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VOL. 33, NO. 4

8,712 Active Members

Mark displays a map of the Lincoln Highway while presenting a seminar at the recent National Tour Association Convention in Las Vegas. Seated next to him is Bob Dieterich of Fair Oaks, who is currently the president of the Lincoln Highway Association. At the convention, Mark was named Vice-Chairman of NTA, and will serve as chairman of the association in 2013. He also served as NTA President in 2000 (the title has since been changed). He will become one of a select few to have served as volunteer leader twice.

44,577 Members Since 1979

JAN./FEB., 2012

Sports Leisure Travelers at play in the park in Spokane, on the recent Christmas Celebrations at the Davenport tour.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Just One Man’s Opinion..................................... 2 Clayton Place......................................................... 3 The Customers Always Write....................... 4-5 The Human Side................................................... 6 Teasers..................................................................... 7 Casino Trips, Overnighters, Ballpark.............. 8 Day Trips............................................................9-12 The Barber Pole..................................................13 New Vacations & Getaways..................... 14-21 Tour Calendar............................................... 22-26 ?_________________.......................................27 Coupons and Tour Updates...........Back Cover HHHHHHHHHHHH Editor........................................... Mark Hoffmann Executive Editor .........................Kevin Murphy Contributing Writers......................... P. Hansen, R. Goodge, S. Angeletti & C. Whitehead Contributing Photographer.........C. Galloway

In April, Scott Angeletti will lead our annual trip to Pismo Beach. The tour features three nights at the Sea Crest Resort, where all rooms enjoy a view of the water. The vantage point from this corner suite gives you an idea of how beautiful the setting is. Details can be found on page 14 inside.

9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 • Sacramento, CA 95827 • (916) 361-2051 • Toll-Free (800) 951-5556 • www. • CA Travel #2011549-40

Just One Man’s Opinion The Donut Lady To understand the importance of the Donut Lady, it’s important to know a little of the history of Sports Leisure Vacations. When The Donut Lady came into the picture, we were still Sports Travel, a brand new tour company, taking people to baseball games and the casinos in Reno and Lake Tahoe. That was 1979-80. The casino business was booming (No local casinos then, so you had to go up the hill to gamble.) and some days we ran 3-4 buses to Tahoe and another to Reno. The service was branded The Champagne Express, because we served Champagne on SportS LeiSure VacationS the way home. On the way up to Reno and Tahoe, we served coffee and…you guessed it… donuts. When the company started, I lived on Fulton Avenue, and just across the street and up a short block was a Winchell’s Donuts. That’s how I met Shirley Wolfe, who I always knew in my heart as The Donut Lady. Shirley and her husband Mel ran Winchell’s. Nearly every morning, I would appear, scraggly and eyes barely open, at Winchell’s at about 6am, in search of the coffee and donuts for that day’s trips. Often times the order was for 15-20 dozen donuts and 5-6 big pots of coffee. It was a big job. But Shirley and Mel were up to it. The years went by, the donut store closed (it’s now a Pizza Hut I think), Mel passed away. One day, a lady on the bus came up to me and said, “Do you remember me?” I confessed I knew the face but not the name. It had been a decade since Winchell’s had been shuttered. Now The Donut Lady was on the bus, with her friend from Tiny’s Hamburgers, another Fulton Avenue landmark, which is also gone now. Shirley and I spent the day sharing old donut store memories. Those evolved into stories about her husband and SUCCESS STORIES—A SpECIAl AdvERTISIng SECTIOn

9812 old Winery place, Sacramento, ca 95827 (916) 361-2051 •

After working in the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District, Mark Hoffmann founded Sports Leisure Vacations out of his Fulton Avenue apartment in 1979. Though Mark admits to ‘just sort of happening into it”, he found his niche in the retail tour business, enabling folks to achieve their travel dreams. Given the fact that Mark and his staff strive to exceed customer wants, they’ve been most successful in serving a niche of mature travelers, often those who need a little extra consideration. Sports Leisure Vacations assembles and operates custom tours and vacations of one to fifteen days in length, and can accommodate a wide variety of travel interests. Check out the website to see an amazing array of travel options. The company culture has centered around refusing to put profits ahead of service, and a mantra: “We love our travelers and they love us back.” It’s working- not only is the company thriving in its 32nd year, but community support and acknowledgement have resulted, including a prestigious award for contributions to the Arts from the Sacramento Arts and Business Council. For twenty years Sports Leisure has been an underwriter of KVIE Public Television. VP Clayton Whitehead has served on the KVIE Board and Mark was president of the National Tour Association in 2000. Mark and Tom Romano host the Travel Guys on KFBK, Sundays 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.


j a n ua r y 2 0 11 s a c m a g . c o m


the hamburger stand up the street; an incredible trip down memory lane that left us all smiling. The Donut Lady, left us this fall. At her memorial service, her grandchildren sang and spoke of her with great admiration and respect. There was no question she was an important part of their lives. I completely understand. Because in a different way, Shirley Wolfe was an important part of my life too. When she left us, she took a small piece of me with her. After some thought, I think I’m perfectly ok with that. God Bless you Shirley. Thanks for the maple bars.

Falling Apart When we last talked in this space, I shared the fact that I was down two wisdom teeth. By the time that story rolled off the press, I had been “downgraded” a bit, diagnosed with a case of shingles. With a little luck, some wonderfully understanding travelers (we were on tour in Hawaii, so a rescue Tour Director had to be sent) and magic medicine, I dodged about 80% of the illness. Listening to the stories many of you have who have experienced shingles or know someone close to you who has, I know I was very lucky. Within a few weeks, I was back on the road. But this is not a sympathy play. Rather it’s an opportunity to remind those of you reading this that there is a vaccine for shingles now. It’s available at your local drug store, after being in short supply last year. If I could share one piece of advice with you for the new year, it would be to get that vaccination. If you are over 60, it’s highly recommended. This is not an illness you want to experience. Promise me you’ll at least discuss it with your doctor. Finally, my thanks to the travelers on the trip, who took time from their vacation to be concerned about their Tour Director. Usually that system works in the opposite direction, but I sure appreciated everyone’s help and concern. I was in bad shape and they kept me going. When you’re on the road and not on your game, it sure helps to have folks who care. Thank you again.

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

It’s A Wonderful Life If there is a thread running throughout this edition of the traveler, it might be those four words. Indeed, in pictures, in The Customers Always Write and right here, you’ll see and hear mention of the six magic days we spent in Jimmy Stewart’s hometown on our Christmas Mystery Tour. We participated in the local holiday festival. It was declared “Sports Leisure Vacations Day” by the mayor himself, who during the same proclamation informed me I had been named honorary Grand Marshall of the parade. I’ve been taking people on vacation for over 30 years. During that time, I’ve always been in search of the perfect small town experience. Along the way, there have been some outstanding efforts in that direction. But I will confess that never in my many years of travel had I ever been a part of what our tourism friend Penny Perman of Indiana, PA, created for us. For the 44 people who filled the tour to capacity, along with Chris and I, we will always have the memories of that “wonderful” extended weekend. I wish I could recreate it for all of you, but alas, that is the beauty and the beast of travel. You often experience things that can’t quite be shared. From the Christmas Trees we donated to military families (46 of them, we are proud to say) to the Christmas lights that were set up and turned on exclusively for us a week ahead of schedule to the newspaper and radio station reporters who followed us around like puppy dogs; we were given the chance to truly experience the town that the Wonderful Life man called home. If you ever get the chance (maybe a future fall foliage tour) to visit Indiana, Pennsylvania, we give it our highest recommendation. You will find nice people and the spirit of Jimmy Stewart alive and well. It was incredibly special. And that, is Just One Man’s Opinion. And so it goes…

Mark Hoffmann, CTP Owner/Founder

Clayton Place Roses, Roses, Roses! Western Civilization has a love affair with roses, and rightfully so. The Bible equates them with beauty and perfection. Shakespeare wrote about them, too, referring to roses as the purest expression of eternal love. They are present in life’s greatest moments – proposals, weddings, the birth of a child, countless corsages and not a few Valentine’s Days – as well as somber settings like cemeteries and memorial gardens. How horse racing became attached to roses, I’ll never know. Well, not any horse race. I’m talking about The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, the Kentucky Derby. Dubbed “The Run for the Roses,” the winning horse is blanketed in a spray of 554 roses. (That’s just over 46 dozen!) It’s something to see – both the race and the roses! If the Kentucky Derby is on your “bucket list,” please call and place you name on the waiting list for our May trip. Though it’s sold out, there’s always the possibility of cancellations. Plus those on this year’s waiting list will be the first people we advise of our 2013 trip! Then there are parades. Pasadena annually elevates the rose to new heights with its Tournament of Roses Parade. (Yes, we’ll be going there again in 2013, too!) But I must confess, I’m rather partial to a slightly smaller, but much more visitor-friendly rose spectacular. I’m speaking of the Portland Rose Festival. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the festival six times during my tenure with Sports Leisure, and am happy to be the tour planner for our trip this summer. If you’ve already been to Pasadena, if you like parades and festivals, if you simply love to have fun in the company of great travelers, then please give “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” your attention. It’s just a short flight to Portland and that’s when the fun begins. A city tour features a

visit to the International Rose Test Garden. Meals include dinner served during an elegant yacht cruise on the Willamette River. And accommodations are at the hotel you tell us is your favorite from coast to coast: The Embassy Suites, home of daily cooked-to-order breakfast and the popular Manager’s Cocktail Reception each evening. Wait a second! I’ve forgotten the most important part: The Roses!!! The theme of the 105th annual Grand Floral Parade is Rock ‘n’ Roses. You can expect beautiful floral-clad floats, marching bands (including the One More Time Around Again Marching Band, the world’s largest), and equestrian entries from the Budweiser Clydesdales to rodeo champions from across the nation. Even the poop-scoop squad, a necessity with all those horses, gets into the act. Yes, even they are clad in roses! What if it’s hot, cold or raining? No worries! The parade is routed through Memorial Arena (think ARCO). You’ll be comfortable in seats with arms and backs, with all the necessities (restrooms and concessions) on the concourse. An announcer in the arena keeps you advised of each entry and award winners. There’s even a pre-parade show just for you which includes the crowning of the 105th Rose Festival Queen. The trip ends with a scenic train ride to Seattle and lunch overlooking Puget Sound, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Continue with Chris Galloway and make your time in the Pacific Northwest a “twonation vacation.” “Roses and Rose-Colored Glass” takes you to British Columbia’s charming Capital City aboard the popular Victoria Clipper. During your visit you’ll see the city by double-decker bus, enjoy High Tea at the Empress Hotel, then head out to famed Butchart Gardens to smell the roses (and all the other flowers) which have been delighting visitors for over a century. The ferry to Port Angeles returns you to the USA and more blooms. Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is the Lavender Capital of the World. You’ll find “blooms” of another kind

in your final destination, Tacoma, home of Dale Chihuly. His magnificent works in glass fill your hotel, museums and embellish his beautiful Bridge of Glass. So what are you doing this summer? You can take the first half, the second half or both! Refer to pages 50-51 in the 2012 Dream Book, find the itinerary at, or call the office for details.

Do It Yourself Skycapping? We pride ourselves in providing you the highest level of service in the industry. How often have I told travelers you’ll never touch your luggage except when you pack and unpack? Of course, someone has to touch your bags to get them from point A to B. That “someone” is actually a number of people, from your hard-working Tour Director to hotel bellmen; from your motorcoach driver to airport skycaps. Sadly, it seems many skycaps are the latest victims of the economy. In a growing number of airports, especially smaller regional airports, skycaps are being reduced both in numbers and in hours. Occasionally we find that skycaps are only found in the mornings. What does this mean for you? First and foremost, your Tour Director will always be there to help those who need it. But on occasion, you may hear our staff asking those who can to move their own bags from the bus into the terminal. It also means those requiring wheelchair assistance may have a longer wait. Patience has always been a virtue in travel, especially air travel. Never has this been truer than now. Thank you for your patronage and patience as together we make dreams come true in 2012 and into the future. “Your Tour Guy,”

Clayton Whitehead, CTP Vice President

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


The Customers Always Write Dear Mark, Thanks again for many happy years of travel and for the newsletters and catalog. I enjoy them so and they remind of the happy days I had while traveling with you. I am going into a senior residence (reluctantly, I might add). All the best from your friend in “the cheap seats,” Rosemary Niccum Hi Mark – Al and I will not be traveling any more. Al has had serious health problems for the last two years. We have wonderful memories of trips with you, Clayton, Pat Hansen, Joey, Ramona and others. Sports Leisure has been part of our lives for many years and we thank you for that Mark. Best of luck to you, Nellie Hunter Ed. Note: I hate “retirement” letters, and to have received two of them so close together from Nellie and Rosemary…sigh. We share together, we experience memorable times together. It is a privilege to be able to share the world with you and make a living doing it. There is no better “job” on this earth. To Nellie, Al and Rosemary, thank you for all your years of travel. Thank you for the dollars, for the kindnesses and for the laughter. We will keep traveling, but we will miss you a lot. And so it goes… Clayton – Thank you for the cool postcard of NYC that arrived yesterday. Brought back good memories. And – the Thanksgiving in New York trip was THE highlight of our year. We gave you first billing and good press in our annual Christmas letter. THANKS for everything! Hedda Smithson, via the internet Well, my California friend – What a nice ad in our Gazette on Saturday! It made quite an impression and I was very touched by the personalization. As you know, it was my pleasure to welcome your group and I appreciate your public acknowledgement.


