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New Year's Day Turtle Dances at Taos Pueblo

Guests of the Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals come from around the world to learn about the area's Native American culture and history. A terrific opportunity to experience this heritage first-hand presents itself on New Year's Day with the Turtle Dances at the nearby Taos Pueblo. This pueblo, designated as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark, has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years.

The Taos Pueblo, famous for its drums and micaceous pottery, is fiercely independent in spirit. Residents continue to speak the unwritten Tiwa language, and are committed to integrating the traditional way of life with the realities of existing in the modern world. A day trip to this fascinating pueblo is a high on the list of things to do while in Santa Fe, and to be there during a ceremonial dance is an added treat.

The dances are scheduled to begin on January 1, 2012 around 8am, though this is only an approximate time. Please note that no cameras or cell phones are allowed during this blessing ritual, which carries deep cultural significance to the community of the Taos Pueblo. Please behave with utmost respect and consideration, much as you would in a church.

Taos Pueblo
120 Veterans Highway
Taos, NM
575.758.1028

Santa Fe Southern Railway Holiday Trains

Guests of The Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals can get in the holiday spirit and see some of the fabulous scenery of New Mexico while riding one of the Santa Fe Southern Railway Holiday Trains. From December 16 through December 24, 2011, take a ride to either Lamy or the Galisteo Basin Overlook while riding in vintage railcars dating back to the 1920's. All riders on the Holiday Trains will enjoy spectacular scenery while singing traditional Christmas Carols.

If there are children in your party, you will want to be sure to book yourself a train with Santa himself. For even more Christmas magic, book the Story Book Ride, which features a reading of the Polar ExpressTM book, with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. Guests on this ride are encouraged to wear their PJ's!

Booking reservations in advance is highly recommended, as these are very popular rides. Ticket prices ranges from $20-$50, depending on age and the ride selected. Check online for a Schedule of dates, times and prices.

Please call the Santa Fe Southern Railway to book your reservations at 505.989.8600. The railway office is open Monday through Saturday from 9am-5pm, and open Sunday from 11am-3pm.

All trains board at the historic depot located at:
410 S. Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM

Holiday Music from Santa Fe Pro Musica

Santa Fe is a very popular destination for the Christmas holidays. The Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals are filled with guests who come every year for the festive faroitas lining the rooftops, the smell of pinon burning in kiva fireplaces, great holiday shopping, fantastic cuisine, and an overall jolly holiday spirit. Music is, of course, a very important component of the Christmas holidays, and Santa Fe Pro Musica provides the perfect holiday concert for music lovers of all ages.

Beginning on Sunday, December 18 and again from December 20-24, the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble will perform the music of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Teleman, along with traditional carols. Performances will take place at the Loretto Chapel, home of the miracle staircase, just a few blocks away from Hacienda Nicholas.

Ticket prices are $15-65. Tickets may be purchased over the phone at 505.988.4640 or online.

Santa Fe Pro Musica - A Baroque Christmas
December 18, 20-24 at 6pm & 8pm each evening
Loretto Chapel
207 Old Santa Fe Trail

Dining Deal at The Old House Restaurant

Savor a delicious 3-course dinner at the landmark Old House Restaurant, located at the Eldorado Hotel, just one block from The Plaza. This celebrated restaurant is offering a Prix Fixe Menu for just $25/person, now through December 23, 2011.

The restaurant has received numerous accolades: AAA awarded the Old House Four Diamonds, Zagat honors it as New Mexico's best restaurant, and Wine Spectator gave the wine list their "Award of Excellence".

Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply seeking a delicious meal at a good price, The Old House's impeccable service, inspired menu and elegant atmosphere will surely please even the most discerning diner.

Old House Restaurant
309 W. San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM
505.995.4530

The Nutcracker Ballet Comes to Santa Fe

Just a few short blocks from The Alexander's inn Vacation Rentals is the historic Lensic Performing Arts Centre, soon to be host to the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's staging of The Nutcracker. This spectacular theatrical production, to be performed on the weekend of December 3 and 4, 2011, will delight audiences of all ages.

Come see this magical holiday story, with stunning scenery, lots of action, and memorable performances by a cast of 60 dancers, actors and circus acts. Thrill to visions of the Sugarplum Fairy, an exciting battle between the Nutcracker Prince and the King of the Mice, and the dancing of an exotic Arabian Princess, Chinese Dancers, Flowers, Snow Fairies and so much more.

