Tour Testimonials

Dear Gina and Tom,

Just starting to get caught up after returning from our wonderful 2 week tour in Germany with you.
We could not have asked for more - plenty of great tours to go on, stunningly beautiful scenery to admire, and history to appreciate!!  (especially enjoyed the Mozart concert and dinner in Salzburg).
Beautiful Hotel-Gasthof Sperrer was clean, dfriendly and plenty of good food. The all star Coots-Draga band was terrific and did not disappoint anyone!  Each member an all star in their own right!
It was a wonderful opportunity to see old jazz friends and make many new ones.  What more could anyone ask for!!

Both you and your family - Curtis and Kenny, did a wonderful job of making sure we all had the best time possible!!

Thanks again for all your hard work!

Carolyn and David "Red" Lehr, New Athens, IL

Hello Tom & Gina!

Just a quick note to thank you for planning such a wonderful trip to Germany and Austria.  It was a very memorable experience combining outstanding jazz with interesting and varied excursions.  Having the opportunity to stay in the same hotel in the charming town of Grassau gave us a feeling of "coming home" after our days exploring, plus visiting with other friendly people and musicians on the
tour gave us a cohesive feeling of "extended family."

Thanks again to both of you and to your helpful son Curtis and grandson Kenny.  Also, hats off to all the musicians, especially Bob Draga and Danny Coots who not only provided first class entertainment, but went the extra mile to help everyone on and off the bus and with heavy luggage.  We'll remember these past two weeks fondly.  Cheers, Jim & Jean Mahoney, San Jose, CA

Hi Tom: I just wanted to let you know Donna and I had a great time. We enjoy the great Jazz All Stars and the great tours that you had scheduled. It let us all get more acquainted with the performers and enjoyed there humor. Bavaria was just beautiful. It competed one of my bucket list and if possible I'm going to  return. 

Donna and I are going to the Jazz Festival in Medford the 12th-14th next week.  Bob Draga with be there as a roaming performer. Everything was great!  The only thing we wished that  we had more free time to explore on our own. Maybe next time.   
Happy Travelers,
Gene Warner & Donna Gustafson, Medford, OR

Tom and Gina,

Thanks again so much for the wonderful and eye-opening trip. I am attaching my travelogue. I always do one for any long trip we take so I'll be able to remember them in later years. Also, I tried to write a short testimonial; it is below. I could have said so much more about how wonderful the tours were, but didn't want to get into too much detail. Use it, or not.

Your Draga-Coots All Stars trip to Bavaria and Austria exceeded our expectations. The tours out of Grassau were excellent and mind expanding, as was the Dixieland Jazz at night by the terrific group of musicians. Seeing the local talent--Schuhplattlers and Teachers Grove Band--was the icing on the cake! I can’t give enough praise to you, Gina and Tom, your son, Curtis, and your grandson, Kenny. Herding a group of seniors, set in their ways, forgetful, and so forth, can’t be an easy task but you all did it with good humor and an easy going manner.

Pat and Larry Kelley, Sacramento, CA

Just reviewed the pictures---FABULOUS!!!--I MISS YOU ALL--sitting here with tears----!!!
Trip home went smooth  -reclaimed my raincoat at SMF   More later---Love-Elinor

Elinor Hackett, Sacramento, CA


Tom and Gina,

Thanks for the wonderful trip and for being so helpful all the way.  We have already forwarded the photo gallery materials to many friends.  Hope they respond in 2014.

By the way, is it possible for you to alert our travelling companions as to my request which follows?

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sing with the band during two Jam essions but did not get a photo to prove it.  If anyone did get a photo of those events, I would love to have a copy.  I just might save it for my obituary.

