I spent Christmas vacation at the family's house in Santa Fe. Ironically, the Times ran a travel article at the same time. The restaurants are those frequented by tourists; you'd rarely see a local there. Except Julian's, which is an Italian- Continental restaurant. It's good, but you can get that style of food in any big city. I prefer La Choza. I had really good carne adovada enchiladas there.
For the first time in several years, the snow at was decent. At least El Nino is good for something. I had a disastrous first day up at the mountain. I foolishly thought I would have a leisurely day at the basin and rent equipment up on the hill. They gave me a piece of shit board that was new not this year, but the year before. I clicked in and there was a good 2-3mm of air between the bottom of the binding and the board. You want air under the board not under the binding. Sheeeit. I go back to the ski shop exchange for another board. Same fucking problem. I ask for my money back. The dipshit at the register said that " all our equipment is safety-checked at the beginning of the season" yeah right. You can do a release-test on a ski binding, and this test has industry-established parameters. It's not the same for boards. Safety my ass. They don't rent helmets at that place. Sure enough, some guy died up there the same day.
I go down the hill and find that all the decent shops in town are sold out of rental equipment.
Like I said, the snow was decent; but not great. The powder had been groomed down, which is just as well, as the bump runs that were exposed to the sun had melted / refrozen and were too hard & crunchy. I found better snow in the off piste areas under the trees.