Tuesday, October 24, 2017

2018 Trips Sneak Peek

With our first year of trips under our belts, we spent some time this week planning 2018.  

Here is what we planned:

Thursday, May 17, 2018. Phantom of the Opera at the Fabulous Fox Theater, St. Louis.

We kick off our 2018 trips with dinner and a show. 

See Broadway's longest running show, on tour!

In 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber opened his newest hit, the powerful and haunting Phantom of the Opera, an electronic rock musical based on Gaston Leroux's 1910 book of the same name. The sweeping supernatural romance has since gone on to capture the public's imagination and embed itself in popular culture. As Broadway's longest running show, this Eighties juggernaut is still breaking records and in 2013 celebrated it's 10,400th performance!

'The new version of "The Phantom of the Opera" boasts inventive staging, stronger presentation of the story and warmer orchestrations that don't seem to be relying so heavily on 1980s synthesizers.
Orlando Sentinel."

Wednesday, June 21, 2018 Celebration Belle Narrated Lunch River Cruise.

Join us for our special Captain’s Narrated Lunch Cruise on the Mississippi River, featuring our hot lunch buffet which is prepared fresh on board. Our excursion will take in some of the historical sights of the Quad City Area. We will cruise by the Rock Island Arsenal, located on a 946 acre island, and Lock and Dam #15 with the largest roller dam in the world. Our Captain will tell you about the history and facts of these two sights plus many more.

Your cruise will start off our hot lunch buffet:
  • Baked Cranberry Glazed Boneless Breast of chicken
  • Alfredo Pasta with Vegetables
  • Homemade Garlic Mashed Potato
  • Chicken Gravy
  • Green Beans with Sauteed Bacon and Onions
  • 2 Cold Salads
  • Tossed Spring Salad with Dressing
  • Rolls and Butter
  • Dessert
  • Coffee and Iced Tea included with your meal.
*Menu Subject to Change*

You can go topside to our open upper deck, sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

Some of what you will learn about:
  • Chief Black Hawk
  • The location where the first railroad bridge crossed the Mississippi River
  • Learn about the young Illinois attorney (who later became this country’s 16th President) who defended the bridge in a court battle.
  • Our Captain will tell you about the rich history of the Quad Cities and explain why this Mighty Mississippi River is vital to each and every one of us!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Hannibal, Missouri. 

We will tour  Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum Properties.  This self-guided tour allows you to explore the roots of Mark Twain’s genius.  The tour includes 7 buildings, most notably the world famous Mark Twain Boyhood Home.   You may also take in a bit of shopping in Hannibal’s downtown historic district.  Finish up your tour of the Museum Gallery, the last building on the Mark Twain Museum Tour, which features 15 original Norman Rockwell paintings.

Lunch downtown at Ole Planter’s, a family-owned downtown staple for over 30 years, famous for their homemade pie

We finish our day attending “Mark Twain Live” by Jim Waddell at Cave Hollow Theatre, located within the Mark Twain Cave Complex. Raconteur Jim Waddell reweaves yarns first spun by Mark Twain, the creator of some of our most treasured literature. This presentation has been lauded by Twainian scholars for its authenticity of deliverance and mannerisms.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 Christmas shopping at Oak Brook Center,   Dinner and a show at the Drury Lane Theater.  Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Overnight at the Hilton Garden Inn, Oak Brook, Illinois.

Oakbrook Center is one of the most prestigious and striking outdoor shopping destinations in the Chicago area. it is the second largest shopping center in the Chicago metropolitan area, by gross leasable area. Current anchor stores include Lord & Taylor, Macy's, (formerly Marshall Field's), Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sears.

For more than 60 years, Drury Lane has been a major force on the Chicago land theater scene. In that time, more than 2,000 productions have been staged featuring more than 500 internationally acclaimed celebrities.

Based on the beloved Academy Award winning Disney film, this nine-time Tony nominated musical continues to win the hearts of people all over the globe. Trapped in her provincial town life, an intelligent, young beauty risks everything to become the heroine of her own story and break a wicked spell imprisoning a castle full of enchanting misfits and a terrifying beast. 

Stay tuned for more information, times and pricing.  All trips subject to availability.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Victorian Christmas

A Victorian Christmas Tour

Join us on November 30, 2017, as we travel to Bloomington and back in time to the Victorian Era, when the Christmas traditions that we enjoy today began. Queen Victoria adopted many of her husband, Albert’s, German traditions, such as erecting a Christmas Tree and adorning it with candles, sweets, and small gifts.

We will learn all about how these Christmas traditions came to the United States, and how mid-westerners interpreted them during our tour of the David Davis Mansion, which will be fully dressed for the holiday in true Victorian style. 

We then travel over to the Vrooman Mansion, to enjoy a luncheon in the dining room of the historical home. The real treat comes after lunch, when the Tea Ladies will present a program on Christmas in the Victorian Era.

Once we have fully absorbed the Christmas Spirit, we will take the bus over to the shops at College Hills, where you can begin your Christmas shopping at Von Maur and other fine shops.

