San Miguel Chapel in Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico

The San Miguel Chapel is the oldest church in the continental United States and is over 400 years old. The area of Santa Fe in New Mexico has been populated for thousands of years, first as an ancient Pueblo settlement, then by the Spanish as part of their imperial conquests, next by the people of Mexico, and finally by the United States. There are many things that make the chapel unique, first from its history as a Franciscan missionary to a Catholic church as well as its architecture being built in the traditional adobe style of the region. The church is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and today it is privately owned and is open to the public to tour.

Front of San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe
Sign Outside of the Chapel
Painting of Archangel Michael

Construction of the chapel began in 1610 and the walls of the adobe building are the original walls, which requires constant upkeep to ensure they endure in the future. The ceiling of the church is held up by wooden beams, one of which is dated back to 1710. The San Miguel Chapel is located in the El Barrio de Analco National Register Historic District in Santa Fe, which also has the oldest house in the United States. There is a large oil painting of the Archangel Michael inside of the church as well as the nine panel wooden artwork that sits behind the altar. In addition to the artwork, there is the mission bell which was brought from Spain in the 17th century.

The Famous Mission Bell of San Miguel
Nine Panel Artwork Behind the Altar with Archangel Michael Top Center
View of the Chapel Interior

Although visiting the San Miguel Chapel will only take about thirty minutes, it is certainly worthwhile to do when visiting Santa Fe in New Mexico. The history of the chapel that was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians under direction of the Franciscan Padres is certainly quite fascinating. It is source of pride for the people of Santa Fe to this very day.

Wooden Beams Supporting the Ceiling
Close Up of the Carvings on the Beams

Its Time for a Colorado Road Trip

We enjoy packing up the car and heading on a road trip to see places near to where we live. With travel restrictions the way they are right now, it is pretty much our only option, so we will make the best of it. Road trips can be a lot of fun and sometimes it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. For this particular trip, we are heading to the southwest portion of the state and staying a few days in Telluride. As we pack our bags for the first time in several months, we decided to look back at some of our favorite road trips that we’ve taken in recent years.

Cathedral in the Center of Santa Fe
  1. Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico – If you want to visit a place that has a thriving art scene, some of the best food in the country, and a relaxing atmosphere, then Santa Fe, New Mexico, might just be the place for you. It isn’t all just art and food, though, there is plenty of history as well with both the oldest church in the United States as well as the oldest, continuously occupied public building in the United States. There is also a house that claims to be the oldest in the United States, but if nothing else, it one of the oldest houses depending upon the information that we have seen.
The Famous Delicate Arch
  1. 2. Arches National Park and Moab, Utah – Located just outside of Moab in Utah is the stunningly beautiful Arches National Park. The geology of the park is quite amazing with many different multicolored bluffs, free standing rock formations, and of course natural arches. The name of Arches National Park is certainly well deserved as there are over 2,000 stone arches located within the park, but the other formations are equally impressive. Although it is possible to simply drive through the park and stop at the many pull-offs and parking areas to see some of the amazing sights, but if you get a chance to hike some of the many trails, it will give you an even better sense of the park.
Quaint Village of Beaver Creek
  1. 3. Beaver Creek, Colorado – Beaver Creek is a resort town located in the Colorado high country that is a perfect place to visit regardless of the time of year. During the winter, it has wonderful skiing and snow boarding as well as an ice-skating rink in the center of the village. In summer, you can find golf, biking, and hiking for those who enjoy outdoor activities. We have been to Beaver Creek several times and have never had a bad experience. It can be a little bit more expensive than some other resort towns in Colorado, but for the extra cost you get the benefit of reduced crowds.
Mount Rushmore
  1. 4. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – One of the most iconic places to visit within the United States is Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. With the enormous carvings of the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, it is quite an amazing site to see in person. In addition to Mount Rushmore, there is also Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park. Since we drove from Colorado through Wyoming on our way to South Dakota, we also included a trip to Little Bighorn, the site of Custer’s last stand.
Southwestern Artwork
  1. 5. Scottsdale, Arizona – Located on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, Scottsdale is a resort and retirement community that is a relaxing place to visit. In some ways, it reminds us of Hilton Head, South Carolina, only it doesn’t have the beaches. What it does have is a lot of excellent golf courses, upscale resorts, and restaurants galore. Summertime is actually their off-season due to the intense heat and the possibilities of a haboob, which is dust storm that can blanket the entire area with a wall of sand.
Tombstone of Billy the Kid
  1. 6. Carlsbad and Roswell New Mexico – Several years ago, we had taken a road trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and when taking long trips by car, we will often stop at places of interest along the way.  On this particular trip our journey took us past Fort Sumner New Mexico, which is the location of the tombstone for the infamous Billy the Kid, as well as Roswell New Mexico, the site of a supposed UFO crash that the government is covering up.  We knew that we wanted to stop at Roswell, but stopping at Billy the Kid’s tombstone was a spur of the moment decision when we saw signs on the road for the attraction.  While visiting the caverns was definitely the purpose of the trip, those added stops made the entire trip that much more interesting.
The Breckenridge Troll in Colorado
  1. 7. Breckenridge, Colorado – Breckenridge is a resort town in the Colorado mountains that is quite popular for skiing during the winter and hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in the summer. With so many things to do in Breckenridge, it is a great place to spend at least several days, if not an entire week. Not only are there plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, but the town also has many wonderful restaurants as well as stores offering collectables, clothing, and art. Most everything can be found right off of main street, which is surrounded by a variety of condominiums, rental homes, and hotels.

Southwestern Corn Chowder

When we were in Sante Fe, New Mexico, we had a very tasty grilled corn and chipotle soup. We asked the restaurant for the recipe and they were nice enough to print it out and give it to us. Since corn is in season right now, we decided to recreate this recipe, but we changed it up to suit our tastes. We really liked the way that our version turned out, it had just the right amount of spice. One of the nice things about a recipe like this is that you can control the amount of heat that you add so that it can be more or less spicy depending upon your taste. Also, the combination of the fresh corn and frozen corn makes for a mix of crunchy and soft that makes the texture of the soup very pleasurable. We served ours with a nice toasted baguette bread, but a fried tortilla like the restaurant used would also be good. We also garnished ours with a couple of slices of jalapeno that had been deseeded, but clearly it isn’t necessary. This recipe serves two, but it could easily be adjusted to serve more. We hope that you enjoy it!

Cooking the Corn and Red Onion


  • 5 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 8 oz of Frozen Corn
  • 1/3 can of Chipotle Peppers with Sauce – finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion – chopped
  • 3 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • Salt to Taste – generous amount
  • Black Pepper to Taste

Stirring in the Chipotle Peppers

Grilled Corn and Chipotle Soup


Remove the corn kernels from the husks of fresh corn and sauté them in a cast-iron skillet heated over medium-high heat with the oil and butter. If you prefer, you could grill the corn whole on a grill and then remove the kernels, but we chose to cook them in the skillet. Salt and pepper the corn and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, and then add the red onion to the corn. Cook for another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. In a medium sauce pan, add the cream, corn and onions, frozen corn, white pepper, cumin, garlic, and salt. Add about a third of the chipotle peppers with sauce and start heating the soup over medium heat. You want to just bring the soup to a slight simmer and avoid bringing to a full boil. Taste the soup and continue to slowly add chipotle peppers with sauce until it is as spicy as you would like.

Corn in the Cast-Iron Skillet

Building the Soup

Our Finished Soup