After year-long hiatus, desk is again planning trips for residents
By Sam Richards
After a year-long hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rossmoor’s Excursion Desk trips are making a comeback, with the first planned post-revival excursion being an eight-day package in September to Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and national parks and major attractions in South Dakota and Wyoming.
Anna Pomazanova, the Excursion Desk coordinator, said the day trips that had been the bread and butter of the excursion desk – 90 to 100 of them each year – are not happening quite yet. But longer trips, within the United States, are being planned now.
“We’re hoping the vaccinations will keep going well, and that those who want to do so can (travel) by the end of summer,” said Pomazanova, who hopes some day trips can be scheduled by late summer, too. “For now, we’re planning the long trips.
“Basically, we’re trying to give Rossmoor residents something to look forward to,” she added.
The inaugural trip, to “Discover America’s Cowboy Country,” is set for Sept. 13-21. Among the planned destinations will be Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Badlands national parks; the Crazy Horse Memorial, not far from Mount Rushmore; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Rapid City, South Dakota; and several historical points of interest.
Pomazanova said the weather is good in that area in mid-September, and the summer crowds have thinned out by that point. Similar tours in that same area have been overseen by the Excursion Desk in past years.
It’s a good trip for coming out of the pandemic, Pomazanova said, because it’s mostly outside, except for restaurants and hotels.
“From my perspective, there’s less of a chance to catch the virus if everybody is outdoors, and that’s what this trip is,” she said.
A video presentation of the tour with Pomazanova and Jay Fehan of Collette Travel Services was held March 17. To watch the recording on a computer, tablet or smartphone, go to www.rossmoor.com, select “For Residents,” then “Recreation,” “Recreation Live” and “Previous Episodes.”
The Excursion Desk will partner with two travel companies, Collette (handling the “Cowboy Country” tour) and Premier World Discovery, and perhaps other tour operators, to make these trips happen, Pomazanova said.
Both companies, she said, have protocols to make travel as safe as possible while the coronavirus remains a threat, including extensive and frequent cleaning procedures. Pomazanova praised Collette’s cancellation policy, which allows cancellations if the trip purchaser pays a small insurance fee. If the buyer decides not to make the trip, he or she gets a full refund except for that insurance fee.
The second announced trip is a five-day, four-night getaway to “The Magnolia Trail and The Heart of Texas” from Nov. 6-10. That trip will feature destinations around Dallas, including Southfork Ranch from the classic TV series “Dallas,” and Waco, made famous by the hit HGTV series “Fixer Upper.” A video presentation of that trip hosted by Pomazanova and Joan Thornton of Premier World Discovery will be held on “Recreation Live” on Wednesday, March 31, at 11 a.m.
The Excursion Desk, operated through the Golden Rain Foundation, is entirely separate from the Rossmoor Travel Club, which arranges its own trips for its members and their guests. Excursion Desk trips are open to all Rossmoor residents, their families and friends.
“We try not to do the same trips (as the Travel Club), because that would be counterproductive,” Pomazanova said.
Those interested in more information about the Texas trip should also email Pomazanova.
Information on Excursion trips can also be found each week in the Rossmoor News.