Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Monks of Drepung Loesling Monastery Blessing of the Waters at Ojo

November 25, 2014 (today) once again we visited Ojo Caleinte Mineral Springs Resort and Spa, this time for a very special Blessing of the waters by the Buddhist Monks of Drepung Loesling Monastery.
The chanting ceremony took place to help enhance the healing powers of these sacred waters.
It was absolutely beautiful, thus I share my photos and some thoughts here.
video
This from the Press Release: Following the legacy of Drepung Loseling Monastery, India, and with the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Drepung Loseling is dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion. A center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, it provides a sanctuary for the nurturance of inner peace and kindness, community understanding, and global healing.
It was 19 degrees this morning at Ojo Spa.
Preparations being made...
 Ojo was exceptionally busy with pre Thanksgiving visitors.
Some guests stood and watched, some soaked it all in.
At this point during the chanting I closed my eyes to see the color Orange, which faded to Red, then to Brown and into Blackness. What this meant exactly, I have No Idea at all, my only guess would be that I fell into a totally relaxing abyss.
Some guests prayed silently along.
 Ojo Caliente Butte in it's magnificence.
 The Vapour rose mysteriously, 
this picture gave me a difficult time loading it here, 
eventually it succumbed.
Into the freshly blessed waters of the Arsenic Pool
Sounds emanating.
A blessing to all who gathered was offered. The monk dipped his wand of Peacock feathers into a bowl of water from the spring and spread onto each and everyone.
Ojo Caliente the Healing Mineral Spring.
 and soon they were gone.
Every Day I am Blessed to be Alive, to meet new people, to be with my Loved Ones, to adventure, to be a bit lost from time to time, and to breath. Thank You for reading, I'm glad to be back!
By the way, we took the time to arrive early enough to enjoy breakfast at the Artesian Restaurant. Holly had Bagel and Lox, I had the Blue Corn Pinon Pancakes, we both enjoyed our morning meals. Holly tells me their coffee was delicious too.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Taos Tour 2014 Photographs