After the performance, take a stroll up San Francisco Street to the Plaza, now full of enchanting Christmas lights and garlands.

Ticket prices range from $20 to $72 and may be purchased by calling 505.988.1234 or online at ticketssantafe.org.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM

December 3, 2011 - 2pm and 7:30pm
December 4, 2011 - 1pm and 5pm

Santa Fe is Steeped in the Culture of Spain

Surround yourself in the Spanish-influenced architecture of the Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals; then indulge in fabulous Spanish tapas just a few blocks away at La Boca Restaurant before heading out for a night of authentic Spanish dancing with Compania Flamenca Jose Porcel.

José Porcel, regarded as one of the very best flamenco dancers in the world today, has assembled a company consisting of Spain's most acclaimed flamenco artists. Their performances combine traditional flamenco moves with more contemporary choreography, and are renowned for their vitality, passion, and intensity.

This exciting evening of dance and music, presented by the Santa Fe Concert Association, will take place at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:30pm. Ticket prices range from $20-$72 and may be purchased online at ticketssantafe.org or by phoning 505.988.1234.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Thanksgiving Dinner in Santa Fe

Guests come from far and wide to the Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals to celebrate Thanksgiving in Santa Fe. The crisp, clean mountain air, a blanket of fresh snow in the mountains, and spectacular culinary feasts offered throughout the city, make for a perfect holiday destination.

Since it is just a block from the inn, my first recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner is La Posada's Fuego Restaurant, where you can enjoy a traditional feast, including a whole roast turkey served tableside. Begin your meal at Fuego with Green Chile Smoked Salmon, Local Vegetables and Domestic Cheeses. This is followed by a Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and a Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnuts and Autumn Pear Dressing. Along with your Roast Turkey, carved tableside, is Apple Stuffing with Cranberry Chutney, Whipped Yukon Gold and Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans with Fried Shallots and Hazelnuts. End the meal with a Spiced Cheesecake or Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Tart. This fabulous feast is $65/person, with seating from 3pm-9pm.

Fuego Restaurant - La Posada
Corner of Paseo de Peralta and Palace Avenue
505.954.9670

Another fine dining option for Thanksgiving Dinner is Restaurant Martin, with an a la carte menu sure to please everyone in your party. Appetizers include a Butternut Squash and Lobster Bisque ($12), a Wild Mushroom and Lobster Risotto ($17) or a Slow Braised Prime Short Rib ($14). Entrees range from Roasted Organic Turkey, served with stuffing, potatoes and gravy ($28) to Grilled Black Angus New York Strip ($30) to a Vegetarian Tasting Plate ($23). Save room for dessert of Roasted Pumpkin Pie, Carmelized Golden Apple with Gingerbread Cake or a Chocolate Toffee Bread Pudding. All desserts are $8.

Restaurant Martin
536 Galisteo Street
505.820.0919

Last but not least, for those of you wanting a more casual and lower-priced Thanksgiving Dinner, you can't go wrong with the $27.50/person menu at The Zia Diner. Choose from a Butternut Squash Bisque or Salad of Organic Greens, Pears and Pecans. The Zia has several entree selections - one being a Turkey Plate with all the trimmings, another a Roasted Poblano Chile filled with Bulghar Weat Spinach, Pecans, Cranberries, Cheese & Roasted Squash, and the third being an Aromatic Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. Pie is the word of the day for dessert at The Zia: you will have to make up your mind between Pumpkin, Pumpkin-Pecan, Wicked Cocoa, Apple Crumb and Strawberry Rhubarb.

The Zia Diner
326 S Guadalupe Street
505.988.7008

Very important - whether you choose one of these restaurants or another establishment, you will want to call ahead to make reservations! Not all Santa Fe restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, and those that are open are always very busy.

Foodie Festival in Santa Fe!

November is shaping up to be a busy month this year at Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals. Those fortunate enough to be with us this November will have the good fortune of participating in the Santa Fe Harvest Festival, a month-long celebration of New Mexico food and wine. From November 1 through November 23 the city will demonstrate its culinary skills in a myriad of ways, with cooking classes, a Chef Showdown, a War of the Bars, and much more. The festival culminates with the Grand Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, a competition finale and a "Best of the Fest" Gala Dinner.

