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Highlights of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Program Number: 10427RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/3/2014 - 10/6/2014; 10/7/2014 - 10/10/2014; 10/10/2014 - 10/13/2014;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Price starting at: $699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Festivals, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 7; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Experience the best of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, study the history of hot-air ballooning and feel the excitement of the Special Shape or Mass Ascension during three visits to the Balloon Park. Learn how balloons are made, how they are inflated, what pilots need to know to fly them safely. Discover why Albuquerque is such a perfect place for this world’s premier ballooning event.




Highlights

• Watch the pilots and their crews prepare huge and intricately constructed balloons for inflation and flight.
• See a fireworks presentation and balloon entries from countries around the world.
• Learn about the history and science of ballooning at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile over uneven or paved surfaces in the dark to access Balloon Park; climb a flight of stairs. Standing up to an hour at a time on field trips. Elevations of 5,000 to 7,000 feet.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Albuquerque

New Mexico's vast history, diversity, creativity, cuisine, beauty and art unite in this vibrant city, founded as a Spanish colonial outpost in 1706 and built in a traditional Spanish village configuration in which civic buildings surround a central plaza. “Old Town” is just one of New Mexico’s largest city’s many gems.



Accommodations
Centrally located hotel, heated pool, spa and exercise room. Free airport shuttle.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Allen Girdner

Allen Girdner is inquisitive by nature, having grown up the son of a history teacher. For 47 years, he has traveled throughout northern New Mexico for business and pleasure and is constantly on the lookout for anything he can learn about the Land of Enchantment. Allen was educated in New Mexico and with considerable experience working for the state, he has keen insight on the storied Main Street of America known as Route 66.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   MCM Elegante Hotel
  Albuquerque 3 nights
 MCM Elegante Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Large hotel with mid-town location and free parking.
  Contact info: 2020 Menaul NE
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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: best seasonal rate Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: best seasonal rate Arrange for pre and post hotel nights directly with hotel at (505) 884-2511.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at hotel anytime after 3:00 PM; register with program's group leader in designated area between 4:00-5:30 PM. (The hotel will be full, so there may be some delays in room readiness.) You will be staying at MCM Elegante Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on last day of program; hotel check-out by 11:00 AM. You will be staying at MCM Elegante Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Albuquerque
  Nearest highway: I-25 and I-40
  Nearest airport:  Albuquerque International Sunport
  From End of Program
  Location: Albuquerque
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Albuquerque

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
MCM Elegante Hotel Shuttle
phone: 505-884-2511

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Hotel shuttle is free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

After picking up your luggage, call the hotel at 884-2511 from the courtesy phones in the baggage claim area.

 

Albuquerque

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
MCM Elegante Hotel Shuttle
phone: 505-884-2511

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Hotel shuttle is free
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

It is a good idea to let the hotel's front desk staff know the evening before your departure that you'll need a shuttle to the airport. They can let you know what time the shuttle will depart in order for you to catch your flight.

 
Driving Directions
  From Interstate 25 Interstate 25 runs north and south through the middle of Albuquerque, where it crosses Interstate 40. From the north, take Exit 227 (Comanche, Candelaria, Menaul). Drive south along the frontage road until you reach Menaul (the third major intersection). Turn left on Menaul. Just after the first major intersection, with University Blvd., you'll see THE MCM ELEGANTE on the right. From the south, take Exit 225 (Lomas). Continue driving north along the frontage road until you reach Menaul. Turn right on Menaul and, just after the first major intersection (University), you'll see the hotel on the right.
  From Interstate 40 Interstate 40 runs east and west through the middle of Albuquerque. Near the center of town, it crosses Interstate 25. From the east, take Exit 159-D (University Blvd.) to the first light, which is Menaul. Turn right on Menaul and you'll see THE MCM ELEGANTE on the right, just past the intersection. From the west, take Exit 159-A (University Blvd.). Continue east along the frontage road until you reach University; turn left on University. Take a right at the second light, on Menaul, and you'll see the hotel on the right, just past the intersection.
Elevation Note: We will be above 3,000' the entire program (5,300' in Albuquerque).

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive in Albuquerque/Orientation and Introductions
(Tuesday, October 7)
   
 Arrive To: Check in at the hotel any time after 3:00 PM; register between 4:00 and 5:30 PM with program's group leader in designated area at hotel.

There may be some delays in room readiness as the hotel is usually full all during the event.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00-7:00 PM
 Evening: From 7:00-8:30 PM, our group leader will provide a program orientation. We'll then enjoy a short video introduction to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
   
Accommodations: MCM Elegante Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Events/Indian Pueblo Cultural Center/Old Town
(Wednesday, October 8)

Note: Walking up to one mile over uneven packed dirt terrain at Balloon Park; standing up to one hour at each event (bring a cane/chair or small folding stool if you can't stand for long periods of time).



