Posts Tagged ‘bus tours’

Disa and Lauren Take San Francisco – Part 2

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

No one escapes from Alcatraz… except for the notorious Lauren and Disa!

Welcome back, travel friends! Click Here for the awesome first half of our adventure – Disa and Lauren Take San Francisco – Part 1!

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Day 4 and 5 of Disa and I’s adventures in the misty City by the Bay included the epic Monterey & Carmel Tour by Bus from San Francisco on Thursday, then on Friday the Chinatown Walking Tour in San Francisco, then cruising to explore the infamous ex-federal prison of Alcatraz Island, then going on an enchanting San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise around the beautiful bay at sunset. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the virtual tours.


  • The Chronicles of Monterey: The Sea Lion, the Sandwich, and the Nautical Globe. The Monterey & Carmel Tour by Bus from San Francisco is a fully narrated 11-hour tour that departs from and returns to San Francisco. This tour showcases California’s natural, rugged Central Coast. As we made our way south-bound from San Francisco, we passed by M5 Industries, which is the headquarters for Myth Busters, a science entertainment TV show on the Discovery Channel. The Fire Station is close by for a reason. ;)

Yours truly took every photo opportunity to capture the beauty of the scenery

  • As we continued our journey past Daly City, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and beyond to the right of our luxury coach we could see the gorgeous rocky coastline with a few nice sand beaches and tide pools. Something interesting that we learned is that the reason Monterey has such a wealth of marine life is because of Monterey Canyon underwater, which descends over two miles – twice as deep as Arizona’s Grand Canyon – and is home to giant kelp forests and a myriad of sea creatures. I would love to go scuba diving there someday! We could also distantly see (and mainly hear) several sea lions off on the rocks further from the shore.

Just a taste of the seaside scenery on the journey to Monterey, California

  • When we reached the famous Cannery Row in Monterey, we were welcomed with vistas of scenic piers, tons of cool little shops, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and seaside restaurants. You might see sailboats in the marina or kayakers. After reading the sumptuous menu posted outside, we decided to dine for lunch at Louie Linguini’s. I was pretty super excited about this seafood pizza, and for good reason. Salmon, crab and shrimp! I’m a seafood hound. Disa ordered the Spinach Salad, Goat Cheese, & Bacon Sandwich. Absolutely delicious. I seriously wish I could eat there every day now! :D

Decisions, decisions… everything was delicious at Louie Linguini’s in Monterey!

The Fisherman’s Wharf of Monterey, and our fantastic view from Louie Linguini’s

  • After our seaside escapades in Monterey, we were on our way southbound again along the famous scenic 17-mile road. We traveled through Pebble Beach, learning about the highly exclusive and outrageously pricey golf courses on each resort, and enjoying the views of really, really ridiculously good looking houses and estates along the coastline. There is a great variety of architecture to see, and interesting stories you’ll hear aboard the tour. We also stopped to see this natural anomaly, the “Lone Cypress Tree” growing where it is said that no Cypress tree *should* ever grow. Another of the mysteries of the Universe…
  • Finally, we arrived at the beautiful seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Yes, they do prefer the whole city name said correctly, so get it right. The city is known for its amazing art galleries, bakeries and restaurants, and of course there are the miles and miles of white sand beaches. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll down Ocean Avenue to explore the fabulous shopping turf of the wealthy. It is here that you will find the first gallery of Thomas Kinkade, the Thomas Kinkade Gallery in the Garden. You pass by the cottage door, follow the stone walkway, and into a beautiful garden exhibit with a very fine collection of the world famous painter’s masterpieces. It reminded me of one of my favorite books, The Secret Garden.

Sound like a local by saying the city’s full name, Carmel-by-the-Sea!

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a dream come true for art, food, and beach enthusiasts

Re-energizing with caffeine in a scenic courtyard near Ocean Avenue

The Orignal Gallery of Thomas Kinkade, The Garden Gallery Cottage of Carmel

  • We concluded our adventures south of San Francisco driving back through Silicon Valley, but first stopped at the lovely, historic Mission San Carlos of Carmel. It is the second mission in upper California, and is still home to a Catholic parish. We arrived just before the church bells gonged the evening time.