I’ve received some very nice cards from individuals in the group, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a box of candy. The gifts are generous, but the notes of appreciation saying that they loved Indiana County and the hospitality that they received really mean a lot. I’m very happy that you were pleased with your trip and as you said – we do make a pretty darn good team. I’m hoping and looking forward to working with you again in the future! Once again, my sincere thank you for placing the ad in the Gazette and publicly acknowledging how pleased you were with your trip! Penny Perman, Executive Director Indiana County Tourist Bureau, Indiana, PA, “Hometown of Jimmy Stewart” Ed. Note: Indeed, our 10th Annual Christmas Mystery Tour went to the hometown of Jimmy Stewart. We were a part of the “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival.” We were treated like kings and queens in Jimmy’s hometown, Indiana, Pennsylvania. Pictures and more dialog appear elsewhere in this edition of The Traveler, but if I told you it was one of the most perfect trips ever, I would not be too far off. Mystery Tours aren’t for everyone, but if you are willing to take the leap, you just might find yourself in Jimmy Stewart’s backyard. Sports Leisure Vacations: Thank you for your gift to Punahou School. Every aspect of the school benefits from philanthropic support like yours. Our students are offered an unparalleled scope of academic, athletic and co-curricular programs, and the Punahou community thrives on our beautifully maintained campus. We are better able to fulfill our mission at its highest level because of your generosity, and we appreciate it very much. With warm ahola, Kathryn Nelson Vice President, Punahou School, Hawaii Ed. Note: On our Real Hawaii trip this year, when we visited Oahu and took our

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

“President’s Tour,” visiting many of the places President Obama lived, worked and played in his youth. We also stopped at Punahou School. There we were met by Mr. Eric Kusunoki, who was the president’s home room teacher for four years. He regaled us with stories from the president’s early years, told us about getting invited to the White House and let me tell you, it was probably the most fascinating 30 minutes most of us had experienced in a long while. Thank you to Mr. Kusunoki, who was ever so hospitable, for leaving his class briefly to come and talk to our group. It was a truly memorable experience. Almost like meeting the president. Dear Mark, Mahalo nui loa! Thank you very much for taking Betty and I with you on The Real Hawaii trip. Betty’s reaction upon seeing relatives and friends after 17 years was precious! Could not have happened without you. Betty and I hope that you are feeling better and back to your “old” self! Your travel buddies, Don & Betty Getting Ed. Note: It was fun for us too Don, watching Betty reconnect with all her long lost friends. She seemed to know everyone on the Big Island. I think the entire group enjoyed Betty’s reunion. Dear Mark & Clayton, Recently I found it prudent to return early from one of your international trips (Canada Coast-to-Coast). I suspect some tour companies might have said, “Your decision, your problem.” But not Sports Leisure. You are to be congratulated on employing such a caring and helpful staff. I can personally testify that Chris, our Tour Director, has an incredible amount of TLC in his DNA. Not only did he skillfully manage a complex trip and diverse personalities, he dealt with lost luggage (mine) and a lost passport (mine), all with grace and good humor. Michael and Kevin in your office

made all the arrangements necessary to get me home, while Chris handled things in Toronto. I’m not sure how much longer I will be traveling, but until that day comes you can be sure any trips I take will be with Sports Leisure. Gratefully, Dona Townsend Dear Mark and Chris, Wow, what a trifecta! D.C., New York City and Boston… The thrill of the big cities at holiday time is unmatched – all decorated for Christmas and sparkling with lights AND more people and traffic. Chris you were amazing in getting our group through the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink and tree area without losing anyone, since it was total gridlock with both pedestrians and vehicles. Also, without our favorite New York bus driver, Ron, navigating us back to the hotel we would have been out of luck. This being only one of many highlights on a memorable holiday adventure. Thanks guys for a FAB trip! Merry Christmas and a healthy 2012! Ruth Werner P.S. In addition, all my points made this a free trip for me! What a great Christmas gift – Thanks, Mark. Ed. Note: Thank you Ruth. Always a pleasure to have you as a part of a fun trip! Congrats on reaching the top of the Gold Passport Point Reward list and earning a free trip. Once you’ve traveled 20 days, you can start earning those Passport Points and you’ll soon be on a complimentary trip too! Mark/Clayton – Just a note to say that I would like to see Cassie more as a Tour Director on our excursions. I think she has just the right mix of cordial hospitality and efficiency. Diane Caldeira Dear Sports Leisure, How are you exceptional? Let me count the ways! Our adventure to Branson allowed me to experience just the most professional treatment. Everyone involved took good care of us and went above the call of duty. Kudos to Scott, Michael, Mark,

Clayton and everyone else who helped getting us there, choosing the shows, food locations, bus company and our driver John and returning us home. Loving you all!! Beverly Gikas, Fellow Traveler on Planet Earth and beyond Just a note – I go on some of your day trips and do appreciate the snacks you furnish, but I was rather surprised on a recent trip to find a tray with pretzel sticks (unwrapped) being passed from person to person. I do not feel that is very sanitary and recommend that be discontinued. Thank you. Unsigned Mark, Kevin, Scott & Clayton – Thank you! I may not get to see or meet with all of you at conventions, but I appreciate each of you. Thank you for your continued business. We are a little fish in a big sea. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of you all. Merry Christmas! Jennifer Morkert Elizabeth Street Inn, Newport OR Mark and Clayton, My name was called on The Travel Guys Radio Show Sunday, October 30th to receive a $100 tour certificate. However, I was actually on a Sports leisure trip to Cirque du Soleil in San Francisco. A person that knew me heard the program. This person lives in Elk Grove. She did not have my phone number or e-mail. So she called a friend of hers who I also know. That person did not have my information, but she called my sister-in-law in Roseville and she called me Monday morning and said I only had a small amount of time to claim my prize. I did and was delighted! What’s the old saying, “telegraph, telephone, tell-a-woman?” Thank you so much. Pat Zanetta Dear Sir: In the many years that I have been a member of Sports Leisure, I have never been disappointed with the tours I have

taken. The recent Great Pumpkin trip was an exception. The facilities at the rest stop were unusable. Most of the shops in Pacifica were closed for the season. The banquet room we were seated in was dark and had no view of the ocean. Joey did a fantastic job under the circumstances. I realize that some things are beyond your control but if you do consider doing this trip again, you might tweek a few things. Thank you for all the work you do to put these unusual trips together year after year. Sincerely, Nancy Olde Ed. Note: Nothing wrong with a honest critique of an outing. Thank you Nancy. We’ll give the itinerary a once over before it is repeated. HHHHHHHHH Thanks to Connie, Mary and Mary, who sent copies of photos from past trips. They won’t reprint here, but I truly appreciate you sending them along. Thanks to Matilda who forwarded to us her coverted peanut brittle recipe, which is now under lock and key. Also thanks to Bunny for the article about elephants. The Stinger Foundation from Sacramento State sends their thanks for our support of their programs, and the Sacramento Capitolaires also sent a nice thank you letter after we had them on the radio to promote their Christmas show. That’s the wonderful thing about The Travel Guys Radio Show. It gives us the chance to promote local arts and non-profit groups. It’s a way of “paying it forward.” It is, the Sports Leisure way. Thank you for all your letters. Several didn’t get printed, just because space wouldn’t allow. But they all got read. – Mark If you have a comment, suggestion or tour idea, we invite you to drop us a line. Due to space limitations, not all letters can be printed (others may be edited). Mail to: Sports Leisure Vacations Attn: Mark/Clayton 9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 Sacramento, CA 95827 Or e-mail Mark or Clayton at:

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


The Human Side Learn, Laugh, Reflect Back In The Day... In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.” The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation didn’t care enough to save our environment.” He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks. But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day. Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right, they didn’t


Kids In Church

My Last Trip To Sam’s Club

• 3-year-old Reese : ”Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen.” • After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, ”That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.” • One particular four-year-old prayed, ”And forgive us our trash baskets, as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.” • A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. ”If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’ Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, ”Ryan, you be Jesus!” • A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, ”Would you like to say the blessing?” ”I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied… ”Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, ”Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

Yesterday I was at my local Sam’s Club buying a large bag of Purina small dog chow for my loyal pets, Millie and Max, the Lap Dogs. I was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had a pet elephant? So since I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV’s in both arms. I told her it was essentially a Perfect Diet and the way it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.) Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle’s rear end and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. Sam’s Club won’t let me shop there anymore. Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

have the green thing back then. They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But they didn’t have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids walked or rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead

of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?!

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

Teasers Boeing, Boeing: Aviation in the Pacific Northwest

Mammoth Lakes, Movies and Ghost Towns

Find Yourself in Salt Lake City

3 Days • August 2012 Enjoy three full days exploring the aviation history of the Pacific Northwest. Watch jets including the new 787 being assembled at Boeing’s Wide-Body Jet Manufacturing Plant and Future of Flight Center in Everett. Visit the Boeing Restoration Facility where various aircraft are rebuilt and refinished for display. At the Boeing Museum of Flight, a private tour will introduce you to the history of flight, from a recreation of the first Boeing workshop to static displays of historic aircraft. Ever wanted to step on a Concorde or former Air Force One Presidential Jet? Here’s your chance. The Flying Heritage Collection owned by Paul Allen, a founding partner of Microsoft, contains various war aircraft that have been meticulously restored to flight condition. Up for a scenic floatplane ride? That may be an option on this tour. Of course, several other Seattle highlights will be included. Call to place your name on our Priority Notification List today!

October 2012 Option A: 6 Days, Highway 395 to Las Vegas and fly home Option B: 9 Days, Round trip on SuperCoach III returning by Highway 95 through Nevada Travel from Sacramento on board SuperCoach III through South Lake Tahoe to Mammoth Lakes. Explore the ghost town of Bodie and Mono Lake. Visit Devils Postpile and ride the Mammoth Mountain gondola. Spend one night in Lone Pine with a guided tour of Alabama Hill and the Lone Pine Movie Museum. Enjoy brunch at the Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley. Stay two nights just minutes south of the strip at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa. Visit the ghost town of Good Springs and tour the Techatticup Mine. Fly home from Las Vegas (Option A) or continue on SuperCoach III (Option B) back to Sacramento through Nevada, visiting the ghost town of Rhyolite, the Goldwell Open Air Museum, and the Haunted Goldfield Hotel. Spend two nights in Tonopah and visit The Ordnance Museum in Hawthorne. Please mention which option you prefer when placing your name on the Priority Notification List.

4 Days • September 2012 Fly to Utah’s capital city and enjoy 3 nights at the Hilton Hotel located just a few blocks off Temple Square. Highlights include a concert by the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir and a Salt Lake City tour including the Utah State Capitol and Temple Square. On Day 2 you’re invited to “find yourself” (and your kin) at the Family Search Center, our nation’s foremost genealogical research facility. Bring the names and dates of a few ancestors and the staff will assist you using their exhaustive computer database. Possible daytrips include nearby Park City, home of Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival and 2006 Olympic venues, Wendover, located along the historic Lincoln Highway and the WWII home of the Enola Gay, or return to the Family Search Center for another day of discovery. When you place your name on the Priority Notification List, please let us know your preference. The price should be available in a few weeks.

“Show Me” TV Stars In Branson Featuring Dick Van Dyke and Greg Brady 6 Days • September 2012 Fly direct into Branson on Frontier Airlines. Spend 5 nights at the Hilton on Branson Landing. See Andy Williams, with guest TV legend Dick Van Dyke, and Barry Williams, Greg on television’s The Brady Bunch, along with his live five piece band and his new multi-media show specially created for Branson audiences. Other shows include Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff, the Twelve Irish Tenors, Japanese violinist Shoji Tabuchi and more to be announced. Also visit the poignant Titanic Museum during the centennial anniversary of the loss of the great ship. Enjoy a local sightseeing tour and brunch at the Big Cedar Lodge, a Sports Leisure favorite. Call now to be placed on the Priority Notification List.

Cruising the Pacific Coast on the ms Zaandam 5 Days • October 23-27, 2012 Here’s a perfect close to home cruise on board Holland America Line’s Zaandam. As the luxurious ship repositions from Vancouver to San Diego, you’ll make a port call in Victoria where optional shore excursions include visits to Butchart Gardens and High Tea at the Empress Hotel. Two full days at sea follow en route to San Diego to give you time to explore your ship, all the while enjoying the first-class service for which Holland America is known. The tour will include air, transfers and door-to-door service. Cabin categories and prices will be available soon. Call now to place your name on the Priority Notification List.

The Hills Are Alive in Switzerland August 2013 Our Switzerland tour is unlike anything else you’ll find in the marketplace. We’ll take you into the hills and off the beaten path to a region of the country seldom visited by Americans, the Bernese-Oberland. The highlight of your visit will be a multi-night stay in the tiny hillside village of Wengen, so remote and isolated that it can only be reached by cog railway. At night, you’ll hear no cars, trucks or horns—they aren’t allowed—only the steady hum of cow bells. You’ll go to the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch at over 11,000 feet above sea level, the tallest mountain on earth a “normal” person can ascend (thanks to the cog railway). Visit Interlaken, Lucerne, Kleine Scheidegg, the Schilthorn, Piz Gloria and more. Tour by train, cable car, funicular and even postal truck! Roundtrip air will be to/from Zurich.

