Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend in Santa Fe: Winter Indian Market 2014

One of the highlights of the winter season in Santa Fe is the Annual Winter Indian Market. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) presents the 9th Annual Winter Indian Market®, Thanksgiving Weekend, November 29-30 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center from 10 a.m. –5 p.m. The event will be located at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. 201 W. Marcy. Admission: $10 daily / $15 weekend pass. Members and children (under 12) are free.

This smaller, more intimate version of the summer Santa Fe Indian Market® features  approximately 200 Native American artists including potters, carvers, basket makers, beadworkers, sculptors, painters, jewelers, weavers, photographers and mixed media artists. Many of the award-winning artists from the 2014 Santa Fe Indian Market® will be participating including Lola Cody (Navajo), who won Best of Show for textiles. At Winter Indian Market®, you buy directly from the artists. The participants in this invitational show are juried from summer market assuring a great selection of high quality Native fine art.

As part of the Winter Indian Market®, SWAIA is hosting the first annual Festival of Trees benefit. Local businesses, Native artists and individuals have donated fully decorated trees to be auctioned off over the weekend. Among them are Things Finer, Rob and Elizabeth Pettus, Rio Grande Jewelry Supply, Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino, Nocona Burgess and family, and the Santa Fe Indian Market® / SWAIA tree with artist donated ornaments. 

Immediately following the close of Winter Indian Market® on Saturday night, there is a benefit reception and concert featuring Iron Horse, a new collaboration by award-winning Native rock musicians Robby Romero and Robert Mirabal. Sat Nov 29, 5-7. Tickets are $15 at the door.
The Santa Fe Indian Center has partnered with SWAIA to host a children’s activity table and there will also be free gift wrapping available. Both will be available throughout the weekend along with special live cultural, traditional and contemporary performances.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

December Holidays in Santa Fe: 2014 Calendar of Events

Santa Fe is a great place to be for the holidays. Walking Canyon Road on Christmas Eve is not to be missed!

Savvy travelers—such as Conde Nast Traveler readers who this month voted Santa Fe a Top Ten Destination in the World—know that the December holiday season is the time when the city’s multicultural traditions shine brightest. The festive spirit is everywhere in The City Different—from the snow-topped mountains and Ski Santa Fe to the unbelievable hot chocolate in the shops along The Chocolate Trail—with many hotels offering holiday rates that provide further incentive to visit.
Santa Fe, which means “Holy Faith,” celebrates with a cavalcade of lights, displays, performance, cuisine and treats with nearly every day bringing a unique event from the endlessly creative, social and welcoming local Santa Feans. 

Here are just a few of the most notable highlights from a season that features over three dozen marquee yule opportunities:
Native American Dances
Ceremonial Native American dances are beautiful and spiritual to watch. There are many of them at nearby pueblos during the holiday season, starting in mid-December and especially on Christmas Eve and Day.  Visit The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture for listings and important etiquette for these religious events. 

December 4, 2014 to January 3, 2015 – GLOW At The Santa Fe Botanical Garden
      Where Pueblo dances are the most ancient of Santa Fe winter culture, GLOW is the newest example of modern innovation. This Winter Lights Event In The Garden is now in its second year and has partnered with Joe Dean of Lumenscapes Illuminated Media to create dazzling and extravagant displays of magical lighting. GLOW is a holiday family event with Santa making a guest appearance on Friday nights. Entrance to GLOW is by admission. Children twelve and under are free. 

December 12, 2014 – Christmas At The Palace 
     The Palace of the Governors, a 400-year-old adobe building that once housed Spanish officials, is a magical setting for this old-fashioned Christmas party.  Spanish and Native American traditions are celebrated accompanied by music, entertainment and hot cider for all, plus a special visit by Mr. & Mrs. Claus. For more information, visit The New Mexico History Museum

December 14, 2014 – Las Posadas
This centuries-old Spanish tradition takes place at night, outdoors on the festively decorated historic Santa Fe Plaza. The folk play depicts the search for shelter by Mary and Joseph on Christmas Eve. The crowd carries candles and follows the action, including energetically booing the love-to-hate devils. Everyone is invited for cookies and cider after at the Palace of the Governors. For more information, please visit The New Mexico History Museum.