Photo Op Stop at the historic Mission San Carlos of Carmel by the Sea


  • We started the day off with a fascinating and very informative walking tour through Chinatown, on the Chinatown Walking Tour in San Francisco. Our tour guide, Linda, gave us an excellent historical, cultural, medicinal, and culinary overview of Chinatown. This tour is definitely another “must-do” in San Francisco! Chinatown is like a city within the city filled with mysterious sights, where an ancient culture from the other side of the world survives and flourishes with remarkable authenticity. I loved the pagoda-style architecture of the buildings and shops ranging from martial arts weapons displays to Hello Kitty merchandise. What a cool place to shop and explore!

Linda explained the rich history behind this mural and many buildings

Awesome martial arts weapons display at a shop in Chinatown

Chinese School passes on the language and cultural traditions of generations

  • Linda told us that a majority of the people in Chinatown today are actually Christians, but you will still find many Authentic Buddhist Temples. From the street, we wound our way up a narrow, steep staircase to a beautifully adorned temple. Inside we saw entire walls decorated with red ribbons with the names of deceased loved ones written in gold. For many residents, deceased loved ones may not have been buried nearby or inaccessible in the East, so a ribbon serves as a token of veneration. Chinese Ancestor Worship is the belief that deceased loved ones possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Gifts of oranges or flowers are customary, or simply time spent remembering and honoring those dearly departed. Tangerines and oranges sound like “luck” and “wealth” in Chinese, respectively. That is why you will see many oranges as gifts for good fortune.

Buddhist Temple adorned with lanterns, gold antiques, and incense urns

  • Inside the temple, we found dazzling altars adorned with red lanterns, priceless gold antiques, incense filled bronze urns, and more. I was even given the unique opportunity to be a test guinea pig for the traditional Chinese Fortune Sticks and the Chinese Yin-Yang. For the Chinese Fortune Stick (or Divination Sticks), I was handed a circular wooden container filled with many long, flat wooden sticks with a different Chinese symbol at the end of each. Linda asked me to think of any kind of life question that I wanted an answer for, and concentrate on it, then to tilt the container and shake it until only one fortune stick fell out. Sure enough, only one stick fell out. Linda looked up the meaning of the fortune stick and gave me a small slip of paper written entirely in Chinese, and told me I could have the note translated more in depth with a Chinese expert, but basically it meant that research is important to me. I can’t argue with that – I love me some science! Next, Linda handed me two pairs of wooden moon blocks (jiaobei) which she said symbolize the Chinese Yin-Yang. She said the objective is again to ask it a question (aloud or not), and then drop the blocks. You hold the pieces together, flat sides facing each other, and drop them to the ground. How the blocks fall determines the answer. If it lands with both flat or rounded sides facing up, the answer is no. If one side lands flat and the other rounded, the answer is yes. I asked “Will it rain today?” Yin-Yang: one side landed flat and the other rounded, so the answer was yes. It did not rain in San Francisco that day, but I also failed to specify *where* it would rain, so it definitely rained somewhere in the world!

I volunteered to test the Chinese Yin-Yang at the Buddhist Temple

Honoring ancestors is a special way of remembering deceased loved ones

  • Next stop: the Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Factory!! The sweet aroma of the freshly made fortune cookies is sure to lure you in whether you can read the Chinese store signs or not. Inside, you will find fortune cookies of all shapes and sizes, and watch as cookies are made right in front of you.
  • Linda gave us each delicious circular samples of the freshly-made fortune cookies. Yum! You can even order custom fortune cookie messages there at the factory. I wish I’d had time to return to order some fortune cookies with custom messages… with the lyrics to “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, so I could pass them out to my friends, just to drive them crazy. *evil laugh* :D

Our next stop was at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory with a free sample!

At Golden Gate Fortune Cookies you can even order custom fortune messages

  • We also stopped at Stockton Street Food Markets, where you will find an amazing variety of local and exotic foods. This is the place to be to buy the freshest and cheapest produce, meats, live seafood, and dried herbs.