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


Casino Trips and Teasers Take the Snow Train to Reno All Aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr for the Sierra Nevada 2 Days • March 22-23 SuperCoach III picks you up and delivers you to Sacramento’s historic rail station. Don’t worry about your luggage – it will travel onboard the motorcoach! Once aboard the train, enjoy relaxing views from your reserved seat or from the domed observation car. A box lunch is included for you to take with you so you won’t miss a thing! In Reno, stay at The Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino, enjoy dinner at your leisure and gamble the night away. An optional stop at the Nugget in Sparks on the second day will be offered and includes an additional casino bonus if you participate. Return to Sacramento onboard SuperCoach III. The package includes the California Zephyr to Reno, a boxed lunch, accommodations, casino bonuses, and return transportation on SuperCoach III. 250 Gold Passport Points. $229 p.p./dbl.occ., $249 single

Casino Mystery Overnighter 2 Days • April 24-25 You just never know where you are going to end up on a Sports Leisure Mystery tour. Of course, this is a casino trip so you know there will be dealers and one-armed bandits along the way. Here’s a few clues to get you thinking about your destination: It’s April but there is always chance of a freeze. First names are important but we should all have a nickname. We’ll party until the cows come home, or maybe we’ll just head over to their place. Everyone’s got a brand, but this one is really tasteful. The tour will include motorcoach transportation on SuperCoach III, overnight accommodations, one lunch, casino bonuses (subject to change), and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 300/350 Gold Passport Points $299 p.p./ dbl.occ., $349 single

The Lettermen At the Carson Valley Inn May 20-21 Depart Sacramento from one of our convenient pick up points aboard Supercoach III to the south shore of Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the popular Forest Champagne Brunch at Harrah’s and travel the scenic drive over the Sierras down Kingsbury Grade to the town of Minden and the newly renovated Carson Valley Inn. Enjoy the 3pm matinee performance of The Lettermen with the evening at your leisure. From their first hit in 1961, “The Way You Look Tonight,” 18 Gold Albums and countless hits attest to a popularity that has endured through several generations. The next morning make an (optional) visit to the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center. On your way back home stop once again at Lake Tahoe for lunch on your own before arriving back in Sacramento between 4-5pm. 250/300 Gold Passport Points. $229 p.p/dbl.occ., $269 single (incl. show) $199 p.p/dbl.occ., $239 single (no show)


Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

The 2012 Ballpark Express For over 30 years, the BEST way to get to the ballparks in Oakland and San Francisco has been with Sports Leisure Vacations. The original Ballpark Express allows you to travel to the game in comfort without the traffic, tolls, gas and food stops, etc. Refreshments are served on board the motorcoach on your way to and from each game. You’ll enjoy Lower Deck seating for all A’s games and your choice of Lower Deck Outfield seats (first price listed) or View Level Infield seats (second price listed) for Giants games. Please request your seating area when making your reservation.

San Francisco Giants Wed., Apr, 4 (Pre-Season)

Giants vs. Athletics

12:45pm $90/$85

Thurs., May 17

Giants vs. Cardinals

12:45pm $107/$99

Sat., June 2

Giants vs. Cubs*



Sun., June 10

Giants vs. Rangers



Sun., July 29

Giants vs. Dodgers



Sun., Sept. 9

Giants vs. Dodgers*



Thurs. Sept. 27 (Fan Appreciation Day)

Giants vs. Diamondbacks

12:45pm $107/$99

Field Level (First Deck) seats are generally located in Section 132 in Left Field. View Level (Third Deck) seats are gernerally located in Section 317, behind home plate. * Includes a one-way ferry ride to the ballpark on board the Baylink Ferry from Vallejo. Return to Sacramento on board SuperCoach III.

Oakland Athletics Thurs., June 21

Athletics vs. Dodgers 12:35pm $99

Sun., June 24

Athletics vs. Giants



Sun., July 22

Athletics vs. Yankees



Sun., Sept. 2

Athletics vs. Red Sox



Wed., Oct. 3 (Fan Appreciation Day)

Athletics vs. Rangers

12:35pm $99

All games: Field Level Seats located in Right Field, just past First Base.

The Champagne Express to Tahoe Harvey’s Casino Thursday, March 15, Monday, April 16 or Tuesday, May 15 Our monthly trips to Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Casino on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe includes a 6-hour stay with a slot credit of $20 and a free buffet or $7 food credit. You must belong to Harvey’s Total Rewards program to receive the bonuses. $40

Day Trips and Theatre Outings San Francisco’s Scenic Seagull Featuring lunch at the Cliff House Tuesday, February 21 Follow the iconic blue seagull signs through the neighborhoods of San Francisco with our guide Craig Smith. These signs were originally designed to highlight the sights for visitors to the 1939 Golden Gate Expo and Fair. Enjoy a nostalgic spin about town and down along The Great Highway with lunch included in The Bistro Café at the Cliff House. $136

Fly Away for Lunch Wednesday, February 29 You won’t have to pack a suitcase for this “fly-away” tour. The spectacular new terminal at Sacramento International Airport features soaring architecture, spacious atriums, and terrazzo floors. Of course, the real stars are the fanciful works of public art. Discover them on a docent-guided tour and enjoy lunch overlooking the Sacramento River at the Rio City Café. $106

Marvin Hamlisch Gallo Center, Modesto Thursday, March 1 Marvin Hamlisch’s life in music is notable for its great versatility as well as substance. He has won virtually every major award that exists including a Pulitzer Prize for the groundbreaking A Chorus Line. Writer of music from The Sting, The Way We Were, and Ice Castles, it’s an evening of memorable music and stories. Dinner is included at the Canal Street Grill prior to the 7pm show. $151

You Have a Date for Lunch… for the Children Monday, March 5 Providing specialized care for children free of charge, Sacramento’s Shriners Children’s Hospital is a star in the region’s healthcare industry. Explore the hospital on a private tour and then enjoy lunch at the Casa Garden Restaurant. Managed by the Los Niños Service League, all gratuities

benefit the Sacramento Children’s Home. All proceeds from the trip will be given to the two charities. $90

Vallejo Ferry for a cruise across San Francisco Bay where SuperCoach III will be waiting to return you home. $135

Quilts, Bricks and Glass


Wednesday, March 7 The bright and colorful quilts and wall hangings of mixed media artist Yvonne Porcella will brighten the walls of the new Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock. The Arts Center has risen from the fire that closed its doors in 2005, bigger and brighter than ever. Beautiful new columns of steel and walls of glass blend into the venerable brick of the 1916 library building. Lunch is included in Turlock at Vito’s Ristorante after your visit. Stop at Hilmar Cheese Factory on the return to Sacramento. $104

East Sonora Theater Wednesday, March 14 The exciting era of vaudeville and burlesque come alive in this classic musical fable centering on the early life of entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee. Presented by Sierra Repertory Theatre, it’s a moving theatrical experience centered on the thorny, but ultimately redemptive relationship between a mother and daughter. The score is jam-packed with iconic songs like “Let Me Entertain You,” “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” and “Together Wherever We Go.” Lunch is included at the Willow Creek Steakhouse in Jamestown. $121

Jonathan Winters & Friends Gallo Center, Modesto Sunday, March 11 It all started with a lost wristwatch. Having no money to replace it, Jonathan Winters’ wife convinced him to enter a talent contest where first prize was a wristwatch. The rest is history. Winters has starred on television and in such classic movies as “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World.” He will be joined onstage by several other acts including impersonator Paul Boland, comedian Pete Barbutti, and the singing and dancing Gold Diggers. This show may include strong language and is intended for mature audiences. Dinner is included at the Canal Street Grill prior to the 7pm show. $151

Getting Around San Francisco Tuesday, March 13 Begin with SuperCoach III service to the East Bay to meet our buddy BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). A short time later emerge from under the bay in downtown San Francisco. A cable car will whisk you over the hills to Fisherman’s Wharf for an included lunch at the venerable Franciscan Restaurant. After some time to explore the wharf, board the

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show San Mateo Event Center Wednesday, March 21 This annual event is a Sports Leisure favorite. Travel with us to see this world-class show where the flowers and plants for the more than 20 display gardens come from up and down the west coast. Marvel at the wares offered by dozens of vendors selling garden-related goods, attend free seminars or just simply stop and enjoy the colors and beauty surrounding you. Lunch is at your leisure. $90

South Pacific Woodland Opera House Saturday, March 24 Rogers and Hammerstein’s timeless classic comes to the stage at the Woodland Opera House. The popular musical follows two couples on a South Pacific island during World War II: a dashing French ex-patriot and US Navy nurse and a Marine Corps officer and local island girl. Exploring the theme of racial prejudice, the story follows the couples with a score featuring such classics as “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” “Bali Ha’i,”

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


and “Some Enchanted Evening.” Lunch is included at Tazzina Bistro in Woodland. $115

Maharajah: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts Wednesday, March 28 The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is the first U.S. venue for this exciting exhibit which explores the extraordinary culture of princely India. Showcasing rich and varied objects that reflect royal life, the exhibit features paintings, jewelry and jeweled objects, tapestries, dress, metalwork and furniture. Museum docents provide a private tour followed by time to explore the other collections and enjoy lunch at your leisure. $94

Spring on the Napa Valley Wine Train Thursday, March 29 Celebrate springtime with a gourmet lunch and beautiful ride on the rails through the Napa Valley. The grapevines will be coming alive and perhaps wild mustard will dot the green fields before you with tones of yellow. The Wine Train chefs will prepare a moveable feast while you sit back and enjoy a day of relaxation, tasty treats, and scenic sights. $154

Brunch with the Tsars Sunday, April 1 One hundred years ago, Russian settlers established Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast. In honor of the centennial anniversary, the Sonoma County Museum presents “The Tsar’ Cabinet: 200 Years of Decorative Arts Under the Romanovs.” View more than 120 ornate household pieces and ceremonial objects once handled by Peter I, Catherine the Great, and Nicholas II. Historic photos accompany the dinnerware, porcelain eggs, and other items. Sunday Brunch is included prior to visiting the museum. $115

office hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm MON. thru FRI. Closed weekends & major holidays CLOSED TUES. 12:00pm – 1:15pm


You’ve Got a Date for Lunch in Volcano Monday, April 2 Join us for lunch in the small Sierra foothills community of Volcano at the historic Union Inn. Built in 1880 by four French Canadians, the inn was first a boarding house for miners. Learn more about the history of the area while dining on fresh, flavorful and seasonable entrees prepared with local ingredients. (If you have dined with us at Taste in Plymouth, this is its sister restaurant). Pause at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park to view its incredible collection of Miwok baskets. $108

Cruising Tahoe’s Northshore Tuesday, April 3 Here’s a unique opportunity to cruise Tahoe’s Northshore. For a limited time, the Tahoe Queen paddlewheeler will be offering day cruises from Incline Village and you’re invited! Enjoy the beautiful scenery of snowcapped mountains as the captain navigates the deep blue waters past the Cal Neva Hotel and George Whittell’s Thunderbird Lodge, sharing the history and folklore of the area. A deli buffett lunch is included on board with a stop at the UCD Thomas Long Education Center for a closer look at the ecology of Lake Tahoe. $118

Spring in San Francisco Thursday, April 5 Visit the San Francisco Flower Market to savor the scents and sights and shop for flowers and greenery for your home just in time for Easter. Experience Macy’s Annual Flower Show in Union Square featuring lavish displays of flowers and plants. This year’s theme “Tower of Flowers” showcases floral architecture and specialty gardens bursting with color and imagination. Enjoy free time for browsing, shopping, and lunch on your own before returning home. $74

Easter at Ironstone Sunday, April 8 Return to the Sierra Foothills with our festive daytrip to enjoy an Easter brunch buffet at the beautiful Ironstone Winery,

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

just outside Murphys, overlooking its green vineyards and orchards. Stroll through the blooming gardens, visit the history museum and, of course, sample some of the winery’s award-winning wines and maybe bring home a few bottles! You may also catch the area’s children in a spirited Easter egg hunt on the lawns of the estate. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the drive through the foothills and quaint gold rush towns. $125

The Covered Bridge Monday, April 9 One of our most popular daytrips! Spend the day in Chico beginning with a visit to the Orient & Flume Glass Studio where you can watch master artisans at work. Learn about the founder of Chico on a private tour of historic Bidwell Mansion and explore the adjacent visitors center. Finish the day with a visit to one of Northern California’s remaining covered bridges – the Honey Run Bridge. Lunch is served at a new favorite – Mom’s Restaurant in the heart of downtown. $105

What’s Copperopolis? Tuesday, April 10 Nestled in the Sierra Foothills is a little community with a big name, Copperopolis. We will be joined today by the Calaveras County concierge, Suki Tuthill, as she introduces us to some of the local characters of this area. Visit The Old Pioneer Saloon that served as both a hotel and brothel during the “copper rush,” learn about the history of the area as well as its newest commodity, olive oil, and enjoy lunch at the Saddle Creek Golf Resort, a spectacular new dining location in the foothills. $114

Gaultier & The Victorian Cult of Beauty The de Young Museum & Legion of Honor Wednesday, April 11 Travel to San Francisco for two spectacular exhibits. Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible, John Paul Gaultier emerged as a designer in the 1980’s developing his own codes of dress that reflected the changing world. This exhibit at the de Young includes 120 haute couture designs, sketches, video clips,

and fashion photographs that chronicle his design and influence. Also view the Legion of Honor’s exhibit “The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 18601900.” Celebrating the Victorian Aesthetic Movement whose motto was “art for art’s sake,” view paintings, decorative arts, furniture, textiles, and jewelry. The Legion is the only U.S. venue for the exhibit which includes over 180 artworks. Lunch is on your own at either of the museum cafes. $101

A Day at the Races Thursday, April 12 Our always popular Day at the Races includes a buffet lunch and seating in the enclosed Turf Club at Golden Gate Fields by beautiful San Francisco Bay in Berkeley. Enjoy the races from a comfortable table with betting windows conveniently nearby and television monitors throughout the dining room. We’ll arrive to get settled before post time and the first race. $99

Mamma Mia! Gallo Center for the Arts Saturday, April 14 On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years before. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs, including “Dancing Queen,” “Take A Chance on Me,” “The Winner Takes it All,” and, of course, “Mamma Mia” propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Lunch precedes the 2pm matinee at the Canal Street Grille. $184

Gershwin hit parade including “Can’t Get Started,” “Spring Again,” “Long Ago and Far Away,” and “The Man That Got Away.” Enjoy free time for lunch at your leisure in Union Square before the 2pm matinee. $127

An Afternoon with Debbie Reynolds Marin Center, San Rafael Sunday, April 22nd What becomes a legend most? Well, everything, if you’re Debbie Reynolds and can look back at a career spanning more than six decades. Enjoy an afternoon with this legend re- living her favorite moments and see why at 78, Debbie Reynolds is, and always has been, America’s Sweetheart. Lunch is included at Chalet Basque before the 3pm matinee. $154

