Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. For our New Year’s Eve dinner, we ask you to pre-order your preferred entrée. Please see the “Notes” section for details. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.
Activity note: Depending on traffic, drive to Santa Barbara is approximately 45 minutes and 25 miles; Getting on/off motorcoach; Walking on even terrain and standing for long periods of time; Participants can climb the 85-foot clock tower of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a buffet featuring an assortment of hot and cold breakfast items plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.
Morning: This morning, we’ll be joined by a local expert who will trace the history of the mission system from its Spanish beginnings to the successes of the missions in Latin America, and examine why they were used in California. Hear about Fra Junipero Serra and what life was like at the California Missions. Discuss why the missions failed, the pros and cons of the missions, and how they are viewed today. Our private motorcoach will depart the hotel for the Santa Barbara Mission, where we will enjoy a docent-led visit. Founded in 1786, Mission Santa Barbara was the 10th of the missions to be built. It is called the "Queen of the Missions" for its beautiful hilltop setting and majestic views. Our morning continues with a docent-led visit of the Santa Barbara Courthouse. The Courthouse is the jewel in Santa Barbara's architectural crown, on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark. The current Courthouse, completed just four months before the US stock market crash of 1929, looks as if it belongs in southern Spain with its Spanish-Moorish architecture and surrounding sunken garden. The top of the 85-foot clock tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding city and the mountains.
Lunch: At a favorite local restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara featuring a sandwich, side salad, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, or soda.
Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore State Street in Santa Barbara before the motorcoach departs for the return trip to Ventura.
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: Enjoy an evening session with a local expert learning about Channel Islands National Park in preparation for the next day's visit via boat to Santa Cruz Island. Channel Islands National Park covers five of the eight channel islands off the coast of Southern California. Having endured thousands of years of isolation, these islands are host to a variety of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. With its pristine beaches and grass covered hills, Santa Cruz is the largest island of the five islands comprising Channel Island National Park, and is a miniature of what Southern California looked like 100 years ago.
Activity note: Weather permitting, travel to the island is approximately one hour boat ride each way. Walking distances of 1 or 2 miles on uneven terrain depending on the hike; Participants have to climb a ladder from the pier to the island; Layered clothing, rubber soled shoes, and a good grip are all recommended.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll take our private motorcoach from the hotel to enjoy an all day outing to Santa Cruz Island via Island Packers boat. Upon arrival at the island, be prepared to climb a small ladder to the pier where we’ll partake in a naturalist led walk. With our expert, we’ll embark on an easy walk with good examples of native and endemic plants through Scorpion Cavern. If participants are eager for a more rigorous hike, they can partake in a 2 mile round trip hike to Cavern Point, which climbs 300 ft on the first third of the hike to Cavern Point and then flattens out providing expansive vistas of the Santa Barbara Channel. The trail experts talk about the isolation of the island, animals, plants, restoration projects, ranch history, and the marine environment at stops along the trail.
Lunch: Bag lunch on Santa Cruz Island featuring a sandwich, chips, a cookie, and bottled water. Our lunches are packed so all trash can fit in a pocket to avoid littering. There are limited trash cans on the island.
Afternoon: Continue our field trip on Santa Cruz Island. The Island Packers boat returns to the mainland around 5:00 p.m.
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: This evening, our expert led class provides insights about Ronald Reagan in preparation for the field trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The 40th President of the United States, Reagan moved to Hollywood to fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. After becoming President of the Screen Actors Guild, he became involved in politics as a spokesman for General Electric. After gaining support, he was persuaded to run for Governor of California and eventually became President of the United States. Known for his new economic and political incentives, Reagan grew from a small town icon to one of the most favored Presidents in American history.
Activity note: Depending on traffic, drive to the Reagan Library is approximately 40 minutes and 35 miles; Standing for up to two hours with limited seating available in the Museum.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: From the hotel, we’ll take a field trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum where we will enjoy a docent-led visit. Opened to the public in 1991, the 100 acre site is perched on a mountaintop with sweeping views of mountains, valleys, and the Pacific Ocean. Follow a young Ronald Reagan on his rise from local hero and college standout to the glamorous world of Hollywood stardom. His campaign trail and inauguration as the 40th President of the United States, the Oval Office, and key events of his two terms are revealed through documents, photographs, and artifacts from eight dynamic years in the White House. In the Air Force One Pavilion, board the aircraft that served as the "Flying White House" for President Reagan.
Lunch: Lunch at Air Force One Pavilion includes a sandwich, a side salad, and cookie, plus coffee, a choice of soda, or bottled water.
Afternoon: Free time to explore the exhibits and grounds on your own before returning to the hotel.
Dinner: At the hotel, our New Year's Eve dinner features the entrées we previously selected.
Evening: New Year's Eve! We will celebrate together according to the Eastern time zone.
Activity note: Drive to Pasadena approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. We will climb bleachers to our reserved seats; these metal bleacher seats do not have backs so as not to restrict leg room for people sitting behind. You may want to bring a stadium cushion (without a back) since we will be seated for several hours. Round trip walking distance at Post Parade is 2.4 miles; elevation change is 80’ loss in the first 0.7 miles; allow twice as much time for the return trip up the hill. No seating along route.
Breakfast: Early at the hotel.
Morning: The motorcoach will depart the hotel for the parade as early as 5:30 a.m. The Rose Parade is an unequaled spectacle and celebration of flowers, music, and sport. Pasadena greets each new year with spectacular pageantry. This is the 129th time this magnificent parade has rolled. As you watch the beautiful floats glide by, marvel at the brilliance and imagination that went into creating each and every one. After the parade, we will return to the motorcoach for trip to lunch.
Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon: After every Rose Parade, the floral masterpieces are parked and on exhibition to examine the design and workmanship that goes into these floats in close detail—a Pasadena traditional for more than a century. You can walk almost within arm's reach to appreciate the imagination and work that created these floral displays. Bring your camera!
Dinner: At the hotel.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon; Walking distances up to 3/4 mile; uneven terrain during the visit to the Mission.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: From the hotel, we’ll walk to Mission San Buenaventura. Founded in 1782, Mission San Buenaventura was the ninth of California's 21 missions and the last to be established by Father Junipero Serra. Destroyed by fire in the 1790s, the church was rebuilt over a period of a dozen years and rededicated in 1809. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!