Page 1

VOL. 33, NO.5

8,365 Active Members

44,709 Members Since 1979

MAR./APR., 2012

Spring Open House & Holiday Preview Saturday, April 14th • KVIE Studios 2030 West El Camino Avenue (at I-5) 10:00am & 1:30pm FREE admission and FREE light lunch Bring a new child’s book to donate It’s time to roll out our holiday tours for 2012, and tell you about some of the other new destinations that have popped up since we last gathered in August. Join us at the KVIE studios for a 90-minute program, lunch and a chance to see your traveling friends. No admission, but like last year, we are asking you to bring a new book for a child for KVIE’s Ready To Learn program. (Last year we collected nearly 300 books.) FREE Shuttle Service from selected locations, morning and afternoon shows, call for details. For Reservations: Go to and click on the post-itnote at the top of the page, or, call our office, M-F, 8am – 4:30pm. Online reservations requested after office hours will be confirmed the next business day. By reserving online, even after hours, you are safely holding your space.

Lee and Nancy appear to have found a “sailor” in Key West on our annual trip in January. “Crusty” doesn’t start to describe him!


Announcing By Invitation Only

Just One Man’s Opinion..................................... 2 Clayton Place......................................................... 3 The Customers Always Write....................... 4-5 The Human Side................................................... 6 Casino Trips and Baseball.................................. 7 Day Trips............................................................8-10 The Barber Pole..................................................11 New Vacations & Getaways..................... 12-14 Staff Spotlight and Teasers.............................15 Tour Calendar............................................... 16-19 Coupons and Tour Updates...........Back Cover HHHHHHHHHHHH

Now, you can travel with Sports Leisure to see the most exclusive shows, the best entertainers, get the toughest ticket and travel in Sports Leisure style. Details about this exciting new members only benefit are on Mark’s Just One Man’s Opinion column on page 2. You’ll want to become a part of By Invitation Only today!

Editor........................................... Mark Hoffmann Executive Editor .........................Kevin Murphy Contributing Writers......................... P. Hansen, R. Goodge, S. Angeletti & C. Whitehead Contributing Photographer.........C. Galloway

U.S. Gymnastic Trials

Cara Taylor and Judy Castle showing off their winning form at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose in January.

June 28 – July 1 • San Jose For details on this exciting chance to see our Olympic athletes being chosen, please call our office or see the description on page 17. See the gymnasts who will represent our country in London!

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 By Invitation Only, A New Benefit of Membership As we come up on our 33rd anniversary in a few months, I am reminded of the way business has changed in three decades. When we started in 1979, cell phones, the greatest invention ever known to Tour Directors, hadn’t appeared on the scene. For our first few months, we didn’t even reserve seats on the motorcoach. Like the rest of our lives, travel and the way people purchase and experience it have changed a lot in the last 32 years. We are excited about a new idea. SUCCESS STORIES—A SpECIAl AdvERTISIng SECTIOn

When Opportunity Knocks, Now We Will Answer

SportS LeiSure VacationS 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.


In the past, we haven’t always been able to offer you all of the travel and entertainment opportunities we would have liked. For example, last fall, Hugh Jackman performed in San Francisco for three weeks. But the timing of the show announcement made it impossible to sell the trip before making what would have been a nearly $5,000 commitment to tickets. Second example. Again in San Francisco. Richard III, a popular Shakespearean play starring Kevin Spacey, offered a very limited engagement. But again the timing was not right. Now the date of an event will no longer be the determining factor on our attendance. Because an exciting new benefit of membership awaits everyone reading this page. The only thing you will need is a computer, or a friend with one. On May 1st, we will launch By Invitation Only. Here’s how it works. Beginning immediately, you can go to our website at and register. This is important, because only those who wish to be a part of it will be enrolled in By Invitation Only. You can also enroll by telephone, but we encourage you to go to

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


our website and click on the little yellow post it note at the top of the page that says, “By Invitation Only.” You’ll be asked to provide us your e-mail address (or the address or a friend or relative who will receive the e-mail By Invitation Only notices). That’s the way the new program works. By having your e-mail address, we will be able to notify you immediately (and in a cost effective way) by sending out a By Invitation Only e-mail alert. We’ll tell you what’s happening, when and where, and what it will cost. You will then have the opportunity to let us know if you are interested in that event or trip. If we get enough response in the designated time frame, we will be able to add the trip to our schedule. (This will also work for things like the long-anticipated Searching for Lake Wobegone tour, which has been kept off the schedule for years because of the short notice we get on Minnesota performances of the show.) Now, you won’t miss the really special shows and events, because you can be notified and invited to attend. We are excited, because potentially we can offer you many more opportunities to see the best entertainers and the most unique attractions. Plus, you can register for our Spring Open House & Holiday Preview on April 14th at KVIE while you are on line! By Invitation Only is open only to members of the Sports Leisure Travel Club and their guests. There is no charge for registering and you never have to buy anything. Remove your name from the list at anytime. We will never share your e-mail address with anyone (you are our customer, not someone else’s).

On the Road with Mark Folks often ask, where are you going next? Sometimes I hesitate to share that information, because I always seem to be on the go, and often can’t be in two places at the same time, no matter how hard I try. Chris Galloway has been my tag-team traveling partner on many trips for the last

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

couple of years, expressly for the reason of being able to take my place if and where needed. (I won’t be able to travel with you folks as much next year, as I will be serving as volunteer Chairman of the National Tour Association. So Chris is familiar with my favorite destinations and can step right in. That might be necessary on occasion this year, as my schedule ramps up a bit.) At the end of May Chris and I will split Tour Directing duties on two wonderful and very different trips. The first is a short regional excursion, an itinerary that was a Mystery Tour in 2011. (If you’ve ever wanted to see what happens on a Mystery Trip, here’s your chance.) Sisters & Bend, Oregon’s Mountain Secrets, departs on May 29th. The trip is 4 days in length and includes an air flight to/from Portland. Positioned right after Memorial Day, it gives you three nights at a casual mountain lodge, outdoor sightseeing featuring the headwaters of a river and spectacular waterfalls, and a visit to Bend and the Columbia River Gorge. Old Cape Cod, Provincetown to Nantucket, is 7 days and departs June 8th. It’s an updated version of a tour we offered last fall, with a little less time on Martha’s Vineyard and an extended stay on Nantucket, based on the input from the travelers on last year’s trip. It is a great time to visit Oregon and the Cape, before the big crowds of summer. Of course, that is Just, One Man’s Opinion. I’d love to escort the U.S. Gymnastics Finals if time allows in June, because to see the country’s best right before the Olympic Games would be a thrill. In September, Clayton and I will host Broadway and Baseball, to Chicago and St. Louis, then my Oregon Coast trip right after that and Living! History! Nuts!, my Mystery Tour with Ryan Quinn, follows in October. See you on the road. And so it goes…

Mark Hoffmann, CTP Owner/Founder

Clayton Place Kia Ora, Friends! No, I’m not trying to learn yet another language – just greeting you like a local would. I’m writing you today from the lanai of my hotel in Paihia, overlooking the crystal-blue Pacific Ocean in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Our 19-day journey through paradise is drawing to a close (only five days left) and I think we’ve saved the best for last. This place is AMAZING! If it’s not already on your Bucket List, add it! Hopefully I can talk Mark into letting me do another vacation here more sooner than later. One reality of an almost 3-week long trip is something even this well-seasoned traveler suffers from time to time: Homesickness. I miss my friends, church, office and most of all, the good old US of A. Thankfully, in this age of technology, it’s easier than ever to reach out and touch someone. A new iPhone, my laptop and a wonderful New Zealand invention called the YABBA card (which allows 10-cent per minute calls to the States) help me stay connected. I just have to remember I’m presently one day ahead, but three hours behind California. That is to say when it’s Saturday at noon for you, it’s 9 a.m. Sunday morning here. Got it? There just has to be a way to get rich on this reality. For example, shouldn’t I be able to tell you who wins the race before it’s run or which stock is about to go sky high? I’m going to have to work on that… Staying connected to Toot has been particularly enjoyable of late. Many of you know my mother, Queen of the Prune Cake – certainly a legend in her own time. She lives on our 100-acre family farm in Bethlehem, Georgia, which true to the song is an extremely “little town.” Historically, it was a cattle farm, but all that changed recently when mom met Chris-the-Fireman. Long story short, we now raise alpacas and

donkeys – the latter to protect the former from prey. (I don’t understand it either. We just have to accept it as fact.) Assisted by his paramedic brother-in-law and other family and friends, our formerly calm farm has become quite a three-ring circus. As the photo indicates they are cute critters. I’m certain Toot is enjoying the activity. As for me, the professional traveler, I can think of worse things than a cadre of public servants visiting my mother daily! Being “down under” at what is here the end of summer has me thinking about the beauty of fall foliage back home – that crispness in the air that means autumn is here. Our tour began on the South Island, the closest land mass to Antarctica. It was cool there and leaves were already starting to change. It was lovely, but perhaps nowhere in the world are the changing colors grander than in New England. Though it pains this Southerner to say it, New England rocks in the autumn. If you’ve never experienced the northern states in the fall, I invite you to take a look at A New England Fall Foliage Sampler which features New Hampshire and Vermont, with just a taste of Maine. Two stunning resorts – one lakeside and the other mountaintop, each for a 2-night stay – have been selected to afford you the very best in hospitality and scenery. Refer to

our website, the 2012 Dream Book (page 62) or call the office for a complete itinerary and details. Our dear friend Chuck Evans used to leave his groups with the Irish Blessing. Here in New Zealand, they have a similar tradition. Ma te Atua koe e whakau, kit e pono me te hari. (May God fill you with truth and joy.) What could be better than that? Rongomau (peace from “Your Tour Guy”),

