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SIR BRANCH - 128

SAN RAMON VALLEY

Travel

 
Tan
Matosian
Our travel group will help facilitate and inform our members of travel opportunities afforded through the state SIRS travel grogram and other local branches.
 
We will also be posting a monthly California travel recommendation blog and updates on travel Apps and discounted travel trips.
 
Please check out some of the fantastic travel experiences
shared by members - LINK TO MESSAGE BOARD
Ron
Knibbs
 
 
SIRs Travel - February, 2022
 
Over the past two years, I have tried, in earnest, to give Sirs 128 members options for travel opportunities. Unfortunately, covid hit and travel pretty much stopped, While we have three couples for the Columbia River Cruise in May (three months away) there does not seem to be much interest in other activities. 
 
Meanwhile, there are other Sirs Branches that are sponsoring trips, such as:
     Holland Tulip Festival, May 12, 2022.  Contact bstires46@gmail.com
     Top of Switzerland (Oberammergau) August 27, 2022. bstires46@gmail.com
     Alaska Land & Sea, May 23, 2022. Contact l.yarberry46@comcast.net
     Classic New England, Sept. 29, 2022.Contact l.yarberry46@comcast.net
     Autumn Northeast Cruise. Oct. 5, 2022. Contact miltsmith549@gmail.com
 
Meanwhile, I will report on our cruise when we return. Hopefully, the covid demon will be no more.  Until then, give Ron Knibbs or me a jingle if anything tweeks your interest.  
 


Sirs Travel - February, 2021
 
While we are all scurrying about to get our vaccines, it is okay to think about taking a vacation. Most financial experts predict the travel industry will boom in 2021 and beyond.  That means travel agents, cruise lines, airlines, hotel chains and anything associated with the travel industry like luggage, cameras and sandals will be harder to get. But I want to give you another perspective.  I am not an environmentalist, but I believe some of what I hear and read and all of what I see. Part of the issue is global warming, drought, fires, rising seas, floods and tsunamis. 
 
If there are places you have on your “bucket list”, you might want to start thinking about making plans.  We are all familiar with the California coast falling into the sea and the possibility of Seattle floating out to the Pacific. But, what else?  Well, according to the experts, the world as we know it is going to change or already has.  Some places that we might like to visit will be either restricted or gone. 
 
So, what places?  Just to name a few: Venice, Italy; The Great Wall of China; Dhaka, Bangladesh; The Great Barrier Reef, Australia; The Dead Sea, Jordan; Maya Bay, Thailand; and the Yamal Peninsula, Russia.  Okay, you may not have these places in mind or have already been there.  But closer to home, we might be surprised to learn the fate of travel sights that either may be limited to tourists or gone.  These places could include, but are not limited to:  Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Virginia Beach, VA; Outer Banks, NC; Miami, Florida; The Everglades; Joshua Trees in CA; and, Glacier National Park, Montana.  This last one I can speak from experience.  Yes, the park may still be there, but where are the Glaciers? From a high of 110 Glaciers at one time, there are now somewhere around 20 left. The Athabasca Glacier is one that no longer allows tourists to visit. Two years ago, my wife and I were lucky enough to stand on it and say “I stood and walked on a Glacier”!  The park stopped taking tourists up to the Glacier last year as the Athabascan slowly disappears. So, don’t keep putting things off until it's too late.   When 2022 comes around (not that far off), places you want to see may not be available either because they are oversold or don’t exist anymore. 
 
Sirs Travel - October 2020
 
Knowing the exposure issues with travel, how about some alternatives. We have already mentioned some nice local road trips in a previous piece, but most of us are probably taking this time to do home maintenance and upgrades that have been on hold. Many of us are reading a lot of novels. Has anyone learned a new language or learned to play a harmonica? Well, do something, you have nothing but time on your side!
 
Okay, we are re-learning how to hike, bike and fish and do things that will flex our muscles. That’s good. But, what about travel? Good news. New words are creeping into our lives, like Zoom and Virtual. If you are like a lot of our members, you are looking forward to traveling in 2021: new adventures, museums, castles, rivers, ocean cruises, our national parks and distant lands. Well, DO IT VIRTUALLY! There are many sites that take you to exotic places. For example: thrillist.com, silversea.com, carnival.com, amawaterways.com. Just google “virtual vacations” or if you want something specific like Guggenheim or Japan in April, it’s all out there, free. So, don’t just sit on your thumbs, put them to work and take a virtual vacation. We’ll get through this, 2021 is just around the travel corner. Contact Ron Knibbs or Tan Matosian if you have an interest for next year.
 
Sirs Travel - August, 2020
 
The ban on no-sail travel in US waters has been extended to the end of October, 2020, by the CDC.  Pretty much expected.  Cruise lines are shaking and quaking.  Recently, Carnival sold four ships, two to a British Line and the other two to undisclosed purchasers.  Maybe SIRS bought them?  At the same time, Carnival has 16 new ships in the pipeline which suggests they are preparing for a robust season in 2021.  It also suggests cruise reservations may be scarce in the near future once the pandemic is controlled.  Meanwhile, it is not suggested that you book now until a proven vaccine is available. They are scrambling and there should be a lot of news in the next few months.  For sure, they are spending a lot of money to maintain their fleet: in one case, one of the major cruise lines reported they are spending (losing) $20 Million a day.  And, of course they are not just laying back and waiting: they have adopted processes to identify and control the risk of Covid-19 including pre-cruise screening, crew screening, new boarding procedures and in some cases free on-board medical.  These processes would cover on board, port and excursions.  We know they are working hard to get us back.
 
Meanwhile, we are wearing out our walking shoes and reading lots of novels. Your committee has not established any travel activity for the future until a clear of directive from the CDC is received.  There are some trips scheduled on the SIRS travel opportunities website, so check it out.  If any of you have any suggestions or want your travel committee to look into a SIRS sponsored trip, let us know. We are not a travel agent so don’t expect us to research a personal trip.  But, let us know.  Tgmat54@gmail.com or R.Knibbs@comcast.net  
 

128 Travel Blog- September 2019

(YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK)
 
With the kids back in school and before the cold of the winter months sets in, September is an ideal month to visit/revisit this historic park. The drive time is a little over 2 ½ hours and if you have a “senior pass” the entrance to the park is free. If not, the entrance fee is $35.00 per car.
 
This is the perfect time to see the start of the fall color season as the Aspens put on their color show. Plan to stay over night, or more, to experience all the park has to offer. There is so much to see and do, but I do recommend the following:
  • For starters, the Valley Floor Bus Tour – a 2 ½ hour tour of the Yosemite Valley. This departs from the Yosemite Valley Lodge and the highlights include Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Tunnel View, and Bridal Veil Falls. Weather permitting this is an open-air tour. Call 209‑372-1240 for exact time and availability.
  • The Ahwahnee Hotel and Dining Room. Call ahead for both hotel and dining reservations. There are 99 rooms and 24 cottages starting at $376 a night. A less expensive option is the Yosemite Valley Lodge.
  • The Valley Visitor Center for movies of the valley history, souvenirs and general information on the activities at the park.
  • A drive to Glacier Point for incredible views of Half Dome and the valley below.
  • There are bike rentals, hiking and much more to see and do.
 You can find additional info at www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm
 
 
 
 
CHECK OUT PAST BLOGS ARCHIVE FOR ADDITIONAL TRAVEL IDEAS!
 
 

 

For more info on the SIR State Travel program

contact Tom Molinari, State Travel Chairman

stmolinari@sbcglobal.net or 707 762-1880