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September Update

Blessed Byways Tours for 2023

Tours We Are Planning for 2023

    ​Good grief! August has flown by and we are nearing mid-September already. There are some things that I need to convey to you before we wrap this business up. 
    First thing is that there will not be a second tour to the Ark this year. We just do not have the time or the energy to do another one.  
    Next thing – Due to scheduling conflicts in Ohio, the dates of the Ohio tour have been slightly altered. Please make note that the tour will be from Oct. 14 through the 19th. An itinerary will be given at the end of this document.
    Next thing – The interest in our “Grand Finale” has been at a high level and we have decided to do two Branson Tours so that we can say thank you and goodbye to as many of our travelers as possible. Again scheduling problems have dictated a slight change of dates for the original tour. It will be Nov. 14 – 17 and not 13 – 16. This tour will leave from Altoona and make pickups in Pella, Oskaloosa and points south.
    The second tour is scheduled for Nov. 7 – 10 and this tour leaves from the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area with pickups made along highway 63 to the south. Cars may be left in Grinnell but not Oskaloosa. I know it is confusing that the second tour is before the first, but I know that somewhere in the Bible it says that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. 
    The Nov. 14 – 17 tour is full unless someone switches to the 7 – 10 tour. If you would like a spot on the 14 – 17 tour, check will us about the possibilities. The 7 – 10 tour still has a number of openings and I would encourage folks from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area to join us. We can also pick up in the Tama, Grinnell, and Oskaloosa.
    Finally recent developments concern future travel for our dear friends. Charlotte and I have met with Glenda Van Woerkom, Travel Advisor with Dutch Treat Travel of Pella, IA and have shared and will be sharing ideas for travel with her and Travel Host – Wanda Roush. They are happy to share Dutch Treat Travel contact information with you if you would care to travel with them. – – Phone 641-780-2637
We will be ceasing operations of Blessed Byway Tours with the December 2, 2023 Stuff Your Stocking Tour which is going to be very special and unique. 

Tours Remaining for 2023

Sept. 18 – 21: The Ark and Creation Museum – 
The itinerary is simple. On day one we leave Altoona and make pickups in Newton, Grinnell and points east. We will lodge at the Holiday Inn Express in Shelbyville, IN. On day two we arrive at the Creation Museum near opening time. We leave the museum in mid-afternoon and arrive at the Hill Forest Mansion in Aroura, IN for a tour and a delightful dinner. The tour of the mansion will be given by folks in Victorian costume After the tour, we check into the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Lawrenceburg, IN. On day three we visit the Ark Encounter. You will be on your own for lunch at the Creation Museum and Ark. After leaving the Ark, we’ll head back to Shelbyville for the evening lodging and dinner. We will be able to make it home on day four. This tour is SOLD OUT but we will take a waiting list if someone should have to cancel.
The cost of this tour will be $569 for a double, $749 for a single and $509 for a triple.

October 14 - 19: Fall Color in the Amish Country of Ohio -We are excited to offer a wonderful fall color tour to the Amish Country of central Ohio this year. We toured this area several years ago in the summer and I have yearned to go back in the fall. A meeting with Carol Glessner, our receptive from the Ohio Amish Country at the Select Travel Conference was a perfect match. We will be doing many things that we DID NOT do on the last tour and we are fired up to go. SOLD OUT – taking a waiting list. Check the itinerary at the end of this Update. The cost of this tour will be $1,119 each for a double, $1,319 for a single and $1,049 for a triple.

November 7 – 10: “GRAND FINALE II” – Christmas in Branson: YES!!! A second tour to Branson for our dear friends in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area and points to the south and east. The bad news is that the distance from Cedar Falls to Branson will not allow us to make it one day. Therefore the evening part of the first day must change. We will enjoy a Dinner Cruise on the Lake of the Ozarks with Celebration Cruises and then lodge at the Holiday Inn Express in Osage Beach. The remainder of the itinerary is like the first one. There will be Daniel O’Donnell, Queen Esther and more.

November 14 – 17 “GRAND FINALE” – Christmas in Branson: In 1999 our first overnight tour was to Branson. That was a beginning and it seems only fitting that we end there. Our receptive, Debbie Wilson is working to put together a classic tour for us. We will be doing Sight and Sound Theatre again and they are still doing “Queen Esther”. I know that some of you have seen that show, but it is the best show they have done and very worthy of an encore performance. Daniel O’Donnell is also in town and we will see him one more time among other great shows. SOLD OUT but taking a waiting list if someone has to cancel. The cost for either Branson tour will be; $779 each for a double, $899 for a single and $699 each for a triple.

December 2, 2023 – Stuff Your Stocking Mystery Christmas Tour.  We’ll be making pick-ups in Altoona, Monroe and Pella. Each Traveler will receive their own Christmas stocking in which items will be put at each to remind them of the historic stops and experiences, where they will be greeted, entertained and heard about Christmas from folks of the various communities. The cost of this tour is $129 per person.

Thanks again to our many loyal travelers for your support and encouragement. We love our travelers and have so enjoyed the times that we have been blessed to spend with you. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!We hope we’ve been able to create many wonderful memories for you.

Burdell and Charlotte Hensley
Blessed Byways Tours
1302 North E St.
Oskaloosa, IA. 52577 Cell: 641-670-0190 for Burdell and 641-295-0757 for Charlotte