The Best Of Oregon

Tour: Oregon Coast Gamble – March 2024

My tour began in laughter as soon as I met my seatmate, Geri C., and the tour guide, Donna. It did not end. I am grateful to Donna for organizing Geri and I to sit together. Laughter makes everything better; and on top of that I feel I’ve made some good friends.

 

Of course the Tulalip Resort accommodations were excellent;  I really appreciated the hotel food vouchers ($80 USD) and the gambling vouchers.

 

As an Indigenous person, I love staying at an Indigenous hotel. The large room and wonderful shower never disappoint. The Chinook Winds accommodations were excellent as well, and the ocean views are spectacular. I appreciated the food and gambling vouchers very much. Thank you. It almost felt like I was actually being paid to go on the tour!

 

I cannot comment on day 2 as I chose a quieter day and did not attend the Outlet shopping or the Garden Conservancy.  However I did attend the Scenic viewpoint stops and Aquarium visit which were very enjoyable. We visited the Tillamook Creamery, and could have spent a bit more time there, as it had much to offer and more information than I had time to experience.

Both border crossings were managed quite efficiently,  and that seemed to be appreciated by all.

 

Tour Director: Donna N.
I really can’t remember a time that I’ve enjoyed a tour director’s sense of humor and “presentness” as much as Donna’s. Perhaps it’s because her sense of humor is much like mine. She was unfailingly fun, friendly and displayed an excellent caring, courteous manner to all the passengers. She was honest with people that she’d not been on the tour before, but had done quite a bit of research to prepare for inevitable questions. She gave clear and engaging information in a manner that was appreciated by all. I witnessed her be very solicitous of various tour passengers, going repeatedly above and beyond what I’ve seen previously.

 

Tour Driver: Myles Clay
All the comments that I heard from other passengers were positive; that he is a safe driver, courteous and professional. That is my experience too. The bus connections between the two tour busses in Merritt occurred seamlessly. That was appreciated by those on connecting schedules.

 

Overall I rate this tour experience as excellent, and would definitely recommend the Oregon trip to friends.

 

Additional Comment:
My experience at many events that I attend with Myles is that I am typically the only Indigenous person in the group. For example on this tour, he connected with many people of Scottish and English heritage, which mirrors his own. It is to be expected. The overwhelming majority of people were of White ancestry; with a few exceptions (one Asian touring couple).

 

One person that I noticed right away was Neil P. who was on the tour with his wife Gina D.  I struck up a conversation with Neil as he is visibly First Nations person. He looks a lot like my late father and uncles. I discovered to my great delight, that Neil is a Saulteaux First Nations person, like me. His Saulteaux community is in Manitoba while mine is in Saskatchewan. We had a lot in common, and talked for many hours, many times.  Leaving them felt like leaving relatives that I like and get along with J

I also found out that his wife Gina was a foster parent for years in Penticton. She offered her child caring services through a Ministry of Children and Family office that I worked at in Penticton as a social worker in the early 1990’s. The connections were quite astounding and brought back many good memories.

 In my experience, meeting other Saulteaux people is quite difficult here in BC. Meeting Neil and Gina was a definite bright spot in the tour; and I remain grateful for that.

I encourage Sun Fun Tours to advertise to diverse groups.

I had such a wonderful time, and am really looking forward to the next tour.

Happy Travels,

Dr. Shelly Johnson

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