Travelers visiting Expo '86 in Vancouver might enjoy a side trip to Cascade Mountain Inn in the Skagit Valley. This is about two hours by car from Expo. The inn is operated by Ingrid and Gerhard Meyer, a couple of German expatriates. Warmth, hospitality, Old World goodness. A view of Sauk Mountain.
Six guest rooms are designed after countries the Gerhards have visited. Feather quilts in the German room, rattan furniture in the Philippine room, hand-woven bedspreads in the Peruvian room, a tartan comforter in the Scotland room, a Rockwell collection in the American room, tiles and wall hangings in the Bremen room.
No rush here. Just get lazy or go fishing, rafting, hang gliding, biking, golfing. Day trips to Seattle, the San Juan Islands, Victoria, B.C., Mt. Baker, North Cascades Pass. No pets, children under age 10. Rates from $49 single, $62 double with full breakfast. Address: Cascade Mountain Inn, 3840 Pioneer Lane, Concrete Birdsview, Wash. 98237. Call toll-free (800) 826-0015.
Italy by Rail
A note from Agostino Petti of the Italian Government Travel Office in San Francisco tells about discount rail tickets on sale here or in Italy. Prices (second- and first-class) are $72/$114 for eight days, $87/$139 for 15 days, $102/$166 for three weeks, $127/$200 for one month.
For details contact Italian Railways C.I.T., 15760 Ventura Blvd., Encino 91336. Telephone (818) 783-7245. Or write to the Italian Government Travel Office, 360 Post St., Suite 901, San Francisco 94108. Telephone (415) 392-5266. (Answers all questions about Italy, supplies brochures, advice on itineraries.)
Holland is heating up a campaign to attract visitors. KLM is giving passengers a $25 discount on round-trip air fare between LAX and Amsterdam till March 15. Car rentals for $30 per person (based on two to a car) for one week. And there's a Happy Holland offer (hotel rooms, $5/$22 first night). Discounts on canal rides, museum entries, shopping.
For $7.50/$15 the tourist office is issuing "Holland Leisure" and "culture cards" good for discounts at concerts, operas, museums and other attractions. Details from the Netherlands Board of Tourism, (213) 678-8802.
Etta Ross of Covina asks for the address of Continental Waterways, the barge tour operator. Telephone toll-free (800) 227-1281 or write directly to Continental, 118 Beacon St., Boston, Mass. 02108. Other information locally from Lang Communications, 1801 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 640, Los Angeles 90067, or telephone (213) 277-2971.
Continental does deluxe barge tours in France. Three and six nights from $590/$1,140. Travel in Chablis, Burgundy, the Upper Loire and Sancerre, Bordeaux and Midi, Alsace and Franche-Comte. English-speaking crews.
Al Osborne of Chatsworth is shopping around for an unusual "bon voyage gift for my girlfriend." VIP's International sends vacationers off in real style. Airport representatives greet passengers at curbside, assist with baggage check-in, obtain boarding cards, seat assignments, special meals in flight. Passengers are escorted to the airline VIP lounges at LAX (VIP promises to run interference during prime hours at the airport). Contact VIP, 1100 18th St., Manhattan Beach, Calif. 92066, or telephone (213) 374-1265.
Families in Germany, Belgium, Holland and France are volunteering to host American students for three weeks this summer (July 6-27). Ages 14 and older. From the West Coast you fly to Brussels, Rome, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid. Price ($1,480) includes round-trip air, lodging, all meals. Contact Rudolph Winner, Franco American Cultural Exchange, Euler Chelpin St. 32A, 8900 Augsberg, West Germany.
Meanwhile, American Youth Hostels' 1986 World Adventure Catalogue is free for the asking. More than 50 trips (9 to 70 days). Everything from biking through Pennsylvania Dutch country to pedaling along the Great Wall of China. Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, safaris in East Africa, llama pack trips in Oregon. Sleep in a castle in Scotland, a lighthouse in California. Trips geared for all types. For a copy of "The World Adventure 1986," write to AYH Inc., 1332 Eye St. N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20005.
Santa Ynez Valley--Pearl A. Schiffer, Los Angeles: "A delightful B&B, The Ballard, 2436 Baseline, Ballard, Calif. Telephone (805) 688-7770. Every room has a private bath. Rates, $120/$150 per night for single or double occupancy."
Hong Kong--Doris Adams, Los Angeles: "Planned to stay in the Holiday Inn in Hong Kong at well over $100 per night. Instead stayed in an apartment for $46. Daily maid service. The building is locked, elevators are TV monitored. Within walking distance of popular shopping streets. Contact Luxury Court, 9 Hau Fook St., T.S.T. Kowloon, Hong Kong."