Call us: 641-672-2428
HomeAbout UsWhat to ExpectUpcoming TripsContact UsPast TripsNewsletterTales of the Ancient Sportsman

Blessed Byways Tours Update 

       I must remind you again of our phone changes. You can now reach Charlotte at 641-295-0757 and she requests that you call her after working hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Over the lunch hour is fine. My “Dumb Phone number will remain the same at 641-670-0190 and that comes into my hearing aids so that I can understand you clearly. Our land line is no longer in use. Thank you for being patient with us in this transition.

   I just booked the Gaither Vocal Band at the Civic Center in Des Moines. Check below under one day trips for details.   The Alaska tour was sold out, but I have had one ticket come open. If you are a single and would like to go, I have a spot for you. Or if a double would like to triple with someone, I can accommodate you.  Our tours for 2019 are filling nicely and I would encourage you to not wait too long if there is a tour that you are interested in. I will note the number of spots available for each tour below. 

April 11-20: Waltz Across Texas – The tour will begin in Oskaloosa and make pickups in Pella, Altoona and Osceola. Faulkner’s Ranch in the Kansas City area will be our lunch stop on the first day. Other stops include; the Pioneer Woman in Powhaska, OK, Oklahoma City, the restored Fort Worth Stockyards area, the Alamo, the San Antonio River Walk, LBJ Ranch, Wildseed Farms, Fredricksburg, Luckenbach, Mayan Dude Ranch, Magnolia Enterprises in Waco and more. We last did this tour 10 years ago and it was a blast then. This tour will be even better. Dust off your Cowboy gear and let’s be cowboys and cowgirls for 10 days. The price of the tour is $1479 double occupancy, $1899 single and $1359 triple. (We have room for eight more on this tour)

May 22-23: Baseball Tour, St. Louis & Chicago – I have gone through all possible combinations and this is the only one that will fit in my schedule. We have to leave Altoona at 5:30 a.m and make pickups in Pella and Oskaloosa on our way to St. Louis where the Cardinals meet the Royals at 12:15 p.m. Dinner this evening will be at the incredible Blue Springs Café in Highland Center, IL. We lodge in Vandalia, IL and the next morning we head for Wrigley where the Cubs host the Phillies at 1:20 p.m. The price for the tour is $299 apiece which includes transportation, tickets, lodging and a meal. The deposit is $50. This tour is sold out, but we have a waiting list. 

June 3-7 – Ark Encounter IV – We have sold out three tours to the Ark and Creation Museum and this one is number four. We will begin this tour in the Walmart parking lot in Atlantic and move east from there. Pickups will be made in Altoona, Pella, Oskaloosa and points east. Lodging will be in the Indianapolis area. Our lodging for the next two days will be at the Double Tree in Lawrenceburg, IN. On the second day we arrive at the Ark at noon and after lunch, we will explore the Ark from top to bottom. On day three we visit the Creation Museum and in the evening we have a progressive dinner at Hill Forest Mansion. Day four finds us having lunch, a tour and shopping at the Gaither Resource Center in Alexandria, IN. Dinner that evening will be at the Blue Gate Restaurant followed by a show. On day five we head for home with a pocket full of memories. The cost of the tour is $729 double occupancy, $929 for a single and $649 for a triple. This tour is a sellout at this point. I will take a waiting list

June 24-29: Beautiful Ohio – This tour features Holmes County Ohio and the Swiss, German, Mennonite and Amish Communities of the county. Charlotte and I did a FAM tour of this area two years ago and there are many fabulous treasures to uncover there. The Holmes County area is rich in Amish, Mennonite, Swiss and German heritage and we will be immersed in that heritage for four days. A complete itinerary is available at your request. I can take 15 more on this tour.

July 9-11: Three Day Mystery Tour – Don’t miss this one. It will be a hoot. I can’t wait for you to see some of the attractions involved in this tour. This tour will start in Oskaloosa and pass through Pella, Altoona and ?????? I am projecting a price of $499 double, $629 single and $439 for a triple. (I have room for six more on this tour)Sept. 4-12: Amazing Alaska land tour – As mentioned earlier, we have one ticket available and we can take a waiting list if you are interested. 