Stockton Street Markets offer the freshest and most exotic foods in the Bay Area

  • After our journey through Chinatown, we walked to In-And-Out Burger at Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch, because it’s just so delicious. After another glorious round of double-double cheeseburgers, we proceeded to walk off the calories to Pier 33 for our second tour of the day, and the most famous sightseeing attraction of San Francisco — Alcatraz Island!!!

The Guard Tower looms ominously high over former prison grounds

Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelley, and other famous inmates

  • Alcatraz was a federal penitentiary that operated from 1934 to 1963, riddled with mysteries and dark mystique. Once home to the likes of Al “Scarface” Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelley, and Robert “The Birdman” Stroud, the Federal Bureau of Prisons used the facility as a maximum security prison. It housed prisoners too notorious or dangerous to be held elsewhere. Alcatraz was closed in 1963 due to its expense. The trip includes the ferry ride to the island and an amazing self-guided audio cell block tour, complete with actual interviews of former guards and inmates. Alcatraz is still known today as one of the world’s most legendary prisons.
  • Here’s a fun fact: Juan Manuel de Ayala was the first Spaniard to document Alcatraz Island in 1775. He also charted San Francisco Bay, and named the island “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” which translates to “The Island of the Pelicans.” You will still find Alcatraz covered with a countless number of seabirds, although the California Brown Pelican is not known to nest on the island today. Instead, you are likely to see hundreds of Western Gulls, and, if you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of pelagic cormorants, California gulls, pigeon guillemots, or black oystercatchers.

Alcatraz is a sanctuary for a variety of seabirds, most prominently Western Gulls

  • If you’re more of a nature lover than a mystery or history buff, walk along the Agave Trail. The trail begins near the ferryboat landing on the east side of Alcatraz Island and continues to the southern tip of the island. The Agave Trail passes through a protected bird sanctuary and features beautiful plants and flowers. This trail also offers fabulous views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

This is how a typical cell would look upon a prisoner’s arrival to Alcatraz

I’ve been bad. On the plus side, now I can polish my Cell Block Tango.

  • Alcatraz was well known for having an excellent menu compared to other prisons. Warden James Johnston believed that good food in the cafeteria would help to quell dissension among the prisoners. So why was the Mess Hall regarded as the most dangerous place of Alcatraz? Imagine angry, hungry men with knives (even with steak knives, when the menu called for such) gathering together three times a day… A few food and fist fights broke out occasionally, but the armed guards on the outside catwalk rarely ever had to break the windows with their rifles, and never had to fire warning shots or release the tear gas canisters.
  • One bad-tempered incident occurred when Warden Johnston was attacked while standing routinely near the Mess Hall door and beaten up by inmate Burton “Whitey” Phillips. Phillips was later sent to the Treatment Unit in Cellblock D for the assault – a dark, barren cell of Solitary Confinement, also known as “The Hole.” He didn’t leave the Treatment Unit until years later when Warden Johnston retired.
Alcatraz Mess Hall Food Menu

The food quality at Alcatraz was regarded as the best in the prison system

The Mess Hall of Alcatraz was considered to be the most dangerous place.

  • I highly recommend reading the story of the Alcatraz Spaghetti Riot of 1950. Inmates had to find cunning, creative ways to communicate for an organized anarchy under the constant supervision of the prison guards. The inmates were rebelling because they were tired of bland spaghetti. Personally, I think the inmates may have been a bit spoiled. Red velvet cake on the menu?! Dang, prisoners ate great back then. Perhaps the riddles inspired by the hit mystery-thriller FOX TV show “ALCATRAZ” can shed light on the mystery… I would also recommend reading the story of the Battle of Alcatraz.

Guards’ recreational office near the Lighthouse of Alcatraz Island

The iconic Lighthouse of Alcatraz Island, now a museum that can be toured.

