Travel Activity Blog Archive

SIR 128
Travel Blog

128 Travel Blog- August 2019

It’s summer and who doesn’t like the smell of the ocean and the warmth of the beaches? If so, Santa Cruz is the place to be. My suggestion is to schedule a two-day trip and get a hotel room in Santa Cruz at the Dream Inn. A wonderful hotel with a good location overlooking the Pacific. It is a bit pricey but
worth it.
Your hotel is just walking minutes from the Santa Cruz Pier where you can see local fisherman and stop in at Stagnaro Bros. for a bowl of clam chowder or a light lunch. Don’t forget to tour the Boardwalk and consider some of the unique rides…my favorite is the Giant Dipper roller coaster built in 1924. It will take your breath away. Or just walk/sit and enjoy the people watching. Other close attractions are the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum and Steamers Lane where you can watch the locals surf the waves.
For dinner a must stop is the Crow’s Nest Restaurant at the entrance to the Santa Cruz yacht harbor for great views and delicious entries as well as your favorite adult beverage to cap off your first day.
On day two head over to Capitola by the sea, a short 20-minute drive and visit the quaint gift shops, boutiques and local art vendors. For lunch I recommend either Paradise Beach Grill or Margaritaville. Both have great menus, to say nothing of the views of the ocean from your table. If time permits, go to the Capitola Museum. It’s free and presents an interesting view of local history. If you can stay for dinner a local favorite is Shadowbrook on the river.

128 Travel Blog- July 2019

Trip to Portugal

Another opportunity to travel with your Sir buddies is here!
We are looking at a 2020 tour of Portugal. All Portugal for 10 days. This is the oldest civilized country in the world with centuries of history that goes back to way before America was founded. Can you imagine? We will fly from SFO to Lisbon, 3 nights, and from there to Porto to cruise the Douro River for 7 days. Many of you have shown some interest, so we are working with Alamo World Travel to make this happen. It is going to happen if we can identify a group that is willing to commit a year ahead (September 2020) and budget accordingly. The cost for this trip is in the $7-8k per person (depending on cabin choice), including flights. Remember, this will only happen if you have interest and commit. Call Alamo World Travel at (925) 837-8742 and tell Ilene, Mike or anyone who answers that you want to sign up for the SIRS 128 travel program with AMA to Portugal and they will take it from there.
If traveling with SIRS 128 isn’t your cup of tea, remember that the State SIRs website (www.sirs.org) has multiple opportunities to go hither and yon at almost any time of year. This is travel for couples or singles, with costs adjusted accordingly. So, if it’s river or ocean cruising, touring national parks, motor coaching to world renowned sites or hiking, biking and kayaking, you should be able to fill your travel bucket with SIRS. Want more information?

128 Travel Blog- June 2019

State Capitol

June is a good time to visit our State Capitol if you have not done so in a while. It is a little over a one-hour drive from the East Bay to the waters edge of the Sacrament River.
  • A good place to start is Old Sacramento a 28-acre National Historic Landmark with wooden plank walkways and cobblestone streets.
  • From there, tour the California St Railroad Museum – focusing on the by gone era of the “iron horse”
  • Consider lunch at the 285 ft. Delta King Pilothouse Restaurant over looking the Sacramento River. Great views and a menu that has something for everyone.
  • A tour of the State Capitol Building is a must see. Free tours of the building run every hour by knowledgeable tour guides. This is a spectacular 6 story structure that was completed in 1874. It is located at 10th and L Street.
  • Also consider the Historic River Cruise – a one hour narrated cruise highlighting the gold rush era to the creation of the California capitol. This departs from Old Sacramento….see above.
  • One final event to consider is the CA State Fair which runs from July 12th to July 28th. Great rides, food entertainment and more. This year favorite offering is a huge bacon wrapped turkey leg and the 1/3 lb Elvis burger.

128 Travel Blog- May 2019

Recommendation for trip with grandkids!

Many of you are grandparents, so what kind of travel is best for you and your grandkids? In June, my wife and I are taking two of our grand boys (ages 13 and 14) on a Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) trip to Southern California to experience a 7-day hands on film making adventure. If you are interested in such a travel program for various age levels where you learn and experience at the same time, try camping, exploring National Parks, crafting, fishing, horse-back riding, etc., by checking out the many programs at www.roadscholar.org. The programs are both national and international!
Meanwhile, if you haven’t already signed up for the American Cruise Line trip from Clarkson to Portland in October, 2019, there are a couple of cabins left. Contact Tan at tanmatosian@sbcglobal.net and remember, the deadline is June 1, 2019.

128 Travel Blog- April 2019

Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

This is the ideal month for a fun and easy day trip to  Golden Gate Park. The park encompasses 1017 acres and is bigger than Central Park in N.Y. It is also the third most visited park in the US.
The park has something for everyone including major museums such as the Ca Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum, Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservation of Flowers. There are 10 lakes – at Snow Lake rowboats, paddle boats, and motor boats can be rented by the hour. Additionally....
  • Bison can be seen at Buffalo Paddock
  • Archery Range and Lawn bowling club which offer free lessons every Wednesday at noon
  • Car Free Sunday along portions of JFK Drive. Ideal for easy bike riding or a fun walk
  • Picnic areas, BBQ pits and a children’s play ground

  • Dutch windmill, beach chalet and a 9-hole golf course
Any trip would not be complete without a visit to the world- famous Cliff House. My favorite is either the Crab or Shrimp Louie (make sure you make reservations as the restaurant is very popular). While there, also explore Sutro Baths and hike the land end trail. Enjoy nature’s beauty at its best!!

128 Travel Blog- March 2019

Palm Springs

I imagine that most of you have been to Palm Springs. But, for those of you who have not been South or for those of you who have not been there in sometime March is an ideal month to travel. The drive time is just under 7 hrs. or about 464 miles. The best way I have found is to fly into Ontario and then rent a car for an easy 1hr. drive. Here are some suggested recommendations:
  • Palm Springs aerial tramway - 8516 ft up from the desert floor. It’s the steepest cable car ride in the U. S.
  • Palm Springs Art museum
  • Living Desert Zoo and Cabazon Dinosaur Exhibit
  • Celebrity tours of houses of movie stars
  • Village Fest - Palm Canyon Dr. – every Thursday
  • Golf, Golf and more Golf
  • Go to Indio to see Shields Date farm and orchard. For date lovers this is a must – good lunch/brunch. The date shakes are to kill for!