It’s amazing how social media has the potential to connect us…it’s one of the things I love about blogging! I’ve been following Angelisa (@taoschic) of Heritage Inspirations on instagram for a while now. Her adventures and scenic shots of New Mexico outdoor life are captivating…you’ll want to follow her, too!
Eventually, we connected via message and planned to meet up for coffee during our summer stay. I was curious to learn more about her touring company, Heritage Inspirations. I’m so happy we did because we hit it off, chatting about our work, backgrounds, and passion for sharing Taos and the surrounding area with others!
Backtracking a bit, paddle boarding was at the top of the list of things Marisa wanted to do this summer…
Initially, I thought I’d find somewhere for her to do it and I would watch and take pictures. I was hesitant to agree to it myself because I’m pretty cautious and definitely not as coordinated as she is! When Angelisa mentioned one of her tours features Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), plus hiking (my fave), and a trip to Vivac Winery, I was sold!
I grew up in New Mexico and the culture and landscape is so rich, there’s so much I still want to explore! And, what better way to experience it than alongside my children! I thought the tour would be a wonderful way to do this…
We started our day at El Monte Sagrado, meeting up with Angelisa and a sweet mom/daughter duo who were visiting from the East Coast. From there, Angelisa drove us through town to our first destination all while giving a brief history of the area. She’s very knowledgeable about Taos, and although I’m from here, I still learned something new! Pretty soon, we made our way into the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument to begin our SUP experience with New Mexico River Adventures.
Our river guides were awesome and very focused on safety, which put my mama nerves at ease. They talked us through what they had planned for us and then we were off! We weren’t allowed to take phones on the river without a waterproof bag, so thankfully Angelisa was able to take photos of us. I probably would not have been able to take them myself anyway, so I was grateful she did!
As expected, Marisa took to it quickly! I was a little slower to catch on, but one of the guides stuck with me and coached me until I felt more confident. We all started on our knees on the boards, and pretty soon we were standing! The first time I stood up, I was shaky but soon I started to feel more balanced and relaxed. Before I knew it, I was actually enjoying myself!
To my surprise, we even conquered a few stretches of Class 2 rapids! For these, we went down to our knees and the guides coached us through. I’ll admit, I was scared but it felt great to push through the fear! The guides were amazing at giving us direction and we finished with a sense of accomplishment! We covered about 6 miles on the boards and I was so happy I tried it with Marisa, instead of staying on the sideline!
After paddle boarding, we had a quick snack, then Angelisa drove us the short distance to the La Vista Verde Trailhead. The timing was perfect! Our hike on this trail was just the right intensity after paddle boarding and offered gorgeous, panoramic views of the Taos Box. We even spotted big horn sheep resting and running down the mountain. We had a blast, taking in the views and snapping tons of photos!
It often rains in the afternoon during the summer months, and the clouds started to move in as we are finishing up our hike. The sky looked so beautiful that day, both when it was clear and when the clouds started to darken above us….
We jumped back in the car and headed towards Dixon, to Vivac Winery! I was so ready to eat lunch and sample local wine! While the adults started with the wine tasting (and Marisa picked out some unique, hand crafted chocolates to take home), Angelisa set out a wonderful lunch spread for us on the patio. We had various salads, marinated veggies, fruit, nuts, cheeses, meats, and more to fill our plates with!
Everything was delicious, and we enjoyed our meal while chatting about the day. It did rain eventually, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our picnic! I selected a bottle of Pinot Noir to take with us, as a thank you to my family for watching Andrew while Marisa and I had our adventure…
After the winery, we climbed in the car to head back to Taos, with full bellies and happy hearts! It truly was a day of fun, adventure, and bonding with Marisa. The experience was so worth it! We had the best time being outdoors and trying something new together.
I know lots of parents understand what I mean when I say it can be tough to slow down and disconnect from technology! It really is an everyday struggle to find balance, myself included. On this tour we did it, while truly enjoying each other’s company and creating lasting memories. My vacation strategy this year has been to seek out activities like this and opportunities to connect with our family in nature!
One thing I loved about this experience is that all we had to do was show up, ready for a day of adventure. Angelisa took care of everything and was extremely helpful! She was an amazing host/guide and we enjoyed getting to know her better, too.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with family and friends, I recommend discovering New Mexico with Heritage Inspirations! Join one of Angelisa’s well thought out tours, or have her design a custom itinerary just for you…I promise, you won’t regret it! I’m already eyeing the Chaco Canyon and Snowshoeing tours for the upcoming seasons!
*Save 10% on any Heritage Inspirations tour when you mention Loubies and Lulu!*
I’ve included what we wore for the day’s activities below…
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day! xx