Diver Sea Scallops Potato-Shallot Puree, Mushroom Duxelle, Chorizo and Tarragon
Prime Beef Tenderloin- Crushed Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic Transparency, Carrots, Gorgonzola Cromesquis- Very Argentinean!
Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast Leg Confit, Smoked Bacon Polenta, Marcona Almonds, Brandied Blackberry Gastrique.  
Maple Leaf Farms is the rage for divine duck; Martin’s preparation was OTT- slices of tender duck breast and  leg, thus a combination of textures, delectable and divine…the blackberry reduction sauce was perfection!
Chef Rios has been repeatedly honored for his innovative and pleasing combinations of flavors, colors and presentation. His unique style emphasizes fresh, local produce and organic meats and poultry, and reflects not only Southwestern and Asian influences but also his classical training in French technique. Featured in the 2008 season of Iron Chef America, Rios is the only New Mexico chef to have won the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence.
ART – Galleries are abundant in Santa Fe; the prime corridor is Canyon Road. Art galleries feature contemporary art and traditional fine art, Southwest art, Native American art, Indian art and pottery, glass art, prints, sculpture, fine art photography and other types of visual art.
The Gerald Peters Gallery has long been recognized as one the world’s most respected dealers of American art of nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. GP is on Paseo de Peralta, and in reality, is more like a small museum. A respected gallery, GP also has a sister gallery in New York. Ansel Adams Landscape and Light reception filled the gallery with art devotees on Friday night.
The landmark exhibition of historic black‐and‐ photographs includes many of Adams’ best‐ loved images taken during the 1920s through the 1960s, such as Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, and Aspens, as well as a selection of monumental and oversized prints. All of the more than 25 works in the show highlight Adams’ remarkable acumen for blending magnificent landscape subjects with a mastery of light and his genius in the darkroom.
As much as I admire Ansel, we were on a mission to view the work of local (Santa Cruz) artist, Tim Craighead. We enjoyed a private tour and discussion of Tim’s abstract work. From Tim: “ My influences range from second-generation abstract expressionism to forms found in nature to structural drawings by Frei Otto and Buckminster Fuller.” His organic shapes, bright colors and symbols emerge and produce magic in his paintings. Lines and cropped shapes appear abstract,  I see boat shapes and adventure, pine cones, icons of nature, a visual vocabulary and structural forms which mimic nature, charming and stimulating allusions. We all agree: Bravo Tim!
Private tours can be arranged at Gerald Peters Gallery with advance notice.
Santa Fe – always something new, always something interesting and stimulating.