About 30 members and guests of Saint Mary’s Vintage Club said “Let’s Do Lunch!”--And they did so, in style. In the midmorning of May 8, 2007, the group gathered at Saint Mary’s and were greeted by Brenda Harrison, director of Community Relations, Toni Mills, director of the department of “First Impressions,” Sandy and Parker DeVore, owners of Royalty Tours, and Christine Cochran, also with Royalty Tours. The group boarded the bus, picking up several Vintage members who reside at Wildflower Retirement Residence before leaving town. Members and their guests were treated to mini-candy bars and bottled water while Mrs. DeVore and Christine mingled with the group. Mr. Parker DeVore entertained, while driving the bus. The group traveled on this particular day to the River Market in Little Rock. As they arrived at the market and Riverfront Park area, the group left the bus and gathered under “The Peaks” for a gourmet picnic.
The lunch, provided by Saint Mary’s, consisted of a chicken-salad pita sandwich, fruit salad, Italian tortellini, mozzarella salad, and “copper penny” carrots. Cheesecakes and pies were offered for dessert. Colorful gift bags, used as lunch sacks, doubled as shopping bags as the group headed for the open-air market. Vendors from across the state offer fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, flowers, green plants, and fresh baked goods at the market. Vintage Club members also browsed through a number of booths featuring the works of craftsmen and artisans, including handmade jewelry, fine art, and woodworks. After leaving the River Market, the group traveled to the Palisades neighborhood in northwest Little Rock to tour the Arkansas Symphony XIX House. Following the tour, the group gathered in the courtyard of the featured home for a photo. “On the tours, guests’ accommodations, most of the food, travel, and cost of activities are included in the price,” explained Parker. Some trips last for several days while others are shorter. He said his favorite tips are the ‘mystery trips.’
He explained that only three people know where the group is going when they head out—“We tell our guests what clothes and essentials to bring and that’s all they know when they board.” “Let’s Do Lunch’ is the brainchild of Brenda Harrison,” said Parker. The idea is to offer fun day outings that feature a special lunch and other event. “These trips offer more options for those who cannot or would rather not take longer trips, but who still want to enjoy travel and camaraderie with their friends,” he explained.