facebook
pinterest
Enriching Your Life Through Travel
traveling to yellowstone by train

Image Courtesy Yellowstone NPS

One of our customers loves train travel.  We appreciate that she shared her blog post about her experience traveling by train to our departure point and joining our Yellowstone & Mt. Rushmore experience.

Click on the link below to learn more about her experience.

Jaunts to Expeditions Customer Blog

Why not plan to experience Yellowstone next year?

Please read the complete itinerary of this Interlude to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore.

Yellowstone & Mt. Rushmore (click here for details)

Jo Ann, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Hearst Castle

Image Courtesy Proimos CC BY-SA 3.0_Wikimedia

 

Born in San Francisco, California, on April 29, 1863, William Randolph Hearst used his wealth and privilege to build a massive media empire. He is best known for publishing the largest chain of American newspapers in the late 19th century, and particularly for sensational “yellow journalism.”

Your visit to his magnificent estate begins when you board the Hearst Castle bus at the Visitor Center and start the 5-mile ascent to the top of the Enchanted Hill.

Once there you will tour a true temple of opulence and extraordinary excess – the lavishly designed Hearst Castle, built as the private residence of Hearst, it is truly an eye-popping experience!  Showcased within one of California’s state parks, it features not only the 165-room castle but terraced gardens, fountains and pools.  Wraparound views of the sunny Central California Coast complete the package. Lavishly designed by Julia Morgan, California’s first female architect, it is a memorable treasure of a bygone time and a true memory in the making.

Once you are gathered in the soaring social room, you will be awed by the mix of priceless antiques placed with very commonplace items.  Close your eyes and let your imagination reign as you wander back decades to when these rooms held movie stars and other important guests for cocktails and conversation. Oh, if only the walnut paneled walls and 16th century tapestries could talk!  Juxtaposed are shimmering silver candlesticks with ordinary ketchup and mustard bottles and commonplace jigsaw puzzles beneath exquisite silk banners.

It is guaranteed you will be enchanted, and maybe a little overwhelmed, with “La Cuesta Encantada” (Spanish for “the Enchanted Hill”).  Do try to spend a little time after your tour to sit on a bench and absorb one the finest sea-and-land views in the entire state and recover from your sensory overload.

Note:

In 1941, a very young film director named Orson Welles produced Citizen Kane, a thinly veiled biography of the rise and fall of William Randolph Hearst. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and was praised for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure, and has subsequently been voted one of the world’s greatest films.  Mr. Hearst was not pleased. He mustered his resources to prevent release of the film and even offered to pay for the destruction of all the prints. Of course, Welles refused, and the film survived and thrived.

Click here for Biography of  William Randolph Hearst

Please read the complete itinerary of this Interlude to California and plan to come “California Dreamin’” with us.

California Coast & Wine Country (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Quebec guided vacation

Image Courtesy Derek Hatfield CC BY 2.0_Flickr

Initially settled by the French and named for the second son of King Francis I, Henri II, the Duke of Orléans,  it was in the 19th and early 20th century, that several boat-building yards operated on the island, especially in Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans. Together with the thriving fishing industry of that era, it gave the Island of Orleans a maritime character.  The Island of Orleans retained its traditional rural way of life until 1935, when construction was completed on the Pont de l’Île bridge, allowing much more traffic. The crossing connects to the Chemin Royal, which was set to music in 1975 by francophone singer Félix Leclerc, in his song “Le Tour de L’île.” In spite of this, the island has maintained its pastoral image and historic character, with more than 600 buildings classified or recognized as heritage property. In 1990, the entire island was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Today the island is a mix of suburban communities and farms and a popular destination for day-trippers and bicyclists.

Île d’Orléans is part of a small archipelago of islands in the St. Lawrence River (most of which are privately owned).   Île d’Orléans has 7,500 residents scattered across six parishes on a rural wonderland twice the size of Manhattan. This is a must- see island especially in the summer and into fall, when it’s bursting with treasures from small-scale farms, wineries, and culinary artisans. Nicknamed “Garden of Quebec,” there’s a lot more to like about historic Île d’Orléans with each parish offering something different.