A Day of Wildflowers and Roses Monday, April 23 In April there is an explosion of flowers in the little valley that is the 1895 homestead of Eleven Roses Ranch near Clear Lake. Meet Anne Garner who will share some stories about her heritage and her connection to the ranch. A wagon ride through the valley with horses Belle and Blue accompany a chuckwagon BBQ. There is also time to walk around and take some pictures of the flowers and animals or just sit and enjoy

the beautiful setting with your friends. Stop briefly at Granzella’s in Williams before returning to Sacramento. $119

Big Band Blast! Gallo Center for the Arts Friday, April 27 This rousing blast from the past features guest stars Mary Ann Mobley and the String of Pearls vocal group. A cavalcade of hits provided by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, under the baton of Bill Tote, is expected to include Amapola, Maria Elena, Green Eyes, Change Partners, Tangerine, and Besame Mucho. Enjoy dinner prior to the 7pm show at the Canal Street Grille. $153

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash Fallon House Theater, Columbia Wednesday, May 2 A tuneful, foot-stomping celebration of America’s legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, as told through the songs he composed and recorded. Though he is never impersonated, the remarkable life story of “The Man in Black” is told through his music, performed by gifted singers and instrumentalists climaxing in a concert that will both move and exhilarate. Lunch is included prior to the 2pm matinee at the City Hotel in historic Columbia. $125

The Man That Got Away Jewish Community Center in SF Sunday, April 15th Created and narrated by internationally renowned critic and author Rex Reed, this musical follows the life of lyricist Ira Gershwin in the decades of phenomenal output that followed his brother George’s death. Featuring a star studded Broadway cast, the performance includes 27 numbers from the

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Spend a day with Belle and Blue at Eleven Roses Ranch on April 23 Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


A Day at Safari West Thursday, May 3 Nestled in the foothills of Sonoma County lies a unique 400-acre animal preserve for animals from around the world including giraffes, rhinoceros, cheetahs, lemurs, and monkeys. Safari West has on ongoing mission of wildlife preservation through breeding, education, research and public interaction. Your adventure begins with lunch, followed by a 45 minute ride on a guided tram tour. A 45 minute guided walk through the aviaries and small animal compound completes your visit. $139

Teahouse of the August Moon Nevada Theatre, Nevada City Satuday, May 5 The Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra presents this wonderful comedy about culture clash at the historic Nevada Theatre. In the aftermath of World War II, a U.S. Army Captain is transferred to a tiny

Remembering our friends… We take a moment to remember members of our travel family who have passed recently. People may come and go, but the memories we create together and the energy surrounding them, last forever. The foundations we support, the projects we lend a dollar or a hand to in our travels, those are our legacy. Below are some of the people who helped create that legacy. We will miss them, each and every one. June Swift Helen Nixon Della Mae Moore Larry McCarron Sheila Newman Ralph Howell It is our desire to honor any member of our family who has passed, but realistically, we know we will not be aware of every situation. It is never our intention to slight anyone. Should you know of a friend or traveling companion we can remember here, please drop Mark a note.


Okinawa island town called Tobiki with the job of teaching the natives all things American. Chaos and confusion reign but through the villagers, Captain Fisby starts to see the beauty of preserving their culture and a slower way of life. Enjoy lunch prior to the 2pm matinee at the Northern Queen Inn. Secret Staff Code: Tomato $119

SF Symphony’s Barbary Coast & Beyond Davies Symphony Hall, SF Saturday, May 12 Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra celebrate the musical roots and heritage of the City by the Bay in Barbary Coast and Beyond: Music from the Gold Rush to the Panama-Pacific Exposition, with music written from the mid-1800s through the orchestra’s founding in 1911. With MTT as curator, conductor, and host, soprano Laura Claycomb, violinist Vadim Gluzman, pianist Anton Nel, and organist Cameron Carpenter capture the exuberant energy and confident swagger of The City in its formative musical years. Dinner is included at The Franciscan Restaurant prior to the 8pm show. $159

Beach Blanket Babylon Club Fugazi, San Francisco Sunday, May 20 There’s nothing quite like Beach Blanket Babylon. San Francisco’s longest-running staged comedy show pokes fun at everyone – politicians, celebrities and other folks in the public eye. The songs are hilarious, the dancing wonderful, and the hats are really, really big! Reserved seats are upstairs (no elevator) in this historic theatre in the center balcony. Enjoy an included lunch at Sports Leisure Favorite Viva Italian Restaurant. $153

Les Miserable Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco Wednesday, August 8th or Saturday, August 11th Come see what the New York Times is calling “an unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish.” Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, this is an epic and

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

uplifting story about the human spirit and the life journey of Jean Valjean during the tumultuous years of the French Revolution. The magnificent score of includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Bring Him Home,” “Master of the House,” and many more. Seating is in the orchestra for the 2pm matinee performances. A box lunch is included for Wednesday trips with a no-host dinner stop at Pier 39 following the show. The Saturday departure includes a no–host lunch stop prior to the show in the area of Union Square. Wed. – $148, Sat. – $162

War Horse Curran Theatre Wednesday, September 5th or Saturday, September 8th Winner of 6 Tony Awards including Best Play, and now a popular motion picture, War Horse is the powerful story of young Albert’s horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. When Joey is caught in enemy crossfire he ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man’s land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. At the heart of the show are life-sized puppets which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. A box lunch is included for Wednesday trips with a no-host dinner stop at Pier 39 following the performance. The Saturday departure includes a no–host lunch stop prior to the show in the area of Union Square. Due to the popularity of the show, all group seating is in the Center Mezzanine (no elevator). If you have SEVERE accessibility issues, a limited number of accessible seats in the last row of the orchestra section are available. Please inquire at the time of reservation. Wed. – $143, Sat. – $152

SAVE THE DATES Spring Tour Preview Days Friday, April 13 & Saturday, April 14 Times and Location T.B.A. Look for more details in your March/April Newsletter

The Barber Pole, or Once Over Lightly Airline Upgrades In the last edition of The Traveler, we mentioned the option of upgrading your seating on the airplane. Our company policy has changed to allow Tour Directors to use their own miles and earned status to upgrade their accommodations in flight. Some of these opportunities are available to you, and we thought a further explanation would be helpful. You don’t have to have any elite status with United/Continental to buy seats in Economy Plus. You simply have to be willing to pony up $39-$89 per segment for extra leg room, perhaps that coveted aisle seat, etc. It’s not first class, but it’s a significant improvement over “cattle class.” The seats are apparently popular, because United is putting the expanded economy section in its Continental planes and Delta has announced they will follow suit. Frontier already has an expanded legroom section. So how do you get these seats? Usually, they are available to the masses 24 hours ahead of departure. If you have an interest in these “in-between” upgrades, mention it when you reserve your tour. “Hey, if any of those extra legroom seats are available, I’d love to know what they cost when the time comes.” We’ll put a note in your record. Or, when you are at the airport, it doesn’t hurt to ask your Tour Director if any of those seats might be available at the last minute. For those of you who have elite status with an airline, please share that information when registering for your tour. (Elite status is generally attained when you fly more than 25,000 miles in a year with an airline.) You may be automatically entitled to those upgraded seats or other privileges. If you have earned them, we want you to get them. Finally, for those of you who have mileage you have already earned, you can certainly use those miles to upgrade to first class (subject to availability) or even use them to pay for your ticket. If you have any questions, call our office and speak to Michael. He handles all the air arrangements, is very experienced and can walk you through

any questions you might have. He can also help you with the actual upgrading with the airline and collect any additional charges. We are here to make your travel experience the best it can be. Also remember you can earn miles on most domestic tickets and some international tickets while on tour. Sometimes, we accept fares that offer significant savings (in the case of an international trip, often hundreds of dollars) in exchange for giving up the miles. You may be able to pay for an upgraded class of service which allows you to receive mileage credit. Questions on a specific trip? Just ask Michael. (Note: Last year, a change in the way Southwest issued group tickets meant they no longer included frequent flyer credits. Beginning in July of this year [earlier on selected trips], we are no longer using group tickets, so you will be able to get your frequent flyer credits.)

Hotel Frequent Guest Programs Unlike the airlines, who often allow travelers to earn mileage on discounted tickets, hotels generally do not allow guests to earn credit when traveling with a group. This includes not only tours, but often times conventions and other gatherings. The logic being that you were given a rate that was better than any other available, and in exchange you lost earning privileges. There are some exceptions. Hilton allows you to receive credit for a “stay,” but not earn point or miles. There is some benefit to that for those trying to earn elite status with Hilton (or who already have it). Recently, a traveler who owns a Starwood Condo was able to receive an upgraded room in a Starwood member property by showing his membership card at the desk. If you have earned privileges with a hotel chain or airline, please let us know.

Requesting Your Feedback A recent letter to Mark asked about our policy regarding “oversized” travelers. It seems this person had reserved a seat and traveled with us on a trip, only to find that she was seated next to a rather large lady

on the coach. She said it was uncomfortable and while she didn’t want to be rude, she felt she was entitled to her seat space. We agree. Our official company policy is as follows: If a traveler asks, the litmus test is the armrest, same as Southwest Airlines. If you can’t but the arm rest in the down position, the person in the seat is too large and needs to purchase a second seat. That’s our official policy. Here’s our unofficial policy: We never sell more than 42 seats on an extended trip. The coaches we use on the road, while the same size as our SuperCoach III, have way more seats (and less leg room). So often times, there is extra room available to accommodate everyone without it ever becoming an issue. SuperCoach III, used for local trips, has extra legroom, allowing for some extra space in one direction. We’d love to hear from more of you about this particular issue (if you consider it to be one). Thank you.

Cancellation Protection Increases For the first time in 12 years, the price of our Cancellation Protection is going up. Effective with new extended trips announced after January 1 (the ones in this newsletter) the price of Cancellation Protection will be $6 per hundred dollar price of the trip. (For example, on a trip costing $1395, Cancellation Protection would cost $78 (6 x 13 = $78). The reason for the increase can be tracked to the airlines. They are now charging much higher cancellation fees on the tickets we buy/reserve. We considered creating two different prices, one for trips that fly and one for trips that don’t, but it would be an accounting nightmare. Our underwriter has been pushing for an increase for years, so like most things, it was inevitable. If you compare the prices, benefits and things like “preexisting conditions” clauses (which we do not have), I think you’ll find our Cancellation Protection is very competitively priced. If you are traveling internationally and wish to have more comprehensive coverage, we can help you with that also.

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


New Vacations and Getaways On the (Pismo) Beach A new itinerary perhaps makes this tour worth a second look 4 Days • April 27-30 H Highlights H • Experience ocean view accommodations • Attend the Great American Melodrama in Oceano • Tour Pismo Beach with a local historian • Wine tasting in the Edna Valley • Visit picturesque Avila Beach • 5 meals: 4 lunches, 1 dinner • Door-to-door transportation • Transportation on SuperCoach III • 1200/1450 Gold Passport Points 1. You’re picked up at your home this morning and driven to the Sports Leisure office where SuperCoach III is waiting to take you in comfort to Pismo Beach. Lunch is hosted in Salinas before arriving in Pismo Beach. Settle into your deluxe room with an ocean view and a patio or balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sea Crest Resort – 3 nights (L,D) 2. This morning tour Pismo Beach with a local historian with free time following to visit the shops downtown, or take a walk on the beach. We have created our own “Taste of Pismo,” a fun progressive visit to two restaurants in downtown Pismo, then it’s off to the nearby Edna Valley for wine tasting at two very different wineries and a visit to Arroyo Grande Village for dessert at Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab. If you prefer to skip the wine tasting and the visit to Arroyo Grande Village (there is a credit of $15) we will be making a stop after lunch at our hotel where you can have pie from Marie Callender’s Restaurant (which is in the hotel parking lot) with a free afternoon at your hotel to watch the waves. (L) 3. Travel to nearby Avila Beach. Lunch will be hosted with some free time to visit the shops or walk along the lovely beach. Tonight, enjoy the Vaudeville Review at the Great American Melodrama in Oceano. Whether it is a classic comedy routine or one of your favorite song and dance numbers, you are sure to have a good time traveling down memory lane! (L)


4. It’s time to leave your beach retreat and head for the valley. The Central Coast Lavender Farm has a special program to offer showing you how lavender oil is distilled and how lavender candles are made. Lunch is hosted in Paso Robles with a stop at Casa de Fruta on the way home to pick up a few fresh foods for home. Arrive in Sacramento in the late afternoon. (L) $1195 p.p./dbl.occ., $1445 single

arranged for a special luncheon that will make you feel like the “rich and famous!” After spending half the day on one of America’s most popular islands, it’s off to the airport for your return flight home. The package includes 7 meals, airfare, door-to-door service, all the activities listed, and 1350/1550 Gold Passport Points. $1350 p.p./dbl.occ., $1540 single $ave $40 until February 14

Luxury In La Jolla

Old Cape Cod, Provincetown to Nantucket

Theater in San Diego, lunch at the Hotel Del Coronado, sightseeing in La Jolla, stay at the Embassy Suites Hotel 4 Days • May 18-21 This is absolutely one of our most popular regional trips in recent years. Fly to San Diego, enjoy lunch on an island in the bay, then take a narrated drive on a historic section of Highway 101 to a classic diner, where you’ll enjoy ice cream, a malt or milkshake this afternoon. Your accommodations for three nights are at the Embassy Suites Hotel in La Jolla. Enjoy complimentary cocktails each evening and breakfast cooked-to-order each morning. The second day includes a visit to Birch Aquarium at Scripps for a fascinating educational program, followed by lunch at your leisure and time to browse the many upscale shops and galleries of town. A shuttle will be available back to your hotel. Tonight, dinner is included at your choice of P.F. Chang’s (across the street) or at Indulge, the hotel dining room. Day three offers you a guided tour of La Jolla, followed by brunch with a view of the ocean at The Crab Catcher, then a trip into downtown San Diego for an afternoon of theater (your choice of “The Scottsboro Boys” [musical/drama] or “Nobody Loves Me” [musical/comedy]). Your getaway concludes with a visit to Coronado Island. A guided tour with a local resident gives you all the inside scoop on this historic island and its magnificent hotel. You’ll have time to visit the hotel shops (great stuff, terribly overpriced) and we’ve