  • Disa and I escaped from the sinister clutches of Alcatraz in time to return to our secret hideout and freshen up for our charming sunset dinner cruise along the bay aboard the San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise. We were so lucky that it was a clear night without the dense fog rolling in yet. Very pretty sunset. Cheers to an amazing week in San Francisco!
San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise

Aboard the San Francisco Dinner Dance Cruise with dazzling sunset views

Lovely dinner cruise views of the Golden Gate Bridge and more around the Bay

Amazing views of Alcatraz Island and the ferry for the Night Tour

Beautiful sunset as we passed by Alcatraz Island on the Dinner Cruise

  • What you get on this amazing dinner cruise? A sightseeing yacht cruise (Fri. – Sat. is 3-hours, Sun. – Thurs. is 2.5-hours), a 4-course seated dinner, coffee and tea, live entertainment and dancing, scenic San Francisco Bay views, and available for purchase are soft drinks, wine, beer and cocktails from the full-service bar. Truly a magical evening out for any occasion along the scenic Bay as you watch the sun set, the stars come out, and the city lights of San Francisco glistening next to the water edge, all while enjoying an amazing 4-course dinner and dancing to live entertainment.

Our Appetizers were South American Scallop Ceviche with Fried Plantain Chips

2nd Course: Fontina, Leek & Carrot Tartlet with Champagne Shallot Vinaigrette

Disa ordered the Roasted Chipotle and Garlic Marinated Bone In Pork Chop

I ordered the Salmon Moqueca with Peppers, Red Coral Rice, & Black Beans

For desert, we had these super cute and delectable Blueberry Pies!

Marvelous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and a passing Sailboat out in the Bay

Another gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset in the Bay

That concludes our overview of amazing adventures in The Taking of San Francisco with Disa & Lauren. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and seeing some of our journey as much as we enjoyed being there. Stay tuned for more pictures and new videos as we continue to share our experiences throughout Reserve123′s social media networks. You’re going to love seeing even more of our trip photos and the video magic we captured on each tour!

Are you ready to plan your own adventures to the City by the Bay? We want to earn your business with the best customer service around. Book your tour tickets online and save or call us toll free for assistance with reservations at 800-410-8233 or at our local phone number which is 678-320-2200. Did you know that Reserve123 also offers a San Francisco Hotel Directory, Rental Car Services, and even Airline Tickets? Leave everything to your travel friends at and we guarantee that just as Tony Bennett so smoothly serenaded, you’ll leave your heart in San Francisco. ;)

Disa and Lauren Take San Francisco – Part 1

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Lauren & Disa have escaped from Alcatraz and are wanted across San Francisco!

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It’s true. Lauren & Disa have taken over San Francisco. Be afraid! We are so excited to be here. As you know, is headquartered in Atlanta where we both live. Reserve123 sells over 11,000 tours, attractions, and activities in over 550 destinations and 85 countries. Disa and I had the fortunate opportunity to visit beautiful San Francisco, one of our favorite city markets. We are visiting for a whole week and have taken several amazing tours so far! Our mission is to get as many pictures and videos as possible to share with our travel friends on all of our social media networks. Here are the chronicles of our adventures in the charming City By the Bay – Part 1!


Wax Museum Recreation of the Triple Self Portrait by Norman Rockwell

  • After the Hop On Hop Off Tour, we took the exciting and informative San Francisco Bay Cruise. We boarded the ferry boat and set out toward the Golden Gate Bridge from Fisherman’s Wharf. Along the way we passed Fort Mason, the Marina District, St. Francis Yacht Club, and the Presidio. We enjoyed excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge (as much as we could see through the fog rolling in) and cruised very close to the Marin Headlands and past Angel Island and around Alcatraz.

On board the San Francisco Bay Cruise with the narrative audio headsets

Great views cruising around Alcatraz Island on the Bay Cruise

  • After the Bay Cruise, we had dinner at House of Nanking. Very popular chinese restaurant. They can only seat about 25 people inside, and there was about a 30 minute wait outside (and it was cold outside by that point), but SO worth the wait!! This was the appetizer we ordered, the Sizzling Rice Soup with chicken. Fantastic! I think we liked that even more than our entrees. And I ordered a lemonade, and Disa ordered the “Hot Blossoming Flower Tea” – she said it was really good and mildly sweet like honey, and the flower bud actually started to bloomed in the tea for about 5 minutes! Pretty cool to see. By the way, we had this amazing view at night.

