Thursday, August 27, 2015

Good News about Santa Fe's Jackalope

Some time ago I wrote a sad farewell to Darby McQuade's amazing Jackalope as we all knew it. Jackalope was a destination for tourists as well as a mainstay for locals who furnished their homes and decorated their gardens with imports from the quirky, fun stores on the property. We feared all would be lost.

However, in yesterday's Santa Fe New Mexican good news appeared. The purchaser of the property was not a stranger to Jackalope.

According to the New Mexican, "Harpal Singh, the director of Global House, bid $4.6 million for the four structures on the property and another $250,000 for personal property at the site. The sale included the Jackalope trademark, a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope." Singh, reportedly, has had a relationship with Jackalope for some time and owns the Albuquerque store.

One vendor who was interviewed expected that Singh would be making improvements and the purchase would be a positive thing all around.

I am relieved to hear this. So look for more from Jackalope on Cerrillos Road.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Explore SW Washington for Wine, Festivals and Music

Enjoy exploring Clark County wine country
Photo Credit: Visit Vancouver USA
Clark County might surprise you. Now is the time to take a drive and explore SW Washington's beautiful wine country.

Small boutique wineries, downtown tasting rooms and larger wine estates are cropping up in Vancouver USA and the surrounding Clark County area - some featuring tasty bites from Spanish tapas to wood-fired pizzas.

If wine-lovers are looking for a fun, cost-effective way to wine taste in Vancouver USA, look no further than the Clark County Wineries Passport.  This Passport guides visitors through the vines of SW Washington's blossoming wine country to experience a variety of unique and award-wining wines.

Not only are visitors discovering this new wine scene, but festivals and events have emerged year-round in the Vancouver USA region to celebrate these fantastic wines:

Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival August 21-23, 2015 Esther Short Park

North County Wine Run September 12, 2015 United Natural Foods

Steam Evening Wine Run - Chelatchie Prairie Railroad  September 19, 2015 Moulton Falls Winery

The Craft Beer and Winefest June 10-12, 2016 Esther Short Park

Information provided by Visit Vancouver USA

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ReMaker's Fair in Vancouver Washington: Joyful despite the wildfire smoke

One of the joys of travel is finding unique folk art to bring back and share with others. That is how my business, Santa Fe Rose, was born. I met artists, loved their art and decided to share it with others. I traveled and others could enjoy what I had encountered on my trips. And, I could put a little money aside for the next trip!
Bringing interesting things from around the world
to the ReMaker's Fair... Santa Fe Rose

I was pleased when I heard about the ReMaker's Fair at Habitat for Humanity benefitting their Women Build Program. I could join recyclers, upcyclers and other creative sorts and sell my wares.

I have been selling beautifully beaded Guatemalan jewelry for almost ten years now and am never less than amazed at the work of these rural women beading together in a cooperative venture.

But participating in the fair wasn't a simple story. It was more complex. Wildfires raged to the north and east of us.... miles away. But today, the winds had shifted and I awoke to a red sun and what looked like fog. But it wasn't. It was smoke.
The skies were smoky and the sun, red.

We set up not knowing what the day would bring. The smoke was getting thicker. Eyes watered but we toughed it out. After all there were people who were fighting these fires and homeowners in tears over their burned homes. A little smoke couldn't get us down!

The ReMaker's fair was a success with music, vendors, classes, a silent auction and upcycling demonstrations.

Food trucks provided sustenance and there was a light mood amidst the wind and smoke.

Here is a gallery of photos from the fair. It was a success despite the unexpected weather. I hope to return next year for this event.
My first customer of the day was another vendor
who scored a bracelet and dream catcher.

This Habitat volunteer's nails matched
the gorgeous bracelet.
The smoke got worse
The entertainment was excellent

It got a bit windy for the umbrellas and pop up tents but we survived!
A special treat. Melanie Roy came to sing.
Food Truck Ingrid loves her new bracelet!
I will be selling at the EverGreen Holiday Gift Show at the Marshall Community Center in Vancouver, WA on December 12th. You'll see many of the vendors there that participated in the ReMaker's Fair.

More Information
Santa Fe Rose
Evergreen Habitat for Humanity

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ReMaker's Fair in Vancouver Washington set for Saturday

Evergreen Habitat for Humanity in Vancouver, Washington is hosting the first annual “ReMaker’s Fair” and Upcycled Auction to benefit their Women Build Program. 

