2010 California Dreamin'


On September 10, 2010, FRED THEURKAUF, the president of Finesse West Tours, invites you to join him, on a spectacular, sightseeing and bridge playing holiday to the most famous scenic (not urban) regions of the great state of California. During our tour we will be honored guests at bridge clubs in Sacramento, Paso Robles and Monterey. We will also enjoy three sessions of duplicate bridge in Yosemite National Park.

A bridge playing holiday
Sacramento to Monterey
Mariposa Grove-giant redwood
  • Sacramento
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Paso Robles Wine Country
  • Hearst Castle & Big Sur
  • Monterey & Carmel

  • Dates: September 10 to 22, 2010 - 13 days
    Cost: $3,392.00 USD

    Tour Schedule
    Day 1 Arrive Sacramento
      Upon your arrival at Sacramento Airport, meet our shuttle service for a short ride to the elegantly restored Citizen Hotel in the heart of the city. Tonight you’re invited to join Fred Theurkauf for cocktails followed by a “Welcome to California” dinner.
    Hotel: The Citizen Hotel
    Meal(s): , Dinner
    Day 2 Sacramento

    California's Capitol building
    Swiss immigrant, Captain John Sutter, settled at the confluence of the American & Sacramento Rivers in 1839 and the city was born. In 1849, James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s fort & the California Gold Rush was on. Today we’ll tour this historic city in depth. We’ll tour the Capitol building including the Senate Chambers and the historic gardens. After time for lunch in Old Sacramento along the river, we’ll visit the amazing Railroad Museum before returning to our beautiful hotel to relax for tonight.
    Hotel: The Citizen Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

      Our first session of bridge will be in Sacramento. Local players have planned an enjoyable evening of dinner and duplicate.
    Day 3 Sacramento to Lake Tahoe
      Today, we head east into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We’ll stop in Placerville of Gold Rush fame, before continuing on the final leg of today’s drive to Lake Tahoe. Our highlight will be a sensational gondola ride to the top of the Sierras at Heavenly for panoramic views of Lake. Enjoy lunch up here at Café Blue or the Adventure Peak Grill. After check-in at our Las Vegas style resort, join Fred and the gang for a wonderful dinner at the Forest Buffet up top with more views of Lake Tahoe at sunset. Afterwards, gaming in the Casino or a Las Vegas style show is at your fingertips.
    Hotel: Harrah's Lake Tahoe Resort
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
    Day 4 Lake Tahoe

    Emerald Bay

    Lake Tahoe's Dixie II
    Today we head for Zephyr Cove for a paddle wheeling cruise on the M.S. Dixie II across Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay. This ship has refreshments and heated decks for comfort. You’ll hear about the history of Lake Tahoe and enjoy photo opportunities at every turn. Tonight don’t miss a chance to dine at one of the many delightful restaurants right here at our hotel.
    Hotel: Harrah's Lake Tahoe Resort
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 5 Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park

    Half Dome
    We depart to the south along the east side of the great Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and pass unusual Mono Lake before reaching Lee Vining. From here it’s a straight climb up the Tioga Pass to reach Yosemite National Park from on high. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in Tuolumne Meadows and shoot a photo of Half Dome from Olmstead Point. Then it’s on to our warm & cozy home for three nights.
    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

     Join Fred Theurkauf this evening for a short session of stratified duplicate right here at the Tenaya Lodge.
    Day 6 Yosemite National Park

    Yosemite Valley (Bridalveil Falls)
    Today is a huge adventure. From the Valley floor, we board a totally open tram for a 2 ½ hour ride to see the highlights of Yosemite with our own guide and Park Ranger. We won’t miss Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and much more. There is time for lunch and a chance to poke around Yosemite Village on your own. Then we’re off for breathtaking Glacier Point with spectacular views of Sentinel Dome & Moran Point from on high, plus a short breathtaking walk with dramatic vistas of the Yosemite Valley far below.
    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast

     Join Fred Theurkauf tonight for our 2nd bridge session here at the Tenaya Lodge with just the Finesse West group.
    Day 7 Yosemite National Park

    Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls
    We head for amazing Mariposa Grove this morning. Here, by narrated tram, we experience up close the towering redwood giants and learn of their ancient biological history. After a delightful included lunch in the Main Dining Room of the historic Wawona Hotel, we’ll return to our rustic lodge to relax for the afternoon.
    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

     Tonight we enjoy our final session of bridge in Yosemite National Park. Join Fred and the gang.
    Day 8 Yosemite National Park to Paso Robles
      We’re off this morning for Paso Robles’ beautiful wine country. As we head across the San Joaquin Valley, we’ll stop at famous (for beef) Harris Ranch for lunch. After arrival & check-in at our Paso Robles hotel, we’ll have a few hours to relax. Then it’s off for restored & charming Old Town with a multitude of choices for dinner here in historic Paso Robles.
    Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 9 Paso Robles

    Paso Robles vineyards
    Today we will explore the most important areas of the Paso Robles Wine Country. You’ll have the opportunity to talk to the vintners themselves to enhance your wine tasting experience. We’ll enjoy a gourmet picnic luncheon right in the vineyards!
    Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     Tonight, county politician - Fred Strong, invites us to join local players in Old Paso Robles for a delightful evening of dinner and duplicate.
    Day 10 Paso Robles to Highway One to Monterey

    Hearst Castle

    Neptune Pool
    Today our sights are set on California’s Pacific coastline and dramatic Highway One. We’ll start with an in-depth tour of Hearst Castle with its magnificent Mediterranean-style structure. The William Randolph Hearst get-away was the romping ground for the rich & famous in the 30s & 40s. Continuing up Highway One, we’ll stop to watch the huge colony elephant seals. Off again, we won’t miss the dramatic and winding coastline views at every turn as we drive north through Big Sur. We arrive at our elegant waterfront hotel for three nights in time to check-in and head out for dinner right here on Cannery Row.
    Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Clement - Monterey
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 11 Monterey

    17 Mile Drive - The Lone Cypress
    The capital of Alta California under Spanish, Mexican & American flags, Monterey has its own architecture and famous Cannery Row - immortalized by John Steinbeck. With our expert guide, we’ll see historic Monterey, the breathtaking 17-mile drive with stops at Pebble Beach and more. We’ll take a break in stylish & posh Carmel-by-the-Sea for lunch and shopping for art & antiques. A tour of the Carmel Mission, founded in 1770, completes our day.
    Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Clement - Monterey
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     Charming Lyde McReynolds hosts the Finesse West Tours players and local Monterey players for a fun night of dinner and bridge.
    Day 12 Monterey

    Monterey Bay Aquarium

    One of the many jellyfish tanks
    After a relaxing morning, we’ll enjoy an in-depth visit to the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium just 100 feet from our hotel. Tonight get ready, as it is our “anything goes” Finesse West Tours famous farewell cocktails & dinner. Toast to a great trip and friends new & seasoned!
    Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Clement - Monterey
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     This afternoon, we’ll join local Monterey players again for a light lunch and our last session of bridge on tour.
    Day 13 Monterey - depart for home
      After breakfast, join our shuttle for your transfer to Monterey, San Jose or Sacramento for your flight home.
    Hotel: Intercontinental Hotel Clement - Monterey
    Meal(s): Breakfast

    Your 13-Day Package Includes

     Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach transportation

     Twin or double bedded first class hotel accommodations throughout

     22 meals

     Expert local guides in Monterey, Sacramento & Paso Robles

     Expert Park Rangers in Yosemite N.P. & Hearst Castle

     7 stratified ACBL sanctioned bridge sessions, including card fees & huge* quiz prizes

     Airport transfers, porterage and hotel service charges

    Click here for a full-color brochure.