Clayton Whitehead, CTP Vice President

Clayton, Blueberry (Sports Leisure’s mascot) and Pahutu Geyser in Rotorua, New Zealand

Clayton’s mom has some new boarders on the family farm in Georgia Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


The Customers Always Write Hello Sports Leisure Travelers, I wish I was one of your fellow travelers. I have been friends with Mark and Clayton since 1988 when we all attended the National Tour Association convention in Kansas City. You may know that Mark was the President of NTA some years ago, and is now on the board of directors once more, and in line to become the head man again… quite an honor. Also Clayton has the honor of having been the NTA Volunteer of the Year. These two guys are amazing. Thus my reason for writing you… I spent 35 years in the group travel industry, and retired in December of 1999. Several years ago Mark brought a mystery tour to my city of Lawrence, KS… home of the Christmas Parade with horsedrawn vehicles… sorry the weather was not great, but all had a good time, and visited the tiny town of Lecompton, KS, of great civil war historical significance quite near here. These guys at Sports Leisure create some of the most awesome experiences. I asked Mark to put me on the mailing list for the annual brochure and the “Traveler” which I just read. “The Customers Always Write” was really interesting… in my old life I used to read all the “post tour questionaires” from our tours when I was a part of Maupintour… by doing so we were able to take suggestions and make necessary changes, which is so important. It is obvious to this old retired travel guy that Sports Leisure is a “family.” If health allowed, I would certainly be joining you. First on my list would maybe be The Dakotas trip in June 2012 or Key West in 2013. Y’all be sure to keep your eyes and ears open… those two guys at Sports Leisure Vacations have a lot of awesome stuff up their sleeves! Pete Anderson National Tour Association President, 1988 aka The Old Kansas Jayhawker Ed. Note: One of the best parts about what I do for a living are the friends you


make along the way. Pete is one of those special people who spent a good part of his life making dreams come true. Now, he’s watching over me, to make sure everything is just right for Sports Leisure Travelers. We will stop and say hello next time we are in the Lawrence, Kansas area. Hello There Chris, Just finished reading your blog about the Southeast Asia Cruise. Nice read! We are still on Singapore time. Grant is having a hard time getting back to Grass Valley time. I’m missing Arab Street ! We received the vacation experience/ evaluation forms today in the mail. Now to relive our wonderful holiday while answering questions. Grant and I pretty much travel by ourselves on HAL, but I must say that traveling with you (through Sports Leisure) and the small group that we had was a real pleasure. You handled everything and everyone with such professionalism. We will definitely recommend the services that Sports Leisure offers. We are at it again in 4 weeks on HAL’s Oosterdam to Hawaii celebrating my birthday. Safe travels where ever you go next. Cheers, Ingrid and Grant Hi Mark, Gary and I are really bummed that we can’t go on the National Road trip in April, but it is a great reason. I finally was called and received a new kidney on January 11th… 2012 has started out very well for us and will continue to get better. I will be homebound for 3 months and probably be back to “regular” by early summer. You know what that means, no more boxes and machine… just go on trips and enjoy. We will be going on the September trip for the fall colors… really looking forward to that. Have a great National Road trip and say hello to our fellow travelers for us. Happy traveling, Gary and Shari Beck

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

Dear Clayton, I am writing a belated note from my daughter, Lisa, and myself to thank you for the wonderful trip planned by Sports Leisure Vacations (SLV) and led by you to Poland and the Czech Republic in September 2011. I would not have planned a trip myself given the past history of long Soviet rule and not knowing what conditions we would find as tourists. However, knowing how thoroughly SLV plans trips, researches hotels, restaurants, etc., I knew there would be no problems. Our guide Anita was not only knowledgeable but had a sense of humor; all of the local guides were great. The bus made travel comfortable, the churches and castles breathtaking. The hotels were great. We met so many nice and interesting people in our group. We became aware of how proud the Polish people are of their freedoms, how they have cleaned up polluted sites/rivers and are building their country. Lisa and I also want to thank you for taking your time to write out two pages of notes about sites to see and places to go in New York City on the Thanksgiving tour. Above and beyond the call of duty! The uptown/ downtown info was helpful. My grandson, Lisa and I did go to lunch at The Boathouse, dinner at Sardi’s, and the deli Carneigie. We covered a lot of ground. Our only regret, we did not see more shows. The Book of Morman was “interesting.” Again, thank you Clayton. We look forward to our next adventure with you. Eileen Herrin and Lisa Jensen Dear Mark – Need to share this. Lost a shoe (not just any shoe, a Nordstrom’s shoe) on the Apple Farm Christmas trip. Called the hotel and they didn’t have it. Called All West and the reply was, “Is it a black pump?” They would not even accept payment for mailing it back to me. Such great service you provide. Happy end of story. Margo Nappi

Hello Mark, The Rose Parade trip was another successful undertaking by Sports Leisure. Patti was an excellent tour director! Hilde and I made reservations with no problems. Our son’s mother-in-law, Gunvor Scordelis of Modesto, was briefly on the waiting list but made it, too. Our daughter, Ellen Graebe of Emeryville, was on the waiting list for weeks but unfortunately never made it on the trip. We checked frequently with your office but one week before Christmas were told that there was no room on the LA part of the tour. Now looking back on the events, there would have been room for Ellen. The bus from Sacramento to Oakland was not full. The train from Oakland to Van Nuys was not full (Hilde, Gunvor and I had an empty seat next to us in the dome of the private rail car). The hotel in Long Beach did not seem to be sold out. The bleachers at the Rose Parade were not filled up; there were plenty of empty seats close to where we were sitting. The return flight from Burbank was 2/3 full at best. So it comes down to the “no room in the bus” down south, We were 42 passengers, 43 with Patti. Our bus had a number of extra seats. Our bus driver, Gill, told me their buses have a minimum of 47 seats. So learning all this, Hilde and I felt bad that our daughter could not participate on this excellent excursion with so many neat sidetrips. Maybe you can give us a explanation that makes sense. Thank you. Sincerely, Fred Graebe Ed. Note: Fred, I’m happy to try and explain. While there were open seats/rooms as you described, we have limits on the number of people we allow on a given trip. Multiple day excursions are never booked over 42. There are many reasons for this, but the primary ones are comfort and service. For example, the private train car you rode in technically can seat up to 58, but even with 42 we received enough comments on evaluations about the tight quarters that we are limiting the train trip to 35 people next year, just to insure that our travelers are comfortable on the train.