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Habitat for Humanity Restore on 10811 Mill Plain Blvd just off I-205.

There will be a full day of fun including workshops, DIY activities, live music, unique vendors and a ReFashion Demo.

For more information about the Women Build program or Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, visit

Washington State Man Bikes across the US for Charity

Camas resident, Tom Baltes likes challenges. On his 60th birthday he walked 60 kilometers in Washougal… all at once. That’s 37 miles.
And, they're off!

But now, Tom and his wife, Louise, have set a lofty goal. Tom is biking across the United States (4,000 miles) to raise awareness and funds for the Arthritis Foundation and the non-profit walking sport, Volksssporting.

Tom, a retired Air Force officer, has two siblings with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation sponsors research, public education on resources available to those with arthritis and much more.

Volkssporting is an international walking, biking and swimming program available around the country and in over 40 countries. The American Volkssport Association urges people to get out and walk and exercise for the health of it.

Tom and his friend take a break in the Columbia Gorge yesterday
Tom and Louise don’t do anything half-heartedly. They have worked hard to plan the route, purchased a travel trailer for the trip and are actively blogging and writing updates on the event Facebook page. They have photos and commentary as they go. It’s fun to read and inspiring to those of us who think a long walk is 3 to 6 miles!

Yesterday, Tom rode 117 miles along the Columbia River through smoke filled air from several fires in WA and 90 degree temps.  His GPS showed a calorie burn of 6900 on the day and ascent of about 4450 feet.  Louise seemed to be at every rest point just when Tom needed her so they could refill water bottles, have lunch and then a terrific supper.

This is quite a challenge for the Baltes’ and they welcome you to follow the journey on their Facebook Page and Blog. And, if you are so moved, you can find links on the blog for donations.

Today, they expect to roll in to Walla Walla, Washington.

More Information
Tom’s Blog
Tom’s Facebook Page

Photos courtesy: Tom and Louise Baltes

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer 2015 in Santa Fe: Hotel savings package deals

Santa Fe is one of the country’s most culturally-rich destinations. The city is thriving with adventure and activity this summer and there are still many value-driven packages with great rates at premier hotels:

Sunsational Summer Savings Package at La Posada de Santa Fe

Valid now through August 30, 2015

Travelers interested in a little extra vacation time can take advantage of La Posada’s offer of a fourth night free following a three night stay. Rates start at $149 per night and include:

·         Complimentary fourth night overnight accommodations

·         $40 breakfast credit per day

·         Room upgrade at check-in, when available

*Offer is subject to availability. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

For reservations, visit or call 866.716.8136.

Entreflamenco Package at El Dorado Hotel & Spa

Valid now through August 30, 2015

Guests can enjoy world-renowned Spanish Flamenco dancer Antonio Granjero and his company Entreflamenco, with this package from Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe. Rates start at $294 per night and include:

·         Overnight accommodations

·         Two Entreflamenco tickets for the performance in the Maria Benitez Cabaret Theatre

·         $50 resort credit

·         Complimentary Wifi

·         “Local Treasures” 15 percent discount card providing exclusive savings at New Mexico’s best shops, boutiques, restaurants and area attractions

*Rates are based on availability and subject to change. Blackout dates may apply.

For reservations, visit or call 505.988.4455.

Summer Of Color Package at Hotel Santa Fe The Hacienda & Spa
Valid now through September 7, 2015

Hotel Santa Fe The Hacienda & Spa invites travelers to a citywide celebration, Summer Of Color, taking place Memorial Day to Labor Day. The hotel is a lead sponsor of one of the event’s signature exhibitions, “The Red That Colored the World” at the Museum of International Folk Art, and is offering this package with rates starting at $459 and including:

·         Two nights overnight accommodations in a Picuris Junior Suite

·         Two passes to the Museum of International Folk Art

·         An exclusive hard cover book, A Red Like No Other, written by Carmella Padilla and Barbara Andersen

·         Two Red Chile Martinis and special Chef’s appetizer on-property at Amaya Restaurant

*Rates based on double occupancy. Taxes, resort fee, beverages and gratuities not included.

For reservations, visit or call 855.825.9876.

