Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel meeting area to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
Dinner: Buffet at the hotel from 6:00 - 7:00 PM. Dinner usually consist of a salad, entrees with sides (vegetarian available), dessert, and coffee, water, or tea. (Please indicate any special dietary needs or restrictions on your Participant Information Form.)Evening: Orientation: We gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer questions.
Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Scheduled free time is set aside for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.Lodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Dinner
Next, we'll board our motor coach and depart for Pecos, New Mexico.Lunch: Plated lunches at Frankie's Southwestern Grill in Pecos; we'll order from a limited menu.Afternoon: This afternoon we'll explore beautiful Pecos National Historical Monument, an example of late Anasazi pueblo ruins and Spanish colonization.
The site, on ranch land (the Forked Lightning Ranch) owned by the late Greer Garson and her husband, Buddy Fogelson, was donated with the hope that the ruins would be preserved for visitors. The museum/visitors' center features a film narrated by Ms. Garson. A mile-long, paved hiking trail circles the site which has remains of pueblo dwellings, kivas and a mission church, all located on remarkably beautiful land in the Pecos valley 30 miles northeast of Santa Fe.
After visiting the Monument, we'll depart for Santa Fe, where we'll visit the New Mexico State Capitol building and see some of its marvelous art collection.
Our bus will then take us to the hotel for check-in.Dinner: Buffet dinner at the hotel; dinner usually includes a salad, entree with sides, dessert, and coffee and tea, with vegetarian option available. Please note any dietary needs or restrictions on the Participant Information Form.Evening: This evening we'll be treated to a presentation and performance by Ronald Roybal, a Native American professional musician and scholar.
Ron is an award-winning musician dedicated to the preservation of traditional Native American music, as well as being a composer in his own right. He's a fine Native-American flute player and guitarist, and our evening with him will be both unique and memorable.Lodging: Courtyard by Marriott Santa FeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The MIAC offers a huge collection of pottery, basketry, rugs, jewelry and artifacts, mostly from tribes of the southwest region. The exhibits are beautifully displayed and documented.
The Museum of International Folk Art features the huge collection of folk art of Alexander Girard. Displayed in charming scenarios, this is a delightful and fascinating museum.
Both museums have great gift shops as well!Lunch: At a selected restaurantAfternoon: After lunch, we'll depart for the heart of Santa Fe for a walking exploration of the Plaza area. Our guide will point out historic and noteworthy sites near the Plaza. We'll then have some free time to explore the area on our own. The Palace of the Governors museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the New Mexico History Museum are all adjacent to the Plaza, (our Culture Passes will provide admission to these state museums). Other musems within easy walking distance of the Plaza include the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and the Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts.
Our motor coach will leave the Plaza at a designated time for return to the hotel. Those who wish may remain in the Plaza area, but will need to arrange their own transportation back to the hotel. (There is city bus and taxi service available from the Plaza to the hotel.)Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions to restaurants both downtown and near the hotel.Evening: At leisure to enjoy as you please.Lodging: Courtyard by Marriott Santa FeMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
On the way, we'll take a side trip to Santa Clara Pueblo, where we'll visit the pottery studio of Paul and Rosalda Speckled Rock.
Santa Clara is one of the most popular pueblos for visitors. Its tribal members are among the most artistically active of all the pueblos, and fine works by Santa Clara artists can be found in a large number of shops and studios in the village.
Santa Clara ancestors most likely migrated south from the Four Corners region, eventually reaching the Pajarito Plateau on the eastern slope of the Jemez Mountains between 1100 and 1300 CE. Today, Santa Clara is home to about 2600 people. The tribe's 47,000 acres still supports some farming. A small casino and bowling center in Espanola should help fund additional tribal endeavors.
We'll then continue on to Ranchos de Taos.Lunch: At the Trading Post Cafe in Ranchos de Taos. Our group will order from a limited menu.Afternoon: After lunch, we'll go to San Francisco de Asís mission church for a photo opportunity. The church is a favorite subject for artists and photographers, including Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams.
We'll go on to the Martinez Hacienda, an example of a Spanish/Mexican Hacienda with many outbuildings, all representing the Spanish Colonial era.
We'll arrive at the hotel at about 4:00 PM.Dinner: At the hotel. The dinner buffet usually includes a salad, a choice of entrees, sides, dessert, coffee and tea, with vegetarian options available.Evening: This evening we'll hear from a local expert about Taos, its often wild history, and its colorful residents.Lodging: Sagebrush Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After visiting the Pueblo, we'll go to the Millicent Rogers Museum. Here, visitors enjoy many outstanding historical collections of Native American art and jewelry, contemporary paintings, weavings, and pottery, including the Maria Martinez family collection. Also showcased are Hispanic textiles, metal work, and sculpture, as well as a wide range of contemporary Anglo-European southwestern art.
