The Santa Fe Surprise

Arrived in Santa Fe last Thursday evening, showing up unannounced at La Boca where my mom, sisters and sister-in-law were having dinner.  Mom was in on the subterfuge, but my arrival elicited shock and awe from the rest of the family. The reaction reminded me of this long-ago item from Spy Magazine:

Shrieks of welcome could be heard blocks away as everyone’s favourite Ewok-ish willowy blond singer–actress–vixen–shut-in–survivor, Joey Heatherton, finally emerged from seclusion.

Granted, I’m not especially willowy any longer, though I think my facial hair does lend me an Ewok-ish air. And my vixenish nature is indisputable…

Whatever the case, the surprise was complete and the shrieks were genuine – the other patrons in the restaurant were craning there necks to get a glimpse of the commotion surrounding my arrival, apparently thinking I actually was Joey Heatherton… The meal was marvelous (particularly the special suckling pig and the carrot-garbonzo hummus).  And I had a lovely visit to the farm, finally meeting for the first time my many canine, feline, avian, leporine and apian nieces and nephews.

Of course, turn-about is fair play. At Gabriel’s for dinner the following night, the wait-staff was advised on the QT that it was my birthday (despite it not being for another few weeks). After dinner, a gaggle of waiters sneaked up behind me, plopped a giant sombrero (which weighed as much a cinder block) on my head and serenaded me en Español while literally (by which I mean literally) cramming flan into my mouth.

Saturday night was spent at the Santa Fe Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly – an excellent performance in a stunningly beautiful setting.

We also spent time lolling about the pool at Mom and Krissy’s hotel; snatching up bargains at TJ Maxx and Ross; shuffling around the plaza in downtown Santa Fe; wine-tasting; and enjoying a couple of excellent home-cooked meals at the ranch (including the tastiest pickled beets and green beans ever).

By every measure, the visit was a rousing success and a fine time was had by all.

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