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Day 1 – Arrive in Los Angeles area and transfer to the Hotel Irvine for a five night stay. After time to freshen up, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. (D)
Day 2 – After breakfast at the hotel, you will take a Rose Parade Float Decorating tour. Watch as the finishing touches are being made to the floats before they make their debut in the parade. You will see a variety of fruit, seeds, bark, grasses and of course, breathtaking flowers being applied to the floats by hard working volunteers as well as experienced professionals.
The afternoon features a self-guided tour at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. The Huntington is an oasis of art and culture set amidst 150 acres of breathtaking gardens. The Gallery contains the most comprehensive collection of British 18th and 19th century art outside of London. And aside from the beauty you’ll find inside the Huntington Library, the outside is just as pretty. The gardens are enormous – 130 acres with 14,000 varieties of trees and plants. It is home to the largest public collection of camellias and azaleas in the world, and the Rose Garden with more than 1,200 varieties. Lunch will be included at the library.
Tonight, you are free to enjoy the evening at your leisure. There will be a free evening shuttle to service Downtown Disney for a variety of dining options, free live entertainment and shopping. (B,L)
Day 3 – Start your day with a buffet breakfast. You get to choose how you want to spend the day: Warner Bros. Studio Tour and Hollywood City Tour; or Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Mission San Juan Capistrano; or Catalina Island with Roundtrip Ferry ride.
Option 1 – Warner Bros. Studio Tour and Hollywood City Tour -You’ll get an insider’s look at one of Hollywood’s busiest and most famous motion picture studios. On this fun tour, you’ll get an intimate, historical and educational behind-the-scenes view of an actual working studio. Guests will be escorted via trams throughout the backlot. You’ll see sound stages, production shops, and film sets. You’ll visit the Warner Bros. Museum – a true archive of filmed entertainment history. Exhibits include some of Warner Bros. famous costumes and movie props. Routes for the tour change from day to day to accommodate production on the lot, so no two tours are ever exactly alike! Then it’s onto Hollywood. The history of Hollywood will come to life as you explore Hollywood’s Past and Present. Your knowledgeable tour guide will take you to the center of the glitz and glam. Visit Graumman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and much more. Lunch will be on your own at the Hollywood and Highland Center.
Option 2 – Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Mission San Juan Capistrano – Enjoy a guided tour of famous Mission San Juan Capistrano, known as the “Jewel of the Missions.” Knowledgeable docents will bring to life the mission’s historic past as you embark on a 90-minute tour. Founded in 1776, the Spanish adobe mission is considered to be the most romantic and best preserved of the old missions. You’ll see the Serra Chapel, the oldest building still in use in California, as well as a museum of Native American and Spanish artifacts, and magnificent gardens filled with flowers. The newly renovated Richard Nixon Presidential Library features over 70 exhibits and 11 original movies. This new interactive library follows the life of President Nixon from his early child- hood years in California to his time in the Oval Office and the Watergate scandal. Upon arrival to the library, you will be greeted by your docent. You’ll explore his life as a world leader, tour his childhood home and visit his final resting place. You will also have an opportunity to visit the gift shop before heading back to the bus.
Option 3 – You’ll board one of the Catalina Express ferries for a short one-hour cruise to the island. These vessels offer both inside and outside seating, as well as a snack bar and restroom facilities on board for your comfort. You’ll log some 26 miles as you sail the calm ocean waters over to Catalina Island. As you approach the island, you’ll first see the misty green peaks of a mountain range that rise from the ocean floor to form this and the other Channel Islands. Next, your eyes will be drawn to the gleaming buildings climbing the hillside above the Mediterranean-style port of Avalon and its legendary casino. And finally, you’ll sail into the thriving harbor, alive with pleasure boats and the occasional cruise ship. Once you arrive, the day is yours to get acquainted with the storybook town of Avalon, which you’ll find is packed with boutiques, restaurants and things to do! You might want to take a cruise aboard the Glass Bottom Boat, tour the historic Casino, take a guided tour of Avalon, or rent a golf cart or bicycle to sightsee on your own this afternoon. You will be on the island from 10:50am until 3:45pm. (To book attractions and island tours in advance, please go to www.visitcatalinaisland.com/activities-adventures).
Tonight, enjoy an exclusive New Year’s Eve Party. The evening is filled with elegant dining, dancing to a live band, and the fun of a live “Monte Carlo” style casino. There will be hats and party favors, a drawing for exciting prizes and a champagne toast to ring in 2018! (B,D)
Day 4 – Enjoy an early morning breakfast buffet prior to boarding the motorcoach as you head to Pasadena for the 129th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade. You will have Reserved Premium Grandstand Seats for the parade as you watch the parade head down Colorado Boulevard. A souvenir program and blanket are included. The Parade features colorful floral floats, energetic marching bands, high-stepping equestrian and more. After the parade, return to the hotel for a special Southern California Backyard BBQ. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure. In the evening, there will be a special movie night “under the stars”. Bring a picnic dinner from the Marketplace and don’t forget the wine! (B,L)
Day 5 – After hearty breakfast buffet is included before you travel back to Pasadena to see the floats on display at the spectacular “Showcase of Floats” event. After viewing the floats, you’ll be treated to a special farewell lunch in Beverly Hills at Lawry’s The Prime Rib. The moment you arrive, you’ll know Lawry’s The Prime Rib is an extraordinary restaurant – a place of grand style, classic elegance, luxurious comfort and home of the world famous Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.
The remainder of the afternoon and evening are at your leisure. Shuttle service will be provided to Irvine Spectrum. (B,L)
Day 6 – After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home. (B)