S: October 3-9, 2011
FC: Our trip to New Mexico October 3-9, 2011
1: On Monday,, October 3, 2011 we flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico and checked into our hotel, the Rio Grande Best Western for our Road Scholar adventure entitled, "Hot Air Ballooning, Santa Fe Art and Native American Pueblos".
3: Monday afternoon we walked down to the Old Town district. Centered around the plaza, Old Town has been the focal point of life in Albuquerque since Don Francisco Cuervo Y Valdez founded the town on April 23, 1706. On the north side of the square is San Felipe de Neri Church built in 1793.
4: One of the Navajo Code Talkers | Old Town Albuquerque
7: On Tuesday | On Tuesday we drove to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. All 19 of the New Mexico Pueblos have banded together to fund this art & history center. After watching the dancing we have a wonderful southwestern style lunch.
8: Sandia Casino & Resort
9: It was raining so hard at Fiesta Park on Wednesday that we went to the Sandia Casino for their breakfast buffet. There are only 500 members of this publeo but they employee over 800 people here in their resort/casino. We ended up here on Friday evening also to eat and watch the fireworks.
10: After our Krispy Kreme donuts at Fiesta Park and our breakfast at the Casino we drove up to Santa Fe.. Also built around a square, the town was settled by the conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta in 1609. | The Palace of the Governors is the oldest public building in America, built in 1610 as Spain's seat of government for the Southwest.
11: Wednesday Morning in Santa Fe | Palace of the Governors
12: Art is everywhere in Santa Fe!
13: Scenes around the Square | San Miguel Mission built in 1610 -it is the oldest church in the United States.
14: The Loretto Chapel was built by the sisters of Loretto in 1873 and the staircase was added by St Joseph in 1877 . He appeared one day in answer to their prayers, built the staircase in only 6 months and then disappeared.
16: Wednesday Lunch at Tomasita's restaurant in Santa Fe
17: We visited the Gerald Peters Gallery and the Fenn Galery, then went on to walk through the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
18: Dawn Patrol- at Fiesta Park
19: We woke up at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday to board the bus at 5:00 to be at Fiesta Park to see the Balloons as they were inflated.
21: Hundreds of special shaped balloons-most corporate sponsored and all paid by the Fiesta to fly just for our enjoyment!
22: The adobe houses on this 367 ft mesa have been used for over a 1,000 years. and is still inhabited today. Their church, San Esteban del Rey, was built in the 17 century. | Acoma Pueblo
24: On Friday we went back to Fiesta Park to see more balloons but it was so windy that they tethered but did not go up. On the far right are the some of the "zebras". Men and women who tell the balloon crews when it's safe to take off.
26: After our breakfast burrito on Friday we headed over to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
28: Albuquerque Bio-Park
29: Friday afternoon we had free time so we took the hotel shuttle to visit the Bio-Park.
31: Bio-Park Aquarium
32: 40th International Balloon Fiesta | On Saturday we finally got to see the balloons take off! Oh, what a sight!
35: Totally Amazing!
36: Coronado State Monument | Saturday afternoon
37: It was here that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado- with 300 soldiers first came looking for the fabled seven cities of gold. | Kuaua- a Tiwa word for "evergreen" is an earthen publeo excavated in the 1930's by WPA workers. A square Kiva (right) contained many layers of pre-Columbian mural art that are displayed inside.
38: To finish off our week together, we had a delicious southwestern- style dinner at El Pinto Restaurant in downtown Albuquerque.