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

A day visit to Martha’s Vineyard plus two nights in Provincetown and two nights on Nantucket 7 Days • June 8-14 H Highlights H • One way ferry rides from Boston to Provincetown, Hyannis to Martha’s Vineyard, and MV to Nantucket • Overnight Boston, 2 nights Provincetown on the Cape, overnight Hyannis, 2 nights Nantucket • Guided tours in Provincetown (Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore), and on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard • Visit Chatham, home of many a sea captain – see the John F. Kennedy Museum and the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame in Hyannis • Visit the Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston • Free time to browse shops and galleries in the villages • 10 meals: 4 full breakfasts (also two continental breakfasts in Provincetown which are not included in the meal count), 1 lunch and 5 dinners, including a lobster feast • Home pick-up, SLV Tour Director • 3350/3700 Gold Passport Points 1. Arrive in Boston at approximately 5pm, after your departure from Sacramento. Transfer to your hotel for dinner and to rest up this evening. Your adventure begins in earnest tomorrow. Embassy Suites Logan Airport (D)

2. There’s so much to see in Boston, you could spend a week here. But since we are headed to the Cape, and that is the heart of “Kennedy Country,” we’ll take you to the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum this morning. There is so much to see and learn and remember there, good times and bad. After a stop at historic Old Quincy Market for lunch, head to the ferry dock, then off to Cape Cod. It’s the largest and fastest catamaran in the world, providing the smoothest and quickest journey to Provincetown or “P-Town.” The 90-minute trip offers food and beverage service and indoor or outdoor seating. On arrival, you’ll have time to visit the shops and galleries near the dock, in the heart of town. You’ll want to soak up some of the local flavor in this unique village. Our coach is available to take us on the short drive to the hotel. There’s time to explore Provincetown this afternoon (also time tomorrow) and dinner is at a restaurant right next door to the hotel. Surfside Hotel – 2 nights (B,D) 3. A guided tour of Provincetown this morning will acquaint you with the history and sea-lore of this small oceanside community. Travel over the sand dunes – yes, the sand dunes – to discover a whole new scenic world! An optional visit to the Well Fleet Audubon is offered this afternoon. Dine at a popular local spot for lunch, dinner is at your leisure. (CB,L) 4. Just south of P-Town on the southeast end of the Cape is Chatham. Arrive there

Enjoy two nights in the quaint village of Nantucket

via a route that takes you through small New England villages along the Cape Cod National Seashore. This village is known for its beautiful sea captains’ mansions and you’ll see some of them today. Browse the local shops and continue on to Hyannis, where the John F. Kennedy Museum gives you a “outside the presidential years” look at JFK’s life. In the basement is the Cape Cod Baseball Museum. Did you know nearly one-third of all major leaguers today played in this famous summer league? Tonight, it’s time for LOBSTERS… yum. Hyannis Hotel (CB,D) 5. After breakfast, stroll across the street to the Hy-Line Docks where you will board a high speed catamaran for a cruise to the “Storybook Island” of Martha’s Vineyard. You will learn about the history and lifestyle of the islanders as you travel through the island’s villages on a local bus tour. (Your visit to Martha’s Vineyard is intentionally short. Previous travelers have noticed a lack of hospitality/friendliness and have not rated the island as highly as Nantucket. For those reasons, we’ll keep our visit brief and enjoy an extended stay on Nantucket. Perhaps your opinions and comments will influence future itineraries.) There’s time for lunch and a tour and then we catch the inter-island ferry to Nantucket. On arrival, we’ll be transferred to the Nantucket Inn (two nights). Each night on the island, we’ll sample a different restaurant in town. (Complimentary shuttle provided.) (B,D) 6. After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a guided tour of the island. The tour ends in town, where you can enjoy lunch at your leisure and spend as much or as little time as you like in the shops and museums in town. We’ll offer you a couple of optional, included activities after lunch. Eventually, you’ll end up relaxing at your picturesque inn. This is the life you’ve

always dreamed of, the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Again tonight, we dine in town. (B,D) 7. Use the hotel shuttle to spend time in town or visiting a museum or two. Catch the shuttle back to the inn, which is just across the street from the small airport, in time for your 2:40pm flight to Kennedy Airport in New York. There’s time for dinner before our non-stop flight to the west coast, arriving home just before 11pm. (B) $3345 p.p./dbl.occ., $3695 single $ave $125 until February 14

U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials At the HP Pavilion in San Jose 4 Days • June 28 – July 1 Here are the long-awaited details on our trip to see the very best gymnasts in the United States compete for an opportunity to represent our country in London only a few weeks later at the Olympics. Our package includes all four days of competition and beautiful accommodations at the Embassy Suites Hotel in nearby Milpitas. Add in a bit of sightseeing around San Jose and the mountains of Santa Cruz and you’ve got an outstanding getaway. We’ll even pick you up at your front door! Ticket Locations for all events: Please note that the tickets we have purchased for the events are at the top of the lower bowl of the arena. This means fewer steps to climb when going to/from concessions/ rest rooms, and also allows for an overview of the entire arena floor. Those with mobility concerns should find it very convenient. Should you have any questions regarding ticket locations, please contact Kevin or Mark at our office (M-F, 9am – 4:30pm). 1. From your home you are transferred to the Sports Leisure office this morning for an 8am departure. Upon arrival in San Jose, enjoy a lovely brunch, then head to the “Shark Tank” (so named because the San Jose Sharks hockey team plays in the arena) for the first competition involving the men. At the conclusion of the matinee session, head for your hotel, where complimentary cocktails are offered each evening, and breakfast is cooked to order every morning

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


of your stay. Embassy Suites Milpitas – 3 nights (BR) 2. Today’s competition doesn’t begin until 5:30pm, so we’ll fill part of the day with a trip to the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains, home of the Roaring Camp Railroad. Ride among the redwood trees and enjoy an outdoor barbecue lunch. We’ll return to the hotel to give you a couple of hours off before the start of the women’s competition this evening. Return to your hotel approximately 10-11pm. (B,L) 3. The finals of the men’s competition begins today at 11am. After the awards ceremony, we’ll return to the hotel for cocktail hour, then a nice dinner. (B,D) 4. Once again, the competition today begins at 5:30pm. We’ll depart the hotel around 11am this morning for a city tour of San Jose. Learn how the Silicon Valley got its name, and visit some of the sites where the age of technology was born. Brunch is at the Hayes Mansion, a Sports Leisure favorite, in mid-afternoon. Arrive at the arena in time for the last competition, the women’s finals. After the awards ceremony, the coach will depart for Sacramento. Approximate return time is 11pm. Our fleet of Carey vehicles will be on hand at the Sports Leisure office to return you safely to your home at the late hour. Think about it. In just a few short weeks, the young men and women who performed so well for you will be representing our country in front of the world in London. (B,BR) Special Note: As of today, we have not confirmed our speaker for Sunday morning. It is a Sports Leisure tradition to invite a coach, athlete or broadcaster to speak to our group, to give us a little bit of inside knowledge on the competition. There are several opportunities in our schedule, but until the athletes and coaches get their schedules ironed out, we can’t confirm a speaker and a time. We’ll update you closer to the trip departure on this exciting Sports Leisure exclusive. For those of you who like to use your computer or iPad to explore, go to for more information on the team, the trials and the sport in general. The package includes door-to-door


service, 3 nights accommodations, tickets to 4 events, 7 meals – 2 brunches, 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner, transportation on board SuperCoach III, sightseeing as listed in the itinerary and the services of a Sports Leisure Tour Director. 1500/1650 GPP $1470 p.p./dbl.occ., $1625 single. $ave $40 until February 14

Crater Lake and the Umpqua National Scenic Byway 5 Days • July 3-7 H Highlights H • Experience a guideed rim tour of Crater Lake Nat’l Park • Enjoy lunch at the Crater Lake Lodge • Explore the Umpqua Scenic Byway • Up close animal encounters at Wildlife Safari • Hellgate Jet Boat tour • Optional (extra cost) show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland • 10 meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners • Travel in comfort on SuperCoach III • Door-to-door service • 1450/1650 Gold Passport Points 1. Begin your journey with door-to-door service provided by Carey Transportation’s fleet of vehicles with service to the Sports Leisure office. Board SuperCoach III and head north, stopping for lunch in Redding. Arrive in the late afternoon in Klamath Falls. Dinner and the evening are at your leisure. Shilo Inn (L) 2. A remnant of a fiery volcanic past, Crater Lake is one of the deepest and bluest lakes in America with sheer surrounding cliffs almost 2,000 feet high! A ranger guided tour around the rim of this ancient volcano this morning will acquaint you with the geological history. After lunch at the historic Crater Lake Lodge, we travel the Rogue-Umpqua National Scenic Byway more commonly known as the “highway of waterfalls.” This route is considered one of the best roads in the nation for scenic beauty and is a destination unto itself. Along the way make several stops including Colliding Rivers, where the North Umpqua River crashes into the Little River, one of the

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

few places in the world where two rivers meet head-on. Tonight is the 4th of July and there will be fireworks at the city park. Holiday Inn Express, Roseburg (B,L,D) 3. Wildlife Safari is a 600-acre drivethrough park and village where you will have close encounters with animals from all over the world. Drive through a 4.5 mile trek to view over 500 animals from Africa, Asia and the Americas in their natural habitat roaming freely as they do in the wild. Southern Oregon is fast becoming known for its Tempranillo grapes. This afternoon stop at an award-winning winery that specializes in this grape as well as other reds. After wine tasting make your way south to Medford, in the heart of Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, stopping along the way at one of the areas covered bridges. Spring Hill Suites – 2 nights (B,D) 4. This morning depart on a 36-mile round trip jet boat ride through Hellgate Canyon, stopping down river at the OK Corral for an all you can eat country banquet. Relax and enjoy a unique lunch experience on the open-air deck overlooking the beautiful Rogue River. See the canyon where John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn filmed “Rooster Cogburn” and Matt Dillon plunged into the depths to escape a gang in hot pursuit in “Gunsmoke.” This afternoon visit the Rogue Creamery, with 70 years of making exemplary artisan blue and cheddar cheeses from the purest and finest whole milk in the Rogue Valley. Their blue cheeses continue to rank high amongst its European peers. And at Lillie Belle Farms, the awardwinning artisan chocolates are completely hand-made using time-honored European techniques, but with a true American twist. With almost 2 acres of organic raspberries, strawberries, and marionberries, the staff utilizes its abundant crops to make fruitfilled bon bons and truffles. Tonight there is an option to visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland (extra cost of $77.00) to see the 8:30pm performance of Romeo and Juliet (indoor at the Angus Bowmer Theatre) or Henry V (outdoor at the Elizabethan Stage. Please request your optional show at time of tour registration. (B,L) 5. Harry & David’s Country Village is

located across from our hotel. There will be time this morning to make a visit before saying farewell to Oregon and head back into California. Stop for a hosted lunch before arriving home in the evening, your journey made just a little more comfortable by our exclusive SuperCoach III. (B,L) $1445 p.p./dbl.occ., $1630 single $ave $35 until February 14

Rivercats Road Trip to Reno 2 Days • July 30-31 A great Triple-A rivalry has been built between the Sacramento Rivercats and the Reno Aces. Join us for plenty of fun on this two-game getaway. 1. Enjoy a mid-morning departure from Sacramento and get to Reno in time for an included lunch. A pre-game visit from a member of the Sacramento Rivercats organization is tentatively scheduled dependent on the team’s schedule for the day. Check into your hotel and change into your fan gear for tonight’s 7pm game between the Rivercats and the Reno Aces. Silver Legacy Resort & Casino (L) 2. Sleep in a little this morning before a second ballgame at 1pm. Return to Sacramento in the late afternoon. The tour features roundtrip transportation aboard SuperCoach III, accommodations, all admissions as listed in the itinerary, 1 lunch, and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 350/400 Gold Passport Points $335 p.p./dbl.occ, $355 single $ave $10 until February 14

from your reserved center orchestra seating within the covered tent. Travel to the festival along historic Hwy 49 and designated Scenic Byway Highway 4. This year a special treat is in store as William Florian, one of the original performers with the New Christy Minstrels, will serenade you during lunch on the second day. 1. SuperCoach III picks you up at one of our convenient locations to begin the day. Pause in Sonora at the beautiful Union Hill Inn for lunch and a walk through the gardens. Continue to Bear Valley Village checking in to the Bear Valley Lodge in the late afternoon. Stroll around the area and have an early dinner before the evening performance. Our hotel is located at 7100’ elevation, within walking distance from the festival site, in the village. Enjoy the mountain lodge experience with the classic rustic open post and beam structure and granite fireplace in the main lounge area. (L) 2. Enjoy the brisk morning air before a later departure than usual. Pause in Murphy at Quyles Kiln for a look at some local pottery. After watching the artisans at work, and browsing the gift shop, continue on to Volcano for lunch at the Volcano Union Inn. William Florian will be there to provide some memories from the sixties and seventies as he sings the songs of the

New Christy Minstrels, John Denver, Pete Seeger and the Mama’s and Papa’s. Return to Sacramento by way of Highway 49 with a stop at Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse for some fresh veggies. (B,L) The tour includes roundtrip transportation aboard SuperCoach III, accommodations, two lunches, all tours and attractions listed, and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. Please note: due to the unique nature of the Bear Valley Lodge, a limited number of two-bedded rooms is available. Please call early! 600/650 Gold Passport Points $580 p.p./dbl.occ, $625 single $ave $10 until February 14

