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An Americana Extravaganza For All the Senses
By Bonnie Carroll

 Andrea Fulton sharing a view of her pageant costumes

Andrea Fulton is celebrating her thirty-fourth year as Director and producer of The Bracebridge Dinner at The Anawahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The extraordinarily talented woman starred in her first role at age five playing a villager, and went on to play Ward of the Squire for many years. According to Fulton “The longevity of the cast members participation endows The Dinner with its legacy of tradition and excellence."

She shared her pleasure to work with Ansel Adams, and said she referred to him as ‘the beard” as a small child. Ansel Adams retired from the Bracebridge Dinner in 1973 and Andrea’s mother and father Anna-Marie and Eugene Fulton assumed his directoral duties. She has literally spend her whole life wearing a variety of hats for the event and has loved every moment.

The Christmas at Bracebridge Hall Dinner is a seven course eighteenth-century style  event that no one should miss, nor is a visit to Yosemite National Park, especially when the snow is falling. Ticket information for December 18, 20, 22, 24, 25 performances can be found at www.bracebridgedinner.com or www.YosemitePark.com.




The votes are tallied…both Villagio Inn & Spa and Vintage Inn in Yountville ~ Napa Valley, California have been named to Conde Nast Traveler Magazine’s  25th Annual 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards. Vintage Inn ranked number #3 with a total score of 93.1 and Villagio Inn & Spa ranked number #9 with a total score of 89.5 in “Top 15 Resorts in Northern California.”

According to the New York-based Conde Nast Traveler, a record 46,476 readers participated, rating 370 hotels, resorts, and cruise lines above a score of 90. In total, the readers elected a grand total of 1,306 winners. For the past 25 years, Conde Nast Traveler readers have cast their votes for the top hotels worldwide.   Readers rated hotels and resorts on the following characteristics: rooms/service, food, location, design and activities. Comprehensive survey results appeared in the November, 2012 issue of the magazine.

Each year the most discriminating travelers in the world select the world's superlative hotels, and to be recognized by Conde Nast Traveler for two 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards is the pinnacle in hospitality, since awards are based on our visitors’ experience,” says Managing Director David Shipman.

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine 2012 Readers Choice Awards Revealed/ 2
About Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Survey:
The Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice survey, begun in 1988, is available through a secure Web site at condenasttraveler.com/vote. This year's tabulations of 46,476 responses were done by Global Market Insite, Inc., of Boston. The questionnaire contains lists of candidates in various categories (Cities, Hotels, etc.). Individual candidates are judged by relevant criteria for each. Those that receive a required minimum number of responses are deemed eligible for a Readers' Choice Award. Each candidate is rated, criterion by criterion, on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor.

About Vintage Inn And Villagio Inn & Spa

In the heart of Napa Valley’s lush wine country, located just off the main street in Yountville, a small picturesque town in the heart of the Napa Valley in Northern California’s premier wine-producing region, the 80-room Vintage Inn has been offering guests a unique, award-winning French country inn experience for nearly 20 years.

Described as “an inn that’s more like a French chateau,” by Sunset Magazine and “unashamedly romantic and so very French in its rustic environs” by First Impressions International, the privately owned Vintage Inn touts landscaped gardens cut by a musically flowing waterway. With a lush explosion of seasonal flowers, from lavender to roses to lillies, and sun drenched walkways dappled with olive trees.

Vintage Inn’s 80 furnished guestrooms, eight mini-suites and four villas are spread through an intimate complex of two-story French country-style buildings connected by pathways and footbridges over a soothing flow of water. Rooms are elegant and cozy.

Nestled on a quaint main street in Yountville, California in the heart of the Napa Valley in Northern California’s premier wine-producing region, the award-winning 112-room Villagio Inn & Spa is a stylish retreat with the visionary design of a village in Tuscany.

Lush Mediterranean-style gardens, fountains, and a flowing central watercourse set the tone of relaxed elegance, with cobbled pathways that meander through the two-story cluster-style village-like surrounds of the luxurious Villagio Inn & Spa. 

Focal point of the hotel is Spa Villagio, one of Northern California’s premier luxury spa retreats, available to both hotel guests and day spa goers. Architecturally engaging, Spa Villagio’s soothing fountains and serene reflecting pools lead along a limestone walkway to a grand entrance. Reminiscent of Early California design highlighting classic Mediterranean accents, including stone arched entryways and Spanish-style terra cotta clay tile roofs, Spa Villagio boasts a 13,000-square-foot-sanctuary with 16 treatment rooms and five unique sumptuously-designed private spa suites.