Sainte-Pétronille is the smallest parish on Île d’Orléans, but it is not without its highlights, including the well-known inn and restaurant La Goéliche. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the St. Lawrence, this is an ideal place to stop for a sunset dinner or if dessert is your passion, Chocolaterie d’Orleans, housed in a beautiful Victorian home, offers more than 20 flavors of ice cream in the summer and into fall.  Oh yum!

Your home- away- from- home on this Interlude to the north, is the luxurious Hotel Le Concorde Quebec, located in the heart of beautiful Quebec City; and conveniently located to nearby museums, activities, attractions and major events of the region.  Its imposing structure offers a beautiful view of majestic Quebec City and its numerous parks and green spaces.

Hotel Le Concorde Quebec is within walking distance of major touristic attractions of Old-Quebec, such as Grande Allee, the Musee de la Civilisation, place D’Youville, the Plains of Abraham, the Petit Champlain district and many others. Also, there are numerous surrounding restaurants offering great culinary experiences and the opportunity to discover Quebec City’s gourmet specialties.

Plan to take advantage of your stay in the heart of downtown to unwind! Located on the 4th floor of the hotel, you will find an urban spa – perfect to help you relax and savor the amenities offered.  Featuring an indoor heated pool, two spas and saunas. Perfection!

Please read the complete itinerary and plan on enjoying two beautiful and interesting cities on this charming Interlude to Canada.

Montreal & Quebec (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

image Courtesy Zairon CC BY-SA .0_Wikimedia

On this wonder-filled Interlude guided vacation you get to enjoy a relaxing visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths.  Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Lake Mývatn and the surrounding area are noted as one of Europe’s greatest natural treasures. As a designated nature reserve, it is an area where tourist services have been delicately developed in a way that causes very little disruption to the unique ecosystem.   The Nature Baths draw on a century- old tradition that provides a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms to benefit both the skin and the spirit.  Your experience begins with a thoroughly relaxing dip in billows of steam rising up from the fissure deep in the surface of the earth and ends with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 meters.  Due to its chemical composition, undesired bacteria and vegetation do not thrive in the lagoon making chloride or any other disinfectant unnecessary. The water has a temperature of about 130°C when it arrives to the surface but the lagoon is at a temperature of 36 – 40°C.

Some things you should know before indulging in this therapeutic bath:

  • Remove your jewelry, except gold (silver will turn black)
  • All around are underwater benches
  • There are 2 pools accessible
  • Towels and bathrobes can be rented or you can bring in your own.
  • Locker coin
  • There is a great machine to dry your swimsuit.

This site was chosen because it is more intimate than the more touristy Blue Lagoon providing you with the most beneficial relaxation after your touring time. Another bonus is they allow you to take pints of beer into the pool with you and while providing magnificent landscape views down the mountain and across the lake itself.

Look forward to this marvelous treat for body and soul while you peruse the complete itinerary for this extraordinary Iceland guided vacation.

Geysers & Glaciers: Iceland (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Sagueney Quebec guided vacation

Image Courtesy Public Domain CC0 .0_Pixabay

‘It was, in fact, magic.’– French tourist Eric Mouellic when speaking of his experience watching the variety of whales and other sea life while on a whale watching cruise on the St. Lawrence.

All the whales come to this region for one reason: They come to feed and you will go there to watch and be totally amazed while visiting one of the world’s great whale-watching sites.  Humpbacks, finbacks, minke and even North Atlantic right whale, one of the rarest of all large whales, and even killer whales assemble in this rich feeding ground throughout the summer and fall. Belugas are also called white whales, and their unusual color makes them one of the most familiar and easily distinguishable of all the whales – look for them on this Interlude!  You’ll also hope to see the finback whales who usually feed as deep as 100 meters below the surface, coming up to take three or four breaths before plunging back down, where they feast on entire schools of fish and krill – mesmerizing and magnificent!! Usually feeding on krill, tiny shrimp-like crustaceans sometimes brought close to the surface in vast numbers in an up-swell from the boat. Were you aware that the beluga whale and the harbor seal are the only marine mammals that spend the entire year in the St. Lawrence Estuary?

