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Blessed Byways Tours Update 

October/November, 2019 Update

      Wow! This merry-go-round is spinning out of control and I can’t keep up. My intended October update has now become an October/November issue. Our Alaska and Washington DC-Philadelphia tours were fantastic and were well received. And though they got me behind, the tours fueled my desire for more great tours in 2020.
      The tours that I have announced for 2020 are coming along nicely, but the pricing of the tours is hard to nail down as many of the venues have not released their 2020 prices. I am going to put in ballpark figures for next year’s tours which may have to be adjusted, but at least you will have an idea of the potential price of the tour. 
      For those of you who are fans of Jeanne Robertson, she will be appearing at Hoyt-Sherman Place in Des Moines on March 21, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Charlotte and I will be in Cheyenne, WY for the Select Travel Conference and Kevin and all of the Windstar busses are out for that date. If you desire to go on your own, call 800-745-3000 for tickets. I know you will enjoy the show. 
      The tour to the Brown’s Century Theatre in Le Mars on Nov. 12 & 13, that we are doing for Riverview Conference Center in Cedar Falls has 41 signed up and that is great. We could still add six to eight more if you are interested, but I need to have you signed up by Nov. 1.  This trip will leave from Cedar Falls and pick-ups will be along Hwy. 20 headed west.
      For those of you who have not been to the Ark, we are doing “Ark Encounter V” as a Christmas tour, Nov. 16-21, 2020 next fall. Not only will the tour feature the Creation Museum and the Ark, but the Musical “Noah” at Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson along with other attractions that will be added. 
      I will remind you that getting deposits in early is the key. Once I have the deposit, you will get a conformation letter assuring you that you are on the tour. Sometimes folks ask me to put them on the list, but my aging mind can sometimes forget. I will give you the deposit amount for each tour in this letter.

2019 Day Tours:

Nov. 26: De Soto Bend Snow Geese & Riverboat Bertram – We are going to repeat the first tour we did 20 years ago to De Soto Bend Wildlife Refuge and the sunken riverboat Bertram. The tour will leave from Oskaloosa and make pickups in Pella, Monroe and Altoona along the way. Lunch will be at Aunt B’s Restaurant in Walnut Antique City and you will have a little time to stroll through the Antique shops. This tour is in need of 15-to-20 more to make it go. If I have to cancel it, all deposits and payments will be refunded. The cost of this tour will be $99 with a $25 deposit holding your spot.

Dec. 14: Marion Avenue Live Animal Christmas Play Washington, IA. – We are going back for the play this year. $79 provides you with transportation, lunch at Pizza Ranch and the production. A $25 deposit holds your spot. We still have several tickets for this spectacular show. 

Looking ahead to 2020:

April 27 – May 7: Marines, International Tattoo, & Outer Banks: Included will be the Festival Park Living History Museum, replica of the sailing ship the Elizabeth 11, Discovery Museum to learn about the famous Lost Colony, Wright Brothers Monument and National Park, Kitty Hawk, Wild Horse Tour in Corolla, lighthouses, Cherry Stone Aqua Farm that raises oysters and clams, and  the International Tattoo with hundreds of performers from around the world.  Due to the distance traveled, we will break this tour up with some special attractions. Those attractions include the Paducah Flood Wall Murals, the Billy Graham Library and Museum, the Charlotte Motor Speedway and a twilight dinner cruise on the Spirit of Peoria. The projected cost for the tour that I will try to meet is; $1639 double, $1999 single and $1529 for a triple. A $200 deposit required.

May 20 & 21 Baseball 1: Twin Cities and Milwaukee: I am going to try two baseball tours next year and I need to know of your interest in the tours soon. I need to know whether to pursue with a ticket order in November. I have not been to the new Target Field and I would like to go there. The Twins play the Baltimore Orioles in an afternoon game on the 20th. The next morning we head down the Interstate to Milwaukee for an afternoon game between the Brewers and the Yankees. We will come home after the game. I will have pricing as soon as the teams set their ticket prices for 2020. I know that there are Twins and Yankee fans in the area, so here is your chance. I project a cost of $299 each for a double, $379 for a single and $269 for a triple. A $50 deposit holds your spot. 