Christmas Eve Midnight Mass
This mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is a colorful, musical event that incorporates an old Spanish tale about an aged rooster who greeted the Christ Child with his joyful crow. The cathedral itself is lavishly decorated and lit reflecting its Native American and Spanish heritage.
      Santa Fe glitters with twinkling amber lights on Christmas Eve. Humble materials—paper bags weighted with sand and filled with candles–line streets, fences, rooftops, and entire neighborhoods. The only way to describe the effect is pure magic. The Plaza is decked in 1,000 farolitos at dusk as revelers gather for cookies and cider. From there, many take night walks to the top of the Cross of the Martyrs lit with farolitos and luminarias or small bonfires. The Christmas Eve walk is along Canyon Road, renowned world-class home of artists and galleries, and through the Eastside neighborhoods where every surface is covered with farolitos while luminarias burn surrounded by carolers. 

There’s much more. For a complete list, please visit “Holidays in Santa Fe.”

Photography Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Planning a trip to Spokane just got easier - Use Utrip

When you're planning a trip, you can use travel guides, lots of online research or just hope for the best. can use Utrip -- a new, free travel planning tool that's as fun to use as it is amazing. 

Now, visitors to the Spokane region can use Utrip to create the perfect Inland Northwest experience. Utrip has just added Washington's second-biggest city to its roster of world-class destinations, which includes San Francisco, Seattle, London, Barcelona and more. (Spokane is the smallest city in the Utrip lineup!)

Travelers can access the Spokane Utrip travel planning technology from the homepage. Users can also use the hashtag #PlanSpokane on social media to share their own trip planning experience and to explore other users' trips. 

Utrip is a free travel planning platform that brings together the best in artificial intelligence and human experience, making it easy for travelers to create their perfect trip. Founded in Seattle, WA in 2012, Utrip's predictive technology works on a vast travel database that has been curated by local experts. 

Once a traveler indicates their interests and budget, Utrip's algorithm sorts through millions of combinations of must-see sites, activities and restaurant recommendations to deliver personalized itineraries - in minutes. 

Travelers may then book lodging and share their itineraries with friends. Utrip's companion mobile app provides access to itineraries, directions and personalized recommendations on the go. Utrip PRO, the white-labeled version, allows businesses to offer personalized travel planning on their sites. To learn more about Utrip or to plan your next adventure, visit

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Liz's Travel News and Views: Oregon Culinary Scene, Arizona Events and Deals


Dundee Oregon Vineyards Hosts Post-Harvest Party
Chapter 24 Vineyards has opened a new tasting room in the heart of Oregon wine country.  Found at the only traffic light in Dundee, the transformed gas station is the work of architect Woodson Rainey Jr and artist Cathie Bleck.  Chapter 24’s goal is to explore beyond the traditional wine tasting experience to create a truly engaging, interactive and educational experience while highlighting the creative vision and innovative nature of their brand. In addition to showcasing their highly rated Pinot Noir, the tasting room will be a cultural center hosting performances and creative events.

Named one of Wine & Spirits magazine Top 100 Wineries of 2015, Chapter 24 Vineyards is the first winery to be listed in the Top 100 with their first vintage.  Chapter 24 Vineyards will be hosting their inaugural Post-Harvest Party on Saturday, November 8th from 3-7pm.  Small bites provided by St. Jack & Stammtisch with special guest appearances by Chefs Aaron Barnett & Graham Chaney. Enjoy a signature cocktail crafted by Bull Run Distillery and aerial performances by AWOL dance nation.  Website

