Travel Letters: Palace Hotel, Santa Fe (1886)

DEAR GERTIE, — It is very hot here, and the sun is shining down upon my window dreadfully. But the things one sees out of the window are very queer and interesting. The houses are built of mud, and almost all of them only one story high. Indians and Mexicans, in bright red and white blankets, walk down the street. Funny little donkeys are wandering about, with small children riding on their backs and kicking them with their small naked heels. There are some barracks across the street with a flag flying, and a few soldiers lounging in the shade. Up the street there is a great cathedral, whose bells are ringing for some service. We are over seven thousand feet above the sea, and the air is so dry that you are always thirsty and cannot get enough ice water.

How I should love to take a Back Bay car and come down to one of those lovely five o’clock teas, and drink, and drink, and drink lemonade for three quarters of an hour.

Tomorrow we start across the Desert to California, and when you get this I shall be at Los Angeles, which everybody says is just as beautiful as Paradise. How I wish you would take a swift car and join me there. We would eat oranges, and figs, and grapes, and apricots, and all the good things that make your mouth water when you think of them.

I wonder how far your letter to me has got. About to Kansas City, I should think. Give my best love to everybody, and be sure I am your

Affectionate uncle, P.