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ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque's Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque's History, New Mexico Cuisine and Wines

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Road Scholar
Program #6855RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
The elevation is 5,300' in Albuquerque.

Itinerary for Oct 5 — Oct 11, 2014

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Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking

Contact info:
2020 Menaul NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107 USA
phone: 505-884-2511
web: www.mcmelegantealbuquerque.com

Room amenities: Data ports, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, refrigerators upon request

Facility amenities: Heated pool, spa and exercise room, restaurant and lounge on premises

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Best seasonal rate
Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, October 05 - Arrive in Albuquerque/Orientation & Introductions
Arrive To: Arrive at MCM Elegante between 3:00 and 5:30 PM for hotel check-in. Register between 4:00 and 5:30 PM with program's group leader in designated area at hotel.

There may be delays in room readiness as the hotel is usually full all during the event. (Please note that this is a preliminary itinerary and may be subject to change. It is possible that some Balloon Fiesta activities may be cancelled due to inclement weather and wind speed. We will make every effort to provide alternate activities should that be the case.

Since this is a large program, most activities will be split into two sections. Both sections will participate in all activities, but times and days may vary from those shown in this itinerary.)

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 to 7:00 PM

Evening: Program orientation and introductions in hotel meeting room from 7:00 to 8:00 PM

Lodging: MCM Elegante

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking

Contact info:
2020 Menaul NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107 USA
phone: 505-884-2511
web: www.mcmelegantealbuquerque.com

Room amenities: Data ports, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, refrigerators upon request

Facility amenities: Heated pool, spa and exercise room, restaurant and lounge on premises

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Best seasonal rate
Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, October 06 - Morning Lectures at the Hotel/Field Trip: Albuqu...
Morning Lectures at the Hotel/Field Trip: Albuquerque Exploration and Old Town Plaza Visit

Note: Walking up to one mile over course of the day over paved terrain

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: This morning, we'll hear about the history of New Mexico and Albuquerque and about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. (There are no scheduled ascensions at Balloon Fiesta Park this morning.)

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel or at a selected restaurant. (Since this is a large program, most activities will be split into two sections. Both sections will participate in all activities, but times and days may vary from those shown here.)

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll visit Albuquerque's historic Old Town. We'll have a guided walking expedition in the Plaza area, followed by independent explorations on our own.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a selected restaurant

Evening: Evening at leisure (There are no scheduled ascensions at Balloon Fiesta Park this evening.)

Lodging: MCM Elegante

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking

Contact info:
2020 Menaul NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107 USA
phone: 505-884-2511
web: www.mcmelegantealbuquerque.com

Room amenities: Data ports, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, refrigerators upon request

Facility amenities: Heated pool, spa and exercise room, restaurant and lounge on premises

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Best seasonal rate
Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, October 07 - Morning Lecture at the Hotel/Afternoon Field Trip...
Note: Walking up to one mile over course of the day over uneven packed dirt terrain. Standing for an hour at Acoma Visitors' Center and during Pueblo guided exploration.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: This morning begins with a lecture about the pueblos of the Rio Grande valley. (There are no scheduled activities at Balloon Fiesta Park this morning.) We'll then depart for Acoma Pueblo.

Lunch: Lunch at the Y'aak'a Cafe at Acoma Pueblo

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll go to the top of the mesa for a walk through the old pueblo with a Native-American guide.

Known as "Sky City" because of its location atop a 400' mesa, Acoma Pueblo has a fascinating history. The pueblo was established at or near its present location as early as A.D. 900. The first non-Native to enter Sky City was Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, in 1540. The pueblo was virtually decimated by Don Juan de Onate in 1599. The Spanish hacked off one foot each from all Acoma males older than twenty-five years of age, and sent the younger males and females to Mexico as slaves.

The injustice of this tragedy still burns in the hearts of the people of Acoma. Guides at the pueblo today will mention that, in the years following their capitulation, the people of Acoma occasionally rose up and gave offending Catholic priests "flying lessons" off the mesa.

In 1982, Acoma became one of the first pueblos to establish a casino-hotel complex.

Most residents live off the mesa, and only thirty or so people reside full time in Sky City.

It is an artistic community and is a primary Pueblo pottery center.

Dinner: Dinner and wine tasting at Gruet Winery

Evening: Return to the hotel, followed by evening at leisure (There are no scheduled ascensions at Balloon Fiesta Park this evening.)

Lodging: MCM Elegante

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking

Contact info:
2020 Menaul NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107 USA
phone: 505-884-2511
web: www.mcmelegantealbuquerque.com

Room amenities: Data ports, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, refrigerators upon request

Facility amenities: Heated pool, spa and exercise room, restaurant and lounge on premises

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Best seasonal rate
Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, October 08 - Balloon Fiesta Park/Flight of Nations Mass Ascens...
Balloon Fiesta Park/Flight of Nations Mass Ascension/Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Note: Walking over uneven, packed dirt terrain up to one mile over course of the day. Standing up to one hour during each Balloon Fiesta Park visit.