Opera Lovers’ Package at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado

Valid now through August 29, 2015

Every summer, opera lovers from around the globe head to Santa Fe to enjoy outstanding productions from one of America’s premier companies. Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado invites guests to make the resort a home base for an incredible experience of the Santa Fe Opera with a special offer of rates that start at $559 for two and including:

·         Overnight accommodations

·         Complimentary backstage tour of the Santa Fe Opera

·         Three-course pre-opera dinner for two at Terra Restaurant or picnic tailgate dinner

·         Round-trip shuttle transfer to the Santa Fe Opera

·         Daily shuttle to and from downtown Santa Fe

·         $200 resort credit for guests staying three or more nights

*Backstage tour is available Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. only. Offer subject to availability. Rates are per room, per night, vary by arrival date and length of stay, and excludes taxes, service charges and gratuities.

For reservations, visit or call 505.946.5700.

Summer Suite Package at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Resort

Valid now through August 31, 2015

Ojo Caliente is located just north of Santa Fe and is one of the oldest natural health resorts in the United States. The spot is sacred to Native Americans and its legendary waters have been soothing body, mind and spirit naturally for centuries. This summer, guests can relax and rejuvenate during a one-night escape for two, starting at $439 and including:

·         One night for two in an Enchanting Plaza, Pueblo or Cliffside Suite

·         Access to Kiva Pool, available to guests in suites with extended soaking hours

·         Two, 50-minute Essence of Ojo Custom Massages (one each in separate therapy rooms)

·         Two passes to a Yoga class (one class per guest)

·         50 minutes in a private outdoor pool with Kiva fireplace

·         Unlimited access to all Mineral Pools, new Mud Pool, Steam & Sauna

For reservations, visit or call 505.583.2233.

Information courtesy: TOURISM Santa Fe

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 California Wine Month: Celebrate the grape in Sonoma, California

Chardonnay Grapes - Sonoma County Tourism
I grew up in the San Francisco area. A Sunday drive to the Napa-Sonoma wine country was always a treat. And, Sonoma is still a major wine destination.

With harvest officially underway in Sonoma County, wineries are welcoming visitors with special events throughout September’s California Wine Month. From picking and crushing grapes to exclusive tastings and concerts, Sonoma County’s over 500 wineries offer a range of events to maximize guests’ wine country experience.

Below is a sampling of events happening in Sonoma County this fall:

Every Wednesday in September
Every Wednesday throughout September, the public is invited to enjoy Paradise Ridge wine while watching spectacular sunsets over the Russian River Valley. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends with the setting of the sun. The event showcases local food vendors and live music on the winery’s expansive veranda and poetry terrace. Tickets are $5 for wine club members, $8 for advance tickets and $10 at the door if available. For more information, visit

Available throughout September
Deerfield Ranch Winery is offering a special hands-on cooking class with renowned winemaker and owner, Robert Rex. Rex will offer visitors an exclusive wine tasting lunch, featuring luscious wines, delectable food and sweeping views of the vineyard. For more information, visit

September 4 – 6
This highly-anticipated weekend is Sonoma County’s signature event and one of the top-three national charity wine events named by Wine Spectator magazine. The event brings together over 200 of Sonoma’s top winemakers and growers, along with 60 of the area’s best chefs. Since its inception, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has raised over $16 million for charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need in the local community. The weekend includes intimate lunches and dinners at an array of winery properties, followed by the Sonoma Harvest Auction on Sunday. Tickets range from $85 to $500. For more information, visit

September 4, 11, 18, 25
Throughout the month of September, Sebastini Vineyard & Winery will host the Friday Night Music Series. Visitors can enjoy live music from a variety of musicians in the vineyard’s tasting room starting at 6:00 p.m. The winery will present “Food Truck Friday” on the last Friday of the month, featuring an enticing lineup of local gourmet trucks. The event is free for attendees. Wine is available for purchase by the glass and by the bottle. The following bands will be performing:
·         September 4 – Polyntlyss Sistars
·         September 11 – Sugar Foot
·         September 18 – BackTrax
·         September 25 – The Rolling Blackouts
For more information, visit

September 4
Roth Estate Winery celebrates the opening of the new tasting room with Adults at Play, a Friday night event with wine specials, small bite appetizers, outdoor games and live entertainment from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event is free to attend and wine and food will be available for purchase. For more information, visit

