admin December 7th, 2012
May 5 – 12, 2013? AND May 12 – 19, 2013
8 Days ~ Group Size: 6
Price: $2,700.00??? - OR -
5 Days (day 1 through day 5 below)
San Francisco, Yosemite, and Carmel, a Strong Dose of Beautiful CA
Some history, some pampering, and regaining of perspective in magnificent Yosemite.? Enrichment, exercise, fresh air, shopping, that is what this trip is designed to do.? I have guided this trip and loved it so much, that I couldn’t wait to offer it again.? Of course, it certainly helped that my guests were awesome and so we had nothing but fun.
Day 1 – We will meet up at our pretty boutique hotel in San Francisco, and from this point on you can relax and leave this trip to me. Everything will be taken care of so you can relax and enjoy California. We will spend this first day exploring this beautiful “City by the Bay”. Beginning with a drive across the Golden Gate to look back and admire this sparkling city, we will wander a bit in the BEST Chinatown in the U.S.
Because of the Gold Rush, c. 1845, a world wide migration took place, with thousand and thousands of people arriving into San Francisco Bay, by the ship load, everyday, eager to get to the gold fields. Many of these were from China, and they, in particular, have left a stamp on California forever. Hence, San Fransisco’s Chinatown, the best in the U.S.! Following a wander through Chinatown, a visit to a fortune cookie factory and extraordinary views, of the city in all directions, we will have a delicious dinner and? enjoy the lights.
Day 2 – We will leave the bustling Bay Area and drive to the slower paced heart of the California Gold Rush, Sonora.? Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains, we will spend two days between relaxing professional massage treatments, and tasting some of the best wines produced in California.?After checking into the Historic Gunn House, we will drive to the adorable town of Murphy?s, where the main street is about four blocks long, lined on both sides with fun shops and oodles of tasting rooms.? We know these tasting rooms well, and are wine club members of a few, so we will introduce you to some of the winemakers and let you choose your favorites.? The last time I guided this trip, my east coast guests purchased cases of wine to be shipped home. They told me how they enjoyed opening and sniffing those California wines out east.? A nice souvenir. Early dinner in Murphy’s.
Day 3: ?Leave it to AHA to discover relaxing spa treatments in an historical building built in 1895.? Built after the gold rush, this classic western boomtown style building with its wooden sidewalks, was the very necessary Mundorf Hardware store with the Mundorf family living above. They would probably be shocked to know that within the rooms where they raised their children, today, soft music and candle light beckon clients into the quiet, warm and relaxing treatment rooms. Our? treatments will be divided between a one hour body massage that is designed by you, and another glorious hour-long European facial. Whether you prefer a Swedish, sports, or lighter aromatherapy massage, it will be tailored to your achieving an all over ?wet noodle? experience. I have spoken at length with, and experienced first hand these professionals, and they understand completely what my goal is for each of you traveling with me on this trip. Pampered excellence and a long lingering memory of travel with Art History Alive.
I will provide in a very private picnic lunch, at the Gunn House, so you need not feel rushed, but can linger in your newly relaxed state of mind.? The balance of this day can be spent shopping in Sonora, napping, whatever you feel like. Dinner in Sonora.
Day 4:? After breakfast, I will drive you into Yosemite National Park, stopping along the way at scenic views that will take your breath away.? After a picnic lunch, and a walk around Yosemite Village so that you can get your bearings, we will check into our beautiful rooms at the unique Ahwahnee Hotel.?? This historic hotel, built in 1927, and like no other in its massive grandeur, still cannot compete with the drama and majesty of Yosemite Valley. You will feel your life slip into perspective as we quietly walk the pathways of Yosemite with its enormous granite cliffs surrounding us and as its magnificent waterfalls crash; all outside troubles and pressures seem to morph back into perspective where they should be.? Now, we are on Yosemite time.? All my life I have been visiting this natural cathedral and always have the same response to it.? It makes me quiet, thoughtful and enormously thankful.? If you have been before, maybe it is time to go again, if this will be your first time, brace yourself for a powerful experience.
?Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.? John Muir
Day 5: After breakfast in the Ahwahnee dining room, we will take a wonderful open air bus tour of the valley, before driving back to the coast.? This evening will be spent in Santa Cruz overlooking the Beach Boardwalk and Municipal Wharf.? Breakfast surrounded by enormous mountains to dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this is California.
Day 6 and 7: This morning we will make the short drive down U.S. Coast Highway 1, to Carmel, where we will spend the next two days.? This quaint village is so picturesque in every way, you will never want to leave.? Art galleries, shops of every kind, a style of architecture that can only be described as “Snow Whitesque”.? Those of you who have been there, know exactly what I am talking about.? One of the prettiest California missions is in Carmel too, with its beautiful old mission garden.
Day 8: From Carmel we will deliver our new friends, either home, or to their airports and returning flights.
Physical Level: Moderate
Price includes: All hotels, all meals and house wines, massage treatments, ground transportation, museum and park admissions.