The fact you acknowledge there were 42 on the trip tells me it was indeed sold out. I assure you that if we could have gotten your daughter onto the trip without going over our passenger limits, we would have done so. Each traveler represents a little more profit, and I’m not opposed to that. I hope you understand that the limits we place on participation are often designed to make the trip more enjoyable for those who are traveling. In fairness, it should be noted the trip was announced in April and didn’t sell out until late August. Dear Mark and Clayton, Yesterday I finished reading (devouring) the Sports Leisure Traveler cover to cover. I am a Life Member since 1980 or 81. While I was working for the state, I had neither time nor money to travel. Now that I’m retired, I plan to begin my traveling career. I love that you have so many “nearby” trips to choose from. I want to go on all of them. Over the past 30+ years, you have fed my dreams. I hope now to actually start making those dreams come true. Thank you! Barbara LeDoux P.S. – Clayton, you know me from St. Francis of Assisi Parish; Mark, congrats on your NTA honors. HHHHHHHH

Special thanks to Margaret Bell for sending along a copy of her poetry book. I think I’ll share some of her selections on upcoming trips. Thanks were received from the Cristo Rey High School, for a donation made on behalf of Kelly Brothers. Kelly was a terrific host for our Chicago Sports Weekend last year and declined any type of compensation. So we made a donation to one of his favorite local charities on his behalf. We received several thank you notes from Gold Members for our annual Valentine’s cards. We send them to active Gold Members each year (that’s about 500 envelopes). Clayton hand addresses the envelopes and the cards are hand-signed. Wish we could send them to all 8,000 active members, but I think Clayton’s arm would fall off. 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:

The Travel Guys

Win a trip to Hawaii or New York in the Mystery Spot Contest beginning March 25 Sunday from 2:00-3:00pm

News Talk 92.5 FM & AM 1530 KFBK Brought to you by:


Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


The Human Side Learn, Laugh, Reflect The Tomato Garden An old gentleman lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament: Dear Vincent: I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over, because you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son. Dear Papa: Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried. Love, Vinnie At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son. Dear Papa: Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That is the best I could do under the circumstances. Love you, Vinnie

Gentle Thoughts for Today....

• When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra. • Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth… Amen!

• A penny saved is most likely a government oversight. • The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends. • The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement. • He who hesitates is probably right. • Did you ever notice? The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL. • If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame. • The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble. • When you put the two words “The” and “IRS” together it spells “Theirs...” • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.


Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

Five things that you cannot recover in life: (1) The Stone… after it’s thrown (2) The Word… after it’s said, (3) The Occasion… after it’s missed, (4) The Time… after it’s gone, and (5) A person… after they die

Remembering Our Friends: A final bon voyage and farewell to members of our traveling family who have passed recently. We shall miss them all, especially Margaret, who was a huge SLV fan and longtime traveler. John Koenck, Richard Shaw, Miriam Fryer, Peggy Billigmeier and Margaret Iske If you know of a member of our traveling family who should be remembered here, kindly contact our office.

What If There Isn’t “Anymore?” One day a woman’s husband passed away, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t “anymore.” No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.” Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say goodbye or say “I love you.” So while we have it, it’s best we love it, care for it, fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick. This is true for marriage… and old cars, children with bad report cards, dogs with bad hips and aging parents and grandparents. We care for them because they are worth it. Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce, because there are some things or people that make us happy, no matter what. Make room for special people and you will have more special moments. Isn’t that what makes life worth living, your own personal series of special moments. They don’t repeat. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the true gift. That’s why we call it “the present.”

The Taxi Driver and The Minister A taxi driver and a minister arrived in heaven at the same time. The taxi driver was led to a palatial suite, and the minister was given a small plain room. “I don’t get it,” the minister said. “All he did was drive a cab and I was in the ministry for decades.” “Up here, we go by results,” St. Peter said. “While you preached, people slept. While he drove, people prayed.”

Casino Trips and Baseball 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 are 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 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)

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. Early reservations advised, lower level seating already limited for many games.

San Francisco Giants 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 Sun., June 24

Athletics vs. Giants



Oh What A Night

Sun., July 22

Athletics vs. Yankees



At the Eldorado August 12-13 Touring internationally since 2009, “Oh What a Night” takes you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane to celebrate the hit songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, whose fascinating story is told in the hit musical “Jersey Boys.” The show is a spectacular production with singers, dancers and video projection, reflecting the era when The Four Seasons were on top of the charts. The show delivers first class musical arrangements, perfect harmonies, authentic costumes, and all of The Four Seasons’ greatest hits. Your accommodations will be at The Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino where you will receive $5 in slot play and a $3 food credit. A buffet dinner is included at the Eldorado Hotel & Casino if you choose to see the show this evening. There will be an optional casino stop on day two at Boomtown; those who go will receive $5 cash. 200/225 Gold Passport Points. $189 p.p./dbl.occ., $209 single (incl. show) $149 p.p./dbl.occ., $169 single (no show)

Sun., Sept. 2

Athletics vs. Red Sox



Wed., Oct. 3 (Fan Appreciation Day)

Athletics vs. Rangers

12:35pm $99

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

“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”

– Yogi Berra

The Champagne Express to Tahoe Harvey’s Casino Monday, April 16, Tuesday, May 15 or Thusday, June 14 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 Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


Day Trips and Theatre Outings 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 Brunch 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, 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! $125

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: The Man That Got Away Jewish Community Center in SF Sunday, April 15 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 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

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. Stop briefly at Granzella’s in Williams before returning home. $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

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 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.

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

Enjoy lunch prior to the 2pm matinee at the Northern Queen Inn. $119

SF Symphony’s Barbary Coast and 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

You’ve Got a Date for Lunch in Amador Monday, May 14 Spend a day in the Shenandoah Valley, with gentle rolling foothills covered with vineyards. Enjoy a lunch prepared especially for you by the chef of Taste restaurant in Plymouth. A visit to the Shenandoah Museum and Sobon Winery completes your visit to Amador County. $109

Betrayal, Bankruptcy, and Brilliance Featuring the Walt Disney Family Museum Wednesday, May 16 The life of storyteller Walt Disney comes alive in the wonderful Walt Disney Family Museum that celebrates the man behind such storybook legends as Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse and Snow White. Founded by San Francisco resident Diane Disney Miller, one of Walt Disney’s children, the museum tells the personal story of his life through his own words and family memorabilia. Lunch is included at Scoma’s along with an afternoon ferry ride across the bay to Sausalito. $129

John Muir’s Early California Saturday, May 19 A new visitors center at John Muir National Historic Site opened just a few months ago and is a wonderful compliment to the home in which naturalist John Muir resided from 1890 to 1914. Considered by many to be the father of the National Park Service, Muir’s life and writings are presented in the visitors center and his historic home in Martinez. Lunch follows along with a visit to the Benicia State Capitol State Historic Park, slated to be closed due to budget cuts in June. Serving as California’s State Capitol from 1853-54, this may be your last time to see this historical gem. $106

The Presidio & The Palace Tuesday, May 22 Serving as a military post under Spain, Mexico, and then the United States from 1776 to 1994, The Presidio was closed as a base and is a now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. With Craig Smith as our guide, learn about those historic years, tour the grounds, see the changes and learn the future plans for this iconic San Francisco attraction.  After an included lunch at the Presidio Golf Course Restaurant, the sightseeing continues with visits to the renovated Palace of Fine Arts and the Lucas Arts Headquarters Building.  $110

Spring on the Rails Wednesday, May 23 Take a beautiful setting and match it with the romance of the rails and what do you have? A great spring outing! Climb aboard the Sierra Railroad in Oakdale and enjoy a day of beautiful scenery amongst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A three-course lunch is served on board with an ever-changing view right outside your window! Stop at the Oakdale Cheese Factory for a few goodies. $126

Mumm’s The Word Thursday, May 24 Enjoy a delicious and delightful day at Mumm Napa Valley for a tour and tasting of its award-winning sparkling wine. Visit

its beautiful garden, the gallery of fine arts photography, and experience stunning views of the surrounding vineyards. At the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, lunch awaits in its historic Greystone Restaurant. Finish the day with a short stop at the Marketplace in Yountville to browse its variety of culinary and gift shops. $162

Sunday’s A Drag The Starlight Room, San Francisco Sunday, May 27 On this Sunday all is done in extravagantly good taste and wit as the Starlight Room in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Union Square is the home of one of San Francisco’s most popular shows – Harry Denton’s noon brunch show. Enjoy a sumptuous brunch plus a show that gives you attitude from the mistresses of music, and the divas of drag. After the show, you will have free time to stroll the streets of Sausalito before returning to Sacramento. $134

Gardens of Golden Gate Park Wednesday, May 30 Celebrate spring by enjoying the many beautiful gardens of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. With Craig Smith as your guide, begin at the historic Conservatory of Flowers, home to exotic flowers and plants from around the world. Other stops include the Windmill, Roses, and hidden Shakespeare Gardens, concluding at the serene and picturesque Japanese Tea Gardens.  Lunch is included mid-day at world-famous Cliff House Restaurant.  Be sure to bring your camera and wear comfortable shoes to walk and smell the roses. $138

Steam Whistles and Silent Films Sunday, June 3 All aboard the historic Nile Canyon Railway for a scenic ride through the canyon along the route of the trans-continental railway. Once in Niles, step back into the quiet time of silent films at the local museum celebrating the era of Charlie Chaplin and other great legends of the silver screen. Lunch is included in Livermore before the

train ride at one of our new favorite eateries, Terra Mia, a wonderful Italian place. $129