June 5 to 13 – Burdell’s 80th Birthday Tour to Switzerland: This will be a spectacular tour as we circle Switzerland. I have talked to folks that have done this tour and the report is that the tour offers unmatched beauty. If you have not received an itinerary and pricing, please contact us and we will get it to you. We have room for a few more on this tour and we need to hear from you soon in order to secure airline tickets. 

July 1 & 2 – Browns Century Theatre in Le Mars, IA.: We are going to go back to Le Mars for the Browns Patriotic show and Drama Production. I will be adding another attraction on the way home and of course, the Well’s Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor will be on the agenda. I have not set a final price yet, but I am projecting a cost of around $250 for a double, #299 for a single and $219 for a triple. A $50 deposit holds your spot. The tour will start in Oskaloosa and move Northwest through Pella and Altoona. 

July 15 – Circa 21 “The Beauty and the Beast”: Many of you enjoy this stately old theatre, the quality productions and the delicious food that is served. We are retuning for “The Beauty and the Beast” with the tour starting in Altoona and passing through Pella and Oskaloosa on the way to Rock Island, IL. The cost of the tour will be $115 with a $25 deposit holding your spot.

July 29 to Aug. 1 – Lebanon Gospel Music Get Together: After missing a year, we are going back to Lebanon for a spectacular Gospel Music weekend featuring the top groups in Southern Gospel Music today. Some area attractions will be added to the tour. I will have a complete itinerary soon. I hope to be able to do the tour for around $500 for a double, $639 for a single and $429 for a triple. A $50 deposit will secure your spot on the tour. I would like to start this tour in Cedar Falls with pickups in Grinnell and Oskaloosa. 

Sept. 9 to 11 - Baseball 2 to Kansas City and St. Louis: This will be a popular tour as we go to Kansas City first for an evening game between the Royals and the Oakland A’s. Before the game we will make an afternoon visit to the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame. We lodge in the Kansas City area and leave the next morning for St. Louis where we take in a night game between the Cardinals and the Cubs. On the way to St. Louis the plan is to stop at Warm Springs Ranch where the Clydesdales are raised that are used in the Budwiser eight horse hitch. We lodge in the St. Louis area and leave for home the next morning. A luncheon cruise on the Mississippi in Hannibal is on tap for the way home. The projected cost for the tour is $429 for a double, $539 for a single and $389 for a triple. A $50 deposit holds your spot on the tour. 

Oct. 3 to 13 – Trains of New England: I am working on a stunning fall color tour in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts with Nancy Hickey of Berkshire Tours. Nancy put together our 4th of July with the Boston Pops tour several years ago and she does a fine job. We will be using our tour bus for excursions off of the train.  Places we visit include a city tour of Boston, the coastal villages of Kennebunkport, Maine, the Conway Scenic Railway, The White Mountains with a gondola ride to the summit of Loon Mountain, the Winnipesauke Railroad Turkey Dinner Train and the charm and delights of Old Cape Cod. Many other attractions will delight your fall color fancies. A complete itinerary and pricing will come soon. There are more details to fill in on this tour before I can set a price. I hope to be able to do it for less than $2,000 for a double and a $200 deposit is required.  

As we look forward to 2021, we are planning Charlotte’s 80th birthday party at Tulip Time in the Netherlands in April and we are planning to return to the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge. That will be just the beginning as we are dreaming of other tours.  

More tours will be added to 2020 as they come available. We thank you so much for your support of Blessed Byways tours and we cherish our time with you. You all are the ones that make these tours such a blessing. 

Burdell & Charlotte Hensley Burdell’s Cell 641-670-0190
1302 North E St. Charlotte’s Cell 641-295-0757
Oskaloosa, IA. 52577