Sept. 30 – Oct. 7 : Washington DC & Philadelphia – This tour will feature the new Bible Museum, Monuments, Arlington National Cemetery and other DC attractions as well as Constitution Square in Philadelphia. This tour itinerary is taking shape and I promised an itinerary by March. Unfortunately, I am still waiting on my receptive out there for pricing. I’m sorry for the delay, but I promise you that it will be a great tour. I am shooting for a ball park figure of $1500 to $ 1800 on the tour.

TBA – Christmas with Elvis, Loretta & the Grand Ole Opry: I have a skeleton itinerary which is at the end of this communication. The tour is coming along nicely and it will be a fun one. I am working on a price of between $1200 and $1500 for this tour.

2019 Day Tours:

Mar. 30: Cedar Rapids Follies - We have matinee tickets for the Cedar Rapids Follies at the beautifully restored Paramount Theatre and we finish the tour with dinner in the Amanas. The cost of the tour is $119. I made a typo on the earlier update. The price is $119, but if you have sent $109, I won’t worry about it. (Six tickets remain)

April 6 – Collingsworth Family at Riverview Conference Center in Cedar Falls: In my opinion, the Collingsworth Family is at the top of the heap in Southern Gospel Music. Their harmony is beautiful, the instrumentation is spectacular and when Kim Collingsworth plays the piano, you will feel that you are standing at the portals of heaven. $89 will cover transportation, meal and show. And a $25 deposit will hold your spot. The bus schedule is explained at the beginning of this letter. There is plenty of room on the Altoona-Newton-Grinnell bus May 14: One Day Mystery Trip – Where will we be going? Well I can tell you that the tour starts in Oskaloosa and by the March update I will be able to tell you where the pickups will be. My first destination fell through, but I am working on an alternate destination. Yes the trip will go and we have 15 tickets left.

June 12: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre – It is Christmas in June as the Circa 21 cast is doing Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. The cost of this tour will be $109 with a $25 deposit holding your spot. (12 tickets remain)

June 22: Gaither Vocal Band at Civic Center Des Moines – The Gaither Vocal Band is coming to Des Moines and I have 45 tickets on a first come basis. The cost of the tour will be $99 which will cover the bus, the ticket and a meal together before the evening concert. A $25 deposit will hold your spot. 

Sept. 19: Celebration Belle River Cruise with Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchmen – For those of you who love Polka music, this will be a great day for you. The price of $129 includes transportation, food and a whole lot of fun with Barefoot Becky and her crew. A $25 deposit holds your spot. (25 tickets remain)

More day tours will be added. I have promised some of my people a tour to DeSoto Bend and the Snow Geese migration for 2019. The date is not set, but it will be a one day tour. I want to do the trip to Le Mars and the Browns Century Theatre again. This place was so charming and inspirational that we just have to return. Their Christmas show this year is the same as the one we saw last year, so I may schedule a show at a different time. Perhaps we will be able to miss the ice! We may also do the Marion Avenue Baptist Christmas play in Washington, IA again. It is well worth repeating. Stay tuned for more and be sure to contact us if there are any itineraries you need.Looking ahead to 2020I know that it is risky to look that far ahead at our age, but you have to plan as if you are going to be here and live like you won’t. I am planning a tour to Virginia Beach in late April of 2020 where we will take in the International Tattoo, an impressive military show that will touch your patriotic nerves. The plan is to visit the Marine Museum and also to take in the North Carolina Outer Banks area and Kitty Hawk.On June 9, I will celebrate 80 years and I wish to do that in Switzerland. I want to take a group with me. I am working with Cruises and Tours Worldwide, the company that has done most of our overseas tours and they are top notch. I have chosen to do the exclusive land tour of Switzerland and I hope to have itineraries available soon. In 2021 Charlotte will hit that magic number and we have chosen to do the “Tulips and Windmills” tour of the Netherlands for her big event. We are also considering another fall tour of the New England area. Keep watching for further news on these developments. Thanks again for joining the Blessed Byways family and allowing us to serve you. We treasure those moments with you and cherish the memories.    Burdell & Charlotte Hensley Burdell’s Cell 641-670-0190 (Cell # preferred for hearing)
Thanks again for joining the Blessed Byways family and allowing us to serve you. We treasure those moments with you and cherish the memories.