Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. The activity level for this program is "On Your Feet." Participants should be able to walk a mile daily over varied terrain with inclines, get on/off the motorcoach, and stand for an hour at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level.
Afternoon: Program Registration 4:00-5:30 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 5:30 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. After the orientation, walk two blocks to the restaurant.
Dinner: Plated meal at a nearby restaurant featuring New Mexican cuisine. Selection of entrées, soft drinks, tea and coffee (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Evening: Walk back to the hotel; remainder of the evening at leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking four blocks from Plaza to Cooking School; walking over uneven surfaces, climbing stairs and ladders, and maneuvering through confined spaces a the "House of Eternal Return." 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: Hotel buffet including cold cereals, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, bagels, pastries, toast, juices, milk, coffee, tea.
Morning: Our first expert-led class provides a historical overview of the people of New Mexico. Archaeological evidence indicates that the area has been inhabited for about 11,000 years. Oral history of the Native people gives a much earlier timeline. Written history began with the arrival of “conquistadors” who encountered the Pueblo peoples. Since then, there has been a dizzying array of arrivals, departures, and intermingling resulting in the rich multi-cultural mix of today. We'll then board our motorcoach and head downtown for a walking exploration of the historic Plaza area led by our Group Leader. We'll walk from there to the Santa Fe School of Cooking for a demonstration class on Southwestern cuisine. We'll see how to make tortillas, salsas, and other staples of New Mexican cooking, along with tips and techniques that we can share with our friends and family back home
Lunch: Enjoy the meal just prepared in the lovely dining room of the Santa Fe School of Cooking.
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll do something completely different as we travel a few miles to the Meow Wolf Art 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." We'll return to the hotel for some time at leisure before walking to a nearby restaurant.
Dinner: Plated meal from a limited menu at a popular local restaurant includes a selection of entrées, soft drinks, tea and coffee (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Evening: Walk back to the hotel and evening at leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 60 miles for 1 1/2 hours over the course of the day; standing and walking up to several hundred feet at Santa Cruz Farm.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: This morning travel to Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo for a very special cooking class taught by a member of the Pueblo in her home. Norma Naranjo and her husband farm many of the ingredients themselves. We'll learn how to prepare a traditional Feast Day meal, including bread baked in a "horno," an outdoor adobe oven.
Lunch: Enjoy the meal just prepared in the warm hospitality of the Naranjo home.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll head north for a visit to a local organic farm. Return to the hotel by about 4:00 p.m. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost so that participants may enjoy what they like or sample the local fare. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," northern New Mexico cuisine is a fusion of Native American and Spanish influences. Santa Fe is known for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings and is home to many fine restaurants. The Group Leader can offer suggestions and directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking at Farmer's Market; getting on/off coach; traveling 30 miles over the course of the day; walking over uneven terrain with inclines at Rancho de Las Golondrinas.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After breakfast we'll walk to the Santa Fe Farmers Market, which offers a variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables and produce, as well as cheese, breads, and handcrafts. We'll then travel via motorcoach to El Rancho de Las Golondrinas, a living history museum located on 200 acres in a rural farming valley just south of Santa Fe. The museum, dedicated to the history, heritage and culture of 18th- and 19th-century New Mexico, opened in 1972. Spanish colonial buildings on the site date from the early 1700s.
Lunch: Enjoy a plated meal at a popular local restaurant offering traditional American, Greek and New Mexican cuisine. Most New Mexican dishes are served with red or green chile (New Mexico's official state question is "Red or Green?" If you'd like both, order "Christmas!") We'll have a plated meal including a selection of entrées and soft drinks (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Afternoon: Returning to the hotel, we'll take part in a hands-on folk-art class with an award-winning local artist. We'll decorate our own special piece of New Mexico folk art to take home with us. We'll walk a couple of blocks to our dinner destination in late afternoon.
Dinner: Hamburger dinner at a local dining spot.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting in and out of rafts. Walking to/from put-in and take-out points; some slippery and muddy terrain.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: As a special highlight of our program, we'll head to the Rio Grande for a raft trip. The spectacular Rio Grande valley is home to many Pueblo communities whose residents still practice their traditional ways. Meandering through valleys beneath the majestic mountains, the life-giving waters of the "Great River" have been considered sacred to Native peoples for more than a thousand years. We’ll float along a tranquil section of the Rio Grande with two experts: one to row the raft and a certified Native American interpretive guide who will share Pueblo history and lore with us. These stories will provide a unique view of the land they live in and offer an intimate glimpse of a very special and ancient culture.
Lunch: Along the river in the cottonwood bosque, we’ll be treated to a delicious traditional feast prepared and served al fresco by a Pueblo Indian family. The meal may include dishes such as red chile stew, posole, calabacitas, oven bread or fry bread, Indian pie, and Indian tea
Afternoon: Returning to the hotel, we'll enjoy a free afternoon for swimming, relaxing, going to a movie, or independent explorations of the downtown area.
Dinner: Plated meal at a local restaurant.
Evening: After returning to the hotel we'll share our favorite experiences and exchange farewells.
Breakfast: At the hotel. This is the last meal included in the program.
Morning: 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!