The Sound of Music in Leavenworth 4 Days • August 9-12 This summer getaway has a little bit of everything: professional theatre, stunning outdoor views, a train through beautiful countryside, and the old world charm of Bavaria without a long plane ride. 1. Begin your day with door-to-door service to Sacramento Airport. A few hours later, lunch is included on the waterfront in Seattle at Cutters Bayhouse. Just adjacent to the restaurant is famous Pike Place Market where you will have time to shop or

Broadway Pops in the Pines Featuring the Bear Valley Music Festival Orchestra 2 Days • August 1-2 Travel into the mountains to a rustic setting to enjoy the sounds of a full symphony orchestra, under the direction of Carter Nice, as it plays the finest familiar sounds of Broadway. The Bear Valley Music Festival offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the wonderful sound of music high in the hills, surrounded by rocks and pines,

The hills are alive with “The Sound of Music” in August in Leavenworth Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


perhaps just watch the flying fish! In the late afternoon, board Amtrak’s Empire Builder for a short journey into the majestic mountains of Washington. Enjoy dinner at your leisure on board and watch the scenery dance by your window. At the heart of the state you’ll find the small community of Leavenworth, Washington’s own Little Bavaria. Your accommodations are located close to the center of the village. Breakfast is included each day. Bavarian Lodge – 3 nights (L) 2. The town of Cashmere was originally established as a Catholic Mission in the middle of the 18th century. Located in the heart of the Wenatchee Valley and surrounded by orchards, the community is known now as the home of Liberty Orchards, makers of “Applets and Cottlets,” the fruit and nut confections. Tour the factory this morning before paying a visit to Cashmere’s Pioneer Village and Museum. Consisting of 20 authentic structures including a smithy, an assay office and a saloon, the village offers great views of the adjacent Wenatchee River. Back in Leavenworth, enjoy lunch at your leisure and an optional walking tour of historic downtown and learn how Leavenworth broke with its industrial past to remake itself as a Bavarian Village. The rest of the afternoon is free for shopping on your own. Dinner is included at King Ludwig’s German Restaurant, served familystyle, before the popular musical The Sound of Music. Performed outdoors with the mountains of the Wenatchee Forest in the background, you’ll almost feel like you’re in the hills of Switzerland with the Von Trappe Family! (B,D) 3. Wenatchee, the largest town in central Washington, is home to Rocky Reach Dam and the Columbia River Museum. Explore the museum and the dam’s adjacent powerhouse. After an included lunch, visit Ohme Gardens. Situated on top of a large bluff overlooking the Columbia River, the nine-acre gardens features beautiful water features and alpine floral and fauna. Back in Leavenworth, it’s another afternoon to find that last minute souvenir and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants at your leisure prior to tonight’s indoor staged performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie. (B,L)


4. Bid farewell to Leavenworth and begin your journey westward toward Seattle. Pause for lunch in Snohomish before visiting the Boeing Museum of Flight. More than just the story of an airplane company made good, explore the historic collection of 85 aircraft and learn how far manned flight has come in just 100 years. A return flight from Seattle returns you to Sacramento in the early evening. (B,L) The tour includes roundtrip air, deluxe motorcoach transportation, passage aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder, accommodations, all attractions and shows listed, seven meals (3B,3L,1D), and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 1650/1900 Gold Passport Points $1625 p.p./dbl.occ., $1875 single $ave $50 until February 14

A Port, A President, and The Pageant of the Masters Featuring The Laguna Pageant of the Masters 3 Days • August 19-21 1. Our annual tour to the spectacular Laguna Pageant of the Masters departs on a morning flight to Orange County, our “home away from home” for the next two days. Upon arrival at John Wayne Airport we’ll be on our way to Newport Harbor for a Champagne Brunch cruise aboard a Hornblower Yacht. Home to many of the “rich & famous” of Southern California, sail along Newport’s glittering coast of magnificent mansions and sights while enjoying brunch. Following the cruise, depart for your hotel for the next two nights. With full-service amenities and restaurants and within walking distance of the expansive Fashion Island Shopping Center, it provides a comfortable and pleasant setting for your stay. Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa – 2 nights (BR) 2. In this year of the Presidential election, a short drive takes you to Yorba Linda and the impressive Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. With nine acres of galleries and gardens, journey through the history of our 37th president. View the original farmhouse where he was born and replicas of his office and study. See the East Room and Lincoln Sitting Room, exhibits

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

and photos from throughout his tenure in office, the Presidential Helicopter, and finally view the Memorial Garden Resting Place of President and Mrs. Nixon. A new special exhibit honoring the Centennial of First Lady Pat Nixon features a collection of elegant gowns worn at historic White House and world events. Return to the hotel early afternoon for time to relax before departing for the annual Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. A docent led tour will acquaint you with the collection of artworks on display followed by an included dinner at the outdoor Tivoli Terrace Restaurant, which is adjacent to the pageant grounds. The performance begins at 8:30pm. This year’s theme is “The Genius,” and you will be in awe, amazed and dazzled by the realistic life-sized recreations of famous artworks from around the world. Words cannot explain the pageant; you have to see it to know it is real and experience the genius of this show!” (D) 3. Check-out of the hotel this morning and return to Laguna Beach for an included breakfast and a speaker from the Pageant. Always a highlight and exclusive to our tours, the guest speaker will engage you with history of the pageant, insight, secrets, and answers to all your questions about the annual event. After breakfast, there will be a little free time to explore the village or enjoy a walk on the beach before your midafternoon flight to Sacramento. (B) The tour includes door-to-door service, roundtrip air to Southern California, accommodations, all attractions listed, three meals (BR,L,D), and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 1200/1400 Gold Passport Points $1190 p.p./dbl.occ, $1360 single $ave $25 until February 14

Balloons, Glass and Ducks: A Washington State Adventure Featuring the Sequim Balloon Festival and the Artistry of Dale Chihuly 4 Days • September 1- 4 Located at the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, Sequim is surrounded by the Olympic Mountains, and the Straits of San

Juan de Fuca. Resting in the rain shadow of the mountains, Sequim enjoys pleasant days and little rain compared to the rest of the peninsula. John Wayne vacationed here, as do many celebrities today. You will enjoy three nights here during the Sequim Balloon Festival conveniently located just across the road from your hotel. 1. A morning flight from Sacramento arrives directly into Seattle in time for an early lunch at Anthony’s on the waterfront in Tacoma. Once energized from lunch, head to the Museum of Glass for a look at the incredible art created from the fusion of liquid glass. There are live glassmaking demonstrations in the Hot Shop, you can walk across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, and check out the latest creations of artwork in the plaza. Continue on to Sequim in the afternoon, arriving at your hotel in time for the evening festivities. Tonight, enjoy the first of the Balloon Evening Glows as the hot air balloons lift off into the sunset, and glide into the night. Holiday Inn Express – 3 nights (L) 2. Arise early, if you like, and you’ll catch the morning lift off of the balloons. The beauty of our hotel is that it is directly across the street from the festival grounds so you can walk over at your leisure or take your morning coffee up to the hotel’s rooftop patio garden and enjoy the sights from there. Take a mid-morning break from the festival, traveling to the nearby community of Port Townsend for a tour of the grounds of Fort Warden and the homes of this historic seaport. There will be time for lunch and some shopping in Port Townsend before returning to Sequim and the balloon festival. This afternoon enjoy a car show, live music, a juried art show and, of course, the Evening Glow. (CB,L) 3. You have the morning to enjoy at your leisure before heading out on another excursion. Travel west to the farthest point of the peninsula, Neah Bay, to visit the Makah Cultural Museum and Research Center. Along the way, travel through old logging and fishing villages enjoying great coastal views. Stop at the nostalgic Lake Crescent Lodge for lunch. Return to Sequim in the late afternoon. (CB,L,D)

4. Say farewell to Sequim today and return to Seattle for a day of enjoying the best the city has to offer. Your approach by ferry gives you a great view of the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline. You’ll be up inside the Space Needle a little later today, but first experience an entertaining tour of Seattle aboard the Ducks. A casual lunch is included while you cruise Lake Union on board these amphibious vehicles. Seattle’s newest attraction, the Chihuly Gardens and Glass Exhibit, is located near the Space Needle. This attraction, scheduled to open in April, will have nine rooms, each featuring glass installations. The exterior garden is expected to have 10 to 12 pieces alone! A glass house will feature Chihuly’s largest sculpture ever: a 4,500 square foot piece measuring 43 feet high. This is going to be spectacular and exciting to see! Your journey to the Pacific Northwest comes to a close as you stand on the observation deck of the Space Needle, taking in the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca to the west; Mount Baker to the North; Mount Rainer to the East; and Chihuly’s masterpieces at your feet. What an awesome view! An evening flight returns you to Sacramento where Carey Transportation is waiting to take you home. This tour includes door-to-door transportation, roundtrip air Sacramento/ Seattle, accommodations, all tours and attractions as listed, deluxe motorcoach service and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 1700/1950 Gold Passport Points. $1695 p.p./dbl.occ., $1915 single $ave $50 until February 14

an elegant Welcome Dinner high above the city in the famous John Hancock Tower, then rest well in your all-suite accommodations. The Seneca Hotel – 3 nights (D) 2. Breakfast is included daily, or you may like to sleep in this morning and begin your day with lunch at Harry Carey’s Restaurant. Holy Cow! A leisurely, narrated cruise along the Chicago River highlights the city’s architecture and history. In the evening, see your first night of baseball as “da Cubs” take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. (B,L) 3. Chicago is famous for her museums. A morning visit to your choice of the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium or Art Institute is followed by a city tour led by a real gangster. You’ll never forget your time with “Porkchop” as he shares his stories of good guys and bad—those who got the money, the girl, the shaft.. . . and those who got away—during Chicago’s notorious Prohibition period. This evening, Lawry’s Prime Rib and live entertainment take center stage as you see the show of your choice in America’s second largest theatre district. The popular Tony Award-winner Jersey Boys will be among your choices. A list of choices will be sent out in the spring. (B,D) 4. A morning train takes you to “The Gateway to the West,” St. Louis, arriving in the mid-afternoon. Kick off your visit with a hearty dinner at Mike Shannon’s Restaurant before turning in for the night. Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown – 2 nights (B,D)

Baseball and Broadway Have a seat and enjoy great sports and theatre in Chicago and St. Louis 6 Days • September 16-21 1. Fly to the “Windy City” where your adventure begins. Visit the historic Water Tower, a wonderful museum and visitors center located directly across the street from your hotel, one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire. Located on the portion of Michigan Avenue known as the “Miracle Mile,” there’s so much to do and see in this fashionable neighborhood. Enjoy

Visit Chicago’s iconic Water Tower (center)

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


5. A mini-city tour starts your day, ending with a “snack stop” featuring St. Louis’ famous Italian delicacy, fried ravioli. The Cardinals, reigning National Champions, take on the Houston Astros in the early afternoon. At game’s end, your hotel is right across the street. The late afternoon and evening is free. Anyone for a ride to the top of the Gateway Arch? (B,L) 6. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre, a beloved St. Louis landmark, then head to St. Charles, Missouri’s first Capital City, for a bit of history and lunch at popular Lewis and Clark’s Restaurant before your return flight to Sacramento. (B,L) This tour includes home pickup, roundtrip airfare, accommodations, attractions as listed, 11 meals (daily breakfast, 3 Lunches & 3 Dinners), railfare from Chicago to St. Louis, deluxe motorcoach transportation, and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. NOTE: We’ve been trying to get baseball and theatre schedules to jibe in Chicago and St. Louis for the past two years. Now it’s finally going to happen! But it’s too early to book air at press time. If you placed your name on the Priority Notification List in the past, it’s still there. If not, call and add your name today. We’ll open this one up for reservations as soon as we confirm the cost of air and price the tour.

Return to the Oregon Coast If you’ve been to Newport, enjoyed the Elizabeth Street Inn and the ocean, it’s time to go back! 4 Days • September 21-24 Indeed, our visits to the coast in September are always popular. The crowds are gone, but the atmosphere is still special. Some of the year’s best weather is often found in September. This is a spruced up itinerary, with some new attractions and some of our old favorites. Fly to Portland, and head to Salem, the capital of the state. Our visit includes lunch at McGrath’s (a local chain that highlights seafood and is a perennial favorite). There’s a beautiful carousel on the riverfront in town,


and we’ll visit to take a ride and watch the beautiful antique horses restored. Before heading for the coast, a short tour of the capitol gives you the opportunity to learn more about Oregon’s history. Then it’s off to the ocean, arriving about 5pm at the Elizabeth Street Inn, your home for three nights. Every room has a full on view of the ocean and a flat sandy beach is just a short walk from the hotel. Tonight, join us for a casual dinner of salmon chowder, wine, salad and dessert. A perfect end to a perfect day. The next two days include a visit to nearby Lincoln City, famous for the glass blown “floats” used by fisherman for many years. You’ll watch them made, enjoy a culinary demonstration and then gobble up what was “demonstrated” for lunch! In and around Newport, there’s wonderful shopping in Old Town down by the dock, a beautiful lighthouse to visit and Sunday Brunch down the coast at the Adobe Resort. One night we’ll enjoy a cruise around Newport Harbor and dine on board, while learning about the industry, history and marine life of the area. At the Hatfield Marine Research Center, go behind-the-scenes for another learning experience. Speaking of learning, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is now headquartered in Newport. A visit to their headquarters and small museum is bound to be enlightening. Day four finds us making our way back to Portland for a late afternoon flight home. Along the way, there’s more adventure. Stop to pet the animals and buy treats at the Blue Heron in Tillamook before continuing on to the Evergreen Aviation Museum. Here you can walk inside the Spruce Goose and view other historically significant aerospace equipment. The package includes all 10 meals, airfare, door-to-door service and 1550/1700 Gold Passport Points. Bet Mark will be your Tour Director. $1540 p.p./dbl.occ., $1700 single $ave $50 until February 14