Breakfast: Pick up "grab and go" snack breakfast and board bus from 5:00 - 5:45 AM. (There are a number of food vendors at Balloon Fiesta Park; those who wish something additional to eat before lunch may purchase from any of these on their own.)

Morning: Bus departs for Balloon Fiesta Park.

This morning's scheduled events include the Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension (weather permitting).

The "international" part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been a tradition since the event's earliest days. In 1973 and 1975, the Balloon Fiesta hosted the World Hot-Air Balloon Championships. The Balloon Fiesta has also played host to the world's two most prestigious gas ballooning events, the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett (twice, in 1993 and 1999) and the World Gas Ballooning Championships (1994).

The Flight of the Nations honors pilots from all the nations participating in Balloon Fiesta. Today's mass ascension begins with flights by representatitve pilots from each country, who launch as their country's national anthem is played, flying their national flag.

Mass Ascensions - a launch of all the participating balloons - have been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days and are the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, known as "zebras" because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as "traffic cops," coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner.

At 9:00 AM, we'll return to the hotel for some time at leisure.

Depart at 11:00 for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

Lunch: Lunch at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Afternoon: Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, followed by leisure time at the hotel

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Evening: Evening at leisure

Lodging: MCM Elegante

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking

Contact info:
2020 Menaul NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107 USA
phone: 505-884-2511
web: www.mcmelegantealbuquerque.com

Room amenities: Data ports, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, refrigerators upon request

Facility amenities: Heated pool, spa and exercise room, restaurant and lounge on premises

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Best seasonal rate
Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, October 09 - Morning and Early Afternoon Lectures/Boca Negra P...
Morning and Early Afternoon Lectures/Boca Negra Petroglyphs/Coronado State Historic Site/Balloon Fiesta's Special Shape Glowdeo and After-Glow Fireworks Show

Note: Walking up to one mile over course of the day on paved and packed dirt or grassy terrain at Balloon Fiesta Park. Standing up to one hour at Petroglyphs and Coronado and at each Balloon Park event.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: This morning, we'll hear about "Pueblo Storytellers." We'll then depart for the Boca Negra Petroglyphs at Petroglyph National Monument.

Lunch: Lunch at a selected restaurant

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll return to the hotel, where there will be an expert lecture on hot-air ballooning.

We'll then depart for Coronado Historic Site. In 1540, the Spanish explorer, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, wintered at a village on the west bank of the Rio Grande; the excavated ruins of this ancient Anasazi Pueblo have been preserved here. Hundreds of rooms can be seen, and visitors can descend a ladder into the restored kiva, once the site of sacred rites, and see unique multicolored murals in the monument's small archaeological museum.

From there, we'll go to Balloon Fiesta Park for this evening's session.

Dinner: Dinner will be on your own at the Balloon Fiesta.

Evening: This evening, we'll see the Special Shape Glowdeo.

Special shape balloons are defined as any balloon that doesn't conform strictly to the normal rounded balloon shapes. Some shapes are simple - pointed ears and whiskers added to a "regular" balloon to make it into a kitty's head. Others - the flying houses, cars, cacti, chili ristras, bottles, cans, critters, and so on - are computer-designed engineering marvels costing tons of money.

The very first shapes appeared at Balloon Fiesta in the 1970s, and became increasingly common - and crowd favorites - in the 1980s.

In 1989, the Balloon Fiesta created the Special Shape Rodeo to specially showcase these incredible creations.

The Special Shape Glowdeo features these fabulous balloons in a static display as pilots fire their burners and light up at the same time. These are, perhaps, the most beautiful single moments in all of Balloon Fiesta.

The Glowdeo will be followed by the AfterGlow Fireworks Show, one of New Mexico's most spectacular fireworks display.

Bus returns to hotel around 9:00 PM.

Lodging: MCM Elegante

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking

Contact info:
2020 Menaul NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107 USA
phone: 505-884-2511
web: www.mcmelegantealbuquerque.com

Room amenities: Data ports, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, refrigerators upon request

Facility amenities: Heated pool, spa and exercise room, restaurant and lounge on premises

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Best seasonal rate
Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, October 10 - Balloon Fiesta Park/Special Shape Rodeo/Balloon M...
Balloon Fiesta Park/Special Shape Rodeo/Balloon Museum/Afternoon Class on New Mexico Cuisine

Note: Walking over uneven, packed dirt and grass terrain up to one mile over course of the day. Standing up to one hour during each Balloon Fiesta Park visit.

Breakfast: Pick up "grab and go" snack breakfast and board bus.

Morning: Depart for Balloon Fiesta Park. This morning's scheduled events include the Special Shape Rodeo. We'll also visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

Return to hotel about 10:30 AM for some leisure time before lunch.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel

Afternoon: Afternoon class on the cuisine of New Mexico

Dinner: Dinner and closing comments in the hotel dining room

Lodging: MCM Elegante

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Seven: Saturday, October 11 - Breakfast and Departure
Depart From: Independent departures from MCM Elegante in Albuquerque.

Hotel offers free shuttle service to Albuquerque International Sunport.

Checkout time is 12:00 noon.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel dining room between 6:30 and 9:00 AM.

Hotel check-out no later than 12:00 PM.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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