September 5
Surrounded by acres of vineyards, visitors are invited to listen to George Benson perform at Rodney Strong Vineyards intimate concert venue, The Green at 5:00 p.m. Benson, a musical icon and ten-time Grammy Award winning guitarist is known for his engaging blend of pop, R&B and jazz styles, alongside his formidable vocal talent. General admission tickets are $75 and VIP seating is $110. For more information, visit

September 12
Sommelier Nicole Kosta will take visitors on a hike through the information and provide insider information on the soil, vines and geography of the area, while enjoying some sips of wine. After the hike, the winery will present a seated tasting of the rest of the current releases along with a brunch. Vineyard tour and tasting is $50 per person. For more information, visit

September 12
Seghesio Family Vineyard presents its first annual Harvest Homecoming celebrating their 120th Anniversary from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event will mark the release of the 2012 vintage of the most limited production wine, Chianti Station. General tickets are $75, including food and wine, parking and entertainment. VIP tickets are $150, including a VIP wine reception and opportunity to acquire limited vintages of Home Ranch Zinfandel and library vintages of Chianti Station. For more information, visit

September 19
Lancaster Estate will host the annual Lancaster Fall Harvest Celebration from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., highlighting the release of the 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The celebration will include seasonal food and wine pairings along with the exclusive opportunity to sample wine from the barrels and purchase the limited production of Cabernet Franc. The event is open to wine club members and the general public. Guild members receive four complimentary tickets. VIP library tasting pre-party is $65; Member tickets are $45; General public tickets are $65. For more information, visit

September 20 – 22
Known as the ultimate getaway for food and wine lovers, the ninth annual Sonoma County Grape Camp is an experiential vacation that offers a hands-on experience harvesting grapes and blending wine during harvest season on various vineyards. Campers will have exclusive access to the influential grape growers, winemakers and chefs who help make Sonoma County a world-class culinary destination. Cost for Grape Camp 2015 is $2,000 per person and $3,700 per couple. Price includes three nights’ accommodations at Vintners Inn, meals, tastings and transportation during camp. For more information, visit

Extended hours through September 26
Tasting til’ Twilight continues at Matanzas Creek Winery with seasonal extended hours through September 26. The tasting room will remain open until 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings for guests to enjoy wine tastings, picnicking, bocce ball or simply relaxing in the beauty of the vineyard. The winery will also present live music on Friday nights. For more information, visit

September 26
The Kendall Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens are again playing host to the annual Heirloom Tomato Festival, now in its 19th consecutive year. Tickets provide all-day access to samplings of more than 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes – grown in the Kendall-Jackson culinary gardens – a chef competition featuring Bravo’s Top Chef contenders and tomato-inspired dishes from nearly 50 prominent wine country and Bay Area restaurant chefs and food purveyors. The festival will also feature wine tasting, live music by Grammy nominated Andre Thierry and educational wine and garden seminars. General admission tickets for the Heirloom Tomato Festival are $95 and $175 for Premier Access tickets, with exclusive pricing available for Kendall-Jackson wine club members. For more information, visit

September 26
Sbragia Family Vineyards will host the annual Harvest Moon Dinner from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. where guests can enjoy a gourmet four-course meal prepared by John Ash with wine pairings and live music by New Skye. After dinner, the winery will offer tastings of the 2005 Cabernet magnums to celebrate 10 years of Sbragia Family Vineyards. General public tickets are $195 and wine club member tickets are $165. For more information, visit

October 2 – 4
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair marks its 41st year of showcasing the county’s grand harvest with world-class wines, award winning beers and a plethora of culinary wealth. Each October, travelers from over thirty different states are invited to Santa Rosa to participate in the farm-to-table experience, inspired by the county’s hard working farmers, ranchers, vintners and producers. The epicenter of the Harvest Fair is the Grand Tasting Pavilion, which features over 100 Sonoma County wineries bringing forth the best varietals of sampling. Tickets range from $5 to $125. For more information, visit

October 18 – 19
Travelers are invited to experience an insider’s view of world-class wineries with two days of exclusive tours. The excursion provides an in-depth history of Sonoma Valley and behind the scenes visits to four different wineries, chauffeur transportation and lunch. For more information, visit

October 25
Pinot on the River will occur on October 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Russian River Valley town of Healdsburg. The day features tastings, seminars, vineyard tours and guest artisan food vendors focused on limited-production Pinot Noirs from Sonoma County and other top regions along the West Coast. Advance tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. For more information, visit

To stay up-to-date on all events in Sonoma County, visit For more information on insider tips for upcoming travel to Sonoma County, please visit

Information provided by Sonoma County Tourism

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

September 2015 in Santa Fe is for Fiesta: Schedule of Events - Que Viva!

