Chimayo, New Mexico: The Perfect Mother’s Day Destination

Mother’s Day was perfection, and I can appreciate it now, because I had some not-so- perfect ones in the past. Interestingly when the kids were little, and I worked so very darn hard, constantly exhausted, I had some disaster Mother’s Days. Now that life is pretty easy they get better and better. Just throwing it out there, in case you are not there YET.

The day started off with me waking up to a sweetly decorated table, the best crepes made by my husband, and of course coffee. And very special earrings, a gift from my son and my husband. So sweet! The girls had gotten up at 2 am to decorate. The silver ware had little notes taped to them: I love you. Melted. my. heart.

For lunch we were joined by our friends for a quick bite to eat at a local diner. I thoroughly threatened my girls not to get ketchup on their dresses, it worked, for once.

Then our friends and our family drove up north to Chimayo, a tiny village on the High Road to Taos. Chimayo is famous for its church and restaurant. We parked in the parking lot and made our way to the church. What I love about Chimayo is that it has the feel of Mexico or Spain. It’s quaintly old world. Built in 1813 the church El Santuario de Chimayo is a very popular pilgrimage and a National Heritage site. It gets very crowded around Easter. IMG_6354IMG_6355PicMonkey Collage-4

Above is my friend’s son taking a break. A rare moment I had to capture…

Below is the church. It seems to be always open to visitors. It is vey small, with a tiny courtyard.

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Here is my friend with her darling baby girl, who wasn’t feeling it at the time, but did great over the course of a very long day. IMG_6378.jpg

This was my third visit to the church, but the firs time catching the flowers in full bloom. IMG_7293.jpgIMG_6370.jpgIMG_6374.jpgIMG_6410PicMonkey Collage-4.jpgIMG_6416 (1).jpgIMG_6412

Aren’t the roses lovely?

During our drive the kids kept asking where the playground was. But then they saw this…Here is Tasha playing with my friend’s son.

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Nearby the church are more quaint little shops, a coffee shop, and another little chapel.

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It was time to go to the Restaurant de Chimayo in time for our reservation. I do recommend making a reservation for Mother’s Day, it was packed.

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Rancho de Chimayo is a destination in itself. It has a little gift shop next to it, and is associated with the B&B across the street. My friend ordered a delicious prickly pear lemonade (pictured above), and I loved my silver Margherita. The guys drank local beer. And the flan for dessert melted in our mouths…

Another must do in Chimayo is a visit to the weaving store Ortegas. They sell hand woven rugs, purses, wall hangings, and more, made by local artists. Sadly they are closed on Sundays so we didn’t get a chance to shop.

Now you know why Chimayo is one of my favorite destinations in New Mexico.

I do hope you will visit it soon.

-Sofija

 

 

Tasha is wearing a blue dress from Old Navy, and a hat from Baby Gap. My top is from Banana Republic.

All pictures taken with a Canon 7D and a 50mm lens. I used PicMonkey for the side by side pictures.

 

 

 

 

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Chimayo, New Mexico: The Perfect Mother’s Day Destination

Rapberry Picking in Mora, New Mexico

We went Raspberry picking last weekend and we were surprised how much fun we had. Take a look.

Upon arriving you get a small bucket to collect the raspberries. You fill those and at the end they get weighed and you pay by the pound. We paid $6 per pound. Everybody gets a row assigned to pick their berries. We were shown how to properly pick the raspberries off the stems. Tasting is allowed; we tasted A LOT. picmonkey-collage-2

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After we were done picking we went to the store to pay for our 4 lb we had collected. There was a small shop that served raspberry sundaes. So good!!picmonkey-collageimg_3470img_5348IMG_3478.jpgIMG_3343.jpg

I recommend bringing bug spray and sunscreen.Which we forgot and paid for the next day.

Be sure to check Salman Raspberry Ranch’s website before you go, fields and stores are not always open. They update daily.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

 

Rapberry Picking in Mora, New Mexico

A Photo Shoot with the Girls in Taos

Friends,

Last week the family spend the day in Taos. The hubs took our 12 year old son river rafting on the Rio Grande, while I took the girls to Taos. They had a blast. First they humored me with a photo shoot of yet another adobe church, and then they got rewarded with Slushees and a trip to their favorite playground. Here are some pictures…

First we dropped the boys off along the Rio Grande to go river rafting. They had a blast and I would highly recommend this for older kids. There are two ways to get to Taos coming from Albuquerque or Santa Fe: the High Road, and the Low Road. While I am a huge fan of the High Road, I have to say the Low Road is pretty awesome in the summer, as well. There is a little rafting shack with a coffee shop; there is Heron Brewery, and cute little fruit stand next to it.  Lots of places to stop and linger along the Rio Grande. And places to picnic right by the river, too.

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After dropping them off, we headed to San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Taos. It is easy to miss, you don’t see it from the road, thus  I have passed it a few times without knowing. Georgia O’Keeffe painted this church and Ansel Adams photographed it. I can see why…

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I love the softness of the adobe churches and the white and beige detail of this church. So lovely.

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A random house near the church with the signature blue shutters and red chilis hanging from the roof. IMG_3697.jpg

What a great day!

This summer we didn’t really have time or finances for a vacation. Day trips like this make a staycation a lot more bearable for me. Exploring new places and spending a lot of time in the pool is what gets me through the long and hot New Mexico summers.

