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Balloons in Review

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Our New Mexico tour has come to an end but not after an avalanche of “oooh”s and “aaaah”s and “wooooah”s as 40 Amazing Journeyers took in all the beauty and pagentry that our 48th state has to offer this time of year.  Some of the highlights of this magnificent tour:

On our first full day we wasted no time as an early morning wakeup call provided us with one of the most photographed events in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Viewing the  Dawn Patrol and the Mass Ascension, over 100 colorful balloons from around the world made the sky become a pallet of multicolored orbs dancing in the cool morning light.  Following the morning festivities, we enjoyed an Albuquerque City Tour featuring the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center depicting the history and culture of New Mexico’s 19 Native American pueblos, and historic Old Town.  That evening we returned to the Balloon Fiesta where just before dusk, burners from hundreds of balloons light up the evening sky with the amazing Balloon Glow. What a sight! 

On our 2nd day in New Mexico we headed to Bandelier National Monument, best known for its mesas, sheer-walled canyons, rock art and ancestral Pueblo dwellings. We also visited the Los Alamos Bradbury Science Museum to learn about the Manhattan Project and the creation of the world’s first atomic bomb. 

We discovered Santa Fe, the upscale resort and artist community with Spanish-Pueblo roots. On our City Tour we visited the Plaza, Loretto Chapel and the Palace of the Governor’s, a Santa Fe landmark built in 1610 as well as an array of art galleries, museums, restaurants and craft shops. 

We traveled north via the “High Road to Taos,” passing through ancient villages founded in the 1700’s and stopped in the Spanish village of Chimayo to visit El Santuario, revered by pilgrims for the healing power of dirt found inside the chapel. Taos is the historic home of the Pueblo Indians.  Located atop a plateau between the Rio Grande and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos has lured artists and writers since the 19th century. We visited Taos Pueblo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America.

Thanks to all 40 passenger (half them first time AJers!) for entrusting us with their vacation plans and for being part of such an Amazing Journey.