Portland's Tapalaya: New Tapas Menu Offers Asian Influence
Port'and's Tapalaya

Signature cocktails such as The Hurricane, festive colors, beads and masks may entice you to enter the New Orleans experience found at Portland's Tapalaya, but it's the surprising multi-cultural cuisine that will keep you coming back. Tapalaya beautifully reflects New Orleans' rich cultural traditions and now features Asian-Cajun dishes in an updated, exciting tapas menu. Full Article


Wickenburg Arizona's Hassayampa Preserve Offers Events and Classes

It's cooling off in Arizona. Take time to visit the preserve this fall to enjoy the changing colors of the cottonwood trees, the many species of butterflies in the garden, the birds and other fascinating wonders of nature along the trails.  Their upcoming lineup of fun and educational programs for adults and children. The schedule is available in the visitor center and on the web at Be sure to make reservations as space is limited.

Arizona State Parks Feature Star Nights
Join Arizona State Parks for interesting, educational Star Night Astronomy events! At a typical star night event you can hear a lecture (often with guest speakers), and view celestial objects (planets, nebulas, stars) through a variety of telescopes. These events are supported by Arizona Astronomy Clubs and individuals who invite the public to come see Arizona's night skies.  Learn more about what to expect, what to bring and watch video!

Southern Arizona - 3 Guest Ranch Vacation Packages
Arizona's White Stallion Ranch

Spend 10 days riding horses at three rustic guest ranches in southeastern Arizona. Experience the history, beauty, and romance of America's Desert Southwest. Stay at White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Circle Z Ranch in Patagonia, and Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch in Tombstone, each located within 50-90 miles of the other. Enjoy guided horseback rides for all skill levels on nature trails in unspoiled landscapes of cactus, canyons, grasslands, and mountain ranges. This limited-edition, all-inclusive package costs $2,846 per person, double occupancy. Available April 19-28, 2015 and April 28-May 7, 2015. (,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finding 2014 Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations in the Southwest U.S.

With it's proximity to Mexico, there is no wonder that the southwest U.S. is rich with Day of the Dead observances. There are many celebrations to choose from in 2014.

What is Day of the Dead or, Dia de los Muertos? At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Catholic feast of All Saints Day (November 1st) was combined with the traditions and festivities that were long-time customs of the indigenous people. 

While traditions may have changed in different geographical locations, the religious (Catholic) fact is that November 1st is All Saints Day and November 2nd is All Souls Day.

Our current Dia de los Muertos has evolved from these traditions. You may see people decorating an altar in their home with sugar skulls, flowers, candles and photos of those who have passed. I'll be looking for celebrants in the local Catholic cemetery where it is traditional to clean and decorate the graves of family members.

A wonderful place to be during Dia de los Muertos is in Oaxaca, Mexico where the festivities take on a colorful carnival atmosphere. If you can't be in Mexico during the colorful and reverent display of love for the departed, you can enjoy these festivities in the American southwest.

Tucson: The weird and wonderful All Souls Procession is not to be missed. The University area and downtown area will be alive with the departed, ghosts and skeletons in a procession where visitors can join in. The All Souls Procession  is Sunday, November 9th, 2014.

Here are more 2014 Day of the Dead observances:
Sedona, Arizona  Celebrates at Tlaquepaque
November 1-2, 2014
Join Tlaquepaque in Patio del Norte and Patio las Campanas  to make an offering at the Celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Music, food and beautiful altars will be on view starting at 4:30 p.m.
Free to the public. More Information:

Phoenix, Arizona Day of the Dead at the Desert Botanical Garden
Now - November 2, 2014
Exhibition of Ofrendas
- View Ofrenda or Offering installations by local and renowned artists at the Garden.
October 30, 2014 

Cuisine and Culture of Día de los Muertos
- A deliciously interactive evening as the garden unveils the secrets and cultural traditions of Día de los Muertos. More Information:

Santa Fe, New Mexico - Museum of International Folk Art
Saturday November 1, 2014
Dia de Muertos  Ofrenda
5:00-7:00 pm

The public is cordially invited to join us in making the Community altar "Ofrenda" in the Outdoor classroom. Bring a picture or other memento you do not need back to add your loved one to the community altar. Enjoy music by Mariachi Buenaventura and refreshments. The FREE event is for all ages.