Our coach then departs for the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (locally known as the "High Bridge"), a cantilever truss structure across the Rio Grande Gorge 10 miles northwest of Taos. At 650 feet above the Rio Grande, it is the fifth highest bridge in the United States.Lunch: We'll eat our boxed lunches at the picnic area overlooking the Gorge at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.Afternoon: After lunch, we'll drive to downtown Taos where we'll visit the Ernest Blumenschein Home and Museum. This was the home of painter Ernest L. Blumenschein, a co-founder of the Taos Art Colony and one of the "Famous Seven." It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
Following this visit, there will then be some time for independent explorations of the Plaza and Bent Street areas. There are a number of colorful galleries and shops in this area, as well as other museums, all within walking distance of Taos Plaza.
At a designated time, we'll meet as a group and walk to our dinner destination.Dinner: At a selected restaurantEvening: Optional video or evening at leisure at the hotel.Lodging: Sagebrush Inn & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This Hispanic village has changed very little over the last two hundred years. On arrival, we'll visit Santuario de Chimayó, famous for the reputed healing powers of the earth found inside. The Santuario also offers some remarkable folk art, from its beautiful retablos, stations of the cross, and bultos (statues of the saints). This little church is a very special one with a fascinating history; it's a great example of the simple faith of northern New Mexicans.
We'll also visit a local weaver, where we'll see some examples of the beautiful weavings that families in Chimayó have been producing for generations.Lunch: We'll have lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayó, a local favorite.
This charming restaurant, housed in an old hacienda, is comfortable and romantic. In the winter, fireplaces radiate warmth into cozy rooms where family photographs adorn the white-washed adobe walls. In warmer weather, the lovely terraced patio beckons diners to experience delicious al fresco dining.
Chimayó is known for its heirloom chiles, and most dishes are accompanied by red or green chile, either "smothered" or on the side. (The official state question of New Mexico is "Red or green?") If you'd like to try both, order "Christmas!"
Our group will have a plated meal, ordering from a special menu featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine, with chips, salsa, and beverage (sodas, coffee, tea) included (vegetarian option available).Afternoon: We'll continue on to Albuquerque after lunch. Along the way, we'll gain an overview of the geological aspects surrounding the city, as well as learn some interesting facts about its history.
Upon arrival in Albuquerque we will visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture and advancing understanding by presenting with dignity and respect, the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico. After this visit, we will depart for Old Town Albuquerque.
Albuquerque's historic Old Town has been the focal point of community life since it was founded in 1706. About ten blocks of historic adobe buildings surround the central plaza, including San Felipe de Neri Church, which was built in 1793 and is the oldest building in the city. The city's settlers built their homes, shops and government offices here; many of these have been converted into the restaurants, art galleries and shops that comprise Old Town today. The charming Old Town area offers many examples of authentic adobe architecture; the church is open to visitors, and we'll have some time to explore Old Town on our own.Dinner: We'll have dinner at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant. Sweet Tomatoes offers an enormous salad bar, with many selections of breads, meats, desserts and more.Evening: Hotel check-in and optional videoLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Four to seven centuries ago, the Rio Grande's Pueblo people carved or painted images into the boulders along the 17-mile long section known as the West Mesa.
As we listen to the ranger and walk some of the trails, we can speculate what these images mean, why they were created and what the people who made them were like.
Depart for Acoma Pueblo.Lunch: At the Yaak'a Café in the Sky City Cultural Center at Acoma PuebloAfternoon: After lunch, we'll have a chance to explore the pueblo's visitors' center prior to going to the top of the mesa where we'll explore the ancient village with a Native American guide.
Acoma Pueblo, known as "Sky City," was settled possibly as early as 900 CE. It is situated on top of a 376-foot-high sandstone mesa. We'll learn about the Spanish conquistadors who occupied it in 1599, the filmmakers who helped build the road that goes to the top of the mesa, and the 6,000 residents who today either live in two nearby villages or on top of the mesa in the old pueblo itself.
As we walk through the ancient village, we'll see the large mission church and meet some of the pueblo residents.
Return to the hotel in Albuquerque.Dinner: At the hotelEvening: Program closing in our hotel meeting room. We'll share our experiences and exchange our farewells.Lodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, wherer you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!Meals Included: Breakfast