Charming night view of the city and Bay Bridge in San Francisco


  • We were picked up for our Bus Tour of the Wine Country from San Francisco, and set off to explore California’s world-famous premium wine making region. On this excellent tour, you’ll not only get to taste the wines of Napa and Sonoma, but also get a taste of several different winery styles, from boutique to large-scale wineries. You’ll learn how wine is made and enjoy the lovely vistas of rolling hills dotted with vineyards. Which wineries you visit will vary, but we enjoyed visits to the Madonna Estate, Sutter Home, and the Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery. We also stopped at the beautiful Sonoma Square, where we had a delicious lunch at The Plaza Bistro and also enjoyed a variety of cheese samples and sumptuous gelato at The Cheese Factory!

On the Wine Country Tour in the vineyard of Madonna Estate in Napa

  • After the Wine Country Tour, we took a break to recharge our phones and camera batteries, then went to dinner at the famous In-N-Out Burger at Fisherman’s Wharf. So fantastic… God Bless America for our cheeseburgers in Paradise. Then we decided to go for a walk along Fisherman’s Wharf, and happened upon a great saxaphone player doing a street performance. Even though it was getting a little too cold for two Georgia Peaches, it was so serene getting to listen to him play with the sound of the waves in the bay nearby, amidst the night life bustle and neon lights.


  • Redwood Rings from 909 A.D.

    We were picked up for our Muir Woods & Sausalito Tour by Bus from San Francisco, then after check-in we headed to the enchanting redwood forest. Muir Woods is located about 17 miles northwest of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge. Marvel at the tremendous size of the giant redwoods at John Muir Woods. The average age of the redwoods at Muir Woods is between 600 to 800 years, with the oldest being over 1,200 years old. On the Wine Country Tour the previous day, we learned that we can thank the cool fog throughout the San Francisco area and beyond for the perfect environment to create Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Redwoods. Muir Woods has a magical feel to it, and you could easily spend all day there exploring. It reminded me of Fern Gully, and I’m pretty sure that Smurfs might live there too… There is also a great rustic gift shop filled with all kinds of artisan crafted redwood carvings and unique souvenirs. Then we continued our journey on to drive through Sausalito, home to some of the country’s wealthiest citizens. Sausalito is located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the south-eastern tip of Marin County. If you specifically request a stop in Sausalito, you may be dropped off there and can return to San Francisco by ferry (at your own expense). We then continued back across the Golden Gate Bridge with a nice stop for photo opportunities at The Marin Headlands, a hilly peninsula at the southernmost end of Marin County overlooking the famous bridge.

Enchanting redwoods and ferns abound at Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods is definitely a Must-Do for every visitor to California

  • After the Muir Woods & Sausalito Tour, we had lunch at the Boudin Bistro (an amazing sourdough bread bakery with a factory museum and excellent restaurant & bistro) then headed back to our abode again to recharge our phones and camera batteries, then took advantage of the second portion of our San Francisco 48 Hours Open Top Double Decker Hop-On & Hop-Off Bus Tour to explore more of the city, with special stops at the Golden Gate Bridge Visitor’s Center, Ghirardelli Square, and a mighty hike up the super-steep Russian Hill to Lombard Street – home of The Crookedest Street in the World! Amazing views and sightseeing. My favorite was Ghirardelli Square, getting to watch the world famous chocolate being made, seeing the many specialty shops, and tasting new chocolate samples! We got to taste their new Gourmet Milk Sea Salt Escape. Yum!

The famous Ghirardelli Square is filled with decadent treats in San Francisco

Enjoy watching as chocolate is made right in front of you at Ghirardelli Square

  • After the Hop On Hop Off Tour, we went to dinner with our new friends Kimberly and Tina, who manage operations for the Hop On Hop Off bus company, and we ate at a Mexican restaurant downtown called Tres. Great taqueria food – especially the fish tacos!

