The Early French Paradox
The Bishop's Lodge Review
the mid-seventeenth century, the Vatican wanted the newly annexed territory
of New Mexico to be supervised by a smart and strong representative.
The established padres seem to enjoy a bit too much what
would become the City Different. Tales
of loose conduct generated the transfer of the French Father Jean
Baptiste Lamy from Cincinnati to Santa Fe, in the process of creating
a provisional diocese know as the vicariate apostolic of New Mexico. Bishop
Lamy's journey took him from Ohio to St. Louis, down the Mississippi
to New Orleans, onto a boat to Galveston and up the Rio Grande river
valley, arriving at his new home a year later! (That does not leave
us much room to complain when our flight is a half-hour late today.)
More details about the Bishop's mission can be found in Willa Cather's
1927 novel Death Comes for the Archbishop. In the 1860s Bishop
Lamy purchased for $80 what became his home and is now 420 acres
of a family and business retreat known as The Bishop's Lodge.
Several owners later, this luxurious camp provides all the creature comforts, including SháNah Spa & Wellness Center, a spa influenced by Native American traditions. Taking into account the natural surroundings, history and careful maintenance of the site, without discounting the original chapel in which weddings are still performed today, you get a bundle of charm with friendly service.
The Vista Valle lodge offers accommodations high up on the hill with killer views especially at dawn and dusk. Fully appointed rooms and suites in pueblo-style casitas with large patios make perfect abodes for your purification escape.
You won't be disappointed by the food of executive chef Christopher McLean, a seasoned chef who has created an inventive menu in the resort's feature restaurant, Las Fuentes Grill & Bar. The Continental American cuisine highlights local flavors, as evidenced in such dishes as the Mountain Man Game Tasting, composed of elk loin, venison stew, rabbit sausage, anasazi and rattlesnake campfire beans served with root vegetables.
refrigerators are kept empty instead of being filled as useless
mini-bars, allowing you to store any food you brought and avoid
it being eaten by bears, should you leave it in your car. And yes,
one can see bears and rabbits, listen to the coyotes, hear of mountain
lions and smell the trace of skunks.
One last word of advice: should you plan on playing tennis, be sure to pack your "high-altitude" balls — at 7,000 feet they bounce much better than standard balls.