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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.

Spring into a Romantic New Mexico Getaway

March 19th, 2014 by InnKeeper

romantic new mexico getaway at our new mexico bed and breakfast New Mexico has been nicknamed the Land of Enchantment, and for good reason.  The romance and history, central players to life in New Mexcio, are nothing short of enchanting.  Listen closely to the sounds of New Mexico, and you’ll hear the echoes of those who walked these hills thousands of years ago.  Vibrant cultures, diverse local art, stellar cuisine, stunning sunsets, and limitless outdoor adventure, are just some of the things you’ll find awaiting you on your New Mexico getaway.  Planning an unforgettable experience for your New Mexico getaway starts with booking a room at Hacienda Vargas Bed and Breakfast this spring.

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Romantic Getaway to New Mexico

January 31st, 2014 by InnKeeper

New Mexico romantic getawayNew Mexico is nicknamed the Land of Enchantment, and one visit to our diverse state is all it will take to understand why. Visitors to New Mexico often remark on the romantic feel of their time spent here, and how the pressures in their life vanish into the wind.  Famous for their hot and spicy food, desert landscapes, and clear skies, the world-renowned cities of New Mexico offer you a variety of options for an exquisite romantic getaway this winter.  Experience the expansive beauty of  New Mexico’s mountain ranges, take a romantic hot air balloon ride across our skies, ride North America’s longest aerial tramway rewarded by breathtaking sunset views of Albuquerque, experience some of the world’s finest dining at nearby restaurants, or just relax and take in the old-world, romantic charm of New Mexico.  Book your room at the Hacienda Vargas Bed and Breakfast, located midway between both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and experience a romantic getaway in the Land of Enchantment.

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New Mexico Romantic getaway

November 25th, 2013 by InnKeeper

New Mexico romantic getawayIn some places around the country, the winter doldrums are setting in.  Gray skies, chilly temperatures, and even some rain or snow dominate daily landscapes.  Autumn is firmly here, and winter is rapidly approaching.  This is the time of year when people the world over start to yearn for sun; for warmth; for excitement.  Exotic, tropical destinations come to mind:  The Caribbean, the Bahamas, Mexico, even Hawaii.  However, there is someplace much closer to home that can offer you the perfect remedy for your winter grays.  If you’ve never been to New Mexico, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing.  Surrounded by beauty, and filled with opportunities for discovery, New Mexico is quickly becoming an unbeatable travel destination.  Stay with Hacienda Vargas, perfectly situated by two amazing and unique cities, offers you the grace and elegance of historical New Mexico, where you can relax, unwind, and connect on a romantic getaway to New Mexico.

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Experience a New Mexico Christmas at Hacienda Vargas

November 18th, 2013 by InnKeeper

New Mexico ChristmasThere is really no bad time of year to visit New Mexico. Each season brings unique festivals, experiences, and opportunities for every traveler.  Winter is just around the corner, and the busy holiday season is fast approaching.  For most of us, it can be hard to slow down the fast pace of life enough to enjoy and savor in the delights of the Holiday season.  If you’re looking for a unique holiday experience, then look no farther.  Spend a New Mexico Christmas with us at Hacienda Vargas, where you will find privacy, relaxation, history, and charm, all within half an hour’s drive to the cultural centers of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  Relax to your hearts content at our quiet bed and breakfast, and when you’re ready, head out for more unforgettable adventures in neighboring cities.  In a land with over 300 days a year of sunshine, the world’s finest visual and performing arts, and a thriving culinary scene, New Mexico is the perfect destination for a winter retreat.  Hacienda Vargas’ central location will allow you to experience the holiday festivities found in both cities, all the while savoring your quiet, beautiful New Mexico Christmas here.

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Shop New Mexico at the Placitas Holiday Sale

October 23rd, 2013 by InnKeeper

Placitas Holiday saleThe southwest is a region well known for its beautiful arts and vibrant culture. Both Albuquerque and Santa Fe rank as top arts destinations, offering a varied abundance for anyone seeking traditional or contemporary art and culture.  While Santa Fe is certainly home to some of the world’s best arts and crafts markets, there is a smaller and more intimate holiday craft market located midway between both cities that is worth visiting. The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale is an annual tradition held in the charming town of Placitas each year, during the weekend before Thanksgiving. This fantastic arts and crafts market features painters, printmakers, ceramic and glass artists, woodworkers, silk painters, photographers, gourd artists, jewelers, metal artists, and so much more.  Located just a short drive from Placitas, Hacienda Vargas is the perfect place for you to stay while you get a jump on your holiday shopping at this friendly arts and crafts sale.

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Murder Mystery in New Mexico

February 5th, 2011 by Cynthia Spence

A year or so ago, we hosted a Murder Mystery weekend at Hacienda Vargas and met an entire new group of friends.  Recently, one couple who were part of that weekend approached us and requested that we do another Murder Mystery for a group of their friends!  We did, last weekend, and it was a blast!  These folks were the best and they totally thew themselves into their characters with full dress costumes.

So, now, we have two more on the calendar . . . .

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New Hacienda Vargas Blog

September 14th, 2010 by Cynthia Spence

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new Hacienda Vargas Bed & Breakfast and Wedding Chapel blog. InsideOut Solutions, our website host, converted our entire website to be managed via WordPress as part of our blog.  The new website & blog allows us greater flexibility in presenting information about our inn and the greater Algodones, Albuquerque & Santa Fe areas.

Welcome to Hacienda Vargas

May 10th, 2010 by Cynthia Spence

Fall seems to be coming to Algodones! The temperatures have dropped, we’ve been getting some showers and all the corn fields are ripening.