Earthquakes, Rainforests and Coral Reefs Monday, June 4 Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the California Academy of Science is spectacular. This particular departure to the academy allows you plenty of time to explore several new exhibits including “Earthquake” opening in late May. The exhibit also features a companion show in the planetarium. Explore Philippine Coral Reefs, a rainforest in Madagascar, and the sights of the African Savannah. Of course, the resident penguins are the most popular attraction at the academy. Lunch is at your leisure at the museum café. $91

The NEW Dawdin’ on the Delta Wednesday, June 6 Our always enjoyable spring visit to the Delta is back but with new sites to see! Begin in Pittsburgh (California, of course) at the southern end of California’s ecologically diverse Delta. An informative luncheon cruise aboard the Island Sereande introduces you to the history and ecology of the region. On the way home visit The Dutra Dredging Museum in Rio Vista, dedicated to educating and promoting an understanding of the history of dredging and the value of reclaiming the California Delta. $120

Glass, Fish & Ships Thursday, June 7 Begin with visits to Nourot and Smyers Glass Studios in Benicia. The studios are known for outstanding quality and value in vivid colored original designs. Next it’s lunch at The Dead Fish Restaurant overlooking the Carquinez Straights – a silly name but great food! Following lunch, cruise around the US Navy’s “Mothball Fleet” aboard the m/v Journey. You cannot board any of the naval vessels but it is a great way to see some of America’s powerful and historic ships including destroyers, cruisers, oilers, and merchant ships. This tour is limited to 30 so reserve early! $139

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


Frankie Avalon

The 39 Steps

Les Miserables

Gallo Center, Modesto Saturday, June 9 For members of a certain generation, there probably isn’t a time that Frankie Avalon was not a part of their lives. The former teen heartthrob’s career has spanned three generations in music, television and movies, including a string of gold record hits such as “Venus,” “Why” and “De De Dinah.” Enjoy a wonderful stroll down memory lane at the Gallo Center for the Performing Arts along with dinner served prior to the 8pm show at the Canal Street Grill. $154

East Sonora Theatre Wednesday, June 27 Cross an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, whirl it up with giddy comedy and wildly invented theatrical stagecraft and you have The 39 Steps, a fast and frothy whodunit that celebrates the magic of theater. When a beautiful and mysterious woman is murdered, the suave hero is falsely accused and pursued across the country in an unforgettable evening of pure comedic pleasure. More than 150 characters brought to life by a cast of just four brilliant comedic actors. Lunch is included prior to the 2pm matinee at the Willow Steakhouse in Jamestown. $118

Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco Wednesday, August 8 or Saturday, August 11 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 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. Staff Code: Cantaloupe. The Saturday departure includes a no–host lunch stop prior to the show in the area of Union Square. Wed. – $148, Sat. – $162

War and Remembrance Wednesday, June 13 Appropriate for the week of Memorial Day, Stockton’s Haggin Museum presents a wonderful photographic retrospective of the Second World War with over 100 photographs taken by Associated Press photographers from all theatres of the war and stateside. Some of the photos were never published and remained untouched for over 60 years. Begin the day with a brief tour of the historic Fox Theatre, now known as the Bob Hope Theatre, in Downtown Stockton and maybe get up and dance to a few tunes as played on the house organ. Lunch follows at Angelina’s Spaghetti House, surrounded by photos of historic Stockton, along with the docent-guided tour of the Haggin Museum. $98

The Pritikin Museum in San Francisco Tuesday, June 19 San Francisco’s largest private estate and home to an art collection reputed to be worth $40 million has now opened to the public and Sports Leisure Vacations will be one of the first to visit. Built as his home in 1981, Robert Pritikin was an advertising executive with an avid interest in art. Known as a“collector of many things,”his possessions include an eclectic selection of paintings, murals, sculptures, musical instruments, pop art, and San Francisco memorabilia. The day includes a luncheon and private tour of the mansion and gardens. $140


The Magic Flute San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House Sunday, July 8 Inventive, charming, beguiling, and unique, Mozart’s final opera is a profound but lighthearted tale of romantic love. With an international cast and artistic new production for San Francisco, this lyrical and opera favorite will be sung in English. Your choice of seating is in the side sections of the Orchestra or the Dress Circle of the first balcony. Be advised that Dress Circle seating involves use of steep stairs and there are no handrails.  A stop is included in Union Square for lunch on your own before the 2pm matinee.  Orchestra – $215, Dress Circle – $165

Michael Feinstein’s The Good Life Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco Sunday, July 15 Michael Feinstein returns to Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco for only one night as part of the summer pops series. In concert with his big band, “The Good Life” pays tribute to the great American singers and songwriters including Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and Liza Minnelli. Enjoy seating in the orchestra for this multi-platinum-selling and five-time Grammy nominated superstar performer. Dinner is included at Viva Pizza before the 7:30pm show. $155

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

War Horse Curran Theatre Wednesday, August 29 or Saturday, September 1 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

The Barber Pole, or Once Over Lightly This column is named for the late Bill Conlin, who was the editor of both The Sacramento Union and The Sacramento Bee sports pages during his life. Bill was a big part of Sports Leisure, traveling with us to Spring Training each year. New York, Paris, London; Bill and Mae Belle Pendergast were traveling companions who had been high school sweethearts and spent their later years in the company of Sports Leisure Vacations. When Bill wrote a column with covering several topics, he used this title. As baseball season approaches, we honor the memory of our friend Bill Conlin…

Seats at the (Giants) Ballpark Remember when the Giants played at Candlestick Park? They drew 5,000 people, you could walk up to the ticket window and get a great seat (as long as the Dodgers weren’t in town). Now the team plays at a beautiful downtown stadium, arguably one of the best in the country, has even won a World Series; and you can’t get a good seat without being a season ticket holder or ponying up a lot of bucks. After they beat the Phillies to win the Series, there was a huge increase in demand for tickets and the Giants, despite recognizing that we were longtime customers, had to limit the number of tickets we could buy. Lower level indiviual game tickets were already seriously limited to seats in the corners of right and left field. By splitting our tickets between the lower and second (view) level, we were able to double the number of games we offered. Some folks complain that the lower level seats aren’t the best. (They are right, they are down the left field line near the foul pole. Trouble is, those are the only seats available to us [or anyone else, for that matter].) We could ask for seats in right field, which are closer to the field, but also more likely to be in the sun, which is an issue for many people. Bottom line, unless you are willing to pay ticket brokers a premium, the seats Sports Leisure has are among the best available. The upstairs seats offer a much better view, but you have to get up to them

through a series of ramps or a heavily used elevator. Of course, once on the upper level, you have to climb stairs and if you decide to leave your seat during the game, you guessed it, those same stairs will be waiting, but you are right at home plate, with a great overview of the game. The A’s on the other hand, are not as popular, and seating there is not an issue. Tickets are even cheaper. One other word to the wise: Lower level Giants seats are already sold out for some games, limited for others. If you wish to attend a Giants game or two this year and have not already signed up, we suggest you do so as soon as possible. We will soon begin advertising the games to the public

Fuel Surcharges As fuel prices skyrocket, these become more of a reality. All West Coachlines works directly with us, notifying us of fuel prices on a regular basis. Should fuel prices at the pump drop below $3.30, most of these charges will go away. If the price of oil continues to climb, so will the charges. We strive to be as fair as possible on these charges, and we hate “nickeling and diming” our travelers. But the reality is that it adds up to thousands of dollars a month, and if we don’t recover those costs, a significant part of our profit goes away. Here is our policy: On Day Trips, because they are announced only a few months in advance, we are able to monitor fuel and tour prices and include the fuel surcharges. Currently, the surcharge accounts for about $2-3 per person of the tour price. You don’t pay a surcharge upon departure because it has already been included. On Extended Domestic Tours in the US and Canada, you will receive a notice of the fuel surcharge in the Final Tour Notes. By collecting the charge close to departure, we can insure you pay a more current rate. On International Tours (except Canada), you may have to deal with air and motorcoach fuel surcharges. When we are made aware of these when pricing the tour, we include them and tell you. Otherwise,

they are passed on from the airlines and calculated by the bus companies close to the date of travel. Should you ever have any questions regarding fuel or energy surcharges, we welcome your call. While these are a reality to some extent, they need to be fair. Your comments are always welcome.