Disa striking a pose with a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge

That concludes Part 1 of our adventures thus far in the Fog City. In the meantime, visit us at or at to plan your travels in San Francisco and beyond. Book your tour tickets online and save or call us toll free at 800-410-8233 for assistance with reservations. We also offer an excellent selection of hotels in our San Francisco Hotel Directory, featuring a fantastic selection of hotels, exceptionally low rates, and the convenience of being able to book your hotels and tours in one place.

Click Here for the amazing second half of our adventure – Disa and Lauren Take San Francisco – Part 2!

The California flag flies over beautiful Sonoma Square in the Wine Country

Empire State of Mind in NYC

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Double Decker Bus Tour

Double Decker Bus Tour

“In New York, concrete jungle
where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you
feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York,
New York, New York”

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I think that Alicia Keys and Jay-Z summed it up pretty well. New York really is like being on another planet; a great melting pot of culture, design, architecture, and attitude.

My brother and I visited NYC a few years ago, and had a great time sightseeing in the city and visiting the Empire State Building. For my first visit to New York, I decided to go with a classic – the New York Classic Double Decker Tour, to be precise – to gain a nice overview of New York City and Manhattan.

New York Classic Double Decker Tour

New York Classic Double Decker Tour

It’s easy to get lost in the endless sights and sounds and lights everywhere, and this tour covers the major sightseeing spots and landmarks of the city.

You will enjoy the best sights in Manhattan during the day and at night, with unlimited hop-on, hop-off service at over 40 stops on our double decker bus. There is an Uptown Loop, Downtown Loop, Brooklyn Loop, and The Night Loop, and your pass is good for 48 hours to use as you wish.

Plus, this fun-filled tour includes a ticket for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island AND admission ticket to either the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. What more could you ask for? Well, stopping for pizza along the way of course, if you’re like me. 8)

Scenic views at the top of the Empire State Building

Scenic views at the top of the Empire State Building in New York City

New York Skyscrapers, Central Park, and the Atlantic Ocean

New York Skyscrapers, Central Park, and the Atlantic Ocean

Sunset views of New York City and Liberty Island in the distance

Sunset views of New York City and Liberty Island in the distance

Fall in Love with Niagara Sightseeing Tours

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Enjoy fall foliage & fantastic views of Niagara

Enjoy fall foliage & fantastic views of Niagara

Nothing spells a Roaring Good Time like a visit to Niagara Falls. Now is the perfect time of year to see spectacular views of vibrant fall colors and one of the greatest Natural Wonders of the World. Explore the great outdoors, enjoy fun-filled fall festivals, and be sure to visit Old Fort Niagara to discover its haunted history!

Traffic has become increasingly insane at Niagara Falls over the years. Driving through stop-and-go traffic to then find no parking spaces can leave you stressed out and definitely not enjoying your visit. Do yourself a favor and take a stress-free tour from NYC or Toronto! My favorite is our Niagara Falls Wine Tasting & Waterfall Day Tour from Toronto. You will stop along the way to the Falls for a special visit to an award winning winery where you can enjoy a free sample of Ice Wine, a sweet treat made from local frozen grapes. You will then continue on to the charming village of Niagara-on-the-Lake and then on to the falls.

I would also highly recommend our Niagara Falls All American Illumination Tour. In addition to the spectacular and colorful night time Illumination of the Falls, this tour also includes a thrilling ride aboard the world famous Maid of the Mist Boat, Viewing the Falls atop the American Observation Tower, the adventurous Cave of the Winds Trip to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls, Attraction Fees, Parking Fees, Road Tolls, Pick-up & Drop-off Service, and much more.

