On Monday, January 1, 2018 millions of spectators from around the world will celebrate the New Year watching the Rose Parade, hosted by the city of Pasadena, CA. The Rose Parade will once again feature the beautiful pageantry and tradition of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands. What makes this parade so special is the opportunity to participate in float preparations and watch the parade from reserved seats in the Grand Stands. If you've ever wondered how this parade becomes reality, this is a trip you won't want to miss. While in the area, we will visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and spend a day on Catalina Island. Oh, did we mention we're staying in Pasadena...Yippee!
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Thursday, 28 Dec 2017: Arrive Los Angeles; Welcome Dinner (D)
Schedule your arrival into LAX no later than 3:00pm and take local transportation to the hotel. The tour will begin at the hotel at 6:00pm with our Welcome Meeting, followed by dinner to get acquainted and discuss the upcoming days. Overnight Pasadena, Home of the Rose Parade - 5 nights
Friday, 29 Dec 2017: Historic Pasadena Walking Tour; Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; Santa Monica Pier (D)
We begin today with a brief walking tour of historic Old Town Pasadena, known for its elegant Art Deco architecture. We'll walk through quiet streets and back alleys and learn the dynamic history of this foothill city. Then, after a brief stop for lunch, we'll head out to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library where we'll see artifacts from President Reagan’s life as a child, a Hollywood movie star, governor and ultimately president. Walk through the Air Force One plane that President Reagan used throughout his eight years in office and see a piece of the Berlin Wall. After time spent here, we'll drive to the famed Santa Monica Pier along a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the country's most scenic roadways, and enjoy dinner together.
Saturday, 30 Dec 2017: Float Decoration (L)
What a wonderful opportunity to assist in the final stages of readying the floats for one of the world's most famous parades, the Tournament of Roses Parade. Our exact assignment will be determined by "float captains," who are in charge of building and decorating the floats. You could glue flowers onto a float or color corn husks....who knows? But we'll have the satisfaction of knowing we have been a part of something very special. We'll order in sandwiches or mini-pizzas for lunch.
Sunday, 31 Dec 2017: Catalina Island (L)
We'll leave the hustle and bustle of L.A. today and board the Catalina Express, a high-speed luxury catamaran that will transport us to Catalina Island, 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. The charming and historic town of Avalon is the most visited destination on the island. It is a world apart from the frenzy of the mainland cities. With very few cars, visitors are likely to see the sights of Avalon from a golf cart, a boat or on foot. Avalon offers the quintessential beach town, laid back, but chock full of places to eat, drink and shop. Upon return, we'll toast the incoming New Year.
Monday, 1 Jan 2018: The Rose Parade; Farewell Dinner (D)
We will get an early start today to watch the beautiful flower-filled floats and see the nation's finest marching bands perform as we experience one of the nation's most beloved annual events. Originally started in 1890, the parade is seen by millions worldwide. Interestingly, the Rose Bowl, a college football game, was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade. This afternoon is free for you to explore. Perhaps you'll want to see all the floats on display post-parade. Your Tour Leader will also have suggestions of things to do. Tonight we'll gather for our Farewell Dinner.
Tuesday, 2 Jan 2018: Return Home from Los Angeles
Sadly, our time together has come to an end. Based on the departure time you provide WTT, your Tour Leader can assist with organizing travelers into small groups so you can ride-share to the airport if you wish (transfer cost not included).