Handicap Rooms Requests We are always happy to request special accommodations for those who need them. Recently, we have noticed an uptick in these requests. Because handicapped rooms at hotels are very limited in number, it’s important if you request one of these rooms, you are getting what you need. And because they are so limited, if you don’t really need all of the features of the room, it might be more fair to leave it for another traveler. For example, many people prefer a shower with grab bars. (Personally, so does this writer.) About half of hotels offer this feature in all rooms. So if what you need is assistance getting in and out of the shower, and you ask for a handicapped room for that reason only, you may take the room away from someone who has a greater need. Inquire about special rooms when you register for your trip. Discuss your needs with our staff; and ask to speak to Kevin, Mark or Clayton if you need to communicate personal information or need more answers to your questions. We want all who wish to travel with us to be able to, and our job is to arrange the deck chairs to make as many folks happy and comfortable as possible. Your understanding is appreciated.

This could be YOU! Munching on a lobster in Hyannis on Old Cape Cod, see page 16.

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


New Vacations and Getaways The Great Gilroy Garlic Festival Featuring an evening at the Fairmont Hotel, San Jose 2 Days July 27-28 1. Depart Sacramento on board SuperCoach III bound for the community of Gilroy and its famous Garlic Festival. On Friday morning, the weather is cooler and the weekend crowds haven’t yet appeared. Enjoy all your favorite foods with that most wonderful member of the onion family. Garlic ice cream? Yep, you’ll find it here! Arrive in San Jose in the middle afternoon and check-in to your hotel in the heart of the city, The Fairmont. (D) 2. This morning you have a choice to make. Explore San Jose’s Tech Museum, a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds, take a tour of the unique Winchester Mystery House, or simply choose to sleep in and relax a little at your hotel. Lunch and some time for shopping is included in the village of Half Moon Bay en route to Sacramento, arriving in the late afternoon. (L) The tour includes transportation, overnight accommodations, all attractions

listed, two meals, and the services of a Sports Leisure Tour Director. 500/550 Gold Passport Points. $455 p.p./dbl.occ., $515 single $ave $15 until April 10

The Santa Cruz Follies 2 days Sept. 12 – 13 1. After a brief break from this popular annual trip, we travel back to Santa Cruz to see the The Santa Cruz Follies’ new show, Copacabana Finale. Performed since 1955 by actors and singers all “50 years young or better,” it’s a wonderful variety show benefitting Senior Citizen Opportunities. Lunch is included at The Crow’s Nest along the waterfront before the 1pm matinee performance.  Your overnight accommodations are nestled near the woods at the Hilton Hotel in nearby Scotts Valleys. (L) 2. Enjoy a visit to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with an informative history talk at its famous merry-go-round and make a reach for the brass ring! A barbeque lunch is included at Roaring Camp with a ride through the coastal redwoods on the Big Trees Railroad before returning home. (L)

Excitement surrounds the chefs as they cook (and perform) at the Gilroy Garlic Festival


Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

The tour includes transportation, overnight accommodations, all attractions listed, two lunches, and the services of a Sports Leisure Tour Director. 500/550 Gold Passport Points. $485 p.p./dbl.occ., $535 single $ave $15 until April 10

“Show Me” TV Stars In Branson

Featuring Dick Van Dyke and Greg Brady 6 Day • September 15-20 H Highlights H • Nine shows: Andy Williams with Dick Van Dyke, Yakov Smirnoff, Shoji Tabuchi, Joseph at the Sight and Sound Theatre, Twelve Irish Tenors, The Oak Ridge Boys, Barry Williams, Greg Brady, Presley’s Jubilee, The Brett Family • Five nights at the beautiful Hilton Promenade • Visit the Titanic Museum during its 100 year anniversary • Private chat with Steve Presley • 12 Meals; 4 breakfasts, 2 brunches, 1 lunch and 5 dinners • Door-to-door transportation • Round trip airfare to/from Branson • 2800/3100 Gold Passport Points 1. Fly direct to Branson. You hotel is at Branson Landing which sits on the banks of Lake Taneycomo with a friendly pedestrian area of shops and restaurants. Only steps away is Branson’s old town with its quaint shops including Dick’s Five & Dime. Dinner is hosted at Andy William’s Moon River Grill before his performance with TV legend Dick Van Dyke. Hilton Promenade – 5 nights (D) 2. Brunch is scheduled this morning at the beautiful historic Big Cedar Lodge on the banks of Table Rock Lake. With a repertoire ranging from Broadway to Barry Manilow to Frank Sinatra and of course plenty of traditional Irish music, The Twelve Irish Tenors’ show features something for every musical taste. (BR,D) 3. The Brett Family sings everything from the 40’s and 50’s to classical, Motown,

Broadway and more! Get the lay of the land this afternoon with a scenic tour of the local area including the College of the Ozarks. Known locally as “Hard Work U,” no student pays tuition; rather, they work to earn their education. Later, get a behind-the-scenes experience with a visit to the Presley Family Theatre and chat with Steve Presley of the Presley’s Jubilee. From gospel to country, the Presley Family will provide a great time. (B,L,D) 4. Yakov Smirnoff, the famous Russian comedian, delivers explosive laughter in a show filled with brilliant special effects, dazzling dancing, heart-filled moments, and just plain fun. Enjoy a special dinner on the top floor of the Plaza Restaurant with entertainment by Kenny Parrot. Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The fourpart harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of country hits earning them Grammy, Dove, CMA and ACM awards. (B,D) 5. 2012 is the year of Titanic, the centennial year of the great ship’s maiden voyage. At the Titanic Museum experience life on board just as it was on her maiden voyage 100 years ago. Walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and grand staircase while surrounded by more than 400 rare artifacts. Watch the spectacular production of Joseph, at the Sight & Sound Theatre, an epic, timeless story about the power of forgiveness. It includes a spectacular 30-foot tall Egyptian palace that spans 300-feet and wraps around three sides of the audience and a cast of 45 professional adult and children actors and dozens of live animals. Your evening show features a performance by legendary violinist Shoji Tabuchi. (B,D) 6. One last show before saying farewell to Branson. Spend the morning with Barry Williams, Greg on television’s The Brady Bunch, along with his live five piece band. Barry has a new multi-media show specially created for Branson audiences. Your afternoon flight gets you back to Sacramento in the early evening. (B,BR) $2770 p.p./dbl.occ., $3070 single $ave $125 until April 10

Mendocino’s Colorful Coast 4 Days • October 9-12 Autumn is the best time to explore the beautiful Mendocino Coast. The summer crowds have disappeared and the towns of Ft. Bragg and Mendocino are returned to the locals (and you!). Last year we decided on a three-night stay with several new restaurants and attractions. Sport Leisure travelers responded by selling out the tour! 1. Carey Transportation delivers you to the Sports Leisure office to meet SuperCoach III. Skirt the north shore of Clear Lake en route to the small community of Upper Lake for lunch at the Blue Goose Restaurant and a visit to the Mendocino County Historic Museum in Willits. Arrive in the late afternoon at your accommodations in Ft. Bragg, with private balconies, above Noyo Harbor. Harbor Lite Lodge – 3 nights (L,D) 2. After a light breakfast included each morning at the lodge, explore the village of Mendocino with a morning visit to the historic Kelley House followed by an optional docent-guided walk. Lunch is included at the popular Café Beaujolais, known for its delicious regional cuisine. Following lunch choose to explore the unique shops of Mendocino, visit MacKerricher State Park for a ranger-guided tour of the boardwalk to the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or relax back at the hotel. Dinner is included at the Cliff House, overlooking the waves of the Pacific. (B,L,D) 3. Visit the Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse this morning and enjoy the peaceful Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, the only public gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The afternoon is at your leisure before dinner and a production of the popular Peter Schaeffer play, “Lettice & Loveage” at the intimate Mendocino Theatre Company Playhouse. (B,L,D) 4. All aboard the Skunk Train! The view from the restored rail cars of the California Western Railroad is pretty much unchanged since the route opened 126 years ago: towering trees, deer drinking from the Noyo River, an isolated fisherman’s cabin peeking from the forest. A steam engine delivers you half-way, to North Spur, where a BBQ tri-tip

Our good frriend Eva enjoying a ride through the redwoods on the Skunk Train

lunch is waiting. For the rest of the journey to Willits, experience the railroad’s enclosed motor-car, which travels on the tracks. SuperCoach III will be waiting at the other end to deliver you home to Sacramento, arriving in the late afternoon. (B,L) The tour includes roundtrip transportation aboard SuperCoach III, accommodations, all attractions listed, all meals (3B,4L,3D), and the services of a Sports Leisure Tour Director. 1150/1350 Gold Passport Points. $1145 p.p./dbl.occ., $1330 single $ave $35 until April 10

