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Helpful Hints for the Balloon Fiesta

October 7th, 2015 by Innkeeper

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As Balloon Fiesta draws near, I think it’s important to share with everyone some things to know, especially if this is your first time coming out to one of Albuquerque’s biggest events.

A big insider tip is that driving to Balloon Fiesta from the North makes a huge difference. The reasoning is that the Fiesta is held North of the city, making about 90% of the attendees (coming from Albuquerque hotels and locals) driving from the South. What’s awesome is that Hacienda Vargas is North of Balloon Fiesta and only 20 minutes drive away. This saves anyone coming from our b&b a lot of time in traffic.

Another thing to keep in mind is there are balloon lift-offs for nine days straight (from Saturday to the next Sunday), and there are opportunities at night to enjoy a balloon glow. If you don’t want to fight the crowds on the weekend mornings, consider the other options.

If you want to see a morning liftoff, it all starts with getting up early, in the dark of morning, around 4:00 AM. I know, that sounds terrible, but it’s worth it to spend a few hours watching hundreds of balloons launch all around you. Getting in early to the fiesta ensures that you are walking around with the balloons instead of stuck in traffic, waiting for a parking spot.

What I love about Balloon Fiesta is walking among the balloons while they expand, taking candid photos of the balloonists as they focus on getting ready, and photos of the insides of the balloon envelopes as they’re on the ground. Last year I got a great photo of the Storm Trouper guarding the Darth Vader balloon. I also love digging into the food from the vendors like breakfast burritos and a hot cup of coffee.

I’d also suggest keeping a close eye out for hazards. For example, don’t step on the balloon envelopes when they are lying on the ground. When the balloons are being inflated, they’ll suddenly start rising. You don’t want to be in the way of the rope person, hanging on to the top of the balloon and rushing forward with the rising. He or she is there to make sure the balloon doesn’t rise too fast and fall the opposite direction. You’ll also want to keep close tabs on your friends, family and children. It can be easy to get separated with so many people and so many distractions. I suggest picking a location to meet if anyone gets lost.

I’ve been there a few times and each time I think I’m not going to take so many photos, and I always end up with over a thousand images on my camera. Definitely make sure to have plenty of space for digital photos. And if your camera uses batteries, bring extra. I remember my first time there, using an older camera. I went to take a perfect picture of the bee balloons. They always set them up so they look like they’re holding hands as they ascend. That perfect picture was lost, as my camera went dark from no battery power. Super annoying, and I plan to never let that happen again.

And, as for our weather here in New Mexico, well we are a desert. In the morning, you’re more than likely going to need a sweatshirt, knit hat, maybe some gloves because of the cold, crisp October air. Once the sun rises and is warming up the fiesta, you’ll probably be in a t-shirt, but keep in mind we don’t get too hot. So, I highly suggest wearing layers.

 Make your plans as flexible as possible. The weather in New Mexico is usually sunny and not too hot, but we also occasionally have storms, or sometimes the winds will be to strong for the balloons to take off. If that happens, be ready for them to cancel, spend your day enjoying something else, then plan to hit balloon fiesta the next day.

Once your done at Balloon Fiesta, come back to your comfy room at the Hacienda Vargas for a nap, then check out the many other things to do in and around the area. We’re in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe – the perfect place to use as your “hub”.

I hope everyone enjoys his or her time in and around the fiesta. This is a great time of year to be here.

Enjoy a Tasty Food Tour in New Mexico

December 10th, 2014 by InnKeeper

New Mexico Food TourOn the list of many travelers that make their way to New Mexico is to experience the authentic southwestern cuisine that this region is so famous for.  New Mexican cuisine, which is most famous for the chile flavor that permeates so many dishes, is a culinary experience unlike any other.  In both Albuquerque and Santa Fe, you’ll find a huge range of cuisine, ranging from traditional southwestern fusion, based on Native American, Mexican, and Spanish influences, to contemporary fine dining. One of the best ways to experience this aspect of New Mexico’s culture is to take a food tour or cooking class, and experience New Mexico’s cuisine like the locals do.  Book your stay with us this winter, and take advantage of the wonderful food tours in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

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New Mexico Wine Shines at the Albuquerque wine Festival

May 21st, 2014 by InnKeeper

New Mexico wineNew Mexico has a long history of wine production, dating back to the 17th century when the first wine grapes were planted in the Rio Grande Valley.  In fact, New Mexico is the oldest wine growing region in the United States, which should come as no surprise given the regions legendary place in history.  Annual wine festivals in Albuquerque and other nearby regions of New Mexico offer New Mexico wines a chance to shine, and provides guests an easy way to sample the many enticing varieties.  Book your stay at our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast now, and fall in love with New Mexico wines at local wine festivals.

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Savor Regional Cuisine at Albuquerque Restaurants

February 27th, 2014 by InnKeeper

Albuquerque RestaurantsOur last blog post featured a culinary tour through the delectable world of Santa Fe Cuisine, which is only 35 minutes away from our historic New Mexico Bed and Breakfast. One of the best things about staying with us, apart from the charmingly romantic and historic ambiance you will find, is the convenience of our location to two of New Mexico’s greatest cities:  Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  After you’ve spent a day exploring the enchanting lands that surround our New Mexico Bed and Breakfast, take a short 30-minute drive south along the El Camino Real, where you’ll find a wide variety of tantalizing Albuquerque restaurants to try.  Don’t miss your opportunity to check out both Santa Fe and Albuquerque restaurants, and book your stay at our romantic New Mexico Bed and Breakfast now!

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Tastes of the Season in Albuquerque

October 30th, 2013 by InnKeeper

Tastes of the SeasonNew Mexican cuisine is comparable to no other.  Both Albuquerque and Santa Fe offer an exceptionally diverse array of culinary experiences that should be on the top of any foodie’s list of travel destinations.  While the food here is surely worth the visit alone, Albuquerque is also home to a variety of wineries and microbreweries.  Wine has been produced in this region dating back to the Spanish missionaries, who planted grapes in the lush Rio Grande Valley to establish the first of the vineyards.  Our award-winning wines flourish in 310 days of sun each year, enjoying the perfect balance of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights.  There are few better ways to share such a rich culinary history than in the several fun beer, wine, and food festivals of Albuquerque. One such festival, the Tastes of the Season, is coming up in Albuquerque in mid-November, and is sure to please food lovers from around the globe.  It doesn’t matter if you come here for a quick weekend foodie adventure, or if you want to relax on an extended New Mexican adventure; we have it all.  Stay at Hacienda Vargas, a quiet old-world retreat filled with New Mexican charm that is far enough away from the bustling city, yet still close enough to easily enjoy gastronomical delights awaiting you in Albuquerque’s Tastes of the Season.

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