Santa Fe invites visitors and locals alike to celebrate the unique richness of the city’s extraordinary past and even more extraordinary present in ¡Viva Santa Fe!a month-long celebration of the best of The City Different. ¡Viva Santa Fe! caters to all ages with live music, dancing, art, traditional ceremonies, parades, and outdoor adventure all fueled by world-renowned savory Santa Fe cuisine. And, throughout Santa Fe, you’ll hear the locals exclaim… “Que Viva!”

¡Viva Santa Fe! Events Include:

The Burning Of Zozobra – September 4
The Burning of Zozobra is one of the most anticipated events of the year. The 91st annual burning is Friday, September 4 at Fort Marcy Park. The 50-foot, 2,000-pound marionette Zozobra, also known as “Old Man Gloom,” is stuffed with divorce decrees, bankruptcy filings, tax receipts and other paper manifestations of stress. Zozobra is then set ablaze by torches amid fireworks and ceremonial dances of ghosts and fire to dispel the hardships of the year and to banish any feelings of gloom or doom.

Edible Santa Fe will host the 3rd Annual Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, a competition that puts top chefs and restaurants head-to-head to compete for the title of the ultimate green chile cheeseburger. Fans vote online for the city’s best and the eight establishments that receive the most votes will advance to the final cook-off. Chefs will fire up their grills at The Santa Fe Railyard and present their best burgers to the public and a panel of food critics from across the country for the chance to reign as the “Green Chile Cheeseburger Champ.”

Fiesta de Santa Fe – September 11 – 13
Fiesta de Santa Fe is the oldest continuous celebration in the county and the 303rd annual event takes place September 11 – 13. The Fiesta celebrates the vibrant culture and rich colonial history of Santa Fe through a variety of festivities including traditional Spanish dancing and mariachi music, parades, authentic New Mexican cuisine and religious ceremonies. The three-day fiesta marks the resettlement of Santa Fe by the Spanish in 1692.

”All Trails Lead To Santa Fe”  Three Trails Conference 2015 – September 17 – 20
"All Trails Lead To Santa Fe" is a joint conference of three historical trail associations—El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, The Old Spanish Trail, and The Santa Fe Trail—to learn new ways of evaluating the trails and their impact on our identity. The conference will explore environmental and sociological aspects of the trails and their connections, as well as their history as three of the most significant trails in North America. There will be field trips and evening events as well. Many activities have limited capacity so please check the website for details and registration.

The Santa Fe Renaissance Fair is a community event at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a Spanish colonial outdoor living history museum, with 200 acres of historical recreations including working gristmills, a blacksmith and a wheelwright. Visitors are invited to dress in their finest medieval costumes and experience all aspects of life in the old village.

The point-to-point course starts in the heart of Santa Fe at historic Fort Marcy, follows the Old Taos Highway, and finishes at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The USATF-certified course is a net 1,000 foot downhill run that features spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains while it drops into the colorful Rio Grande Valley. Runners will enjoy live music and entertainment throughout the route—a historical trail that the city’s ancestors have utilized for centuries.

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta – September 23 – 27
The 25th Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta celebrates five days of events featuring 90 national wineries and 75 of Santa Fe’s best restaurants. The festivities include cooking demos, wine seminars, winery luncheons and dinners. The fiesta culminates with the Grand Tasting at the Santa Fe Opera where all participating restaurants and wineries will serve samples of their best food and wine.

Santa Fe Concorso – September 25 – 27
The 2015 Santa Fe Concorso—the Southwest’s premier gathering of more than 110 rare and exotic cars and motorcycles—will take place September 25 – 27 on the grounds of The Club at Las Campanas, 15 minutes from downtown Santa Fe. The Concorso is a three-day celebration of mechanical motion: seminars, an evening gathering at Hangar K at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, a Mountain Tour for entrants, and culminating with a judged exhibition of "rolling works of art," including classic cars, racing champions and speed-record seekers, as well as legendary motorcycles.

For more information on ¡Viva Santa Fe! visit For more on Santa Fe, visit

Photography copyright: Elizabeth Rose Photography