20684
New Mexico
Great American Get-Together in Santa Fe
Immerse yourself in culture and camaraderie as you explore National Parks, visit unique museums, attend a Pueblo dance and learn about Santa Fe from local experts.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20684RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,999
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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8 days
7 nights
17 meals
7 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Santa Fe
D
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Activity level for this program is "KEEP THE PACE." All activities during this program take place at an elevation of 7,000 feet; routine physical activity will be more challenging than at sea level. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the large number of participants, the program will be subdivided into smaller groups for some activities. If you have a traveling companion(s) with whom you wish to be grouped, please note this on your PIF and submit it NO LATER THAN THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO THE PROGRAM START DATE.

Morning: For those who chose the "Free Airfare" option and will be arriving in Albuquerque on the first day of the program, Road Scholar staff will be on hand in the baggage claim area on the lower level of the Albuquerque Sunport to greet you and provide directions to your motorcoach or shuttle; look for the Road Scholar signs. Our charter coaches will be departing from the airport at regularly scheduled intervals. There may be some delay between your arrival in Albuquerque and your departure for Santa Fe.

Afternoon: Arrive at the Hilton Historic Plaza anytime after 3:00 p.m. for check-in. Upon arrival, please pick up your program folder from program staff at the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby. 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. Depending upon the number of enrollments, the group will be subdivided into smaller groups for some activities, including Field Trips, free time, and some meals. The schedule for your group may vary from that indicated in the online itinerary and Information Packet daily schedule. Groups will be determined by the Road Scholar Santa Fe office in advance of the program start; if you are travelling with someone with whom you would like to be grouped, please include their name(s) in the "Traveling Companion" field of your Participant Information Form NO LATER THAN THREE WEEKS before the program start date. Groups cannot be reassigned after the program begins. If you have questions regarding the itinerary for your group, please call the Santa Fe Road Scholar office (505-780-4400). 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: At 6:30 in our private meeting room at the hotel, enjoy a catered buffet including salad, an entrée, and dessert, plus water, coffee and tea.

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.

DAY
2
Lectures on NM History, Southwest Cuisine, Santa Fe Plaza
Santa Fe
B,L,D
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Walking up to two miles on an uphill grade on paved but uneven surfaces; some stairs included.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel meeting room from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. Selections usually include scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, plus fresh fruit, breads, pastries, juices, hot and cold cereals, toast, milk, coffee, tea and more.

Morning: During this morning's lectures, a local expert will introduce us to the intriguing history of New Mexico from the Ancestral Puebloan inhabitants of the area to the Spanish and American soldiers and settlers who followed. After a short break, we'll learn about Southwestern cuisine in a presentation by local chef Lois Ellen Frank, PhD. Dr. Frank is a Native American foods historian, culinary anthropologist, photographer and James Beard Award-winning author.

Lunch: Buffet in the hotel meeting room.

Afternoon: After lunch, our Group Leaders will guide us on an exploration of the Santa Fe Plaza area where we'll see some of the sites mentioned in this morning's history lecture. We'll then have time for independent explorations before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner: Hotel buffet in the meeting room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Native American Culture Lecture, Field Trip to Chimayó
Santa Fe
B,L
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 60 miles over the course of the day; walking up to several blocks on varied terrain; standing for up to an hour at weaving gallery and Santuario.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, a Native American from nearby Tesuque Pueblo will start the morning with a presentation about Native American life. After the lecture, we depart by motorcoach and travel 30 miles north to the village of Chimayó. On arrival, we'll visit a weaving gallery, Centinela Traditional Arts. 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 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 coffee, tea, soft drinks or water (additional beverages available for purchase.)

Afternoon: After lunch 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 dirt with miraculous healing power. Inside, a small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the "blessed earth" (tierra bendita). Return to Santa Fe in late afternoon.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from your program cost so that you can enjoy what you like or sample the local fare. Santa Fe is known for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings, and there are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The Group Leaders will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Pueblo History and Dances, Feast Day Dances
Santa Fe
B,L
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 20 miles roundtrip; standing during feast day dancing (no seating available.)