   
 Breakfast: To-go snack breakfast from the hotel
 Morning: Early morning departure (5:30 AM) for Balloon Fiesta Park. This morning's scheduled session includes the Morning Glow and Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension. Following the Mass Ascension, we'll visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Balloon Museum, then return to the hotel for some time at leisure.
 Lunch: Lunch at a selected restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll go to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is 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.

We'll then go to Albuquerque's historic Old Town, 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.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Evening at leisure
   
Accommodations: MCM Elegante Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Balloon Fiesta Events/National Hispanic Cultural Center
(Thursday, October 9)

Note: Walking over packed dirt and paved terrain up to one mile over course of the day; standing at site visits



   
 Breakfast: To-go snack breakfast from the hotel
 Morning: Early morning departure for Balloon Fiesta Park. Today's scheduled events include the Special Shape Rodeo.

We'll return to the hotel for some leisure time before departing for our lunch destination.

 Lunch: Lunch at a selected restaurant
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll visit the art museum at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

We'll then return to the hotel, where we'll hear an expert lecture about hot-air ballooning, followed by our program closing.

At 5:00 PM, the bus will depart for Balloon Fiesta Park.

 Dinner: Dinner will be "on our own" at Balloon Fiesta Park. There are many vendors selling food and drink at the park, so we'll have a variety of choices.
 Evening: As darkness falls, all the balloons will ignite their burners for the Special Shape Glowdeo. We'll remain for the AfterGlow Fireworks Show, then return to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: MCM Elegante Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Breakfast and Departure
(Friday, October 10)
   
 Depart From: Independent departures.

Hotel offers free shuttle service to Albuquerque International Sunport.

Checkout time is 12:00 PM.

 Breakfast: Hotel dining room..

Breakfast this morning will be the last meal provided during this program.

   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Ballooning: A History, 1782-1900


Author: Kotar, S.L. & Gessler, J.E.


Description: This book chronicles the development of the hot air balloon and advances the endeavor from 1782 to the beginning of the 20th century.



Great Escapes: The Stories behind 50 Remarkable Journeys to Freedom


Author: Christianson, Scott


Description: Media of every kind love escape stories. They lead the news, inspire books, and become Hollywood movies. Several of the 50 adventures recounted in this photographic compendium became box-office smashes, including "The Great Escape" (1963), "Papillon" (1973), and "Apollo 13" (1995).



Forgotten Albuquerque, NM: Images of America


Author: Bannerman, Ty


Description: In 1706, Spanish colonists founded the Villa de Albuquerque on the banks of the Rio Grande. Three hundred years later, that once quiet farming community has grown to become Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico. Using over 200 vintage images from public archives and individual collections, author Ty Bannerman explores the city's many guises over time, from its prehistory as a thriving province of the Pueblo peoples to its post-World-War-II population boom.



The Spell of New Mexico


Author: Hillerman, Tony (Editor)


Description: A gathering of essays that evoke the unique and mysterious appeal New Mexico has had for some of the twentieth century's best-known writers. included are selections by Mary Austin, Oliver La Farge, Conrad Richter, D.H. Lawrence, C.G. Jung, Winfield Townley Scott, John DeWitt McKee, Ernie Pyle, Harvey Fergusson, and Lawrence Clark Powell. Hillerman's preface and introduction are choice specimens of his incisive humor and his own deep love of the state.



Heaven's Window: A Journey Through Northern New Mexico


Author: Wallis, Michael & Parsons, Jack


Description: Photographer Jack Parson's stunning images reveal the magical qualities of the upper Rio Grande region. this compelling spot in the Southwest, which includes Santa Fe, Taos and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, has long been a magnetic crossroads. travel with parsons to bustling Indian marketplaces, charming historic churches, ancient petroglyphs, lively fiestas, and haunting old ranchos. Award-winning storyteller, Michael Wallis explores the rich history of this remarkable region. Peeling back the layers of time, Wallis gets at the enchantment, turbulence, and mystery of this very special place and the people - native American, Hispanic, Anglo and others - who inhabit it.



Albuquerque in Our Time: 30 Voices, 300 Years


Author: Hughes, Debra


Description: Albuquerque, New Mexico, a city astride a great river, celebrated its tricentennial in 2006. This book pays homage to the city with a rich medley of narratives by its most colorful residents: well-loved town characters, writers, journalists, politicians, civic and business leaders who have helped shape Albuquerque's character and guided its growth.





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