Day 7 of Road Trip takes us to NM’s Las Golondrinas living history ranch and Sante Fe

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The main patio area of Las Golondrinas, which dates back to the 1700's.

The main residence patio area of Las Golondrinas, which dates back to the 1700's.

Day 7 of the PapiBlogger Family Road Trip was highlighted by a visit to El Rancho de Las Golondrinas (Ranch of the Swallows), a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and some leisurely walking and dining in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Briani, Jonathan and Elena get some corn mashing tips from Las Golondrinas village guide Javier.

Las Golondrinas is a 200-acre, living history museum located in a rural farming valley just south of Santa Fe.

The museum, dedicated to the heritage and culture of Spanish Colonial, New Mexico, features original colonial buildings that date from the early 18th century.

What’s really great about taking the family to Las Golondrinas is the “living” part of the museum.  Villagers clothed in the styles of the times show how life was lived in early New Mexico. Special festivals and theme weekends offer visitors an in-depth look into the celebrations, music, dance and many other aspects of life in the period when this part of the United States was ruled by Spain and Mexico.

School classroom circa. the late 1800s.

The first “villager” that we encountered was a charismatic nine year old named Javier.  This boy (pictured here) helped us learn about the different parts of a shepherd’s boy’s role in a typical plantation of the 18th century.  We were all impressed by how articulate, good humored and well mannered this kid was.

This is one of more than 100 historic-type structures at Las Golondrinas.

Our favorite part of Las Golondrinas was the tiny school house.  The teacher explained to our kids that up until the 1880s, school was from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  They also learned that all children from 1st to 8th grade spent all day together in the same classroom with just one teacher.

When you go to Las Golondrinas, remember that the entire walk is one and a half miles long.  You will need to budget at least a half day to get the complete experience and during the summer you will want to go early because the heat can be uncomfortable.  Bring comfortable walking shoes and water and if you have a baby, don’t forget the stroller.  You will perish without one.


Beware of the Rated R moment in the life video about Georgia O'Keefe.

We spent the rest of the day leisurely taking in the stores and restaurants of Santa Fe, the state’s capital and one of my favorite cities in the country.  The city’s distinct adobe-style architecture is everywhere and it’s location at an elevation of 7,199 feet means it’s never really that hot in Santa Fe that you can’t walk it at anytime of the year.

Outside Cafe Pasqual's

Our first of two city highlights was a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum.  O’Keefe is considered one of America’s greatest 20th century abstract painters.  You can take in the entire museum in about one hour but just beware that one of the two short videos they display about her life features nude photographs of O’Keefe in her 20’s.  I had to tell Jonathan to close his eyes.  Other than the video, the museum is a Rated G experience for kids.


We had our best meal of the entire trip so far at Cafe Pasquals, a restaurant that serves dishes inspired by Mexican, New Mexican and Asian cuisine.  The mole Angela and I had was the best one we’ve ever tasted and the beef tacos al carbon we had were equally fantastic.  The service was also great and very kid friendly.  The restaurant, which has been in the same historic corner of Santa Fe for more than 33 years, is tiny so don’t expect to eat there without reservations.  Ideally you should reserve your table a day or more in advance.

FAMILY ROAD TRIP TIP OF THE DAY (sponsored by Sprint Nextel)

When planning your vacation make sure that you always pack water, hats and sunscreens for any walks.  If you’re going to do anything in major parks, it doesn’t hurt to buy slingshots for kids.  It’s a great leisure activity they all enjoy, regardless of age.

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