Mammoth Lakes, Movies and Ghost Towns 6 or 9 Days • October 17-22 or 25 Enjoy an autumn drive to Las Vegas through Mammoth Lakes, The Eastern Sierra and Death Valley. Return by air from Las Vegas or extend your tour to include ghost towns and other interesting sites in Nevada. 1. Our fleet of Carey vehicles will transport you to the Sports Leisure office. Depart on Supercoach III for the south shore of Lake Tahoe for lunch and continue traveling down Highway 395 to the heart of Mammoth Lakes. Sierra Nevada Lodge – 3 nights (L) 2. Bodie is the most amazing ghost town you’ll ever see. Back in the 1880’s it was the roughest and toughest of all the mining towns in the west. Now it’s preserved as a state park. At Mono Lake learn the story of the lake’s fight for survival. For decades the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has siphoned off water from the streams feeding the lake, causing the lake’s

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


level to drop and endangering its unique environment. (B,L) 3. Mammoth Lakes has been very active geologically in the past few thousand years. Volcanoes abound and one lava flow helped create famous Devils Postpile National Monument. The formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt. Ride the gondola to the top of the famous Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort for awesome views of the Central Sierra. Lunch follows with a scenic tour of Mammoth Basin with an interpretive guide. (B,L) 4. Travel to Lone Pine and visit the Movie Museum. From the early days of westerns like The Round Up to the modern blockbusters of today explore the museum’s extensive collection of real movie costumes, cars, props, posters, and other memorabilia. Enjoy a guided tour of Alabama Hill where over 500 movies were shot. Best Western Plus Frontier (B,L) 5. Enter Death Valley National Park this morning making a stop for brunch at the Furnace Creek Inn. Visit China Ranch, a lush piece of greenery amidst the forbidding Mojave Desert. Towering cottonwoods and willows lie by a wandering stream, with date palms and abundant wildlife, all hidden away in some of the most spectacular scenery the desert has to offer. In Las Vegas your accommodations are minutes south of the strip. South Point Hotel Casino Spa – 1 or 2 nights (B,BR) 6. The newly opened Mob Museum is creating quite a stir. Housed in the historic former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office building, interactive exhibits provide an insider’s look into many of organized crime’s biggest names. If you choose our six day itinerary, you will return to Sacramento by air in the afternoon. Those on the nine day itinerary have a free evening. (L) 7. Depart Las Vegas for Tonopah, pausing in the town of Goldfield for a very special guided tour with a local historian. A former boomtown, the community is working hard to restore its unique history. Ramada Inn Tonopah Station– 2 nights (L) 8. At Tonopah’s Central Nevada Museum view displays describing not only local


mining history but also other cultural and social aspects of the region and tours the open air Tonopah Historic Mining Park. (B,L) 9. Dubbed “America’s Patriotic Home” the town of Hawthorne in western Nevada is proud of its red, white and blue streets and flags blowing in the wind. Part of this pride is rooted in the 147,000-acre Hawthorne Army Depot’s ammunition storage facility. Visit the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum before heading home, pausing in South Lake Tahoe. (B,L) 6 Day Itinerary (Coach to Las Vegas, return by air) $1755 p.p./dbl.occ., $1950 single $ave $60 until April 10 9 Day Itinerary (All coach itinerary) $2095 p.p./dbl.occ., $2335 single $ave $100 until April 10

Tonopah, Laughlin & Las Vegas by SuperCoach III 6 Days • November 11-16, 2012 1. Carey Transportation vehicles will pick you up at your home and deliver you to the Sports Leisure office. Depart our office on board Supercoach III for the south shore of Lake Tahoe where you will enjoy the popular Forest Buffet at Harrah’s. Your final destination for the day is Tonopah. Founded in 1900 as a silver mining camp, it once had more than 30 saloons, (and just two churches), within its city limits. Ramada Inn (BR) 2. Heading south, you pass a number of ghost towns as you make your way to Beatty

where you will have a hosted lunch. After a rest stop in Las Vegas, arrive in Laughlin in late afternoon. Golden Nugget, Laughlin – 2 nights (B,L) 3. Step back in time to the western town of Oatman, Arizona. Visit the historical Oatman Hotel where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon in the 1960’s. Enjoy a hosted lunch and have your picture taken with a resident burro before returning to Laughlin. (L) 4. Head to Las Vegas and tour the newly opened Mob Museum. Learn the fascinating story of the mob brought to life through one-of-a-kind artifacts, interactive touch screens and unique ways to interact with law enforcement and organized crime tools. Check into you hotel located in downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. Golden Nugget, Las Vegas– 2 nights (L) 5. Enjoy a free day to explore downtown or other casinos along the strip. Your Tour Director will be happy to suggest sights and transportation options. 6. Depart Las Vegas this morning for the trip back to Sacramento. There will be rest and meal stops en route as you travel through Mojave, Bakersfield and Fresno. Arrive in Sacramento about 9pm. Carey vehicles will be waiting at the Sports Leisure office to return you to your front door! 1150/1300 Gold Passport Points. (L) $1150 p.p./dbl.occ., $1295 single $ave $35 until April 10

The Mob Museum in Las Vegas has had a controversial grand opening…you’ll want to hear the story

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

SLV Staff Spotlight – Ramona Goodge Editor’s Note: Ramona is in her second tour of duty at Sports Leisure Vacations. She was our annual scholarship winner last August. If you weren’t at Tour Preview Day, you wouldn’t know any of the details on Ramona’s studies and the purpose of them. I think it’s a fascinating look at a lady who I’ve called a friend for many years. – Mark Last August I had the honor to receive the Chuck Evans Memorial Scholarship from Sports Leisure Vacations in support of my pursuit of a Master’s Degree. In my application I wrote that I hoped to keep Chuck’s compassionate, friendly spirit alive as I continue with my work in pastoral care. I am currently in a master’s program at Holmes Institute which will culminate in an interfaith, multi-disciplinary degree in June 2013. I am studying philosophy, psychology, and religion so that I may serve people of all faiths as they live and move through the questions and challenges of illness; and the experiences surrounding end of life. I knew long ago that I wanted to study comparative religion, to be a counselor, and to be in service to those moving through the experiences at the end of life. Staff Code: Cherry. This master’s program is the fulfillment of my dream. I am currently working as a bereavement counselor and hospice chaplain when I am not out on the road with Sports Leisure Vacations. Travelers often ask me, “What is the difference between a chaplain and a minister?” Chaplains provide spiritual care and support to patients and their families who have questions and other issues raised by terminal illnesses rather than imposing specific religious beliefs. As I work with clients and their families it is my role to recognize that each person has a spiritual dimension and their own relationship with that which gives them greater meaning in their lives. I seek to provide a safe supportive environment for the entire family to express all their emotions of anxiety, fear and sadness so that all are able to maintain their dignity, their power of choice and their peace of mind.

I am also actively involved with the Inter-Faith Council of Greater Sacramento. This collective of ministers and lay people from various faith traditions come together monthly to learn more about one another’s faith traditions, to work together on projects such as homelessness, hunger and domestic violence that reach across all cultures and religions. Traveling with Sports Leisure has been a wonderful opportunity for me to experience different cultures and traditions over the years; and I am honored to be invited into various chapels, temples and synagogues to speak and worship. At the completion in 2013, of what feels to be rather rigorous coursework, I will be Reverend Ramona, and I will be a professional guide for one of life’s greatest journeys. It is my desire to facilitate that final journey for others with love, compassion and an open heart such as Chuck Evans had. I thank Sports Leisure Vacations for the scholarship. It helped with tuition and books this past year. And most of all, I thank all of you who have so wonderfully supportive of me this past year with your kind words of encouragement. I love being out on the road sharing beautiful and majestic places such as Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, the Redwoods in Humboldt State Park or places closer to home in the Sierra Foothills with you. Let’s go hug a tree!