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Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

Catalina Island Getaway Our annual escape to the island “26 miles across the sea” 4 Days • September 30 – October 3 1. A home pickup begins your delightful escape to Catalina Island along with a short flight to Southern California. Enjoy an historic behind-the-scenes tour and a spectacular Sunday Brunch aboard the Queen Mary, moored in Long Beach. Following brunch and the tour, travel aboard the Catalina Express ferry to Catalina Island and check into the recently renovated Pavilion Hotel, your home for the next three nights, right in the heart of Avalon. Enjoy a wine reception each night and a continental breakfast each morning. Pavilion Hotel – 3 nights (BR) 2. & 3. Our itinerary includes several adventures on the island as well as plenty of free time to enjoy activities on your own. Included in the tour is a behind-the-scenes tour of Catalina’s famous Ballroom and Casino. See the famous Art Deco murals along with the green room and dressing rooms used by such famous performers as Benny Goodman, Errol Flynn and Cary Grant. Get a look at the underwater world surrounding the island by semi-submersible. Additionally, view Avalon and its beautiful harbor from high above on the Inland Motor Tour. Visit the Catalina Fox Island Habitat, the Nature Conservancy Center all the while looking for Bald Eagles, Mule Deer and Bison. Additional tours are available; your Tour Director can assist you with the arrangements. Ziplining anyone? You wouldn’t be the first! For your final night dinner, gather with your fellow travelers at the Avalon Grill. (2B,D) 4. Following a late-morning return to the mainland enjoy a late lunch before your return flight to Sacramento in the early evening. (B,L) This tour includes home pickup, roundtrip airfare from Sacramento to Southern California, accommodations and three tours on Catalina Island, six meals (3 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 1 Lunch & 1 Dinner), deluxe motorcoach transportation, and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 1450/1650 Gold Passport Points $1420 p.p./dbl.occ., $1650 single $ave $35 by February 14

It’s A Wonderful Life, Indeed! American legend Jimmy Stewart, who starred in the holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a town of about 14,000, 90 minutes northeast of Pittsburgh. In November, our 10th Annual Christmas Mystery Tour visited during the annual holiday festival. The weather was picture perfect, the people friendly and we had a lot of fun. Rarely does a community take on the personality of its favorite son, but in Indiana, PA, it sure feels like where Jimmy Stewart should be from. Fred Rogers and Arnold Palmer were both born just down the road. Here, in pictures, are a few highlights.

We picked out, had cut and then decorated our own tree to spruce up the lobby of the Hampton Inn where we stayed, here some of the “tree toppers” admire their work.

Indiana Mayor George Hood and Jimmy Stewart impersonator Chris Collins (as George Bailey) proclaim it “Sports Leisure Vacations Day” in Indiana, and honor Mark as the Grand Marshall of the evening’s parade, kicking off the annual “It’s a Wonderful Life” weekend. Our group poses in front of The Jimmy Stewart Museum downtown, where the actor’s life is remembered.

Chris Galloway gets up close and personal with famous Punxsutawney Phil, who was awakened from his winter nap to make a personal appearance for our group (“Punxy,” as the locals call Phil’s hometown, is just an hour’s drive from Indiana).

Gobbler’s Knob is where it all happens every February 2. You just never know where you are going to end up on a Mystery Tour. Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


The Tour Calendar (Previously Announced Tours) 9 Days

Feb. 20-28

Costa Rica, Pure Vida (Pure Life)

2 Days

Mar. 22-23

Take the Snow Train to Reno

Limited space available if you call today. Maximum of 20 in this group. 2 nights San Jose, 3 nights Arenal, 3 nights Manual Antonio, visit Poas and Arenal Volcanos, walk on the famous hanging bridge, optional zip line experience, 14 meals included. Tour Director: Patty Thayer, $3880 p.p./dbl.occ., $4660 single

The package includes the California Zephyr through the snowcovered Sierra to Reno, a boxed lunch, accommodations at the Silver Legacy, casino bonuses, and return transportation on SuperCoach III, $229 p.p./dbl.occ., $249 single

3 Days

Featuring two nights at the Clement Monterey Intercontinental on Cannery Row, a private reception and behind-the-scenes tour at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, guided tour of Point Lobos and Big Sur, lunch and free-time in Half Moon Bay. 3 lunches, 2 nights Monterey Intercontinental Hotel (one of the finest we use anywhere in the country), door-to-door service. 1050/1200 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: Scott Angeletti. $1015 p.p./dbl.occ., $1200 single

Mar. 2-4

The Oregon Chocolate Festival in Ashland

Limited space available. Experience the Oregon Chocolate Festival in Ashland, including the Annual Chocolate Makers Dinner and the Festival Vendor Showcase. Discover the restored Art Deco-style Cascade Theatre in Redding and its annual “A Touch of Piano” concert. Comfortable transportation aboard SuperCoach III, door-to-door transportation, 5 meals, 2 nights Plaza Inn Ashland, overnight Redding. 900/1000 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: Donnie Anderson, $888 p.p./ dbl.occ., $979 single, 6 Days

Mar. 10-15

Winter in the Canyonlands of Utah & Arizona

Explore Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, included sleigh ride at Bryce Canyon, private tour along the rim and hosted lunch at the historic El Tovar at the Grand Canyon, VIP guided tour of the Grand Canyon Village historic sites, day visit to Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon, deluxe accommodations, 12 included meals: 5 full breakfasts, 6 lunches, 1 dinner. Round trip airfare to Las Vegas, back from Phoenix, door-to-door airport service, Tour Director: Scott Angeletti, $1780 p.p./ dbl.occ., $2020 single 5 Days

Mar. 17-21

3 Days

4 Days

Mar. 23-25

Apr. 18-21

Monterey, Big Sur and Point Lobos

The Castle, The Ocean & The Inn

Featuring two nights at The Apple Farm Inn, overnight oceanfront in San Simeon, Heart Castle tours by day and exclusive night tour, National Steinbeck Center, San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market, lunch in Cambria (4 lunches incl.), door-to-door service, SuperCoach III. One of our original tours, still one of the most popular. 1100/1300 Gold Passport Points $1085 p.p./dbl.occ., $1295 single

Spring Training in Arizona with the Giants & A’s

4 nights at the Phoenix Crowne Plaza Hotel, breakfast daily, Sunday Brunch, 2 dinners (7 meals), baseball everyday (Sat. – A’s/Giants, Sun. – Padres/Giants, Mon – Diamondbackbacks/ A’s, Tues. - Cubs/A’s, Wed. - Giants/Indians), Baseball Banquet with Guest Speaker Vida Blue (scheduled to speak), Baseball Roundtable with former-major leaguer Lou Klimchock, airfare, door-to-door service, a baseball fan’s dream come true. 3 seats available, Tour Director: Mark Hoffmann. 1950/2100 Gold Passport Points, $1910 p.p./dbl.occ., $2095 single

office hours:

8:00am – 4:30pm MON. thru FRI. Closed weekends & major holidays CLOSED TUES. 12:00pm – 1:15pm


Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

Jim and Marlys Lucas enjoy a beautiful day at Hearst Castle in December. You can visit with us in April!

4 Days

Apr. 22-25

Ride the Coast Starlight

Fly to Los Angeles, overnight, then board the Coast Starlight for the 36-hour ride to Tacoma. Deluxe sleeping cabins and onboard meals included, tour historic Union Station in LA, lunch at Cutter’s Bay House and city tour in Seattle, 7 meals, air to Burbank, return from Seattle, door-to-door service. 2000/2600 Gold Passport Points. $1970 p.p./dbl.occ., $2590 single 10 Days Apr. 24 – May 3

The National Road, The Road That Built The Nation, Baltimore to St. Louis

Please see the special write-up on page 27. Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson, this was our nation’s first commercial road. Travel it now, encompassing colonial history, the westward movement, a variety of unique and unusual attractions, from the work of Frank Lloyd Wright to the home of John Glenn, there’s a little bit of everything on this unique highway. Tour Kitchenaide and watch products made, see the world’s largest catsup bottle, 18 meals, airfare, door-to-door service. A special journey, limited to 25 travelers. Call for the day-by-day itinerary. $3510 p.p./dbl.occ., $4020 single 4 Days

April 27-30

On The (Pismo) Beach

3 nights ocean view accommodations at the Sea Crest Resort, sample local wines, foods and beverages on a special “Taste of Pismo” Tour, attend the Great American Melodrama in Oceano, visit Picturesque Avila Beach, lavender farm tour, Casa de Fruita shopping stop, 5 meals, door-to-door service. 1200/1450 Gold Passport Points. $1195 p.p./dbl.occ., $1445 single

3 Days

May 9-11

Winding Through Weaverville

A brand new adventure in Trinity County, a quick getaway to an off-the-beaten-track community, along with a bit of history on old Highway 99 through the northern Sacramento Valley. 2 nights at the Weaverville Victorian Inn, visit the Joss House, a unique historical Chinese Temple. Tour a working sawmill, see the “ghost” mining town of Shasta City and stand on the Sun Dial Bridge, visit the Highland Art Center, dine at the Trinity Country Club. Lunch in Chico, Hwy. 99 history tour, all meals included (7), door-to-door transportation. $785 p.p./dbl. occ., $870 single, $10 EPD** 4 Days

May 29 – June 1

Off to Sisters, It’s Just Around the Bend

A mystery tour returns for a “known” encore. This is a wonderful, close-to-home trip requiring only a short plane flight to Portland. Then you’re off into the Cascades, spending 3 nights at the Ponderosa Lodge, with deer, and llamas, and marshmallow roasting and barbecue – and that’s just at the lodge. Low mountain sightseeing features waterfalls, the headwaters of a river and other natural beauties. Great value, 9 meals, airfare and door-to-door service incl. 1350/1500 Gold Passport Points. $1335 p.p./dbl.occ., $1665 single, $20 EPD** 3 Days

June 8-10

Everything’s Coming Up Roses in Portland

See the Portland Rose Festival Parade from inside the Rose Garden Arena. 2 nights Embassy Suites Hotel, visit the International Rose Test Gardens, choral concert, ride through the Cascades to Seattle on Amtrak. 5 meals, airfare, door-todoor service. 1300/1400 Gold Passport Points. $1255 p.p./ dbl.occ., $1380 single

On the Pismo Beach tour enjoy three nights on the water at the Sea Crest Resort

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Portland’s Rose Festival hosts one of Clayton’s favorite parades Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


4 Days

June 10-13

Gardens in Victoria & Glass in Tacoma

This two-nation vacation features the best of the Pacific Northwest. Fly to Seattle, enjoy lunch and Pike Place Market, then ferry by catamaran to Victoria. 2 nights at the Chateau Victoria, double-decker bus tour, High Tea at the Empress Hotel, overnight at the art-filled Hotel Murano in Tacoma, tour of Dale Chihuly Museum of Glass. 6 meals, airfare, door-todoor service. 1800/2000 Gold Passport Points. $1765 p.p./dbl. occ., $1975 single, valid passport required 6 Days

June 8-13

Roses in Portland, Gardens in Victoria & Glass in Tacoma

Everything in both itineraries for Portland and Victoria is included. 2500/2850 Gold Passport Points. $2499 p.p./dbl. occ., $2825 single, valid passport required, $40 EPD** 7 Days

June 13-19

Alaska’s Denali National Park & The Kenai Peninsula

2 unique train excursions – Denali to Talkeetna and Seward to Girdwood; 2 nights at the spectacular Alyeska Lodge, 2 nights Grand Denali Hotel, Tundra Tour in Denali Park, view glaciers, learn about dog sledders, 8 meals, airfare, door-todoor service. 3800/4550 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: Scott Angeletti, $3790 p.p./dbl.occ., $4510 single 3 Days

June 15-17

Take the Train to Truckee & Virginia City

SLV travelers pause with their Jammers on “Going to the Sun Highway” in Glacier National Park

5 Days

June 22-26

Strawberries, Beaches and Flower Fields

Experience the golden age of steam aboard the VirginiaTruckee Railroad, ride Amtrak from Sacramento to Truckee on the California Zeyphr, travel between train rides on SuperCoach III, 6 meals, overnights in Truckee and Virginia City (B&B optional upgrade in Virginia City, extra charge), 6 meals, doorto-door service. 850/950 Gold Passport Points. $825 p.p./dbl. occ., $935 single, $10 EPD**

Featuring Santa Barbara, the Lompoc Flower Festival and Solvang. Visit historic Santa Barbara landmarks, including the courthouse and the mission. 2 nights at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach, Lompoc’s annual Flower Festival Parade, overnight at the Apple Farm, old time melodrama, 5 meals. 1350/1500 Gold Passport Points. $1320 p.p./dbl.occ., $1490 single

9 Days

6 Days

June 20-28

The Dakotas: Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Roosevelt Natational Park

Announced in November, there are but 3 seats left on this Only 25 tour. That’s right, 25 passengers maximum of this wonderful itinerary. Day and night visits to Mt. Rushmore, exclusive ride to the top of Crazy Horse Mountain (a truly unique activity offered by no other tour company), the Medora outdoor musical, a jeep ride in Custer State Park to see the bison herds, 18 meals, fly into Bismarck and home from Denver, 3600/3950 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: Ramona Goodge, $3595 p.p./dbl.occ., $3945 single

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Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

Sept. 6-11

Jammin’ Through Montana’s Glacier National Park

Travel Going-To-The-Sun Road through Glacier National Park, overnight at the Prince of Wales Hotel, 2 nights at Many Glacier Hotel, 2 nights at Grouse Mountain Lodge – Whitefish, 3 scenic boat cruises, the music of David Walburn, 10 meals, airfare from Sacramento/Kalispell, door-to-door service, Tour Director: Scott Angeletti, 2700/3100 Passport Points. $2780 p.p./dbl.occ., $3185 single, passport required, $75 EPD** 4 Days * Sept. 16-19