Have a great day,

Sofija

 

 

A Photo Shoot with the Girls in Taos

Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu, New Mexico

If you are visiting or live in Albuquerque or Santa Fe add this to your list of day trips. It is so worth it. From Albuquerque Abiquiu is about a 2 1/2 hour drive north. From Santa Fe it is only an hour away. The drive up there is beautiful.

Before arriving at the Ranch we stopped at Lake Abiquiu to cool off. It is a small man made lake, which is pretty much all you get in this state. But the water temperature was perfect on this hot day. Come here early on a weekend, it fills up fast in the afternoon. We shared the beach with several large groups.

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Leaving the lake the ranch wasn’t much further up the road. The drive was stunning.

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The famous painter Georgia O’Keeffe owned a small piece of Ghost Ranch. She drew inspiration from her surroundings, going on long walks every day and painting what she saw. Being here it was easy to see how one would be creative living here.

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There is a dude ranch on the property. I was told by visitors it was made for the movie City Slickers.

The Presbyterian Church owns the property now. There is a lot going on, plan to spend some time here: scheduled hikes and tours, retreats, different museums; there is a even a pool.

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I asked my 12 year old to take a picture of me and my husband. I recently decided to be more intentional to not only take pictures of the kids when we go places but also the two of us.

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The view from the parking lot.

We didn’t have time to really explore that day, which gives me an excuse to come back. Maybe stay overnight or participate in a creative retreat…

For us it was the perfect staycation destination. We are pretty much home this whole summer so I am trying to go on interesting day trips. This would also make a great field trip destination with the museums, or the art education.

Have a great day,

Sofija

I’m wearing…

Dress: Madewell

Hat: Anthropologie

Tote: Madewell

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu, New Mexico

Desert Child

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to raise children in the desert. It is such a unique experience and one that I never anticipated. I grew up in Germany in a city near a dense forest. Everything was small, green, and urban. New Mexico is almost the opposite. It is vast, brown, you can see for miles and miles, and it is wild. There is hardly any grass, just a sea of rocks. I wonder if the surroundings will affect their views on life. Will they see this world as big and limitless and be eager to discover it?

Bringing Tashi to White Mesa made me realize how much at home she is in this terrain. There was no: “I’m bored, what is there to do?” She immediately started walking and interacting with her surroundings. She could have spend all day there.

 

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She found some chalky rocks and was delighted that she could draw pictures with them. IMG_2011

She decided the rocks would make excellent furniture. Here she is holding a couch, but it looks more like a telephone….IMG_2026IMG_2038IMG_3512

I have been reading a lot about forest pre-schools in Europe. Children spend all day outside in the woods. I guess my children have been going to rock school…

Have lovely day,

Sofija

On :

Pants: H&M

Top: Olive Juice

Vest: Old Navy

Cat Socks: Gymboree

Shoes: Hand me downs

 

Desert Child

Taos Pueblo with Our Three Youngest

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My mom is visiting us from Germany, so exiting! We decided to take her to Taos, New Mexico for the day. Taos is a great place to visit for many reasons, one is the Taos Pueblo. It is one of the oldest Native American villages that still has people living there. I like visiting there, because the village is a walk in museum that is pretty relaxed. Kids can run around freely, off limit areas are clearly marked.  Native Americans sell their home made wares and go about their business. They are friendly and don’t mind people asking questions.
Taos Pueblo is a village with houses, a church, a cemetery, little stores, and a stream flowing through (which was the highlight for my girls). I was told that 2-4 families still live there, all the others live somewhere else, because of the lack of electricity. The houses get handed down to the next generation.
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On Lucy (left):
Dress: Old Navy
Bracelet: from the local toy store
Sunglasses: Fossil
On Tasha(middle):
Dress: from Mexico
Shoes: The Children’s Place
Bracelet: from the local toy store
Sunglasses: H&M
On Ella:
Top: Old Navy
Pants: hand me down, originally from the Children’s Place

Be sure to check their website or call before you go, because they close for ceremonies and funerals. If you like to know how we spend our whole day in Taos go here.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Taos Pueblo with Our Three Youngest

Bike-In-Coffee along the Bosque Trail in Albuquerque

My favorite place to bike in Albuquerque is the Bosque Trail along the river Rio Grande, as it is the ONLY flat trail around here. 16 miles right by the river. I must add here, you don’t always get a good view of the river, because the area has been left natural and parts of it are wildlife sanctuaries. It is very family friendly, no cars in sight. Though the trail can get packed on the weekend with cyclists, runners, and the occasional inline skater.

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What makes this trail even better is the fact that there is a Bike-in-Coffee easily accessible, near the southern end of the trail (Montoya st.) Bike in Coffee is a little trailer that sits on Old Town Farm. Old Town Farm also operates as a horse facility and a produce farm. You can see the stalls behind my husband and the bikes.

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I’d like to add here that the food coming out of this little trailer is superb. Items on the menu are made with freshly picked ingredients from the farm. We tried the mini quiche and their and the scones, and we kept coming back for more. It was packed with flavor, melt in your mouth kind of food. I read on their website that they offer lunches, too. I can’t even imagine…IMG_0708 IMG_0699

Here is a pump and repair station for your bikes. How cool is that?IMG_1101

There are several places to sit and eat. We sat near the vegetable garden and then later realized that there was a beautiful shaded area.IMG_0704 IMG_1100

 

Bike in Coffee is open on the weekends and can only be accessed by bicyclist or hikers.  I highly recommend this place for your next bike ride.

Have a great day,

Sofija

 

Bike-In-Coffee along the Bosque Trail in Albuquerque