Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration 3:00-5:00 p.m.: After checking into the hotel and getting your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to 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. Orientation at 5:00 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome 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 any questions you may have. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel 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.
Dinner: Buffet at 6:30 p.m. in hotel meeting room; selections usually include a choice of entrées and coffee, tea or water.
Evening: Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.
Activity note: Walking up to a mile over uneven brick sidewalks with inclines. Please note all program activities take place at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level. Due to the elevation, all physical activity will be more challenging than at sea level. Individuals with a history of cardiac or pulmonary problems, or of altitude sickness, should consult with their physician before attending this program. Please be realistic in assessing your physical capabilities so that you can fully enjoy the program.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Selections usually include eggs, french toast or pastries, oatmeal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
Morning: This morning our Group Leader will lead a discussion about the history of the area that is now New Mexico, from its earliest Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants to the Spanish and American soldiers and settlers who followed. We'll also hear about Santa Fe and why it's called "The City Different." We'll then head out on foot to explore Santa Fe's Plaza area, the historic heart of the city. We'll visit the impressive Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the intriguing Loretto Chapel, and other sites as time permits.
Lunch: Buffet at a local restaurant featuring New Mexican cuisine, with coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Afternoon: We'll return to the hotel for a performance by local, award-winning Native American musician Ron Roybal. Ron is a fine Native-American-flute player dedicated to the preservation of traditional music. He'll perform some of his own compositions for us. Remainder of the afternoon free for independent activities. There are a number of museums, colorful galleries and shops in this area, all within walking distance of the hotel. Nearby museums include the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico Museum of History, the Palace of the Governors, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Native Art. You might also enjoy the State Capitol building, which houses the "State Capitol Art Collection," featuring the work of local New Mexico artists, sculptors and photographers.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost so that you can enjoy what you wish or sample the local fare. Santa Fe is know for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," New Mexican cuisine is a fusion of Native American and Spanish influences. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance of the Santa Fe Plaza. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; travel about 15 miles one way; walking up to several blocks over uneven brick sidewalks; standing up to an hour at the museum.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
Morning: We'll start the morning with an expert-led presentation about the life and art of Georgia O'Keeffe. After moving to northern New Mexico in 1949, Ms. O'Keeffe spent the next 26 years producing distinctive and iconic paintings of the area's landscape, flowers, and other regional subjects. After the lecture, we'll walk 4 blocks to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, which holds the largest collection of O’Keefe’s work in the world – over 3,000 of the artist’s works – comprising 140 of her oil paintings, almost 700 drawings and hundreds of additional works. The museum offers a varying selection of O’Keeffe’s work, as well as works by other artists in changing exhibits.
Lunch: On your own.
Afternoon: Free Time: Most of the afternoon is free for independent explorations. We'll gather at the hotel in late afternoon, board our coach and depart for Red Mesa Cuisine in Eldorado. On arrival at Red Mesa, we'll enjoy a meal featuring regional cuisine prepared by local chef Lois Ellen Frank, PhD. Dr. Frank is a Native American foods historian, culinary anthropologist, photographer and James Beard Award-winning author.
Dinner: At Red Mesa Cuisine.
Evening: Return to the hotel.
Activity note: Gettiing on/off coach; traveling 75 miles for 1 1/2 hours one way; walking up to several blocks over varied terrain including uneven sidewalks and unpaved dirt (mud if there is precipitation); standing up to 2 hours at site visits.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: After breakfast we'll board our motorcoach and travel 60 miles north to Taos. On arrival in Taos, we'll visit Taos Pueblo (if it is open; it sometimes closes with little advance notice for Pueblo ceremonies and events.) This picturesque Pueblo at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America. The multiple-storied adobe dwellings reflect an ancient culture. Approximately 100 Pueblo residents still live much as their ancestors did 1,000 years ago, without electricity or running water. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.
Lunch: Plated meal at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll visit the Millicent Rogers Museum. Established in 1956, the museum's holdings include more than 7,000 objects documenting the arts and cultures of the Southwest, including the largest publicly held collection of material by famed San Ildefonso potter Maria Martinez in the world. Other significant collections include Hispanic Santos, Apache baskets, Plains beadwork, katsinas, Peyote-cult materials, Navajo Chief’s blankets and Rio Grande Valley Hispanic weavings. After our museum visit, we'll travel to Taos Plaza. We'll enjoy some free time for independent explorations. There are a number of galleries, shops, and museums within walking distance of Taos Plaza, including the E.L. Blumenschein Home & Museum, the Harwood Museum, which is home to the Agnes Martin Gallery, the Kit Carson Home & Museum and the Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House. We'll meet our motorcoach at a designated time and location, then depart for Santa Fe, stopping briefly at San Francisco de Asís mission church en route. Located in the historic district of Ranchos de Taos, this Spanish Colonial adobe building is one of the best known and most photographed churches in New Mexico.
