Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration, 3:00-5:00 p.m.: After you have 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 or plated dinner in hotel meeting room at 6:30 consisting of choice of entrées, sides and coffee, tea and 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: The activity level for this program is "Keep the Pace." Participants should be able to walk up to two miles a day over uneven varied terrain and stand up to an hour at a time. All program activity takes place at an elevation of 7,000 feet; routine activity, such as walking and climbing stairs will be more challenging than at sea level. We ask that you be realistic in assessing your physical condition so that you can fully enjoy all aspects of the program.
Breakfast: Beginning at 6:30 a.m. the hotel's hot breakfast buffet includes scrambled eggs, sausage, Belgian waffles, biscuits and gravy. Plus fresh fruit, bagels, pastries, juices, hot and cold cereals, toast, milk, coffee, tea and more.
Morning: This morning we'll learn 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 known as "The City Different." We'll then enjoy a presentation about the fascinating history of Conversos and Crypto Jews in New Mexico, dating back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
Lunch: Plated meal or buffet at a popular local dining spot; selections include traditional New Mexican dishes, as well as non-New Mexican options, coffee, tea and water (additional beverages available for purchase.)
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll head out on foot to explore Santa Fe's Plaza area, the historic heart of the city. We'll visit the impressive Romanesque-style Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the intriguing Loretto Chapel, and other sites as time permits. This will be followed by free time for independent explorations. Sites of interest within walking distance of the Plaza include the New Mexico History Museum, the Palace of the Governors (the oldest public administration building in the US), the New Mexico Museum of Art and the State Capitol Building, noteworthy for its unique architectural design and home to the State Capitol Art Collection featuring the works of New Mexican artists, sculptors and photographers.
Dinner: Plated meal from at a local restaurant includes choice of entrées coffee, tea and water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Evening: We will attend a special performance of Robert Benjamin’s contemporary play "Parted Waters," presented especially for our group by Teatro Paraguas. Teatro Paraguas was founded in 2004 by an international group of actors and artists and is dedicated to producing bilingual Hispanic/Latino theater and poetry performances. Occasionally, Teatro Paraguas produces works it considers of social and political importance that may lie outside of its usual mission.
Activity note: Walking and/or standing as far and as long as you choose during free time.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After breakfast, we'll begin the day with an expert-led lecture expanding our knowledge of the lives of Conversos and Crypto Jews. After a short break, we'll hear from a presenter who will discuss her Converso/Crypto-Jewish heritage and her voyage of discovery into her own personal history.
Lunch: After the lectures, we'll enjoy a plated lunch at a local restaurant including a choice of entrées coffee, tea and water; additional beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Free afternoon for independent explorations of Santa Fe.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from your program cost so that you can enjoy what you like or sample some of the local fare. Not to be confused with "Tex-Mex," New Mexico cuisine includes elements of bothe Native American and Spanish influences. Santa Fe is known for the breadth and depth of its culinary offerings. There are a number of fine restaurants within walking distance, including the hotel's own restaurant, Eloisa. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 150 miles for 3 hours over the course of the day; walking up to 2 miles over varied terrain.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We'll travel to Taos. On arrival, our first stop will be at Taos Pueblo (if it is open; it sometimes closes with little advance notice for private 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 from at a local restaurant.
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll visit the studio of an internationally-renowned local artist whose work has been inspired by her Crypto-Jewish heritage. We'll then board our motorcoach and depart for the northern New Mexico village of Chimayó. 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.
Dinner: We'll have dinner 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 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.)
Evening: Return to the hotel by 9:00 p.m.
Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles over varied terrain with inclines; standing for up to an hour with limited opportunities for sitting at the museum.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We'll 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.
Lunch: On your own.
Afternoon: Free afternoon for personal explorations.
Dinner: Plated meal at the hotel or a local restaurant.
Evening: After dinner, there will be a program closing and farewells in our hotel meeting room.
Activity note: Hotel checkout time: 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet; this is the last meal included in the program.
Morning: If you are departing from the hotel, please check out no later than 11:00 a.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!