TEASING NEW TOURS Sound Interesting? Here are a few destinations “in progress.” If interest dictates, we’ll add them to our schedule. If you are interested in one or more, call and ask to be added to the Priority Notification List, and we’ll update you if and when the trip is scheduled. In September (12-13), the Santa Cruz Seniorama Follies Revue is back on the schedule. Stay at the Hilton in Scott’s Valley, with lunch at the Crow’s Nest in Santa Cruz (see page 12)… Steamboats are back on the Mississippi and we are planning an excursion for the spring of 2013. Does that sound like fun?... Ramona wants to know if there is interest in a trip to Mexico, specifically to see the Monarch Butterflies or Copper Canyon? Scott is proposing a Winter in Yellowstone excursion for February of next year. Would you like to ride a snow coach through a very uncrowded park? Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are always a hit. It’s a famous venue and a great place to witness a concert. In looking at the year’s schedule, a performance by Liza Minelli caught our eye in July. Interested? Speaking of 2013 and river cruises, how about a river cruise in Europe? Paris in the Springtime, features a week long cruise on the Seine River from Paris to Normandy (WWII historic sites) and of course, includes a stay in Paris. Staff members are already fighting over who gets to escort such a journey. Would you like to see Paris in the spring of 2013 as part of a river cruise? Finally, plans have changed for our annual Christmas trip. We had intended to go to Spokane and stay at the Davenport Hotel, but due to some scheduling issues with airlines, we have decided to postpone that adventure. Instead, Clayton and I are considering an overnighter to San Francisco, with entertainment and a wonderful Christmas Day feast before returning home. We’d like to know if this is of interest to our Christmas travelers, or should we keep looking?

Ramona on the road, involved in her favorite activity Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


The Tour Calendar (Previously Announced Tours) 4 Days

Apr. 18-21

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. Tour Director: Chris Galloway. 1100/1300 Gold Passport Points. $1085 p.p./dbl.occ., $1295 single 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 included, Tour Director: Kevin Murphy. 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

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, Tour Directors: Mark and Chris. 3550/4050 Gold Passport Points. $3510 p.p./dbl.occ., $4020 single 4 Days

April 27-30

On The (Pismo) Beach

3 nights ocean view rooms 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, Tour Director: Scott Angeletti. 1200/1450 Gold Passport Points. $1195 p.p./dbl.occ., $1445 single 3 Days

May 9-11

May 18-21

Luxury in La Jolla

See The Scottsboro Boys or Nobody Loves Me (afternoon at the theater in San Diego), enjoy lunch at the Hotel del Coronado, visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, take time to browse the upscale shops and galleries of town. A tour of La Jolla and a narrated ride on old historic Hwy 101 are included, along with a stop at a historic roadside malt shop. Dine one night at P.F. Changs and perhaps best of all, spend 3 nights in the Embassy Suites Hotel. Just announced in the last newsletter, and already almost a sell out, this tour has always been quite popular. 7 meals, airfare to/from San Diego, door-to-door service, 1350/1550 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: TBA. $1350 p.p./dbl.occ., $1540 single 4 Days

May 29 – June 1

Sisters and Bend, Oregon’s Mountain Secrets

Who wouldn’t want to spend 3 nights at the Ponderosa Lodge in the Cascade Mountains, 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 included, Tour Director: Mark or Chris Galloway. 1350/1500 Gold Passport Points. $1335 p.p./dbl.occ., $1465 single 7 Days

June 8-14

Old Cape Cod, Provincetown to Nantucket

A different version of the Cape Cod tour that was so popular last fall. This trip goes before the summer crowds arrive. Stay one night in Boston, two nights in Provincetown (right on the tip of the cape), overnight Hyannis and two nights on Nantucket Island. Along the way, there’s a tour of the sand dunes of Provincetown, spectacular dining (including a lobster dinner), a brief visit to Martha’s Vineyard (with a short tour) and touring and unique activities on Nantucket. John Kennedy’s life is highlighted. A leisurely itinerary that flies home from Nantucket via New York. Limited to 20 travelers, Tour Director: Mark or Chris Galloway. Includes 10 meals, airfare, doorto-door service, 3350/3700 Gold Passport Points. $3345 p.p./dbl. occ., $3695 single, $100 EPD**

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 through the Trinity Forest, see the “ghost” mining town of Shasta City and stand on the Sun Dial Bridge, visit the Highland Art Center, dine at the Jackson’s Steakhouse. Lunch in Chico, Hwy. 99 history tour, all meals included (7), door-to-door transportation, Tour Director: Ramona Goodge. 800/900 Gold Passport Points. $785 p.p./dbl.occ., $870 single


4 Days

Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

Three nights on Nantucket Island highlight our trip along the Cape in June

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-to-door service, Tour Director: Clayton Whitehead. 1300/1400 Gold Passport Points. $1255 p.p./ dbl.occ., $1380 single 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, doubledecker bus tour, High Tea at the Empress Hotel, overnight at the art-filled Hotel Murano in Tacoma, tour of the Dale Chihuly Museum of Glass. 6 meals, airfare, door-to-door service. 1800/2000 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: Chris Galloway. $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 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-to-door 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 and Virginia City

Experience the golden age of steam aboard the Virginia-Truckee 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, door-to-door service. 850/950 Gold Passport Points, $825 p.p./dbl.occ., $935 single 5 Days

June 22-26

Strawberries, Beaches and Flower Fields

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 (on the water), see Lompoc’s annual Flower Festival Parade and the huge flower fields, overnight at the Apple Farm, old time melodrama, 5 meals. 1350/1500 Gold Passport Points. $1320 p.p./ dbl.occ., $1490 single

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4 Days

June 28 – July 1

US Olympic Gymnastic Trials in San Jose

Sports Leisure Travelers get some unique opportunities. This is one of those, the chance to see the best gymnasts in the United States compete for the opportunity to represent us at the Olympic Games in London just one month later. You’ll see some of the best young athletes in the world. Tickets are in an excellent location for all events. See all the finals competitions and the awards ceremonies, and still have time to visit Santa Cruz and ride the Roaring Camp Railroad into the Redwoods and learn a little about San Jose and the Silicon Valley on a city tour. We’ve even arranged for an exclusive talk with a coach and/or athlete from the US team. 3 nights at the Embassy Suites in nearby Milpitas, tickets to 4 events, 7 meals, sightseeing, 1500/1650 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: TBA. $1470 p.p./dbl.occ., $1625 single, $25 EPD** 5 Days

July 3-7

Crater Lake & The Umpqua Scenic Byway

Scott has come up with this wonderful small-town holiday trip that has been “resting” for the last couple of years. He has expanded the previously popular itinerary to include a wildlife safari, a ride on the jet boats of the scenic Rogue River and and two nights near Ashland (giving you an opportunity to attend one of the Shakespearean Festival shows – optional, not included). Of course, there’s a visit to Crater Park and a drive to the rim (around it if conditions permit), fireworks in Roseburg, wine tasting and a stop at Harry and David’s BIG store. 10 meals, transportation on SuperCoach III, Tour Director: Scott Angeletti. 1450/1650 Gold Passport Points. $1445 p.p./dbl. occ., $1630 single, $20 EPD** 2 Days

July 30-31

Rivercats Road Trip to Reno

The Reno Aces are the Rivercats’ closest competition. This twogame getaway features baseball, a talk from a member of the Rivercats organization about the team, overnight accommodations at the Silver Legacy and one lunch. Tour Director: TBA. 350/400 Gold Passport Points. $335 p.p./dbl.occ., $355 single, $10 EPD** 2 Days

Aug. 1-2

Broadway Pops in the Pines

Now an annual favorite, this trip has limited accommodations and traditionally fills early. Witness the Bear Valley Music Festival from your covered, reserved seating under the tent. Stay the night at Bear Valley Lodge. Added attractions: A William Florian concert and a stop in Murphy’s on the second day, lunch in Sonora the first day, a last minute stop in Sloughhouse for fresh veggies just before returning home. Tour Director: Ramona Goodge, 3 meals, Supercoach III transportation. 600/650 Gold Passport Points. $580 p.p./dbl.occ., $620 single, $10 EPD**

office hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm MON. thru FRI. Closed weekends & major holidays CLOSED TUES. 12:00pm – 1:15pm Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012    


4 Days

Aug. 9-12

The Sound(s) of Music in Leavenworth

In the Cascades outside Seattle is a picturesque little Bavarian-style village. You’ll enjoy a 3 night visit staying at the Bavarian Lodge. On two evenings, you’ll be treated to magnificent performances, one in the outdoor amphitheater. The Sound of Music and Thoroughly Modern Millie are the featured classics. You’ll feel like you are with the Von Trappe family in the Swiss Alps. Lunch in Seattle at Cutter’s Bay House, Amtrak to Leavenworth, 7 meals, Tour Director: Chris Galloway. 1650/1900 Gold Passport Points. $1625 p.p./dbl.occ., $1875 single, $25 EPD** 3 Days