I found it fascinating to learn that a permit is required to offer whale-watching excursions. Captains must complete training, offered by Parks Canada, to avoid disturbing whales. They must know how to react properly when a whale surfaces unexpectedly near their vessel. Good to know.

During the summer, when you’ll be there on this guided vacation, the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is a gigantic, natural food pantry. The whales, seals, and birds you will see, for the most part, traveled thousands of miles to come feed. These wild animals spend a large part of their time just feeding and resting. You are most certainly privileged to be able to watch them in their habitat and witness their natural behavior while on this sojourn.

As you explore the charming town of Tadoussac, I thought you might find the following few phrases helpful – all are the Québécois version pertaining to food. C’est l’heure du lunch qui s’en vient bientôt: Lunchtime’s coming up. Vous avez pas encore soupé.

Profitez de ce passer de merveilleuse vacances et amusez-vous – or Enjoy this wonderful vacation and have fun!

Please review the entire itinerary and plan to join in on all the fascinating experiences awaiting you.

Saguanay,  Quebec (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Idaho Guided Vacatio

Image Courtesy Paul Frantellizzi_Idaho Tourism

John Muir once said, “The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go” and go you must on this incredible Interlude which offers some of the most unbelievable scenery as you travel through four mountain ranges and visit both the Salmon and Snake river valleys.  Cameras are a must on this tour!  While away, your last two overnights will be spent at the famous Sun Valley Inn.  Opening its doors in 1937, it remains one of the most welcoming and stylish places to stay while in Idaho. The Inn features luxurious European inspired décor with fine fabrics, carpeting and wall coverings.  An exercise room adjoins the outdoor pool as well.

The Inn’s traditional room is just right.  It comes with one queen-size bed and a marble bath that you will be blown away by and the plushest bathrobes to step into. Each room has a flat-screen plasma TV, a mini refrigerator, high-speed Internet and handmade solid oak French furnishings.  A true treat for any traveler.  You will love the luxury and lushness of it all.

It was named Sun Valley for good reason. You’ll be welcomed to a place that boasts 250 days of sunshine a year with a constant stream of opportunities to put more adventures and experiences on your “Yes! Done That” list. The Vitamin D is free; and this sojourn seeks to lead you into many wonder-filled first-time experiences.

While there, you will also visit America’s first ski resort and the historic Sun Valley Lodge. Back in the day, the Lodge was a favored stop for Hollywood legends, Clark Gable and Cary Cooper!  Then, time to explore the old western town of Ketchum which is a real treat. Shopping in a place as fabled as Sun Valley means you acquire conversation points, not just stuff. Looking for a  rare, first-edition signed Hemingway book? An “Eat More Lamb” t-shirt? Get your shopping fix while browsing Sun Valley and Ketchum’s boutiques and funky stores for discoveries guaranteed to give you lots to talk about, perhaps to the envy of your friends.  It’s all here just waiting for an Interlude shopper!

Do try to stop in at Country Cousin. Enter the big log cabin, right next to Starbucks, and see for yourself why Country Cousin is such an iconic store. They proudly offer one of the most unique shopping experiences, and whether it’s a special gift or picking out goodies to take home, here you will find fantastic and affordable gifts to meet every occasion.

Idaho is simply amazing and truly beautiful.  Please read the entire itinerary and plan to join us.

Idaho Adventure (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Celebrating the Wit and wisdom of Will Rogers

Image © 2015 Interlude Tours 

Tulsa is loaded with photo opportunities and incredible scenery.  You will definitely “get your kicks on Route 66”.  Visits on this Interlude include both the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.  There is not a review that did not articulate how serenely beautiful both were.  The birthplace ranch is a log-walled, two-story, post-Civil War home built in 1875. The house is an example of the vernacular interpretation of the Greek Revival style of architecture typical throughout the South and is where Will Rogers was born November 4, 1879, son of a Cherokee senator, judge, and cattleman.  The birthplace house is authentically conserved and open to visitors. Also featured on the property is an era-correct rustic barn with a climate-controlled classroom with video program operating all day. Amazing!