On the popular Cave of the Winds tour, you will find that vanity is not an option next to that magnitude of Mother Nature’s incredible power. At Bridal Veil Falls, approaching the “Hurricane Deck,” be sure to take off your hat and hold on tight to it, or it will no doubt be doomed to a watery grave. The Hurricane Deck is so named because tropical storm conditions are present when you are that close to the Falls. It’s wet, it’s windy, it’s cold, it’s scary, and yes – you will get soaked to the bone. And you will absolutely LOVE IT. ;)

Hurry if you want to take a boat tour! After October 24th, the Falls will close as the water begins to freeze during winter. Check out Niagara Falls Tours for all of the best things to do in Niagara Falls from both New York and Canada!

A romantic wedding during Hurricane Irene

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

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On August 27th, Hurricane Irene was making her way through New York City causing havoc throughout the city. While people were preparing for the brunt of Hurricane Irene, Samie Miller and  Ryan Roberts were too busy getting ready for a very special event – their wedding.

See the interview here.

Miller and Roberts didn’t let a hurricane ruin their day and continued their wedding.  Reserve 123 is proud to say we supplied their transportation and proceeded with their New York City tour, despite the inclement weather. Cathy, Miller’s mother, even wrote us the sweetest letter:

“…With all the things that could (and did) go wrong, your buses were not one of them. One of the buses were scheduled to do a tour after the ceremony and before the reception. This was something that our guests (the ones that were able to attend) loved the most. It was extraordinary and my guests are still talking about it…”

We are so happy to help make sure their wedding was a success and hope the happy couple are enjoying their honeymoon!

- Kris

When In Rome…

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

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I came. I saw. I conquered. I took amazing tours. And got fantastic pictures! Rome is the capital of Italy, and its history spans two-and-a-half thousand years. Roma die uno non aedificata est – Rome was not built in a day. So take your time to explore this incredible, historical city. Don’t worry if you get lost in what to do during your visit… Omnes viae Romam ducunt – All roads lead to Rome.

Great balls of fire!!! Do you dare to explore the cryptic remains of the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius from 79 AD? The eruption completely buried Pompeii, but out of the ashes many incredible ancient artifacts, buildings, frescoes, and eerie body casts have been excavated. Our Amalfi & Pompeii Private Tour will take you into the heart of Pompeii, and also to the picturesque Amalfi Coastline – the most famous drive in all of Italy!

Travel to the outskirts of Rome aboard a motorcoach bus to visit two gorgeous villas, one from ancient Roman times and another from the Renaissance period, on our Historic Tivoli Bus Tour. Your first stop was a villa used by Roman Emperor Hadrian as a retreat from the Roman Palace. Your second stop is the Villa d’Este, built by Cardinal Ippolito Il d’Este in the 16th century.

Finish your day off with our Rome by Night Tour with Dinner, Drinks & Music! Seeing Rome after the sun sets and the city is magically illuminated must be where the term “Romantic” originated. You’ll discover the city’s renowned monuments, piazzas, fountains and architecture. Then, you’ll go to a local restaurant to enjoy a delicious Italian meal complimented by local wine, while you are entertained with traditional Italian music and songs played by folk musicians. Evviva! Be sure to explore Rome Tours for the greatest selection of top quality tours and activities for your visit to the Eternal City. Book online and save, or call us toll free for assistance. We look forward to providing you with excellent customer service!

Visit Windsor and Eton Your Way!

Monday, October 12th, 2009

England is known for its famous landmarks, beautiful natural surroundings, and those big red buses! An open-top bus tour is an ideal way to see London and the surrounding area, and it is a flexible option as well.  If you are looking to see one of the Queen’s residences, Windsor Castle, a hop on hop off bus tour is the way to go.

The City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour in Windsor & Eton comes complete with a pre-recorded commentary in English, in order to acquaint you with the areas of Windsor and Eton.  The best part of this tour, however, is that it gives you the ability to hop on and off the bus at your leisure.

There are 11 stops on the tour, including Castle Hill (featuring Windsor Castle), High Street (Parish Church and Guildhall), Eton Court, and Windsor Bridge.  The comfortable air-conditioned bus takes you to the sights that are major highlights in the vicinity.

Children under age 5 are free, and the regular child rate starts as low as $6.95 so this is an affordable trip for everyone.  So get ready to experience Windsor and Eton as you enjoy the gentle breeze from atop one of those famous red buses.  You won’t regret it!