This photograph was taken on the way home from a doctor appointment, I noticed a coyote digging at prairie dog holes. I pulled the truck over and she began to slowly walk away. I posted it to Facebook where New Mexico Magazine noticed it. They shared it to their FB page on November 4, 2014 where it received 3,663 likes, 907 shares, 202 comments
 Here's what a few viewers said: 
"I will always love Taos and hope to see coyotes."
"Man I miss Taos!" "One of the reasons I Love Taos." "I'm going to plan a trip there if I can it is beautiful." "Love this I want to go now!"
 These photographs are a few of what I've taken this past year, some of which were taken as I toured professional Travel Writers around Taos. Some are from my daily outings in this little county of Taos. 
Taos is much more than a day trip, it can be quite an adventure. Whether you contact me for a tour or whether you just get yourself off the main roads and get a bit 'lost'. 
When I drive people around it's on the back roads, not to avoid traffic mind you but to see it.
Take the time to slow down and enjoy, to see Taos in all it's Beauty.
This small Pit House is difficult to take photos in, I figured out on my second visit that perhaps using the Pan mode on my cell phone camera would work best, which I believe it does.
 View from a single window in an abandoned Torreon, a large part of the wall has fallen and the roof is collapsing as well. I try to be safe especially when going into falling down structures, it's best to go with someone. This is a view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, this section we call the Picuris Mountain.
 I pass this Our Lady of Guadalupe roadside shrine on a regular basis, normally I take photos of her entirety, this time I cropped parts of her, this shot being the most powerful.
The Power of Prayer. 
Every time I walk into the Couse-Sharp Foundation on Kit Carson Road I take photographs there. Everywhere you turn there is another treasure in this wonderful collection.
Taos' Sacred Site, this is the location of where the wagon wheel broke when Blumenschein and Phillips were heading to Mexico past Taos. They settled in for quite a while and began one of the very first Artist Colonies in the US. 2015 is the Taos Art Colony 100th anniversary celebration.
It took 10 people 4 years to discover the exact location of this spot, that group is just a bit too old to visit this site any longer. The trail is scrambly and rough, I have begun trying to do my best to make it safer for visitors.
 With my wife on a drive we happened to see these cows lined up all in a row, a nice photo-op.
 The gracious Patricia Michaels of PM Waterlily and featured designer of Project Runway Season 11. 
I love listening to her speak, and look at that smile.
 I have been given generous access to many homes in Taos, amazing homes lovingly decorated in eclectic ways. I tell people if you have more than 3 of a particular thing, then you have a collection. Whether collectors of Folk Art, Religious Items, Art, Photographs, or just plain quirky I'm always up for a tour of Taos homes.
 I see a windmill and I want to see more, and more. I'd like to collect them!
 In the early 90's "Southwest Style" was all the rage and everyone had to have some sort of skull as decorative element. We sell lots and lots of skulls and antlers at Two Graces Plaza Gallery. Some we find, some we have pickers finding for us. Evidently skulls have made a big comeback for interior decorators, oh, and signs of all sorts we carry those as well.
 Springtime in a canyon. You may be on a trail that no one has been on in a very long time, or you may be on one that's quite popular. When you run into people out for a hike I've always found them to be polite. Often the question is, "How much farther?" That's usually me asking that!
I am a big fan of mushroom hunting in the mountains in late summer, you'd be amazed how many mushrooms you an find!
 A visit to Picuris Pueblo with travel writers from NYC. 
They too fell in love with Taos.
 Outside our Gallery from time to time our neighbors sponsor a Pueblo Pottery exhibit with actual demonstrations of Pottery making. 
 They say the light is different here. A whole lot of art going on, thus a whole lot of art galleries.
 Reflecting on an old Pick-up Truck with Taos Blue Mountain.
 National Geographic Travel writer Jeannette Swain/Kimmel interviewing Tony Rena at his shop located on the highway towards Taos Pueblo.
 Taos Pueblo Tour, this summer they had 3 and 4 tours running at a time. 
I also give a private tour of Taos Pueblo with Lunch at Mary Esther Winters delicious "Adobe Cafe". 
 Deterioration of an Horno Oven and of the early Pueblo Church.
The contemporary Pueblo Church, a good meeting spot if you lose some of your group.
 Classic Southwest Pickup Truck with the Dixon Mountain in the background at the Vivac Winery. 
My absolute favorite winery in Northern New Mexico.
 San Francisco de Asis Church, the Church that is famous for the Back Buttresses. 
Here a young peoples art class visits before a storm.
 Young Pueblo Eagle Dancers showing their skills in the Plaza.
 Beloved Taos artist Peggy Immel painting Fall colors in Pilar by the Rio Grande.
 Dia de los Muertos as piled into the back of a car. 
I'm often asked, why all the imagery of skulls. 
Death is always with us, remember the loved ones who have passed away.
You did not hear it from me first, but I will repeat it time and time again: Location Location Location!
 Taos Mountain Balloon Rally, each Fall after the big Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta a small group of balloon enthusiasts visit Taos and take us for a ride.
 One of the Great Petroglyph Sites in the American Southwest, (right here in Taos) 
depiction of a journey towards water, in this case the Taos Blue Lake.
 Everyone stops at Sopyn's on the way to Taos from Santa Fe, don't miss her fruit stand.
As I reach the end of this post I'd like to say Thank You to Seamus Mills for teaching me to look harder and at different angles and perspectives. 
Seamus tells me I've taught him to wander that extra 200 feet and discover a few things just over that ridge.
Seamus Mills Photo, shared on New Mexico Magazine Facebook page after I shared it.
Oct. 28, 2014 over 90 shares, 1,052 likes 24 comments
Here are a few of those comments:                                                
"Seems we never tire of photos of Rancho de Taos church"  "This one is a beauty"  "Love this perspective" 
"Good job! One of my favorite places in NM. Lovely capture"  "Thanks for sharing. Love this take on an oft-photographed (and painted) place!"
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If You'd Like a Tour of Taos from a Back Roads/Off the Beaten Track Perspective, please contact me through the gallery, contact info is provided on this blog. I work on specific itineraries for Travel Writers or Curious Visitors to give the best possible tour of the Taos area suited to their interests.
I use my cell phone camera which is an IPhone 5S to take photographs. To me I'm just documenting the things I see here in my life.
All photographs are copyright Robert Cafazzo 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Taos 2014 What's Going On, What to do, Which Taos Restaurants are Open


Eat, Drink and Happy Thanksgiving in Taos!