With Will Rogers’ untimely death, debate began quickly on how best to honor America’s Cowboy Philosopher.  Discussion on the location of where to build a monument or memorial was at the top of the list. Betty Rogers made the final decision of Claremore, Oklahoma because of the 20 acres they had bought in 1911 on a beautiful hill in Claremore, where they had planned on having a home after retirement.

The ranch house design by John Duncan Forsythe was chosen and the Memorial was to be built with native limestone and with granite shipped from Vermont for the rotunda floor.  The centerpiece would be a Jo Davidson statue of Will Rogers.

Ground was broken on April 21st, 1938 dedicated on November 4th, 1938, the 59th birthday of Will Rogers.  The dedication ceremony was heard around the country on the radio with President Franklin Roosevelt giving a touching tribute to Will and the new Memorial.

When the Memorial s opened to the public it was almost bare – except for the Jo Davidson statue.  The crowds that came to pay their respects were large and Will’s wife Betty ended up giving a major portion of memorabilia to the Memorial.  Over time, the Memorial has become a world class museum as paintings, sculptures and other artifacts were added to the collection. In 1982, a new wing was added with a theater, library, office space and exhibit space.  The children’s area was dedicated in 1995.

As you will see, today the Will Rogers Memorial Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Will Rogers memorabilia and his entire collection of writings.  The wit and wisdom of Will lives on!

Will Rogers was originally buried in California, but in 1942 a new sunken garden was built in front of the Memorial and Will Rogers was interred there in 1944.  Betty, died a few months later and was also buried in the tomb.

Please review the itinerary of this fantastic Oklahoma Interlude and plan on enjoying the wit and wisdom of Will Rogers – it is not only funny but often… inspiring.   

Some words from Will:

·         Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

·         Never let yesterday use up too much of today.

·         If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are  doing. And believe in what you are doing.

Join us and learn more about  Will Rogers and so much more.

Cowboys, Indiana & Oil Barons (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Cruise Charming Mississippi River Towns

Image Courtesy Alton Regional CVB

Why not make this fall a time to relax and remember? Join us on our Fall Fling along the Mississippi from St. Charles to Alton for four days of relaxing fun and interesting adventure. Lots of good food, beautiful scenery and a chance to go cruising down the river on a Paddleboat. The Spirit of Peoria is no ordinary paddleboat as it has no props or thrusters but is powered by twin Caterpillar 3412 diesel gensets – allowing the boat to be comparatively fast and efficient. I found this review that I wanted to share with you – just to get another outside perspective:

We were told that the Illinois River has about the best fall colors in the nation because they are closer to you and the colors are more vibrant. The trees were just turning when we took our 2 day cruise Sept. 29 and 30. The colors are supposed to last about a month…. This was perfect – just the right amount of time …. Just like an ocean cruise, there was lots of wonderful food and non- stop entertainment.

This Interlude also gives you an opportunity to step way back into the early nineteenth century into the historic Village of Elsah. A treasured bit of American history, you will walk its streets and get a true glimpse of nineteenth century living. It’s narrow valley setting, tucked gently between high bluffs, is especially lovely in the fall. Ever wonder what life was like living along the river in the 1800? You are about to find out! Once again, as on the Paddleboat, we invite you to join us as we leave the hectic pace of our everyday lives and enjoy the special character and quiet atmosphere found in the Village of Elsah.

Elsah buildings represent a Midwestern interpretation of 19th century vernacular styles. The prevalent style of the earliest houses is a simplified Greek Revival. Later buildings sometimes incorporated elements of other styles such as Gothic, Second Empire, or Italianate. What is most appealing is that so many original buildings remain in their original settings. When new buildings and additions remain in scale with the old, one feels that little has changed. We have been told that people are generally fascinated with Elsah because they can discover a bygone era that existed before they did and relish the discovery. While visiting you will notice a place where the past blends gracefully with the present.