Your pass, which may be purchased online or at venues such as Whole Foods or Sunflower Market, will also entitle you to discounts as some of Santa Fe's top restaurants, including some of my favorites: Andiamo!, Cafe Cafe, Epazote, La Boca, The Pink Adobe and Trattoria Nostrani. Passes are available at two levels - Gold for $35 or Red for $160 (this pass includes admission to the Grand Gourmet and Best of the Fest Gala Dinner).

Start your Thanksgiving celebration early by participating in this bounty of the glorious foods of New Mexico!

Santa Fe Harvest Festival
November 1-23, 2011

Flamenco Fridays at La Boca

Just a few short blocks from The Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals is La Boca, a terrific neighborhood tapas restaurant. The menu at La Boca consists of both traditional Spanish tapas dishes and innovative, exciting contemporary offerings. Eating at a tapas restaurant is a lot of fun for couples or groups, as you can share a number of small plates of food, savoring a multitude of fabulous flavors. La Boca is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Santa Fe, and gets rave reviews from all guests of The Madeleine who have chosen to dine there.

After the dinner hour La Boca evolves into an intimate wine bar, featuring an extensive collection of South American and Mediterranean wines. An added treat is the introduction of Flamenco Fridays, where you can enjoy the passionate music and dance of traditional and authentic flamenco. The troupe of professional dancers and musicians, many of whom have performed with Maria Benitez, will be performing at 10pm on November 28 and December 23, 2011. Guests may indulge in the Spanish tradition of late dining by ordering off the menu or partaking of some special La Boca Bailla specials, which will include the $10 cover charge for these events.

For a true Spanish cultural experience, check out La Boca on Flamenco Fridays.

La Boca
72 West Marcy Street
Santa Fe, NM
505.982.3433
Special Flamenco Fridays - November 28 and December 23, 2011.

New York City Ballet Comes to Santa Fe!

Guests at Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals are in for a real treat at the end of the month, with two performances by soloists of the New York City Ballet taking place at The Lensic Performing Arts Centre. These performances, scheduled for Thursday October 27 and Friday October 28, will feature eight dancers from this world-renowned company performing various works by George Balanchine, the company's founder.

Thursday evening's repertoire includes such favorites as the pas de deux from "Apollo" and "Agon," the "Diamonds section from "Jewels," and the George Gershwin-inspired "Who Cares?" with live piano accompaniment. The Gershwin score's songs include 'S Wonderful, Do Do Do, Lady Be Good, Embraceable You, and Who Cares? Friday evening's performance will showcases Balanchine's "Tarantella" and "Who Cares?", a "Swan Lake" excerpt by Peter Martins, and the pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon's "After the Rain."

Ticket prices range from $20 to $72 and my be purchased by phoning 505.988.1234 or online at TicketsSantaFe.org.

Lensic Performing Arts Centre
211 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM
October 27 & 28, 2011
7:30 PM

Delicious and Decadent Pumpkin Spa Specials at Absolute Nirvana Spa

Fall is in the air, with its crisp cool nights, falling leaves, and heavenly aromas of pumpkin pies, sugar and spices, inspiring us to create two sensationally yummy Pumpkin Spa Specials for our Absolute Nirvana Spa (located in the back gardens of The Madeleine Inn).

Along with its heavenly aroma, pumpkin is rich in carotenoid antioxidants that repair skin damage while polishing and hydrating dull skin. Pumpkin is also full of natural plant enzymes that accelerate the exfoliation process to peel away dry dead skin cells, reduce fine lines and sun damage, leaving skin renewed, refreshed, and amazingly soft and glowing.

Pumpkin Decadence
Restore your skin's natural healthy glow with a full body massage and exfoliating body scrub of brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by a nourishing mask of warm pumpkin, buttermilk, honey and cloves, and ending with a luxuriating steam shower.
1.5 hours of massage, exfoliation, mask, steam and shower for $165.

Delicious Pumpkin Facial
Rejuvenate sun damaged and dull skin with this hydrating and healing facial; incorporating the natural exfoliating and nourishing properties of Naturopathica's Pumpkin Enzyme Peel to increase collagen production, leaving the skin firm and radiant, with increased elasticity.
One hour of cleansing, exfoliation, hydrating mask, steam and nourishing creams - $105

Save by combining both of these yummy treatments.
2.5 hours of Pumpkin Bliss for just $250.