Hop on the bus at 8:30 a.m. for this Victorian adventure. Bus departs for Bloomington from the IECU parking lot and returns at approximately 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

St Charles Missouri


The vote is in and winner is Saint Charles Missouri. 

Here is a brief description of the next trip>>>>

Date:   Thursday, July 27, 2017

Leaving:  Credit Union parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

Returning:  Leaving Saint Charles at 2:30 p.m.

Lunch included at the Ameristar Landmark Buffet.

Cost:  To be announced.

We will arrive approximately at 10:00 a.m.  A chance to explore old town Saint Charles.

Since 1769, Saint Charles has been welcoming visitors to its river shore. Today, the city is much the same as it was, and continues to welcome folks who enjoy experiencing the sights and sounds of early America.  

Stroll along the brick-paved streets of Missouri's oldest and largest historic district. Explore one-of-a-kind shops, sample the local cuisine, or visit one of our many unique attractions. Saint Charles is family friendly and located within minutes of many area attractions including those in St. Louis.
Our historical attractions and museums invite you to explore and learn. Meanwhile world-class casino gaming is also within reach. 

An optional walking tour is being arranged. 

Our Cavello bus will take those members interested in spending the morning to the Ameristar casino. A free slot pay incentive is being offered by the casino.

At 12:15 we will meet you in Saint Charles and take you lunch.

For those who want to return to old town Saint Charles we will provide take you back after lunch.

We will leave Ameristar at 2:30, picking up the remainder of the group in St. Charles.

Here is a link to Old Saint Charles tourism site. 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

11 Day Vienna, Salzburg and Prague trip itinerary.

We can't wait to show you how special our trip really is.  Here is the itinerary:

Thursday, October 12, 2017 
Depart Chicago O’Hare at 4:10 p.m.

Friday, October 13, 2017
Arrive at Vienna Airport at 8:45 a.m. the next morning, proceed through immigration and pick up your luggage. You will then be met  by your guide , and after a short orientation tour you will be transferred to your hotel. After checking into your hotel, you will have some free time to rest after the long flight.  About 6 p.m. head to the Grinzing suburb in the hills above the city center to sample some local foods in a typical local Heurigen with entertainment at the famous Mayer am Pfarrplatz.
Overnight--Hotel Wandl, Vienna

Saturday, October 14, 2017
On your morning sightseeing tour, visit the Hofburg Palace (Sisi’s apartments) - Hapsburg residence from  the thirteenth century to 1914 when the city was the seat of the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire. As you drive through Vienna’s city center, see the most important and imposing buildings including the Belvedere Palace, Prater Amusement Park, and  the UN buildings. See the awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its colorful ceramic roof tiles and walk through its interior. Free time for lunch on your own. In the afternoon you will visit the famous Vienna State Opera and the Mozart House. Evening and dinner on your own, time for optional concert. Overnight--Hotel Wandl

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Visit the Rococo-style summer palace and gardens of the Schonbrunn.  One of the most popular attractions in Vienna, the 1441-room palace was built by Emperor Leopold I in 1696 and modified 40 years later by Maria Theresa.  Forty rooms  and the magnificent gardens are open to the public.  It was in the Hall of Mirrors that the 6-year-old Mozart impressed the royal court and met the young Marie Antoinette.  Return to the city center where you are free to select your itinerary from the many museums in the Hofburg complex:  the Albertina, the Augustinian Church, the Ephesus Museum, the Kunsthistoriches Museum, the Spanish Riding School, the Natural History Museum, or perhaps a visit to CafĂ© Sperl, the coffee house frequented by Brahms and other famous people.  The evening is open to  one of the many concert venues, or treat yourself to a slice of Sachertorte at the famous Sacher Hotel. Dinner on your own.
Overnight, Hotel Wandl.

Monday, October 16, 2017
This morning enjoy an exclusive cultural experience with a guided visit to the Secession, a museum that features the work of Gustav Klimt, among others . After  lunch on your own continue your cultural insight with a visit to Belvedere Palace, which houses an impressive collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day.  Prominent works by the French Impressionists and the outstanding collection of Viennese Biedermeier paintings are popular attractions at the Belvedere.  Overnight--Hotel Wandl

Tuesday, October 17,2017
We are leaving Vienna after breakfast and travel to Salzburg. We will do a coffee stop at the monastery in Melk and will reach Salzburg by lunch time. Check in at the Hotel and enjoy free time for lunch. In the afternoon we are on the trail of the Von Trapp family. Maybe you’ve also dreamed of following in the footsteps of Maria von Trapp. On your visit to Salzburg, seize the opportunity to visit the locations used for the filming of the “The Sound of Music”
In the evening,dinner on your own, perhaps at the well-known Stiftskeller.
Overnight--Holiday Inn Salzburg

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
After breakfast we dedicate the morning to Mozart.  The Mozart City Tour is one of Salzburg's "classic" tours and includes all of the city's major attractions as well as a good overview of the city's architecture and history. Retracing the history of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart you will learn interesting facts about the city's most famous son. Mozart's Birthplace in Getreidegasse, the Mozart Residence on Makart Square, and the Mozarteum are tour fixtures. Lunch on your own; try a typical inn famous for home-style Austrian cooking.  In the afternoon visit of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The fortress is over 900 years old and was originally built to guarantee the safety of the archbishop, while also serving as barracks and a prison. Of particular interest are the fortress museum with magnificent gothic carvings, ornamental paintings and frescos, and decorative gold leaf – all of which attests to the wealth of the prince bishops. Dinner at the famous Stiegl Brauwelt  Salzburg’s oldest privately-owned brewery.
 Overnight--Holiday Inn Salzburg

Thursday, October 19, 2017
After breakfast we are leaving for Prague.
Program for this day to be advised
Lunch on the road –
Overnight--Hotel Lindner Prague Castle

Friday, October 20, 2017
After breakfast
Cross the Vltava River to take a half-day sightseeing tour of Hradcany Castle, home to Czech rulers for more than  a thousand years. This is the largest castle complex in the world and full of buildings of many types and ages. See St. Vitus Cathedral which begun in 1344, and  not completed until 1929. This elaborate French Gothic building boasts wonderful stained-glass windows and countless chapels and monuments. Visit the Old Royal Palace, St. George’s Basilica, Golden Lane, and the Daliborka Tower. The afternoon is at leisure. Enjoy a typical dinner with a folkloric show to introduce you to the food and customs of the Czech Republic.
Overnight--Hotel Lindner

Saturday, October 21, 2017
This morning take a leisurely walking tour to discover some of the lovely buildings in the old part of the city. Start at the Old Town Square to view the Old Town Hall with its intricate Astronomical Clock, which dates from 1410 and where a parade of apostles takes place on the hour. Walk through the Jewish Quarter to see the early
Gothic Old-New Synagogue dating from 1270 and the Jewish town hall with an interesting 16th century clock. Pass St. Nicholas Church, one of the finest baroque buildings in Prague. At the end of your tour you will visit the Strahov Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries of the Premonstratensian Order in the world. In the evening, you have the option to enjoy a theater performance at the Black Light Theatre. Overnight--Hotel Lindner

Sunday, October 22, 2017
Travel by motor coach to Vienna, which will take you through the pleasant countryside of Bohemia and South Moravia. Stop for a visit to the Sternberk Castle, one of the best preserved Gothic castles in Bohemia. Cross the border into Austria and on arrival in Vienna head to your hotel and settle in. Tonight enjoy your farewell dinner in Vienna at the Griechenbeisl – one of Mark Twain’s favorite places in Vienna.
Overnight--Hotel Falkensteiner, Wien Margareten, Vienna

Monday, October 23, 2017
After breakfast, take a transfer to Vienna Airport for your departure flight. After check-in, you’ll
have time to shop at the duty-free stores before boarding your flight for the journey home. Arrive at O’Hare Chicago ; go through customs, immigration, gather bags, and transfer to bus for final journey to Springfield.

Please call Planet Travel at 217-241-0180 to book or for more information.

It's here. Hot off the press. Our eight page Vienna, Salzburg and Prague brochure.

Listing our full itinerary, sign up form, and more, please click below to see our eight page brochure. 

This is a very special, one of kind trip, to three great Central European cities.  Hosted by an Austrian-based tour company, you cannot book this trip with any other travel site. Please check it out.

View our eight page Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague pdf brochure by clicking this link.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Next stop Vienna, Salzburg and Prague

With the help of our colleague Matt Nachtwey, we are headed to Vienna, Salzburg and Prague in October. 

We close to finalizing details with our Austrian based tour company.  This is a very good thing.  We love to work with a local company.  They know the destination better than anyone else.  They add a very important insight to the trip.   

Hotels have been set for Vienna and Salzburg, however we are still looking at Prague hotels.

Tentative departure date is October 18, 2017.

Sachertorte, Mozart, and arguably the world's best crystal. 

More details soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Next Stop Chicago Michigan Avenue Shopping Without All the Hassle

We are headed to Chicago for an overnight shopping trip on one of America's Great Streets, Michigan Avenue, June 2017. If you were born to shop, this is the trip for you.
The Magnificent Mile boasts more than 460 retailers, including popular brands; major department stores; international luxury labels and designers; and three vertical shopping centers, each with incentives and premier savings.

Discover unique merchandise and interactive experiences at more than 50 flagship stores—plus top-down renovations and new openings all the time.

Our trip plans include:

  • Roundtrip charter bus travel from Springfield, Illinois.
  • Overnight accomidations at a Michigan Avenue Hotel.
  • Lunch on both round trip legs.
  • Return stop at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago.
  • Optional side trips including a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan.

Here is a link to the Michigan Mile Shopping Trip web site.

Here is a link to the Fashion Outlets Mall of Chicago.

More information to follow.