Please read the full itinerary and plan to step back and relax with us as we cruise charming Mississippi river towns .

Fall Fling Along the Mississippi (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

Colorado train vacation

Image Courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

One of the several trains you are exposed to on this Colorado Train Interlude is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, a true Rocky Mountain High!  You will be on a railway to the clouds as you savor the highest cog railroad in the US.  Get a first-hand look at bighorn sheep, marmots and incredible flora and fauna.  Your excursion lasts a little over three hours and spans about 9 miles of track.  During the first third you will witness boulder fields, which, with a little imagination, you may see various “faces” within the gigantic boulders! What fun.

Once the train climbs above the timberline the views are extensive and the last three miles of the tour are all above the timberline.  The east views feature the Great Plains; to the south the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Range that stretches to New Mexico; and slightly southwest are views of the Collegiate Range.  Everywhere you look is simply vast and beautiful.  Once at the summit, if the weather is clear, you can view the skyscrapers of downtown Denver. You will have a 30 to 40-minute respite on the top of Pikes Peak but be mindful of the effects of the high altitude.

I’ve added a few helpful hints to make the most of this incredible experience when at the summit.

  1. Walk around outside and enjoy the views and the photo opportunities (the north side is the most breathtaking)
  2. Walk over to the far side to view the Continental Divide
  3. Go inside to visit the snack area and gift shop
  4. Use the restroom

The train crew will blow a long blast on the horn ten minutes before the train leaves. It is essential that you return on the same train, and the train leaves ON TIME! It’s a long walk down if you should miss your train!

Please read the complete itinerary and plan to enjoy all the unique and expansive beauty of Colorado Train Travel…making this a truly memorable experience.

Trains Across Colorado (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter

 

St. Louis Guided Vacation

Image Courtesy H&L Partners © St. Louis CVC

Relatively new to the St. Louis scene, opening in April 2016, the National Blues Museum explores the Blues while celebrating this genre as the foundation of all modern American music.

Located in a renovated cavernous department store building in St. Louis’ downtown business district, the museum retains some of the marble tile floors, ornate light fixtures and huge columns from its former life. The $14-million museum features 14,000 square feet of displays, plus a performance stage in a nightclub setting that hosts local and national acts. The Blues Museum is a real boon to downtown St. Louis.

Few forms of American music are able to claim such a long and tradition-rich and complex music style as the blues. Through state of the art theater, artifact driven exhibits and public programming, the museum provides an entertaining, as well as, educational environment into this bedrock of American popular music.

While other blues museums focus on a single artist or region, this museum will take you on a musical journey that begins with the slave’s arrival from Africa and brings the rhythms that spread from the Mississippi Delta up river, back overseas and throughout the world.

While impressive exhibits fill the new National Blues Museum, one of the simplest is guaranteed to bring a smile. Be sure to push the button on the Chuck Berry display and see an animated Berry doing his famous “duck walk” across the stage.

In the three-minute introductory video, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin explains how the blues music sparked the British Invasion that brought the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other English acts to America. He claims that in the U. K., they were transfixed by the Mississippi Delta and the poetry that came out of it.

St. Louis is the perfect place for the national museum, because the migration of black musicians from the South headed up Highway 61 to St. Louis. Some stayed, and some ventured on to Kansas City and Chicago… and the rest is history.

The museum earned a rave review from one of those enshrined. Bonnie Raitt was performing in St. Louis and got a sneak preview. She told her sold-out audience: “I visited your new National Blues Museum this afternoon. It’s killer.”  While there, be sure to visit the Jug Room, a small studio where visitors can play the spoons, shakers washboards or bones – then with the touch of a computer, your face is added to a real jug band performing on a large screen in front of you!  And…A Star is Born!!

Please read the complete itinerary and join us on our Interlude to the Gateway City.

Gateway City Treasures (click here for details)

Eadie, Interlude Blog Team

•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
Sign up for our email newsletter