Aug. 19-21

A Port, A President & The Pageant of the Masters

Each year this trip sells out early, so do not wait until summer to register. Patricia Hansen invites you to join her on one of her favorite excursions, to see California’s most popular cultural arts spectacular. Not only will you see the Pageant, with it’s dazzling costumes and life-sized recreations of famous works of art by human actors and actresses; but you’ll learn about it in a special post-pageant talk, and be able to dine on and stroll the grounds of the Festival of the Arts before the show. Stay two nights in the luxurious Marriott Newport Beach Hotel. 3 meals, airfare, doorto-door service, 1200/1400 Gold Passport Points. $1190 p.p./dbl. occ., $1360 single 4 Days

Sept. 1-4

Balloons, Glass & Ducks: A Washington State Adventure

Featuring the Sequim Hot Air Balloon Festival and the artistry of Dale Chihuly. Sequim is a tiny, favorite town of ours on the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Spend 3 nights at the very nice Holiday Inn Express. Lunch in Tacoma, the Museum of Glass, a tour of Seattle before you come home on the amphibious “ducks” that takes you in and out of the water. Seattle’s newest attraction, the Chihuly Gardens and Glass Exhibit, is on the itinerary. Enjoy the view from the observation deck of the Space Needle, and most of all, see the balloons rise from the hotel’s rooftop patio garden. There’s even a side trip to colorful Port Townsend for shopping and lunch. 6 meals, airfare, door-to-door service, Tour Director: Ramona Goodge, 1700/1950 Gold Passport Points. $1695 p.p./ dbl.occ., $1915 single, $25 EPD** 6 Days

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 in Alberta, 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. 2800/3100 Passport Points. $2780 p.p./dbl.occ., $3185 single, passport required, $50 EPD** I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. – John Steinbeck


Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 2012

6 Days

Sept. 16-21

Baseball & Broadway in St. Louis & Chicago

Plans are almost in the books for this long anticipated itinerary. Fly to Chicago, where your 3 night stay includes dinner atop the Hancock Tower, a morning for the Field Museum, Shedd Aqurium or Art Institute (your choice, one admission Inc.), the Cubs and Pirates at historic Wrigley Field, a narrated architechure cruise, lunch at Harry Carey’s and an evening of theater. Take the train to St. Louis and roll through the Illinois countryside, following a good part of old Route 66. Two nights in St. Louis, with a Cardinals game, a tour of the beautiful Fox Theater and a visit to historic St. Charles among the highlights. 10 meals, airfare, door-to-door service, Tour Directors: Clayton and Mark. Prices available after April 1. 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 with a local guide, home of the coastal redwoods. Walk through the groves, visit the marshes of Arcata, teeming with waterfowl, Luther Burbank Home. 7 meals, overnight Garberville, two nights Eureka. 1200/1400 Gold Passport Points, Tour Director: Ramona Goodge. $1175 p.p./dbl.occ., $1365 single, $20 EPD** 4 Days

Sept. 21-24

Return to the Oregon Coast

3 nights in Newport on the central Oregon Coast at the Elizabeth St. Inn (where all rooms have a full ocean view), wonderful meals (both casual and gourmet), harbor dinner cruise, Sunday Brunch on the coast, Lincoln City float blowing and culinary demonstrations, Hatfield Marine Research Center and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) visits, Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation Museum, 10 meals, airfare to/from Portland, Tour Director: Chris or Mark. 1550/1700 Gold Passport Points. $1540 p.p./dbl. occ., $1700 single, $35 EPD** 8 Days

Sept. 22-29

Fall in Love with Colorado & Utah

For those of you who have asked for a different itinerary in the Canyonlands area, Scott has created this new adventure. Featuring first class service on the Durango-Silverton RR. 2 nights at the Zermatt Resort, visits to 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, $35 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** Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus

4 Days

Sept. 30 – Oct. 3

Catalina Island Getaway

Our annual visit to California’s favorite island. Fly to LA, Sunday Brunch on the Queen Mary, then ferry to Avalon, 3 nights Pavilion Lodge, wide variety of sightseeing on the island, 6 meals, airfare, door-to-door service, round trip Catalina ferry, 1450/1650 Gold Passport Points. $1420 p.p./dbl.occ., $1650 single, $25 EPD** 7 Days

Oct. 3-9

Living History Nuts – A Mystery Tour

Living History Nuts. Wait a minute, didn’t that read Living? History? Nuts? last time around. Yeah, well Mark has been playing around with the clever little name of this tour. Those in the office (who don’t know where the trip is going either) can’t decide if he’s lost his mind, or really come up with something unique. Is he touring a nut factory? For food, not people. Are these historic sites he is visiting on the itinerary? How does the “living” part play in? This better not be spending a week in Stockton, that’s all we can say. The package includes 17 meals (every feeding except one lunch), 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. Mark and Ryan Quinn say it’s the best tour of the year, but then, they created it and are taking you on it. Those of us in the office are still wondering what it could all be about. 2400/2650 Gold Passport Points, $2365 p.p./dbl.occ., $2615 single, $25 EPD** 7 Days

Oct. 4-10

Oktoberfest & Thanksgiving in Canada

Absolutely one of the most popular new itineraries in a long time. A wonderful new tour featuring a Canadian holiday and a brief visit to Niagara Falls. Oktoberfest 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

Making New Friends…

The Travel Gal Pals love Sports Leisure Vacations – whether they be on day trips or extended tours. The Travel Gal Pals have made various trips. but came together when they were with Scott Angeletti on the “Mesas and Monuments” tour. Now they get together for lunch to share their lives and their travels.

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 7 Days

Jan. 27 – Feb. 2

Key West, Key Largo, Miami and the Everglades

Four nights in beautiful Key West is the best feature of this trip, but it’s not the only highlight. During your Key West visit, see the Hemingway Home, the nation’s very first public aquarium, Truman’s Little White House, & Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum. The dinner and drag show at La Te Da, an authentic clipper ship cruise (optional, included) and the small but amazing Butterfly & Nature Conservancy plus Mark promises a surprise new attraction this time around. Before you get to the Keys, overnight in Miami with an air boat ride in the Everglades and overnight in Key Largo with a glass-bottom boat ride. Miami city tour including Coral Gables and South Beach. Roundtrip air, 13 meals, door-to-door service, Tour Director: Mark Hoffmann or Chris Galloway. Prices available after April 1. Call now to reserve your seat with a $100 fully refundable (until May 1) deposit.

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 of three days or longer. Carey Limousines and their partners provide transportation to/from the airport, Sacramento’s Amtrak station 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.

Pictured left to right having lunch at Siena Restaurant in El Dorado Hills is Brenda Hembree, Rhani Bunker, Georjan Gee, Elaine Myer, Margaret Williams, and Lorraine Clarke.

Sports Leisure online: 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. Sports Leisure Vacations / March–April 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 April 10, 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. June – Old Cape Cod, Provincetown to Nantucket – $ave $100 June – U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trails – $ave $25 July – Crater Lake & The Umpqua Scenic Byway – $ave $20 July – Rivercats Road Trip to Reno – $ave $10 July – The Great Gilroy Garlic Festival – $ave $15 Aug. – Broadway Pops in the Pines – $ave $10 Aug. – The Sound(s) of Music in Leavenworth – $ave $25 Sept. – The Santa Cruz Follies – $ave $15 Sept. – Show Me TV Stars in Branson – $ave $125 Sept. – Balloons, Glass & Ducks in Washington – $ave $25 Sept. – Jammin’ Through Montana’s Glaciers – $ave $50 Sept. – The Redwoods of Northern California – $ave $20 Sept. – Return to the Oregon Coast – $ave $35 Sept. – Fall in Love with Colorado & Utah – $ave $35 Sept. – New England Fall Foliage Sampler – $ave $50 Sept. – Catalina Island Getaway – $ave $25 Oct. – Mendocino’s Colorful Coast – $ave $35 Oct. – Mammoths, Movies & Ghost Towns (6 Days) – $ave $60 Oct. – Mammoths, Movies & Ghost Towns (9 Days) – $ave $100 Oct. – Living History Nuts, A Mystery Tour – $ave $25 Nov. – Tonopah, Laughlin & Las Vegas – $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) Colorful Carolina Coast San Antonio: Deep in the Heart of Texas The Kentucky Derby Over the River & Through the Woods The Dakotas: Rushmore, Crazy Horse The Call of the Wild Mystery Tour Limited Space (10 or fewer seats) The Castle, The Ocean & The Inn – 6 The Coast Starlight – 2 Casino Mystery Overnighter – 9 On the (Pismo) Beach – 9 Luxury in La Jolla – 7 Old Cape Cod: Provincetown to Nantucket – 9 Alaska’s Denali Park & the Kenai Peninsula – 4 Oktoberfest & Thanksgiving in Canada – 7