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.

 

 

 

 

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

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

Duolingo App- Learn Languages for Free

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My nephew told me about this App, and friends, I am really glad he did. As many of you know I grew up in Germany and I home-school my kiddos. One of my deepest desires is for my kids to converse in German with my family. My success varies among my six children on the spectrum of “he can talk to me about every day things” to “I just get blank stares”, and everywhere in between. I’d say four of my children need to learn from the ground up. Duolingo is perfect for that. With this App you can decide how much time you want to spend each day, and it helps you keep on track, by sending you lovely e-mail messages.

Every lesson teaches by repetition, picture association, and it requires you to translate and speak. You can always redo a lesson. The lessons introduce a little bit of grammar, but it is not grammar heavy. At least not in the beginning, I haven’t gotten very far. I’m currently brushing up on my Spanish as I will be heading to Mexico in November.

So far Duolingo is only offering 6 languages, but they are working on several more. As I have just started I don’t know how deep they get into the language. But it is a great start, and hey, it’s free! Give it a try.

As far as children learning with this app, I would recommend it for age 9 and up, depending on your child’s reading ability. My 10 year old is doing it, and he has no problem reading the instructions and writing in German.

Happy learning!

-Sofija

If you are interested in teaching German to your children, here are some other posts I have done on this topic: German for children (if you like a more traditional book/CD program),  my journey of raising my kids bilingual.

Duolingo App- Learn Languages for Free

Washington DC

My next few posts will be all about DC and the surrounding area. You are either going to love it or get really tired of it.

This post is for all you history buffs. Lets see if you recognize all of these buildings without looking at the bottom. I had to ask the name of the first building myself.

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3.

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And the last one is pretty self evident, number 4. However, do you know which is the front and which is the back?

IMG_9194 IMG_9331Seeing the pictures together it is probably more obvious. But when we came to the White House on Sunday, we came to the back and wondered why we couldn’t get closer. The next day our GPS directed us to the front, where the gate is much closer. Here are some pictures of Pennsylvania avenue and nearby.

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We did this tour the lazy way. David drove the car from building to building and circled around until I was done taking pictures.

Lets see if you guessed right:

1. Library of Congress

2. U.S. Capitol

3. Supreme Court

4. White House

-Sofija

 

 

 

Washington DC

My Weekend in DC

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You guys,
Last weekend was pretty fantastic. I didn’t think it was possible to cram that much into one weekend: shopping, a first visit to a Drybar (have you been?), a wedding, sightseeing, some epic food experiences, and more shopping. But we did, and it will probably take me the rest of summer to recover. I’m not as much of a city girl anymore as I used to be. The crowds, the noise, and the heat and humidity kind of got to me. But still I’m so glad I got to see it all and I can’t wait to share with you in more detail.
Have a great day,
Sofija

My Weekend in DC