Sunday November 2, 2014

Dia de Los Muertos
Day of the Dead
1 to 4pm

Decorate Sugar skulls, make memory boxes/muertos nichos, enjoy live music and Aztec dance performance by Danza MeXiKa and sample pan de muerto. All by Museum admission, New Mexico residents FREE every Sunday.

Santa Fe, New Mexico Plaza Mercado
Saturday, November 1st
Los Muertos Fine Art Works is celebrating withe the ‘Los Muertos’ Day of the Dead Art Show & Celebration on Saturday, November 1st from 2 to 8pm at the La Fontana Flamenco Studio in Santa Fe Plaza Mercado. It will be an afternoon and evening filled with art, live performances, refreshments, raffle prizes and a lot of fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Liz's Travel News and Views: Razor Clamming Time, Go Wild in Portland, Sad News About Jackalope

Here are some suggestions for travel and fun in the western U.S. With the leaves turning and storms a churning at the coast, it's a great time to brave the weather and have some outdoor fun.

Go Razor Clamming on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula
I loved being out at night carrying a lantern and joining in the clamming fun. Official Clam Tides will continue all winter long!  Check the State Department of Fish and Wildlife website for the most current information on digs.  There are many scheduled in November and December.  Clamming on the Long Beach Peninsula is incredible, challenging and fun for the whole family.

At Adrift Hotel, they will even help provide you with the ultimate clamming experience.  You can purchase a clamming package when you reserve your room for only $20 dollars extra. The package includes a 3 day license, use of their clam gun, net, and a lantern for the night clammer. Kids are only a $5 add on.
For more information please contact Adrift Hotel at or call  360-642-2311

Go Wild in Portland, Oregon
Readers worldwide have fallen for Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Portlander Cheryl Strayed’s 2012 memoir reached the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list, and was the first selection for Oprah’s Book Club reboot. The story’s film adaptation, set for a December 2014 release, has already earned critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for star Reese Witherspoon. Create your own wild adventure and prep for the premiere with these Portland-area activities.
Danner's Mountain Light Cascade Boot for Women

Buy the boots
Strayed’s well-worn hiking boots are a major plot point­ in Wild — they even grace the book’s front cover. Fans can buy their own retro, red-laced boots at REI, where the author bought (and famously returned) her own shoes 20 years ago. Made in Portland by iconic heritage brand Danner, these boots, which Witherspoon dons in the film, are definitely keepers. Each pair also includes a Mount Hood-themed sew-on patch to decorate your trekking gear. (The boots are also available online.)

Hit the trail
Sure, you could attempt the entire 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail like Cheryl Strayed — but Portland offers a handy shortcut. Many of the trail’s best Oregon sections are just a short drive from town, including Mount Hood and the historic Timberline Lodge, the Columbia River Gorge and Cascade Locks, where the Bridge of the Gods provides an emotional ending to Strayed’s journey.

Read the book
Available from

Jackalope as I remember it.
Santa Fe's Jackalope in Transition  
You'll still find some interesting things at Jackalope, a beloved import store on Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. But the owner is transitioning to a vendor only model. That means some of our favorite employees have gone and the people we enjoyed seeing my no longer be there.

Darby McQuade, too, has moved on. I'll miss seeing
McQuade’s on-premise home with 150 white pigeons roosting on the second-floor balcony and his friendly face. He founded Jackalope after beginning his business selling pottery out of the back of his truck on the Santa Fe Plaza.

I remember strolling the grounds, enjoying a visit with the resident donkeys and listening to music played under the huge tree near El Mercado.

While Jackalope will remain, I just can't believe it will have the same spirit.