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine 2012 Readers Choice Awards Revealed/ 3

Spacious and airy, both Vintage Inn and Villagio Inn & Spa guestrooms and suites feature private patios or balconies, fireplaces, oversize sunken bathtubs, cozy robes, in-room tea, coffee and Espresso machines, and a bottle of premium chardonnay upon arrival. A lavish champagne breakfast buffet and afternoon tea service are included with every guest stay.


The AAA Four Diamond award-winning Tuscan-inspired Villagio Inn & Spa, AAA Four Diamond award-winning Vintage Inn—a discreetly elegant French country-style inn, and the retail centerpiece, V Marketplace, a lifestyle shopping collection housed in the former 140-year-old Groezinger Winery listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that includes the V Wine Cellar and Chef Michael Chiarello’s flagship NapaStyle and signature restaurant Bottega Napa Valley, are located on the 23-acre Vintage Estate. The Vintage Estate is a resort-like destination that presents Napa Valley's every indulgence within strolling distance from its luxury accommodations. Shopping, wine tasting, lavish spa experiences, hot air ballooning and international cuisine from a host of America’s most lauded chefs are all comfortably accessible along the mile-long main street of Yountville.

Located in the center of Napa Valley, at 6481 Washington Street in Yountville, California,

Villagio Inn & Spa lies 56 miles north of San Francisco.  Guests can arrive via Highways 80, 101, 121 and 29. For travel and accommodation information, or to book a signature spa treatment, call 800/351-1133, or visit www.villagio.com.



2012 Dinner Dance Celebration Package Theme: Black and White Ball

New Years Eve Table Decorations
Table decorations from the
Whimsical Garden theme in 2011.
Take your pick of two or three-night packages with lodging at either The Ahwahnee or Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Packages include lodging for two, two tickets to The Ahwahnee New Year's Gala, and a complimentary portrait sitting.

2012 Ahwahnee Dinner Dance Celebration Packages

Lodging at The Ahwahnee:
3-night package starts at $1,972
2-night package starts at $1,475

Lodging at Yosemite Lodge at the Falls
3-night package starts at $1,141
2-night package starts at $921

Dinner Only reservations are also available.

Reservations can be made by calling (801) 559-4884.
Dinner Only tickets are available.

*Prices based on double occupancy. Prices include gratuity, but do not include tax. All rates are subject to change with NPS approval.

Continue the New Year’s celebration with a relaxing New Year’s Day Brunch at The Ahwahnee. To make reservations, call The Ahwahnee Dining Room at (209) 372-1489.

View last year's New Year's Eve Gala Dinner menu.Make your Yosemite New Year's Eve
Reservation Online Now

or call us at (801) 559-4884 


Visitors to Enjoy
Tribute to Andy Williams as Part of the Andy Williams Christmas Show,
Silver Dollar City’s 4 Million Lights, Larry Gatlin, Debby Boone and much more

                     Branson is one of the top 10 Christmas destinations in the U.S.

As Christmas approaches,Branson becomes a winter wonderland with its seasonal shows, a special festival at Silver Dollar City and a blanket of holiday lights. Cheer and goodwill are in the air as the town gears up for its24th annual Ozark Mountain Christmas which features a bevy of first-class holiday entertainment options.

Andy Williams’ Christmas Show, November 1 to December 8, will be even bigger and more spectacular this year and includes a video performance and tribute to “Mr. Christmas” himself, Andy Williams. Andy was involved in all phases of his 21st Christmas show in Branson prior to his passing in September. The full production show has spectacular sets, dancers, a full orchestra, lots of variety acts and the delightful music and sounds of Christmas, all presented in the beautifully decorated Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.

Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers along withDebby Boone are together at The Mansion Theatre while Tony Orlando'sGreat American Christmas is at the Welk Resort Theatre. Christmas in Hollywood, at The King’s Castle Theater, rings in the season with a musical journey through some of Hollywood’s greatest movie moments. Additionally, the Starlite Theatre will present The Bellamy Brothers Tropical Christmas and Joey and Rory's Farmhouse Christmas,and Jim Stafford Theatre will present Jim Stafford’s Christmas Show. Audiences will also enjoy theHughes Brothers Christmas Show at Hughes Brothers Theatre, the Buck Trent Country Music Show at RFD-TV The Theatre, theAcrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus at the New Shanghai Theatre, and dozens of other holiday shows.

Silver Dollar City’sAn Old Time Christmas, November 3 to December 30, has over 4 million lights (that’s 350 miles of lights), over 1,000 decorated Christmas trees, and a 5-Story special effects Christmas tree. During the Christmas on Main Street light and sound show, the massive tree blazes in synchronization to the musical movements of Christmas songs – up to 100 light changes per second. The all-new musical showIt’s a Wonderful Life, adapted from the Frank Capra classic, debuts with a new, musical interpretation of the inspirational story that is a worldwide Christmas favorite.

