As a longtime tour guide, John Werner has seen firsthand how our trips bring together people of all ages and walks of life. At the end of 2017, we brought three generations of his family together for the Rose Bowl Parade, marking the first time John has traveled with us as a guest.
“I traveled with my brother Daniel, my 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth, and my 83-year-old mother, Henrietta, who had been dreaming for years about going to Pasadena and seeing the Tournament of Roses Parade live,” says John, of Newark, Delaware. “There was something for all three generations to love over the course of a full, four-day agenda.”
Whether your partner in travel is 16 or 60, one of our six travel packages to see the Rose Bowl or the renowned parade is the perfect way to ring in 2020.
John selected a four-day trip for his family, adding on an extra day to visit with relatives on the West Coast. Not only did John want to help his mother check seeing the Rose Bowl Parade in person off her bucket list, but he wanted to bring his family’s East Coast and West Coast halves together.
The football game wasn’t on their to-do list, but John said the parade and witnessing volunteers’ float-building efforts on New Year’s Eve was awe-inspiring. “We strolled through the pre-parade float barns, where volunteers were working on 10 or 12 floats,” he recounts. “They were decorating them with real flowers and seeds. It was so interesting to watch the process. Every little rose bud and every seed had to be glued in place. It’s truly painstaking when you realize the size of these floats.”
Being surrounded by the flowers’ fragrance and bounty of colors, especially in December, was particularly enjoyable for John’s mother and daughter. And viewing the floats mid-construction made seeing the finished products on New Year’s Day 2018, surrounded by a crowd of about one million people, even more meaningful.
The sight was only the beginning of the trip’s New Year’s Eve activities, though. In that one day before we entered 2018, John and his family also enjoyed a buffet lunch in a gorgeous banquet room aboard the Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner docked on Long Beach. And they visited an aquarium and ventured out on an hour-long harbor cruise.
After the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day, activities included a visit to The Huntington, which is home to a library, historic art displays, and botanical gardens.
Having been a tour guide with Sports Travel and Tours since 1999, going on a trip as a guest for the first and only time—at least thus far—was new experience for John. Though he says he is indeed biased, he raves about our trip planning.
“My mother, who was using a wheelchair at that point, was very anxious about traveling,” John says. “But the staff at Sports Travel and Tours spent time talking to her by phone about how the arrangements would work, providing a calming voice that wasn’t her son’s. All the planning was right on the button.”
This year’s three travel packages that include upper-level, end-zone tickets to the Rose Bowl itself, as well as the Tournament of Roses Parade, are:
Rose Bowl Parade and Game: Four-Day Package. From Dec. 30 to Jan. 2, catch the pre-parade float barn tour, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Hollywood, visit Los Angeles’ historic farmers market, and see Beverly Hills by motorcoach.
Rose Bowl Parade and Game: Five-Day Los Angeles Package. From Dec. 29 to Jan. 2, visit the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, tour the studios of Paramount Pictures, see galleries dedicated to moviemaking at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and tour The Huntington.
Rose Bowl Parade and Game: Five-Day Long Beach Package. From Dec. 29 to Jan. 2, enjoy the shopping, dining and beautiful scenes of the Belmont Shore, tour the studios at Warner Bros., dine aboard the Queen Mary, and visit The Huntington.
This year’s three travel packages for only the Tournament of Roses Parade are:
Rose Bowl Parade: Four-Day Classic Experience. From Dec. 30 to Jan. 2, choose between a tour of Warner Bros. and Hollywood, a visit to Catalina Island or a luncheon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; feast during a backyard barbecue; celebrate New Year’s Eve in a “Monte Carlo” style casino; and watch a movie under the stars.
Rose Bowl Parade: Five-Day Deluxe Experience. From Dec. 29 to Jan. 2, enjoy all the luxuries of the four-day trip, plus witness the pre-parade float decorating and squish your toes in the sand at Santa Monica Beach.
Rose Bowl Parade: Six-Day Platinum Experience. From Dec. 29 to Jan. 3, enjoy all the luxuries of the five-day trip, plus a post-parade showcase of floats and a farewell dinner cruise on the Newport Beach harbor.