Many people don't even stop at Gallup, New Mexico when traveling I-40 but a group of fun women chose Gallup for a girl's getaway weekend. And why wouldn't "the Indian Jewelry Capital of the World," attract women?
They planned for months for this trip, some coming from Santa Fe, New Mexico and some from Phoenix, Arizona.
They opted for cushier accomodations than the historic El Rancho Hotel so ended up at the Hampton Inn, West. Nice clean beds, nice free breakfast. (The only drawback is that the friends who ended up in the front of the hotel, found the highway and train sounds to be less than soothing.)
So what did these fun-loving women do? Well, first they gathered for a glass of wine and appetizers, and to watch the golden sunset from the room. They looked forward to dinner at the historic El Rancho Hotel and a tour of the lobby with movie star pictures.
They enjoyed their dinner, tour and stopped in to the gift shop. They were on a hunt for low cost, high quality Native American jewelry so looked but did not buy.
The next day they headed to Richardson's Trading for a tour and educational session. They were enthralled with Richardson's treasure trove of Native American jewelry and momentos... old and new.
And they were especially thrilled to have met the elder Mr. Richardson who still spends time in the office each day. It was a crowded time at Richardson's. It was the first of the month and people were coming in from the reservations to pay on their pawn items and do business. Gallup was bustling.
Having enjoyed this experience thoroughly, the group went over to Earl's Restaurant for lunch and a little shopping. You see, Native American vendors go table to table with their wares to entice you as you enjoy your lunch!
The rest of the marvelous weekend the group traveled to the Gallup Flea Market (great bargains there), to the Ancient Way Arts Trail Fall Festival where they spent time in El Morro at a local harvest celebration. Watching the Zuni Olla Maidens dance with pottery on their heads was a highlight.
Then they were off to Zuni Pueblo to tour the amazing Zuni murals in the now de-commissioned Catholic church. Alex Seowtewa, Zuni artist was there to explain how he and his sons had worked on the murals and how, now, the murals may have to be removed in order to save them.
As the girls left the church, a Zuni fetish carving artist was there offering two amazing black bear carvings for sale. You never know what you will find in Zuni!
Gallup is a great place for a girls' getaway weekend. There is so much art, culture and shopping!