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Slide Presentation Promotes College Excursions

Looking for a convenient, worry-free way to vacation? Columbia College Community Education is promoting a series of upcoming travel excursions for 2004-05 through a slide presentation on Wednesday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m. on campus in the Manzanita Conference Room. These exciting trips, which depart from and return to Sacramento, are coordinated by tour professionals through the college´s Community Education office. The informative presentation is free to attend and brochures with more details will be available at the event. In addition to the tours listed below, several new upcoming tours will be presented at the slide show.

Have you ever visited charming New England in the fall? It is by far the most beautiful time of year with colors sweeping the broad landscape and creating picture-perfect postcard vistas at every bend of the road. During this spectacular eight day Fall Foliage Tour departing on October 10, you´ll see the best of New England, beginning with two days in Boston and a visit to Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum of America´s early years. You´ll travel the picturesque back roads of Vermont through the land of Robert Frost and Grandma Moses, taking time to stroll among small villages along the way. In New Hampshire, you´ll enjoy an overnight stay in the awesome panorama of the Mount Washington Valley — home, by the way, to some exceptional shopping.

Departing on November 17, the six day Country Christmas: the Smokies & Nashville Tour offers an itinerary filled with festive celebrations and holiday cheer. Your three-night stay in Gatlinburg, TN will give you lots of time to explore the 250-room Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, which will be entirely decorated for the holidays, and for shopping in the historic Biltmore Village. Three entertaining shows are yours to enjoy too, including performances at the Louise Mandrell Theatre and the Country Tonight Theater. Plus, you will step back in time to an old-fashioned Christmas with a visit to Dollywood, and cap off your tour with two nights at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

Discover Fiji is an eight-day tour departing January 25. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime where beautiful South Pacific waters, lingering sunsets, and the friendliest people on earth all wait to impress you on the lovely island of Fiji. You´ll enjoy a single hotel stay at a luxury resort and throughout your journey, learn about the history, art and culture of the island and its people. Tour the Coral Coast of Fiji along the shores of Viti Levu, home to the second largest single reef in the world; visit the capital city, Suva, whose rich colonial past is reflected in the architecture and its museum´s collections; and enjoy plenty of leisure time to explore, shop, participate in the many resort or water sports available, or simply relax. An excursion to the scenic heartland of Fiji takes you through the beautiful Sabeto Valley to the Gardens of the Sleeping Giants, which houses a large and diverse orchid collection. You´ll be transfixed at Vuda Lookout where a 360-degree panoramic view of the West´s mountain ranges, Nadi Bay, and the beautiful Yasawa Group of islands will leave its impression long after your return home.

Discover the French Riviera which boasts a mild climate, breathtaking coastal scenery, exclusive boutiques and exceptional cuisine on a nine day tour beginning on March 11. Enjoy a leisurely-paced tour with a single hotel stay featuring delightful visits to the resorts and villages that give this area its well-earned reputation. You´ll tour Nice and visit its colorful flower market and world-famous beaches. In Grasse, you learn the art of perfume making. St. Paul de Vence, a medieval walled town with historic buildings and charming shops, will delight you. You´ll also cross the border into Italy with a visit and wonderful dinner in Ventimiglia. Then, you´re off to the fabled resorts of St. Tropez, Cannes and Antibes, the lively, charming bastions of the rich and famous. Your visit includes a stop at the inspiring Picasso Museum in Antibes, featuring more than 200 pieces of his work. You´ll travel the scenic coastal route to St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where you´ll visit the impressive Rothschild Villa & Gardens, and then proceed to Monaco to see the famous Casino of Monte Carlo and the Cathedral of Monaco. A highlight of your visit to Monaco is sure to be the fascinating Oceanographic Museum. A day of leisure allows you to explore your own interests, or simply enjoy a leisurely lunch, taking in the views and savoring delightful French cuisine. An optional Paris stay is available at the end of this tour.

Finally, heed The Call of the Canyon and unpack only once on this 6-day journey to America´s great west. You´ll stay at Sedona´s only full-service spa and golf resort, the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa, nestled in a dramatic Red Rock setting. Your trip begins with a trolley tour of Sedona featuring a visit to the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross. In your leisure time you might choose to explore the dramatic western canyons, tawny cliffs rising from the desert floor, and rock formations that make this area so relaxing. A local guide will introduce you to Scottsdale and Phoenix with a tour that includes Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley, and Old Town Scottsdale. Amazing views await as you drive along the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Relive the excitement of the Old West aboard the Grand Canyon Railway, a historic train traversing miles of beautiful Arizona countryside. Your tour includes memorable dining experiences complete with entertainment, from a Broadway musical revue to songs and poetry of the Old West.

All excursion packages consist of airfare from Sacramento, lodging, most meals, and other miscellaneous admission tickets. For more information, including travel details and prices, call the college´s Community Education office at 588-5144.