Dinner: At a popular Santa Fe restaurant, choose from a select menu including a choice of entrées, coffee, tea and soft drinks, water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Return to the hotel.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; standing up to 2 hours at Meow Wolf and SAR. The "House of Eternal Return" is an experience that takes place in dark spaces with stairs, low overhangs, tight spaces, flashing lights, theatrical fog effects and exposed materials.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
Morning: We'll board our coach and travel to the Meow Wolf Arts Complex for an exciting only-in-Santa-Fe experience as we visit "The House of Eternal Return." Created by the Meow Wolf art collective, "The House of Eternal Return" is a multimedia, interactive art experience that has been described as “immersive storytelling.” Developed with the generous support of Santa Fe resident and "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin, it was an immediate sensation after its opening in March 2016 and already has become a destination attraction for visitors from around the world, attracting over 400,000 people in its first year. It's been recommended by CNN Travel as one of "the best things to do in Santa Fe," and declared by CBS News to be New Mexico's "most Instagrammed destination." It's a far cry from traditional Santa Fe style, but is a lot of fun for the open-minded young-at-heart. We’ll find ourselves transported into other dimensions as we walk through this labyrinthine combination of jungle gym, haunted house and art installation, a truly unique fusion of art and entertainment. If you've ever wanted to go through the looking-glass or walk through the wardrobe (or, in this case, a refrigerator!), this is your chance, truly an attraction for "children of all ages."
Lunch: Plated meal from a limited menu at a popular local restaurant featuring New Mexican cuisine; selection of entrées, coffee, tea, soft drinks, water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll board our coach and travel to the School for Advanced Research, where we'll be allowed into the vaults of the Indian Arts Research Center. We'll see wonderful collections of pottery, weaving, baskets, jewelry, paintings only seen by the public via special invitation. The School for Advanced Research provides a dynamic environment for the advanced study and communication of knowledge about human culture, evolution, history, and creative expression. SAR draws upon its century-deep roots in the American Southwest, anthropology, and indigenous arts to present programs, publications and initiatives that impart the learning of social scientists, humanists, and artists to inform the thoughts and actions of scholars, artists, educators, and the interested public. We'll return to the hotel by 4:30 p.m.
Dinner: On your own.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 30 miles one way; walking up to several blocks over varied terrain with inclines, including unpaved dirt; standing for up to an hour at Santuario, and weaving gallery; standing for up to 2 hours at Museum Hill.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.
Morning: This morning we'll travel 30 miles north to the village of Chimayó. On arrival, we'll visit El Santuario de Chimayó. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important center in the United States for Catholic pilgrimage." Many of the faithful believe that the Santuario is built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers. Inside, a small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the "blessed earth" (tierra bendita). We then go to Centinela Traditional Arts Weaving Gallery. Many local families have been carrying on the traditions of Hispanic-style weaving for generations. We'll have the opportunity to see some beautiful pieces by an award-winning, seventh-generation weaver whose work is on display in a number of museums, including the Smithsonian.
Lunch: We'll have lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayó, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda. Chimayó is known for its heirloom chiles, the fruit of the Capsicum plant; most traditional New Mexican dishes are prepared with red or green chile. (New Mexico's official state question 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 a non-alcoholic beverage. (Additional beverages available for purchase.)
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll travel back to Santa Fe and go to Museum Hill for visits to the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture features pottery, jewelry, sculpture, baskets, and other objects made by Native Americans from the earliest times to modern day, scrupulously documented and beautifully displayed. Most of the work is from the Southwest. The Museum of International Folk Art continues to focus on indigenous populations from around the world through their art – ranging from ceremonial dress and masks to furniture. The museum hosts the largest collection of international folk art in the world, including wings featuring some of the 106,000 pieces donated by collectors Alexander and Susan Girard and Lloyd Cotsen's Neutrogena collection.
Dinner: Plated meal at a popular local restaurant.
Evening: Program closing at the restaurant.
Activity note: Hotel checkout: 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel from 7:00-8:30 a.m.
Morning: Our program concludes with breakfast. If you are departing from the hotel, please check out no later than 12:00 p.m. 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, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!