Well, my National Geographic photography workshop is over. I sniveled during the final slideshow of our best work. I sniveled when I hugged Ralph and Carlin goodbye. I’ve sniveled off-and-on this afternoon. I am changed. I can’t articulate quite how. But I am. It was an amazing experience. And extraordinary experience. A challenging experience. One that I am so blessed to have…experienced.
I was supposed to fly out of Alburquerque….Albequerque…Albuquerque (those poor grade-school children who live in that city trying to learn how to spell it) this afternoon. Actually, I should be on a plane right now. Instead, I’m sitting on the very nice back patio of The Luxx hotel in downtown Santa Fe. Eating a Sticknic that I picked up across the street at a cheese monger shop and drinking a glass of red wine. Waiting for sunset. Because, dangit, I’m going to catch that beautiful golden hour light before leaving here.
By the way….the cheese is amazing.
Why am I sitting in Santa Fe (in capri pants…and a t-shirt…because it’s sunny and 70)? Well, perhaps you’ve heard of a little storm that has hit Western Washington and Oregon. I’m hoping the parents will have power when I call to check in with them later as there was and is the chance of hurricane force winds on the Oregon coast today (they’re six miles inland). The husband and Colby Jack are battening down the hatches back at home. They’re expecting big wind, too…though not hurricane force.
Last night I was sitting on the couch of my VRBO rental culling through photos, choosing my “final three” for today’s critique. An email popped up from Alaska airlines. The subject? “Your flight may be impacted.” When one receives such and email they don’t tend to say, “Ahhhh…I’ll look at it later.” I open it up and am informed of the following regarding my flight: “We are currently planning to operate, however, there is potential that your flight could be disrupted…..We have issued a policy allowing passengers to rebook free of charge. We encourage you to change your travel plans on our website, free of charge.”
Now, I don’t know how often airlines actually make such an offer, but I suspect it’s not very often. Anxious, I called the husband. He said, “I told you that it was a serious storm!!” I may have poo-pooed him a bit when I called earlier. In my defense, he is from Idaho. His definition of a winter wind storm is different than my Oregon coast definition. I remember storms from my childhood that made the house shudder.
We discussed the situation and agreed that it was best to take Alaska up on their offer. I am not a gung-ho flier to begin with, so the thought of bouncing around in 50-60 degree gusts…or getting diverted…or getting to Albu….that New Mexico city south of here…only to find my flight cancelled, made the choice a relatively easy one.
Now, I was still culling photos at this point. And it was after 9. And I was tired (and cranky) after another busy day. But, I not only had to change my flight, I also had to extend the car rental and find someplace to stay. Because the VRBO place I was at had new people coming in today. Turns out short notice in Santa Fe on a weekend in October makes for scant lodging. By chance, The Luxx had a late cancellation yesterday and were able to accommodate me (at a higher price tag than I would have liked, but I wasn’t going to stay at Motel 6).
So, here we are. My workshop ended around 11:30. I returned to my rental, packed my things, took a walk down to the Saturday market, then headed downtown. I pulled into the Luxx in hopes of leaving my car and was told that my room was ready and that I could check in (at 1:30!).
Here’s the bonus of getting to stay in Santa Fe for an additional day (besides the obvious: missing the storm. Though I am worried about the husband, the cat and the family): I got to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe art museum here in town. Made very special by the fact that I spent 3 hours photographing out at Ghost Ranch just 48 hours ago. That’s what I did after I dropped my stuff. I also may have done a little more shopping. Just a bit. Not to much.
The plan for the evening? The aforementioned Golden Hour. A little food. Perhaps not Southwestern food (I have it three times this week…so good…but maybe I’m done for now). Wandering around on a beautiful evening, enjoying my final hours in Santa Fe. Love this city.
Tomorrow? Flight isn’t until late afternoon and Carlin (one of my instructors from the workshop) told me about a scenic route to Albu…and invited me to stop by the studio that he’s in the midst of building in a small town along the way. I may take him up on it…if I can do so without sniveling.
By-the-by…yes, there are many more photos and stories to come. Be patient.
The photos? A few taken today.