Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sightseeing Saturday: Las Vegas, NM

Everyone knows Las Vegas, the one in Nevada.
So when I say I went to Las Vegas, I always have to say New Mexico, which most people have never heard of.

The city was originally developed as the Mexican port of entry on the Santa Fe Trail.  It is divided into two parts; Old Town, founded by Spanish Settlers in 1835, and New Town which was developed when the railroad arrived in 1879.  It is a lovely mix of adobe and Victorian homes.
My girlfriend and former hairdresser here in Kuwait, moved there a couple of years ago and bought a gorgeous Victorian house built by a Syrian family in the late 1800's.
For a small town of about 14,000, Las Vegas, NM has a lot to offer.

It is the home of Highlands University established in 1893; Luna Community College (not pictured) ...
and the Montezuma Castle which houses one of the 14 Armand Hammer World Colleges found worldwide.
The Plaza is where all community activities and concerts are held.
Across from there is The Plaza Hotel, built in 1882, known as the Belle of the Southwest at one point.  It has been purchased by an individual and is currently being completely refurbished.
We ventured into Plaza Antiques where there is a resident cat.
I could not pass up this lovely beaded bag that says Jerusalem as that is where my husband's family is from.
 Kathy is very much into the historic preservation of the town and for the past few years has organized a tour of historic homes (now called Places With a Past).  We took a driving tour of the places on this year's tour that was to take place on August 2nd (the very day I was returning to Kuwait).

Las Vegas was originally named Nuestra SeƱora de los Dolores de Las Vegas Grandes (Spanish: “Our Lady of the Sorrows of the Great Meadows”).  We stopped to visit the Nuestra Senora de Delores Catholic Church which was started in 1851 and completed in 1870.
The showpiece of the church is the massive pipe organ that was brought piece by piece by train from Kansas in 1885.
The Historic El Fidel Hotel was built in the 1920's and has a beautiful lobby and restaurant where local art is sold and the food is always good.

Kathy has her own resident cat named Charlie.  He showed up one day last year to find his forever home with her.  He is a handsome little fellow with a big personality.
 
She also has some very friendly neighbors.

If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, NM, you must stop at the Spic for fresh tortillas.  (This picture is from last year when my husband was with us; I didn't take a picture of the Spic this year but I did drop in to get some of the tortillas.  Oh my, they are the best.)
Kathy believes that the town is going to boom once again.  The Hotel Castenada, built in 1898, is currently being restored by the owner of La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona.  Homes across town are slowly being restored to their original glory days.  It is wonderful to see so much of the past being preserved.
Have a great weekend!

21 comments:

Mereknits said...

I love that you take us along for your trips, this looks like a fabulous place to live. I would love to live in a smaller town with a town square.
Hugs,
Meredith

Betsy said...

What a beautiful post Tammy. You have an eye for finding color and beauty wherever you are. I love your friends house. We had a 110 year old house when we were first married. I adored that house and all of it's wood. Thank you for the tour of Los Vegas.
Blessings,
Betsy

Caterina Giglio said...

after spending so much time in NM, I certainly know where Las Vegas is! Your photos do it justice and I am sure you had a great time.. I am going to miss Hatch Chiles this fall... and lots of greenchile... perhaps I will have to make some!! xox

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Tammy,
What a lovely little historic city is Las Vegas NM! Who would ever have thought about it?! But you are right, they got everything in place for making it flourish once more. Perfectly maintained buildings and that Plaza Hotel is a DREAM! Your Jerusalem bag almost is unreal for finding it there... I often think that someone up in heaven is nudging us for going to a certain place at a certain time! It always makes me smile and very happy!
Charlie is a lucky cat-man for having found your dear friend Kathy!
Lovely post and I admire you for always blending in culture, history and beauty for your young sons to explore together as a family! Indeed such are the Daily Treasures!
Hugs,
Mariette

Dee said...

It looks like they are well on their way. The town looks lovely.

And the goats??? Oh my ...you do know how I love goats! LOL

Glad you had such a wonderful trip.

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

lovely pics, Tammy!!!!!
happy weekend, xxxx Ale

Pradeepa said...

I didn't know there was one more Las Vegas. It seems to be a lovely place with remarkable architecture. The beaded bag is beautiful. Have a lovely weekend!

Amy at love made my home said...

I knew of course of Las Vegas, NV, but had never heard of Las Vegas NM!! It looks like a lovely and very interesting place and hopefully it is on the up with the hotel being refurbished. I wonder if anyone ends up in the wrong Las Vegas from time to time by mistake!! xx

Kit said...

Oh wow! This town is incredible. And yes I have never heard of it! You take the best photos. I feel like I am on a little road trip. :) Have a great week! Kit

Quinn said...

I hope your friend is right and the town continues to become restored to glory! And those goats...these must be the ones you mentioned in a comment on my blog? Very cute of course, as goats have a tendency to be, but right in a backyard?! I've heard of urban chickens... :)
I'd like to know about that little gnome face peering out from behind the goats..is it a tiny goatherd? I need one!

Tanya @ Bead and Needle said...

I absolutely LOVE that little town. So much charm. Thanks for the advice on the Spic and Span - will definitely give it a try next time through town (do you know where it's located?). ALSO, next year when you visit, my favorite antique mall is right across from the Railroad Station. Happy Saturday, Tammy - great photos! XOXO

Teresa Kasner said...

You sure did get some awesome photos of a wonderful place! I love small times and old historic downtown main streets. Gorgeous place.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

kathyinozarks said...

I really enjoyed all the history and photos-thanks Tammy I have not been anywhere west except for when I lived in Colorado. I love it that they are restoring the town.
Kathy

~*~Patty S said...

What a great tour of this little gem of a town. Great information and photos Tammy! The Hollyhocks against the church wall are so charming and that lovely beaded bag was just waiting for you to rescue it and take it home.
I so enjoy traveling even if only from my favorite chair ♥
Happy rest of the weekend to you and yours...
oxo

Createology said...

How fun to travel here with you. I adore the efforts being taken to preserve and restore such an historic place. I shall put this on my future travel locations. Blissful week dear...

Diane said...

Thanks for the tour and history of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Once I drove past the turnoff to it and wished I could explore it. But there wasn't time and I've always wondered. Love the kitties, too. Diane

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Tammy,

What a lovely post you have shared, thank you for showing us your photos.
Looks like a wonderful town with lots of charm and hope that it will flourish again.
Charlie is a sweet cat.
Enjoy the new week
hugs
Carolyn

Taciana Simmons said...

Wow you travel so much ... That is just wonderful and so are the pictures . Thanks for taking us along my dear friend. Hope you have a great weekend :)

Mosaic Magpie said...

It is always good to see a town take care of it's homes and businesses. Your friend's home is beautiful and so full of history.
Deb

Sam I Am...... said...

It is just so wonderful to travel with you as I just would not see these places if it weren't for you. thank you so much. I love history and restoring old buildings and houses. I hate to see things torn down if they can be restored.
Las Vegas looks like a wonderful town. The other Las Vegas doesn't really interest me at all.

kathy b said...

What a fun post and blog! came to you from Dee's suggestion!! Love the resident cat and the forever home cat

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