Basket of Four Directions Corn Red, Yellow, White, Blue


Here’s the run down on what to do in Taos for Thanksgiving.
Most importantly here’s a list of the restaurants Open and serving Turkey dinner.
Please call for reservation availability.
Mosaic in the La Fonda Hotel 751-3438 open
Lamberts 758-1009 open
El Meze 751-3337 open
Doc Martins at Taos Inn 758-1977 open
Artesian at Ojo Caliente 505-583-2233 open
Martyrs Steakhouse 751-3020 open
El Monte Sagrado de la Tierra Restaurant737-9855 open
Old Martinas Hall Restaurant in Ranchos 758-3003 open
The Gorge Bar & Grill 758-8866 open (until 6)
Los Vaqueros at Sagebrush Hotel 758-2254 open
Bella's Mexican Grill 751-3130 open
Bavarian at Taos Ski Valley 776-8020 open
Menu for my #1 Choice "Mosaic Bistro & Wine Bar"

Please keep these terrific restaurants in mind during the Holiday weekend 
as each and every one is well worth dining at, 
although closed for Thanksgiving Day the following are worth patronizing.
Trading Post Café (Italian Resaturant) in Ranchos de Taos 758-5089 
Love Apple 751-0050 
Sabroso 776-3333 
Gutiz 758-1226 
Byzantium 751-0805 
Café Renatto 758-0244 
La Cueva Cafe 758-7001
Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Penasco on the High Road 587-0311

Menu for my second choice!


Taos Pueblo normal hours for visitors to the village 8-4
Illuminated and always picturesque Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo Day School Thanksgiving 7PM event
A benefit for Taos Pueblo Day School,
Thanksgiving Pow Wow with dances, drumming and games.
Community Center at Taos Pueblo 200 Rotten Tree Road.
Please attend and give a generous donation, thank you very much.

Taos Pueblo Youth at Kiva Fireplace


Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair at Taos Convention Center
Friday-Sunday 120 Civic Plaza Drive

The infamous Red Chile Ristra


Taos Youth and Family Center Skating Rink
Taos Hockey Thanksgiving Hockey Classic Friday-Sunday
407 Paseo del Canon East 758-4160 or 737-2581
(Skating rink is closed on Thanksgiving Day)

Karin, Izy & Holly Ice Skating at the Taos Youth Center Skating Rink


All Museums are closed Thanksgiving Day,
they are open Friday-Sunday for the Holiday weekend

Dinner with strangers in Taos always leads to lasting friends forever.


A few Shops and Galleries will be open on Thanksgiving Day, you will find them by absolute chance.
As for Two Graces Plaza Gallery we will be open the rest of the weekend 10-5,
yet we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Two Graces Plaza Gallery in Ranchos de Taos, in the shadow of San Francisco de Asis Church.


Taos Ski Valley Opening Day, with 2 big snow storms over the past 2 weeks,
the mountain will be ready for operations featuring the new Kachina Ski Lift.

Jasper Skiing at Taos Ski Valley.


Sledding at State Forest Road 5 on the canyon towards Angel Fire,
the hillsides there always have an abundance of snow,
bring a plastic sled and scoot down the hillsides.

Holiday Greetings woodcut by Gustave Baumann


My family for many, many years has always been host to what is affectionately known as the Orphans Dinner, where everyone who was not going ‘home’ to their own family dinners were welcome. These past few years due to my own health issues I have not been able to commit to the amount of work this requires. This year we have been invited to a friend’s ‘orphans dinner’. Yet Holly and I will be eating at a local restaurant, which has graciously offered to host us, we look forward to it!
Your host, always struggling to stuff the turkey.

We gratefully see a whole lot of visitors to Taos on Holiday weekends. 
I believe Thanksgiving weekend is a tough one for people to know what to do and what's open. Especially where to eat a Thanksgiving Day Dinner.
I've put this list together to help you all have an enjoyable time spent in Taos, NM. 
A Place I hold very dear.
Many thanks to Allyn Sanchez of the Taos Visitor Center for helping me put this list together.
Stop in and tell her thank you, the Visitor Center too is closed on Thanksgiving Day 
and will be open Friday - Sunday over the Holiday weekend.

*Please Note: I have not been paid, nor bribed by any of the listings here. This post was put together purely to be helpful to visitors during the Thanksgiving Holiday in Taos. If I have missed anything important, please email me ASAP at r2c2graces@gmail.com and I will add your event or restaurant to the list above. I have not listed small businesses, there are just far too many. As I've stated it will be by absolute chance if you wander upon a business which is OPEN on Thanksgiving Day.
We Do Indeed hope that you will support Two Graces Plaza Gallery, shop with us in Ranchos de Taos and find something wonderful for yourself or for a gift to a loved one.
You may also find our website www.twograces.com a helpful place to shop as we do ship promptly.
Thank You.