I have lived in the Bay Area all of my life and have had the good fortune to experience its majesty a variety of ways. From the Bay Bridge walking (new bridge) and driving (old bridge), the San Francisco Bay Ferry, a sailboat and the high-speed RocketBoat, a Blimp ride, numerous airline flights, to taking in its panoramic views from the Oakland hills to Jack London Square, just to name a few, it has never disappointed.
Last Sunday, I made the short drive to the Napa Airport to board the beautiful Douglas DC-3 for a Sunset Tour of the San Francisco Bay Area. In a league all by itself, the DC-3 commands your attention, even among an impressive display of private jets. Folks were in town heading over to the Sonoma Raceway and word was already circulating that David Letterman had spotted the DC-3 upon arrival. He even inquired about a ride in this historical beauty.
It was in 1935, that the DC-3 made its maiden flight. Thanks to the passion of owner Richard Martin and the expertise of his chief pilot Capt. Bob Berwick, Golden Age Air Tours was born this past May offering tours from the Napa Airport and the Nut Tree Airport. On Friday, September 22, the Oakland International Airport (at Kaiser Air) joins the team with inaugural tours of the San Francisco Bay Area running this weekend, Friday through Sunday. The tours out of Oakland will alternate weekends with Napa.
The plane holds up to a group of ten and picture-taking is a must. As we flew over the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the sunset was magnificent and the views were breathtaking. Along with Capt. Bob was his co-pilot Robin Tatman, one of about a hundred women who can fly this treasure. We were in good hands and transported to another era.
Whether it’s a special occasion like an anniversary or wedding proposal, or just a dream on your bucket list, there’s a tour for you. Tours range from $119 to $499. More on the DC-3 and its devoted team in a future column. For complete details and to book a flight, visit www.goldenagetours.com or call 1-707-321-3853.
ENTERTAINING NOTES. This Saturday, Sept. 23 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., the historical Oakland Rotunda will transform into an evening of fun and games as the Christian Church Homes (CCH) hosts its seventh annual Charity Event for Senior Housing. The evening features a Casino Royale and Texas Hold’em Tournament with casino play in support of affordable housing for low income seniors. Attendees must be 21 years or older to attend and play games of skill and chance. Food, drinks, music and dancing, prizes and more are all in store. Tickets are priced at $150 for either the Texas Hold’em Tournament or Casino Royale Pass. Business casual, cocktail attire or casual elegance dress are requested. Guests’ participation helps provide direct services, programs, operational support and assistance in building new residential communities to enable seniors to live in dignity and self-worth. The Oakland Rotunda is located in downtown Oakland at 300 Frank Ogawa Plaza. BART and AC Transit friendly, free covered parking is available at the Rotunda Garage. Complete details and tickets are available at www.2017BetOnCCH.eventbrite.com … On the heels of the second annual BaconFest, the Dell’Osso Family Farm is rolling out the bacon and rolling in the pumpkins for its 21st annual Pumpkin Maze which kicks off Saturday, Sept. 30 and runs through Oct. 31. The gates open at 10 a.m. and general admission includes plenty of activities to keep the family on the move. There is no shortage of choices as you’ll experience a giant Corn Maze, Haunted Castle, Dell’Osso Express Train, Hay Ride, Mystery Tour, Giant Pumpkin Ball races, Scarecrow Ride, Tire Pyramid, Dell’Osso Speedway, Petting Zoo, Kiddie Play Land, Pig Races, entertainment … are you starting to get the picture? Then you can take i
t up a notch with Zip Lines ($8/$12), Pony Rides ($6), Gem Mining ($6), Pumpkin Blasters ($6), or Pumpkin Painting ($5). Parking is always free once you arrive at 501 Manthey Road in Lathrop. Admission per person is $13.95 Monday-Thursday, $17.95 Friday-Saturday, $10.95 Early Bird Monday-Friday before 2 p.m., and children 2 years and under are free. Visit pumpkinmaze.com for tickets and more details.
TAHOE SPOTLIGHT. Adam Ray through Sept. 24, John Caponera Sept. 27-Oct. 1, and Vince Morris Oct. 4-8 at The Improv (improvtahoe.com, 855-234-7469) …Thunder From Down Under Sept. 22-23, Dave Mason Oct. 1 and Eric Burdon and The Animals Oct. 7 in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Tahoe (www.caesars.com/harrahs-tahoe, 800-427-7247) … The 42nd annual San Francisco Comedy Competition Friday, Sept. 27, a tribute to Lynnyrd Skynnrd with Skynnyn Lynnnyrd Sunday, Oct. 1 and Los Lobos Friday, Oct. 6 in the Montbleu Showroom at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa (www.montbleuresort.com, 888-829-7630).
GOLDEN AGE AIR TOURS COURTESY PHOTO: MICHAEL PROPHET