New Exhibit at The Museum of International Folk Art

Whether this is your first visit or you have been multiple times, The Museum of International Folk Art is always a delight. Along with the permanent collection (the world's largest collection of folk art) is a revolving exhibit that never ceases to amaze with its innovative and creative curating. Opening on Saturday, October 1 is the exhibit Young Brides, Old Treasures, featuring a magnificent collection of Macedonian embroidered dresses made primarily from 1890 to 1920. On display will be 27 mannequins wearing intricate and colorful ensembles representing various parts of the country, and women at various stages of life. Until fairly recently, one could ascertain not only where a Macedonian woman lived, but also whether she was married, had children, was widowed, and more, just by looking at her clothing. The ensembles often incorporated many fabrics, from wool to cotton to silk, along with intricate embroidery using metallic or cotton threads and adornments of metals, glass beads and plastic.

For a real treat, attend the Public Opening of this new exhibit on Saturday, October 1 from 2pm-4pm. In addition to being the first to view this unique presentation, you will hear traditional vocal and instrumental music from the Republic of Macedonia.

Admission prices are $9 for adults and no charge for children 16 and under. Another option is to get a 2-museum pass or 4-museum pass - definitely the way to go if you plan on visiting more than one museum during your stay.

This particular exhibit will be up through January 5, 2012. Museum Hours are 10am-5pm, Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays).

Viva la Fiesta!

Every year we have at least some guests at Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals who are caught off guard by the activities of Fiesta Weekend. The festival is a celebration of Don Diego De Vargas' peaceful reoccupation of the City of Holy Faith in 1692. For the past 299 years the city has honored this historic event with much religious ceremony and prayer, along with music, dancing, parades, abundant food & drink, and overall merriment.

With so much going on during Fiesta Weekend - September 8-11, 2011- you will want to check the schedule to find events specific to your interest. Two highlights of Fiesta Weekend are the Burning of Zozobra and the beloved Pet Parade, but there is so much more to experience.

Zozobra, otherwise known as Old Man Gloom, is a 50 foot puppet whose burning is meant to signify the burning of our collective doom and gloom of the past year. This fairly pagan ritual begins with music and dancing, which gets more and more lively the darker it gets. The crowd becomes increasingly excited for Zozo's imminent burning and subsequent fireworks, and you will hear the chanting of "Burn Him, Burn Him", getting progressively louder and louder. After a successful burn the crowds head to the Plaza for eating, drinking and entertainment. I recommend to our guests that they view this spectacle from the Cross of the Martyrs, a short walk away. You will not want to be driving anywhere on this evening!

The Pet Parade is an entirely different affair. Best seen by walking down Palace Avenue and standing near the corner of Palace & Paseo de Peralta, the parade is a spectacle of children, adults and their pets, all dressed up in very original costumes. You will see plenty of adorable dogs, but also chickens, lamas, goats, reptiles, birds and more. Some of the get-ups are incredibly elaborate, and it is definitely not just for children.

Zozobra's Burning:
Thursday, September 8th
Fort Marcy Park
Park opens at 3pm, with ongoing entertainment, but the burning happens at dusk

Pet Parade
Saturday, September 10th
9am start time

21st Annual Wine & Chile Festival

The second most favorite event in Santa Fe for guests of the Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals, after Indian Market, is the upcoming Wine and Chile Festival. This event, now in its 21st year, features five days of fabulous wine tastings and some of the best food the town has to offer.

The festival is a food and wine connoisseur's Disneyland, with cooking demonstrations, wine seminars and a myriad of special luncheons and dinners at Santa Fe's most highly-acclaimed restaurants. Choose from Wine Dinners at Amavi, Restaurant Martin, The Compound and many more top Santa Fe Restaurants. Capping off this glorious five-day abundance of food and wine is the Grand Food & Wine Tasting, where guests savor food from 75 of Santa Fe's best restaurants and great vintages from 90 world-class wineries. These festivities take place under huge tents at the Santa Fe Opera, with its scenic mountain vistas and dramatic sunset view enhancing the evening's enjoyment.

Because this is such a popular event, tickets tend to sell out. If you are planning on attending, I advise getting your tickets right away.

