Madrid, New Mexico

Between Santa Fe and Albuquerque (when you take Highway 14 through the mountains) there is a fun little mining town called Madrid. It seems to be populated with Hippies and artists. There are galleries, coffee shops, little trinket stores, and boutiques. The perfect little town to stop, stretch your legs, and get a beverage for the road. Here are some pictures from our recent stop with our friends right after the holidays.

First up, our friends the Hollands, with David and Tasha in the middle. You can see the main road behind them, where most of the shops are.

20140117-093659.jpgThe whole town still decked out in Christmas lights.

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This painting is outside of the Tavern where we stopped and ate.

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Found this sign inside the Tavern. Luckily Tasha was attended to. 20140117-094151.jpg

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Always a delight when cute little Tasha tags along.
If you ever make your way from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, and you are not prone to car sickness, I highly recommend stopping in Madrid.
Have a lovely weekend,
Sofija

Madrid, New Mexico

Church in Golden, New Mexico

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My favorite drive to Santa Fe is through the mountains on highway 14. This little church is on the way in a tiny town called Golden. Every time I drive by I am compelled to stop and take pictures. Did I mention to you that I am drawn to the Catholic Churches in New Mexico? They are so beautiful.

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You can find the pictures I took last winter of the same church here.

-Sofija

Church in Golden, New Mexico

Family Sport: Horseback Trail Riding

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Friends,

How was your weekend? Mine turned out to be a little more adventurous than I planned for. My 11 year old daughter’s friend stayed with us. She has been taking riding lessons for a few month. My daughter used to ride but stopped a while ago. Recently she has shown a renewed interest in riding, so as a Birthday present I arranged for the two to go trail riding in the Cibola National Forest east of Albuquerque. I wasn’t going to ride since I had not been feeling so well. However when I checked the girls in there was an extra saddled horse waiting for me. I jumped on the chance and went with them. We rode for over an hour through national forest. It was pretty steep going up and down, but the views were rewarding.

Here are the girls getting safety instructions by our horse guide. My 11 year old is wearing the turquoise jacket.

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My daughter’s friend is saddling up.

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And we are on the trail.

IMG_1497 IMG_1500 IMG_1501 A wish I had captured the view better. It was quite windy, and I am not adapt to taking pictures while holding the rains…

IMG_1502Here we are an hour and a half later back at the stable with me to the right.

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This would be a fun adventure for a family with kids ages 8 and older.

I paid $30 per person plus tax for an hour ride. I would recommend starting with one hour if you are not used to riding (I’m pretty sore today). However Cedar Crest Stables also does 2, 4, and 6 hour rides. Click on the link for more info. If you ride in the mountains bring an extra jacket, it is often colder up there.

Have a great day,

Sofija

 

 

 

Family Sport: Horseback Trail Riding

Church in the Mountains

Friends,

A few weeks ago my husband took me shopping for my birthday. We took the scenic route to Santa Fe through the mountains. One thing I love about New Mexico are the little quaint churches in every town. This one is in a ghost town, and the church is all that is left. Take a look.

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I think it is in Golden, near the quirky hippy town of Madrid, if you ever want to venture there. As I make my way through New Mexico I plan on taking pictures of the little churches in remote places.

Have a lovely day,

Sofija

Church in the Mountains

Balloon Fiesta

One of our favorite things to do in Albuquerque is the annual balloon fiesta. The fiesta is a big event. It seems like the whole city shuts down and traffic comes to a screeching halt (which is unusual around here). For 9 days you can see hundreds of balloons flying above the city every morning. It is quite a sight. But it is even better to be there. I was told it is the only hot air balloon event were visitors can walk on the field amongst the balloons. You can stand right next to them as they take off. We go on the days when all the special shapes take off. We try to be there by 6am because the balloons take off at sunrise. Here is a picture of me in front of scores of balloons being inflated.

There are favorite shapes that come back year after year, like Darth Vader (below), Spider Man pig, a haunted house, and many more. One year I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a balloon shaped as a pitcher with apple wine which is only made in the county of Germany where I was raised. Balloonist from all over the world come here. My kids collect the cards they hand out telling people who owns the balloons and where they are from.

My kid’s favorites are the bees below. The first year we came there were a girl bee and a boy bee. They would hold hands as they go up and even kiss up in the air. The crowd always cheer when they kiss. Last time we went they had had a baby, now there are three bees. So sweet. You can only see two, they third one hasn’t been inflated yet.

Here is a ballon from the inside. I was told Noah’s Ark is the only one that has a scenery on the outside and inside.

Here is Noah’s Ark on the outside, just about to take off.

This picture shows you how close these balloons are and how many people stand around them watching. The butterfly was my 4 year old’s favorite.

Here is my 4 year old warming up with some hot chocolate. It is pretty cold until the sun comes up.

You can get an idea how many balloons are in the sky, I read we have around 600 taking off each morning.

Friends, if you are planning a trip to New Mexico, this is the time to come. If you are brave you can even hitch a ride for about $250.

Have a wonderful day,

Sofija

Balloon Fiesta

Old Town Albuquerque

Hi there,

On Friday I had a chance to go to old town Albuquerque. We had an international student stay with us last week, so I wanted to show her the sights. Founded in 1706 it is quite charming. Spanish settlers organized the center in the traditional Spanish colonial way: with a central plaza anchored by a church. This is San Felipe de Neri church, built in 1793.

There are shops all around the plaza shaded by pergolas like this one.

What makes Old Town so fun are the little shops hidden in sideways like this one.

Here is the plaza in the center. On the weekends there will be bands playing life music and children dancing.

New Mexico is all about manana. Life is slower here.

Here you can see the blending of cultures in this area. Native Americans side by side with Spanish settlers and poeple of Mexican origin. This is reflected in the stores, museums, and performances in old town. When you get here on the right day you see a Native American dancer performing on the street.

Found this water well in one of the side passages.

Here is my 2 year old, Natasha.

The building still look very much like when they were built centuries ago.

This is me and Natasha cooling off with a smoothie. It was quite hot.

Hope you enjoyed it. Come visit us sometime.

Have a wonderful day,

Sofija

Old Town Albuquerque