Our best,

Jack and Rada Ford, Mountain View, CA

Hey Tom- thank you again so very much!  Traci and I really enjoyed the two weeks in Germany, and have lots of pictures to share, as soon as I find some time to get 'em out.
Bobby & Traci Durham, Nashville TN  (Base & Trombone)

Dear Gina,
Thank you again for the “Griesner Alm” CD.  I enjoy listening to it whil I am working on the photos we took on our trip and how much we enjoyed our visit to Bavaria.
We appreciate all the work you and Tom put in to make our trip such a pleasure.
Johanna Oremus, Fullerton, CA


Testimonals from 2008


Your kindness and thoughtfulness are simply overwhelming!
Thanks so much for a wonderful tour. It really exceeded our dreams.
All our best,

Mike & Anna Pabst
Roswell NM - Square Dancers

Hi Tom & Gina – Just a note to tell you how much I appreciated all your tiresome work to make our trip truly memorable.  I have never seen a more beautiful county.  Hope to see you again sometime.  Fondly yours,

Joann “Ruby” Taylor & Paul Wallick
Arcadia, CA  We3+4 Jazz Tour

Guten Morgen Tom & Gina,
We want to thank you for our wonderful tour in Bavaria and Tyrol, Austria. Gina, I am wearing the pretty scarf holder that you gave me, in Bavarian Sun Valley, Idaho.
Lieber (Love),

Stacy and Naomi Lloyd
N. Redington Beach, FL (We 3 + 4 Jazz Band Fans)

Hi Tom and Gina,
Just a BIG thank you for arranging such an excellent tour in Bavaria. Thanks for all the good photos on your website. The whole trip was great and worth every cent. I loved it all. You are super tour guides.

Barbara Ellis
San Diego, CA

Hi Tom & Gina,

We are going through our photos today, deciding which ones to have printed from the DVD we loaded them onto.  We have 681 to narrow down to 500, that's what the photo album will hold!

We have thought of you, the group and the wonderful tour trips each day.  We want to thank you for giving us such a great trip and so many memories as we celebrated my 50th.  We met so many nice people; of course the music was outstanding.  We only knew Bob, Jeff and Danny.  Fun to meet the others.  We think they should form their own group...

The Hotel Sperrer was very nice - the staff the best.  We just loved the smiles of the twp sisters who served the breakfast and would not want the job of the evening waitress Uschi has!  She was just amazing how she managed so many people with a smile. 

We would like to visit Grassau again one day.  It is a charming village, loved just walking around and looking at the homes and shops. People were so helpful and we had several good laughs with various ones when we could not communicate well! 

Trust you enjoyed the additional time in Germany with family and a safe trip home.

We appreciate you both very much.  Sincerely,

Vicky and Peter Parsons - Beaverton, OR

Hello to Gina and Tom:
Clyde and I want to thank you for such a great vacation.
We certainly enjoyed all the people on the trip and you put together a beautiful itinerary.  What a beautiful part of the world.
And weren't we lucky with the beautiful weather?
Both of us hope to see you again someday, when you come to Grass Valley.
Thank you for all of the pictures.

Fern and Clyde – Grass Valley, CA

Clyde & Fern Miller
Bill & Jan Haley

Pat & Al Pietrowski

Hello to the Crisp tour organizers.  Thank you very much for the pictures which I have just taken a few minutes to enjoy and will save them so we can enjoy looking at them again.

Got home safe and sound with a cold that started on the flight home.  Just couldn't talk for a few days.  Luggage arrived with us but Al's had a handle that was torn off and mine had a zipper tag that was broken.  Our local shoe repair shop did a great job fixing them.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.  Scenery, places visited, place stayed - everything was enjoyable.  Pat yourselves on your backs for a job well done. 

Pat & Al Pietrowski, Woodland Hills, CA


Thanks again for a wonderful vacation!!   
Your generosity saved the day when it came to room accommodations. 

DANKASHEIN,  Ed & Shirley, Port Angeles, WA

Ed & Shirley Hepokoske / Angel

Marshall, Loraine & Darold at the Mozart Dinner Concert

Hi Tom and Gina,
            We loved our two weeks in Bavaria, and we want to thank you two for being great tour guides.  We loved that beautiful country.  We fell in love with the village of Grassau--took lots of walks and enjoyed the pastry places and the meat market.  The people were very friendly.  We really enjoyed all the wonderful places you showed us.  Thanks again and again----we hope to see you again some time.