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta
539 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505.438.8060

Final Weekend of The Santa Fe Opera

It's not too late for guests of The Alexander's Inn Vacation Rentals to purchase tickets for the closing weekend of the highly acclaimed Santa Fe Opera. This has been a stellar season, with rave reviews for all 2011 productions. The final weekend features the two most treasured operas of the summer, with La Boheme on Friday, August 26 and Faust on Saturday, August 27. Both productions begin at 8am - much more civilized than those early summer productions that don't begin until 9pm.

Consider arriving early (the parking area opens 3 hours before the performance) to enjoy a tailgate supper while gazing at the stunning mountain and sunset views of this venue. It's too late to order one of the opera's delicious tailgate dinners, but Whole Foods Market has a tantalizing deli section where you will surely find all you need for a memorable meal.

Tickets prices start at $81 (or $35 for standing room only) and can be purchased online or by calling 800-280-4654.

The 90th Annual Indian Market

Indian Market, now celebrating its 90th anniversary, will take place on August 20 and 21st at the Santa Fe Plaza. Because it is the most prestigious and well-known Native Arts Market in the entire world, it attracts both major collectors and those just curious to see what all the fuss is about. Serious buyers are known to camp out in front of the booths of the most sought-after artists for half the night in order to get first pick at the best items.

Featuring 1100 vendors from over 100 tribes, Indian Market brings together jewelers, potters, weavers and visual artists, along with film-makers, musicians, dancers, writers, culinary artists and more.

We recommend to our guests that they try to get to Market early in the day, before things got too hot, and when the selection is best. Of course at the end of market there are some terrific deals to be had! Remember, wear a hat and drink plenty of water along with that tasty fry bread.

Saturday August 20, 7am-5pm
Sunday, August 21, 8am-5pm
At the Santa Fe Plaza
Free Admission

Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program

Calling all opera-lovers! Coming up this weekend and next is a chance to see and hear the Santa Fe Opera's "stars of tomorrow", at rock-bottom prices. For just $21 for adults and $7 for children, you can see fully staged scenes from popular operas by the Santa Fe Opera apprentices.

Get your tickets now at santafeopera.org or by calling 505.986.5900. Who knows, you may just see the next Luciano Pavarotti or Marilyn Horne!

Santa Fe Opera
August 14 and 21
8pm

Bandelier and the National Forests are Open Again!

July was a frustrating month for those planning on hiking and visiting the National Monuments of Northern New Mexico. The Bureau of Land Management had closed off all the national forests and parks due to severe fires throughout the state. These bans were lifted on Friday, July 29, as we have been blessed once again with our regular monsoon rains and our fire danger is minimal once again. The term 'monsoon' is a relative term here in the high mountain desert, not to be confused with the monsoons of India!

Guests can once again visit such treasures at Bandelier National Monument, Puye Cliffs and hike in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The only area still closed off is the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. This land has been the staging area for fighting the nearby Las Conchas fire, and there are flooding concerns in the area as well.

So pack your hiking boots and mountain bikes - we have 13 million acres of public land in the New Mexico open for your outdoor fun.

The International Folk Art Market, July 8, 9, 10

The upcoming International Folk Art Market is a not-to-be-missed event for visitors and locals alike. Now in its 8th year, this festival of folk art, food, music and dance continues to get bigger and better with every passing year. The market is the largest such event in the world, with a mission to preserve and support folk art culture and traditions of the over 50 countries represented.

This year's market features 170 different artists, showcasing and selling everything from masks to baskets, embroidery to pottery, jewelry to musical instruments and so much more. In addition to beautiful handwork from around the world are drummers, flute players, singers and dancers from continents all around the globe. Last but not least is a vast selection of ethnic food from some of Santa Fe's top restaurants.

The remarkable success of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market was key in Santa Fe being designated a UNESCO City of Folk Art. The highly-acclaimed organization is also a member of the Clinton Initiative.

If you are anywhere near Santa Fe this weekend you will want to check out this fabulous event - a riot of color and sound. Of the thousands of unique handmade pieces of folk art available, you are sure to find memorable gifts for friends, family and yourself.

Museum of International Folk Art
July 8, 9 and 10, 2011
Ticket prices range from $5-50, depending on Date & Time
Buy Tickets Online or at the Market Itself
**Be sure to ask about the parking/shuttle service to and from the event!
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Alexander's Inn • info@alexanders-inn.com • 505-986-1431 or 1-888-321-5123 • 529 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe New Mexico 87501