The Redwoods of Northern California, Big Trees in the Wild

A great trip on SuperCoach III. Visit The Avenue of the Giants on Hwy 101 south of Eureka, home of the coastal redwoods. Walk through the groves, visit the marshes of Arcata, teeming with waterfowl. 7 meals, overnight Garberville, two nights Eureka. 1200/1400 Gold Passport Points. $1175 p.p./dbl.occ., $1365 single, $20 EPD**

8 Days

Sept. 22-29

Fall in Love with Colorado & Utah

Featuring first class service on the Durango-Silverton RR. 2 nights at the Zermatt Resort, visit Durango and Ouray – Colorado mountain villages, lunch at Robert Redford’s Sundance Retreat, Dinosaur Nat’l Monument, round trip air to Albuquerque/return from Salt Lake City, door-to-door service, 12 meals. 3050/3400 Gold Passport Points. $3020 p.p./dbl. occ., $3400 single, $40 EPD** 7 Days

Sept. 29 – Oct. 5

New England Fall Foliage Sampler

Visit Vermont and New Hampshire at their colorful best – a taste of Maine, too! Cruise Lake Champlain, see the leaves on the Kangamagus Highway, visit Quechee Gorge and Shelburne Farm. 12 meals, airfare Sacramento/Manchester, door-to-door service. 3150/3550 Gold Passport Points. $3125 p.p./dbl.occ., $3525 single, $50 EPD**

Things to Know Before You Go: Airfare: On all trips where air travel is indicated, airfares are included in the listed prices. Home Pick-up: Our exclusive home pick-up is included on all trips listed here. Carey Limousines and their partners provide transportation to/from the airport or the Sports Leisure Vacations office. Meals: Please refer to the day-by-day itinerary for a break down of the included breakfasts, brunches, lunches and dinners. **Early Registration/Payment Discounts: Trips with a note like this after the price “$40 EPD**,” indicates there is a discount available for Early Registration and Payment. Please refer to the back page of the newsletter for more details on Early Registration/Payment Discounts. The Fine Print: Our Special Tour & Vacation Notes brochure contains the answers to many often-asked questions. A copy is sent with your reservations. Sports Leisure on-line: You are invited to visit our website at for more information on any tour listed here, or call our office and we will be happy to send you a detailed itinerary.

Look What We’re Doing…

We encourage you to find us on Facebook at We’ve been posting pictures of recent trips and sometimes even trips that are currently on the road… so you may see a fellow Sports Leisure traveler while they are actually on vacation. How awesome is that?

7 Days

Oct. 3-9

Living? History? Nuts? A Mystery Tour

Word comes from the front office that Clayton’s Mystery Tour in May and Scott’s Mystery Tour in July are both sold out. So, guess if you want to make a mystery tour this year, this is it. Living? Good, no dead beats on the trip. History? Well, some of us are historic because we’ve been around a while, but we aren’t history quite yet. Maybe Mark means historic places. Like Atlantis, or Oz, you know, places like that. The package includes 17 meals (every feeding except one lunch is already priced in), your airfare to this place no one has ever heard of and of course, we’ll pick you up at home. Living. History. Nuts. No kidding. It is the best Mystery Tour of the year, despite the lack of a catchy title. 2400/2650 Gold Passport Points, $2365 p.p./dbl.occ., $2615 single, $35 EPD** 7 Days

Oct. 4-10

Oktoberfest & Thanksgiving in Canada

A wonderful new tour featuring a Canadian holiday and a brief visit to Niagara Falls. Oktoberfet in Kitchner, Ontario – with beer barrel racing, music, foods and crafts. Visit quaint Canadian villages, enjoy a different sort of Thanksgiving Parade (reserved seating), 2 nights fallsview rooms at Niagara Falls in the Embassy Suites. 12 meals, airfare Sacramento/ Buffalo. 2900/3350 Gold Passport Points, $2885 p.p./dbl.occ., $3340 single, valid passport required 3 Days

Oct. 21-23

Fall In Yosemite

Stay in the park at Yosemite Lodge, convenient to park attractions. Three brunches/lunches at National Landmarks: The Groveland, Ahwahnee and Wawona Hotels (the last two in Yosemite Park), full day tour of Yosemite including the valley, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point (subject to weather availability), plus free time to enjoy the indoor or outdoor atttractions of the park. 1150/1400 Gold Passport Points. $1115 p.p./dbl.occ., $1355 single, $20 EPD** 7 Days

Jan. 2013 Key West, Miami, & (Dates: TBA) The Everglades

Four nights in beautiful Key West. Visit the Hemingway Home, the aquarium, Truman’s Little White House, & the Shipwreck Museum. Dinner show at La Te Da, authentic clipper ship cruise (optional), Butterfly & Nature Conservancy visit. Overnight in Miami with air boat ride in the Everglades and overnight in Key Largo with glass-bottom boat ride. City tour including Coral Gables and South Beach. Roundtrip air, 13 meals, door-to-door service, Tour Director: Mark Hoffmann. Dates/prices for 2013 tour TBA. Call now to be placed on the Priority Notification List.

Proud members of the Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    


The Sports Leisure Difference… Since 1979, our travelers have found Sports Leisure Vacations to be a cut above. Every component of every adventure – motorcoaches, lodging, dining and attractions – are carefully chosen to offer you the best combination of quality, location and value. That’s the Sports Leisure Difference. Occasionally we highlight just a few of these qualities. In our July/August newsletter, we gave members a primer to our Sports Leisure Travel Club. In this issue,, we explain your transportation options when you choose to travel with us. Can you explain “door-to-door service?” What’s that? Sports Leisure began offering door-todoor service in 1992. This means we will pick you up and return you to your home on all vacations of three days or longer. Provided by Carey Transportation of Sacramento, this service may involve a limousine, sedan, SUV, or other special vehicle. Door-to-door service is included within these boundaries: Davis on the west, Galt on the south, Auburn and Placerville on the east, Woodland to the north. For locations outside this area (Stockton, Yuba City/

Marysville, Grass Valley, Winters, Vacaville, Fairfield, Pollock Pines, and Colfax are some examples), the service is available for an additional charge. A $50 per person credit is available for out-of-town travelers to whom this service isn’t available or for those locally who choose to meet us at the airport, train station or the Sports Leisure office (as applicable). On overnight and day trips, motorcoaches depart from convenient neighborhood pick-up points throughout the greater Sacramento and Roseville areas. Door-todoor service is available for a fee on day trips and overnighters. Call the office for details and rates. What’s all this I hear about a “super bus”? Actually, it’s not a bus, but a motorcoach – and not just any motorcoach, but SuperCoach III. Our special coach from All West Coachlines is configured to seat just 44 travelers (instead of the 56 it was designed for), providing extra legroom for all. Then we added tray tables and foot rests for your additional comfort. In the rear, a fully-operative galley features a refrigerator, microwave oven, built-in coffee makers and

potable running water for the enjoyment of hot and cold snacks. SuperCoach III is used on most day trips, overnighters and some long-distance trips. You have assigned motorcoach seats on your tours. What’s that about? By popular demand, we do not rotate seats as many companies do. You are free to select the seating of your choice at the point of reservation. Single travelers are sometimes required to take available single seats to leave remaining seat pairs for those traveling with a friend or spouse.

SAVE THE DATES Spring Tour Preview Days Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 Times and Location T.B.A. Look for more details in your March/April Newsletter

The Travel AND Entertainment Guys Travel Club Members, tune in for your exclusive chance to win prizes! News Talk 92.5 FM & AM 1530 KFBK EVERY Sunday 2:00-3:00 PM PST 26    

Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012

Tom Romano and Mark


The National Road, The Road That Built the Nation

Join Mark and Chris to travel America’s first interstate road, built for the horse and buggy 10 Days • April 24 – May 3 Before automobiles came into existence, Americans traveled their country by horse, or if you were lucky, horse and buggy. Or you rode a boat down the river. Or you walked. President Thomas Jefferson recognized that if the fledgling country was to grow, it would have to move west. He authorized the first federal road. It was to run from Cumberland, Maryland, all the way to Vandalia, Illinois, giving settlers the opportunity to go over the Allegheny Mountains to the frontier of the west (which would have been Ohio territory in those days). Authorized by Congress in 1806, the road was the vision of Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin. Construction began in Cumberland in 1811, and within two decades over 200,000 people traveled the road annually. Ironically, it was the coming of the railroad that meant the temporary demise of the National Road. Trains moved faster. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that the horseless carriage peaked our interest towards independent highway travel. The National Road was reborn. Named the Old National Pike, then US 40 and now partly covered by the interstate, it remains America’s original westward road. Now you can retrace the tracks of America’s first westbound travelers, on this living history lesson from Baltimore to St. Louis. This is a truly American adventure, a look at the people and the places of our great land. Now, Mark and Chris take a maximum of 25 travelers on this historical journey, from colonial days in Maryland and Pennsylvania, to the industrial era in Ohio and the westward movement in Indiana and Missouri. See the world’s largest catsup bottle, learn about an ancient civilization at Cahokia Mounds and tour a Frank Lloyd Wright home, Kentuck Knob. You’ll visit the boyhood home of an authentic American hero, John Glenn.

Go to the Kitchenaide Factory and watch This is the perfect time of the year to appliances made, then visit the factory make the journey. The package includes 18 store for bargains and make your own meals (about 2/3 of your dining on tour), dessert! A beautiful Marriott Hotel awaits airfare (to Baltimore, home from St. Louis), your arrival in Columbus (two nights), along home pick-up and an incredibly good time with a mountain lodge in Maryland (Rocky on a leisurely journey across 800 miles of Gap) and the beautiful Turf Valley Resort American countryside. Won’t you join us? in Ellicott City (two nights) near Baltimore. $3510 p.p./dbl.occ., $4020 single See the National Aquarium or the home of Space is limited, call for the day-by-day Babe Ruth. Visit St. Charles, where Lewis itinerary or see pages 26-27 and Clark officially began their journey of of the catalog. discovery. See, lots and lots of history. Not about automobiles, like other classic roads, the National Road is more about the people who live(d) along it. Best of all, you’ll meet the people. You know Mark’s penchant for getting off the beaten track and finding the really interesting and unusual. This itinerary is liberally sprinkled with just such attractions. This is a tour where you get off the motorcoach and meet the people. It’s about small towns and cities like Columbus, where you’ll enjoy a wonderful Sunday Brunch and a beautiful drive through the historic section of the city (beautiful homes), just as Join Mark along the historic National Road spring begins to show it’s colors.


IN IL Vandalia 9


Indianapolis 8

5-6 7

Dayton Terre Haute



Zanesville Columbus



Uniontown 3


Frederick Baltimore


Ellicott City



St. Louis

MO Sports Leisure Vacations / January–February 2012    




Sacramento, CA PERMIT NO. 517


9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 Sacramento, CA 95827 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

EARLY PAYMENT Di$count Coupon Early Registration/Payment Di$counts listed here expire on February 14, 2012. To receive the discount, you must pay in full within ten days of registration. If you accept this option, the monies paid, including the cost of Cancellation Protection, are returned to you in full if you cancel more than 60 days prior to departure for US and Canadian tours or 75 days prior for International tours, regardless of the reason for cancellation. Within the time limits noted above, restrictions on refunds apply. See the Special Vacation Notes & Information brochure for complete details. May – Off to Sisters, Just Around the Bend – $ave $20 May – Winding Through Weaverville – $ave $10 May – Luxury in La Jolla – $ave $40 June – Roses in Portland, Gardens in Victoria – $ave $40 June – Old Cape Cod, Provincetown to Nantucket – $ave $125 June – U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials – $ave $40 June – Take the Train to Truckee & Virginia City – $ave $10 July – Crater Lake & Umpqua Scenic Byway – $ave $35 July – Rivercats Roadtrip to Reno – $ave $10 August – The Sound of Music in Leavenworth – $ave $50 August – Broadway Pops in the Pines – Save $10 August – A Port, A President, Pageant of the Masters – $ave $25 Sept. – Balloons, Glass & Ducks in Washington – $ave $50 Sept. – Fall in Love with Colorado & Utah – $ave $40 Sept. – The Redwoods of Northern California – $ave $20 Sept. – Jammin’ Through Montana’s Glacier Nat’l Park – $ave $75 Sept. – New England Fall Foliage Sampler – $ave $50 Sept. – Return to the Oregon Coast – $ave $50 Oct. – Living. History. Nuts. A Mystery Tour – $ave $35 Oct. – Fall in Yosemite – $ave $20 Oct. – Catalina Island Getaway – $ave $35


$ave $10–$40 per person on Cancellation Protection Valid only when used with the adjacent coupon on the tours listed. Your savings depend on the price of your tour. $ave $10 on tours priced from $451-$800, $ave $20 on tours priced from $801-$2250, $ave $30 on tours priced from $2251-$3500, $ave $40 on tours priced at $3501 or more. The regular cost of this protection is $15-$295, depending on the tour price. To receive the above discounts, you must pay in full within ten days of registration and purchase the protection at the time you pay for your tour. Within 60/75 days of departure (see Early Payment Di$count Coupon on page 23), coverage is limited to verified medical emergencies. Please refer to the Special Vacation Notes & Information brochure for details, or call our office.

TOUR UPDATE… A brief list of tours which are sold out, or have only a limited amount of space (10 or fewer seats, number in parenthesis) remaining. Day trips are not listed.

Sold-Out Tours (waiting list available) Puttin’ on the Ritz in New Orleans Colorful Carolina Coast San Antonio: Deep in the Heart of Texas The Kentucky Derby Over the River & Through the Woods Mystery Call of the Wild Mystery Limited Space (10 or fewer seats) Ashland Chocolate Festival (3) Monterey, Big Sur & Pt. Lobos (7) Ride The Coast Starlight (7) The Dakotas (3) Alaska’s Denali Park & Kenai Peninsula (4) Spring Training in Arizona (3)


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