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We begin the morning with a discussion about Pueblo culture and dances presented by a local expert. We’ll then depart via motorcoach and travel 10 miles north to Tesuque Pueblo, which will be celebrating the San Diego Feast Day. The residents celebrate the day with a dance chosen by the elders of the tribe. It could be Buffalo, Corn, Comanche or Deer dances. Photos or recordings of any kind are prohibited; we'll let you know in advance of the protocol all visitors must observe during the dances. For those of you who have never observed Native American dances, you'll see beautiful handmade regalia, hear the many drummers and singers leading the dances, and more likely than not, see very young children dancing with the adults - it is important for the little ones to retain the traditions of the Pueblo. Return to Santa Fe after seeing the dances

Lunch: Hotel buffet in the meeting room.

Afternoon: Free afternoon.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Archaeoastronomy Lecture, Cooking Demonstration, Museum Hill
Santa Fe
B,L,D
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Walking 1 block to the Santa Fe School of Cooking; getting on/off coach; walking and standing on Museum Hill.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, we'll learn about archaeo-astronomy. Sometimes called the anthropology of astronomy, archaeo-astronomy is the study of astronomical practices and related legends and lore including religious beliefs and world views in ancient cultures. The Ancestral Pueblo people of northwestern New Mexico studied the heavens and incorporated celestial events into their lives a thousand years ago. Much as some have speculated about the uses of Stonehenge, the Puebloans had a comprehension of geometry in relation to solar and lunar cycles that helped them orient their constructions to record equinoxes and solstices. Following the lecture, we will take a short walk to the Santa Fe School of Cooking for a class about local cuisine. We'll learn why Southwestern cuisine is so popular as we view a demonstration of the preparation of a traditional New Mexican meal.

Lunch: After the demonstration, we'll enjoy a meal of the food we just saw prepared.

Afternoon: We'll walk back to the hotel where we'll board our motorcoach and depart for Museum Hill for self-guided explorations of the Museum of Indian Arts and 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: Buffet in the meeting room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Full-Day Trip to Chaco Canyon
Santa Fe
B,L,D
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Getting on/off coach; traveling 370 miles for 7 hours roundtrip; walking up to two miles over unpaved, but well-maintained trails at Chaco Canyon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We begin our full-day field trip as we depart at 7:30 a.m. and travel 185 miles northwest of Santa Fe to Chaco Culture National Historical Park via Nageezi. Arriving in Nageezi, we’ll transfer to a school bus as motorcoaches are advised not to travel the rough, unpaved road into Chaco. A bit bumpy, but it's the only way to get there. Upon our arrival, we will marvel at the intact stacked-stone masonry as we explore some of the ancient ruins. Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves one of North America's most significant and fascinating cultural and historic areas. Chaco was a major center of Ancestral Puebloan culture between 850 and 1150 CE. It was a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area. It is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings. Construction of the buildings, along with the associated Chacoan roads, ramps, dams and mound,s required a great deal of well-organized and skillful planning, designing, resource gathering and construction. The Chacoan people combined pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture, one that amazes us a thousand years later.

Lunch: In the park, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Our exploration of Chaco Canyon continues for most of the afternoon, followed by departure for Nageezi and Bernalillo.

Dinner: Plated meal at a popular local restaurant in Bernalillo.

Evening: Return to Santa Fe by about 9:00 p.m.

DAY
7
O'Keeffe Lecture, Free Afternoon, Farewell Dinner
Santa Fe
B,D
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza

Activity note: Walking up to one mile roundtrip with inclines.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we'll enjoy an expert-led presentation on Georgia O'Keeffe. One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.” After moving to northern New Mexico in 1949, O'Keeffe spent the next 26 years producing distinctive and iconic paintings of the area's landscapes, flowers, and other regional subjects.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Free afternoon for independent explorations.

Dinner: We'll walk to one of Santa Fe’s most elegant and renowned restaurants, where we’ll enjoy a special farewell meal crafted from locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Enjoy a first course, an entrée, and dessert, plus water, coffee, and tea; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Return to the hotel after dinner.

DAY
8
Breakfast and Independent Departures
Santa Fe
B

Activity note: Hotel checkout: 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. This is the last meal included in the program.

Morning: If you are departing from the hotel today, check-out time is 12:00 p.m. Depart via our motorcoach shuttles as scheduled. 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!






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