To check out more on this tour and others in the areas of Windsor and Eton, England visit

Aerial Views of the Grand Canyon

Monday, August 17th, 2009

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Of all the ways to see the Grand Canyon, the helicopter tours are a favorite of many. The Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour With Lunch from Flagstaff can be taken in 30 or 45 minute increments and comes with a full-day luxury coach tour from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. You will pass the snowcapped San Francisco Peaks and the Aspen Groves as you travel to Tusayan.

Entrance fees to Grand Canyon National Park are included in the price of tickets, and your helicopter ride will take you through the Dragon Corridor upon entering the park.You will also have a gourmet lunch at the Yavapai or Maswik Lodge followed by a walk along the South Rim for a spectacular view and a visit to the historic Watchtower Observatory.Then you will head out along the Little Colorado River Gorge for an incredible view of the Painted Desert on the Navajo Reservation.At the conclusion of the tour, you will stop at the historic Cameron Trading Post.

This is a wonderful way to see the Grand Canyon and its magnificent red rocks.The tour lasts 9 hours in its entirety and includes a full narration by an experienced and knowledgeable guide.Do not miss this chance to see gorgeous aerial views of the red rocks and to capture the experience on film.Visit for more details.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Toronto Double-Decker Bus Tours

Monday, July 27th, 2009

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If you want to see the city of Toronto but want to call your own shots, take the Toronto Hop On Hop Off City Tour.This option combines the knowledge and skill of a professional tour guide with the convenience of picking and choosing which spots to explore.You have the luxury of getting on and off the bus to have a closer look at an area, and you can rejoin the tour at any time within 3 touring days.This allows you to see what you want, skip what you don’t, and pick up where you left off.It is perfect for those who are in town for a conference or to visit loved ones since you can fit it into your schedule whenever you have time.

This double-decker tour does not disappoint.The bus has two loops, one running north to south and the other east to west.Each loop has some distinctive stops, so some might decide to take both, one each day. On the north-south loop, one of the highlights is the stop at Casa Loma, a beautiful castle on a hill and the estate of a well-known Toronto financier.Guests also appreciate some time at the Entertainment and Fashion Districts as well as the Toronto Music Garden.On the east-west loop you will want to pay particular attention to Little Italy, Chinatown, and Koreatown where there are some great buys and of course mouth-watering food.Take the opportunity to hop off the bus at some of these points if you decide you want to spend some more time there; it is very easy to find the bus again and hop back on to continue the tour.

The touring experience on the Hop On Hop Off City Tour is unbeatable and is highly recommended to anyone visiting the Toronto area that needs a little guidance on how to get around and on popular points of interest.Tours are offered year-round with pick-up at Toronto area hotels and other designated stops.

Charleston, a City Enduring History

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

When you first arrive in Charleston, I would highly recommend taking a comprehensive Charleston Tour by Minibus to orient you to the area and show you some of the city highlights. This tour is 75 minutes packed with history and dramatic scenery. You will get to look out at the view of Charleston Harbor at historic Fort Sumter and hear about the Confederate submarine, Hunley. Many movies were shot on location here, including ‘The Patriot’ and ‘Cold Mountain,’ and you will get clarification on their historical context during the tour.

charleston-tour-by-minibus2Along the way you will see the beautifully painted houses on Rainbow Row, the Market – which is essentially 3 blocks of open air market with produce, handmade crafts, restaurants and shops – and scores of historic houses and churches. The great part about this tour is that with all that ground to cover it is nice to see it from the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus so you don’t have to worry about transportation from point A to point B and having to navigate around the city streets on foot.

This tour allows you to travel through history to the times of the slave trade, the Civil War, and the original ‘Walled City’ as you are driven through the narrow streets of Charleston and are provided with unrestricted access to the Historic District. It gives you a great view of many of the homes and churches that have made this city famous, and after this tour you will definitely want to venture out in the city to take advantage of all it has to offer.

For more information on this tour and other fantastic options, visit

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