Thanks, Darold and Loraine Franklin

We had a wonderful time in Bavaria, and ya'll had a lot to do with our enjoyment!
Thank you soooooooo much.
Wishing you good health and much love,
Mike & Karen Duellman, Schaumburg IL

Mike & Karen at Farewell Banquet - 2nd from end

Thank you very much for the wonderful trip to Germany.  You both did a great job.  It was a life time experience!  Thanks again!   Love, Rita & Harold, Square Dancers, Costa Mesa CA

Rita & Harold Laughlin/Hunter


The Hokansons at the Hotel Wiesnerhof

Thank You Tom & Gina for a wonderful tour! 

It could not have been more perfect. We consider it a real privilege to have been lucky enough to be able to travel with you. You don't call yourselves professional tour guides, but let me tell you when we compare the first part of our trip i.e. your tour with the "professional" tour we went on in Switzerland. There is no question which arrangers did the best job.

We did so many things and seen so many things we find it difficult to share our many experiences with our friends who can't begin to understand the awesomeness of our trip.

And now thank you again for sharing your pictures, they are different from any of ours, and I took lots of pictures. Our hats are off to both of YOU!!!

George & Cindy Hokanson -

Square Dancers, Blaine, MN 

Thanks again for putting together a fantastic trip.  It was one of the best trips Melba and I have ever taken. 

Melba & Stan Jeffus - Square Dancers in Rockwall, TX

Melba & Stan in Oberammergau (Stan is taking the picture)

Bill & Jan in the middle

Dear Tom & Gina,

Our recent trip to Germany with you was truly outstanding.  We thoroughly enjoyed virtually every minute of every day.  There were so many highlights.  Clearly, the knowledge that you two have of the area and taking us to all the great tourist attractions was a key to a truly wonderful trip.

Your selection of the Night Blooming Jazzmen was also a major contribution to the great success of the trip.  They are an exceptional group that is fun to be with and listen to.  We are currently reviewing fond memories of the trip as we listen to tapes and CDs that we bought in Sacramento and Germany.

You two did a superb job of organizing and conducting a great trip.  We hope our paths cross again.  Meanwhile, we hope that all is well with you.  Many thanks for a wonderful trip.

Jan & Bill Haley, Jazz fans in Navato, CA

Tom & Gina,
Thanks for your efforts in making this trip a “big hit”. You did a magnificent bit of organization – lots of variety & experiences.

Tom, I started to write down “my highlights of the trip.”  When I finished, I had written down nearly “every day’s trips.”  Therefore, the ENTIRE TRIP was a highlight.  Hats off to you and Gina 

Blessings to you and family in the coming Holiday Season.

A very “satisfied tourist!”

Blessings, John Orth, Loveland CO

John at the Saltmine

Hi Gina and Tom,
My eyes are never dry when I realize I am not able to go with you again this year.  I remember so well that trip and had always planned to make it back one more time.  Well, perhaps next year!  I loved visiting all those fascinating places and meeting the wonderful village folks.  Remember, I took some walks off on my own and spoke to some of the farmers and shopkeepers along the way.  Every now and then I take out the photos and just marvel at the amazing landscape of the Alps, especially Eagle's Nest!  Also, the trip on Lake Chiemsee to see the castle and estate on the island was a once in a lifetime (for me) to see.  And gosh!  Where does it end?  Salzburg was sooooo amazing!!!  Oh! and that castle we saw in Munich surrounded by acres of flowers.  I could imagine sitting outside listening to a modern smooth jazz concert--there are so many wonderful emerging smooth jazz German artists now.  I still love the German style of airbrush painting on the houses and how every house had big healthy-looking geraniums in the planters hanging below every window!  Gives such a sense of permanence!  AND gee, how about going to Oktoberfest, the REAL THING!  OF COURSE!!!---all the magnificent concerts every night!!!!!  WOW!  what a trip indeed!  I really do hope I can go one more time before you stop taking the tours.

Vicki Crisp    Hot Springs, AR