The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights is a drive-through animation display that winds its way through the historic 160-acre homestead. The Branson Area Festival of Lights drive-through is designed to delight children of all ages with a one-mile drive of more than 175 displays.

For the adventurous types, theBranson Zipline Canopy Tours will present the “World-Class Adventure during Ozark Mountain Christmas,” which includes a guided canopy tour in the Ozark Mountains and Wolfe Creek Preserve.

The Titanic Christmas Winter Wonderland at the Titanic Museum features thousands of glittering lights, Edwardian-style decorations, costumed merry-makers and a Gift Shoppe brimming with one-of-a-kind selections. Santa and the Titanic Fantasy Princess will be available for meet-and-greets and photos.

With current direct flights on AirTran out of Chicago’s Midway, and the introduction of Southwest Airlines flights beginning on March 9, 2013, travel to and from Branson is easier than ever. The stress-free new Branson Airport, which opened in 2009, is just 10 miles south of the world-famous Branson Strip. The airport and 58,000-square foot terminal have the capacity to handle more than 1 million enplanements annually. Visitors can expect hour-or-less flights and attentive service at the lodge-style airport, which immediately evokes the feeling of being on vacation. Departing planes receive the “Branson Wave” from airport staff in the friendliest sendoff in America.

During the most wonderful time of the year, visitors in the tens of thousands make annual pilgrimages to Branson, earning national recognition as one of the Top 10 Christmas destinations in America. For more information about Ozark Mountain Christmas in Branson, call 1-877-BRANSON or visit ExploreBranson.com.


Photo of a girl holding a candle in front of Parliament.

Light Up the Capital!
Join us on Parliament Hill on December 6, 2012 at 6 pm for the Christmas Lights Across Canada Illumination Ceremony.

Christmas Lights Across Canada

See the lights from December 6, 2012 to January 7, 2013.

Capital cities throughout the country are brought together by the annual celebration of Christmas Lights Across Canada.

In Canada’s Capital, the winter landscape glows with hundreds of thousands of multicoloured lights during the holiday season. The festivities begin with an illumination ceremony in early December and continue until early January. Throughout Christmas Lights Across Canada, the lights in Ottawa–Gatineau glow each evening from 4:30 pm to 2 am.

About Christmas Lights Across Canada

The Christmas Lights program was launched in 1985 to brighten the Ottawa winter. At first, the lights were only on Parliament Hill, but over the years the program expanded. Now, Ottawa and Gatineau glow each winter with Christmas lights at over 60 sites along Confederation Boulevard.

The program also grew to include our 13 provincial and territorial capitals, becoming Christmas Lights Across Canada. Throughout the country, Canadians come together each year to brighten their wintery capitals with thousands of holiday lights.

Christmas Lights Across Canada is supported by partners in the national, provincial and territorial capitals of Canada.

March 08 | April 08 | May 08 | February 09 | March 09 | June 08 | July 08 | August 08 | September 08 | October 08 | November 08 | December 08 | January 09 | April 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09 | August 09 | September 09 | October 09 | November 09 | December 09 | January 10 | February 10 | March 10 | April 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | August 10 | September 10 | October 10 | November 10 | December 10 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | May 11 | June 11 | July 11 | August 11 | September 11 | October 11 | November 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | April 12 | May 12 | June 12 | July 12 | September 12 | October 12 | August 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | July 13 | August 13 | September 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | January 14 | February 14 | March 14 | April 14 | August 14 | May 14 | June 14 | July 14 | September 14 | October 14 | November 14 | December 14 | January 15 | February 15 | March 15 | April 15 | May 15 | June 15 | July 15 | August 15 | September 15 | October 15 | November 15 | December 15 | January 16 | February 16 | March 16 | April 16 | May 16 | June 16 | July 16 | August 16 | September 16 | October 16 | November 16 | December 16 | February 17 | January 17 | March 17 | April 17 | May 17 | June 17 | September 17 | July 17 | August 17 | October 17 | November 17 | December 17 | January 18 | February 18 | April 18 | March 18 | May 18 | June 18 | July 18 | August 18 | September 18 | October 18 | November 18 | December 18 | January 19 | February 19 | March 19 | May 19 | June 19 | April 19 | July 19 | August 19 | September 19 | October 19 | November 19 | December 19 | January 20 | February 20 | March 20 | April 20 | May 20 | June 20 | July 20 | August 20 | September 20 | October 20 | November 20 | December 20 | January 21 | February 21 | March 21 | April 21 | May 21 | June 21 | July 21 | August 21 | September 21 | February 08 | January 08

| November 07 | October 07 | September 07 | August 07 | July 07 | June 07 | May 07
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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved