EH Notebook #101     March 26, 2002 

Welcome to EH Notebook, the e-zine where e-friends who 
have attended Elderhostel programs can compare notes. 

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reviews of programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, 
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>From the Editor's Notebook 

This is my first full sized issue of the Notebook.  
I am a greenhorn learning the ropes.  Number 100 was 
mailed in Rich Text format which caused some people to 
see an HTML shadow file following the normal text.
Other people complained that the font size was too small.

This issue is being mailed in Plain Text mode, the same
as the Jim Olson sent it.  The font size is then 
determined by the settings of the recipients mail 

I have received over ninety letters expressing their 
appreciation for the Notebook.  I see this as a real 
tribute to Jim Olson.  Without his long years of
dedicated work there would be no Notebook.

Bob McAllester 

Note:  If you have received this issue, you are on the 
subscription list and don't need to apply.

Comments and Queries 

Janet Pina  janetpina@adelphia.net

Seeking comments from any EHers who have ever taken 
courses at the University of Judaism in BelAir,  CA.  For 
example, comments on food, housing, free time activities.  
I am not Jewish but many classes by description seem to 
be of general historical interest.   Any feedback would 
be appreciated.  Thank you, Janet P., Vista, CA



I appreciate hearing from the different folks.  I am 
going to the Canadian Rockies starting at Calgary.  Can 
anyone give me tips on what to see in addition to the 
trip.  Thanks Dorry 


Muriel Klarman  mklarm1@gl.umbc.edu 

Has anyone been on the Elderhostel at Gloucester in Mass?  
Can you describe it for me and evaluate. mklarm1@umbc.edu

Program Reviews 

     College of William   Mary/Charlottesville, VA: 
     Panama Between the Seas
     Costa Rica/Panama
     Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, VA
     Eckerd College, Program on Foreign Service, FL
     Center for Studies of the Future, CA
        Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade
     Northern Kentucky University/Cincinnati, OH


Jim Fleming   JimFleming1@compuserve.com 

College of William   Mary/Charlottesville, VA: 
World of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe; 7/15-20, 2001

This Elderhostel offered in-depth insights into their 
world. Featured were guided tours to all 3 homes near 
Charlottesville: Jefferson (Monticello); Madison 
(Montpelier); and Monroe (Ashlawn/Highland). Also 
included were guided tours of Univ of VA's Rotunda and 
lawn areas (designed/founded by Jefferson), lunch and 
walk/shop in historic Charlottesville, lunch at historic 
Michie Tavern, and a bus tour 100 miles eastward to 
historic Fredericksburg where Monroe had a thriving law 

Accommodations, 8 supporting lectures, and one of the two 
performances were at English Inn of Charlottesville, just 
inside city's highway 250 bypass. It's not near downtown, 
but it is on a city bus route and only a 3-block walk 
from a major shopping mall. Still, a car might be helpful 
to those planning to see more of the historic 
Charlottesville area on their own.

The lectures by Univ of VA faculty (or better) discussed 
various aspects of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe's Virginia: 
decorative arts; politics; architecture; religion; 
roads/transportation; mini-bio's of the 3 Virginians; 
their interrelationships; and a bio of their contemporary 
lawyer/friend, William Wirt. The performance there was 
about the music of their times, given by a 
harpist/folkmusic teacher.

The other performance was a sometimes addition to VIP 
groups touring Monroe's home, wherein an impersonator of 
Monroe walked out to join our post-tour wine-and-eats 
party on his lawn, fielding our questions about his life 
in early-1800s Virginia.

Breakfasts were buffets provided by English Inn. Lunches 
and dinners were catered by "Hardware Store," one being 
at their famous downtown restaurant and the others at 
English Inn.

It was a busy week. But its events ran smoothly, thanks 
mainly to coordinating efforts by the Elderhostel host 
sent up from William   Mary's Williamsburg main campus.

Elderhostelers seeking insights into "The World of 
Jefferson, Madison,   Monroe" will find this program 
their cup of tea. It was for me; and fun, thanks to 
camaraderie with new friends made there.


Doug DeLong

Panama Between the Seas
Adventures Afloat

My wife and I, along with 91 others, participated in the 
Panama Between the Seas program in mid-January.  This 
program includes time spent in Panama City, cruising and 
visiting sites both in the Pacific and Caribbean, plus a 
transit of the Panama Canal.  This was our fourth 
Elderhostel program in central or South America, all 
coordinated by Holbrook Travel of Gainesville, Florida.

Overall this was a satisfactory program.  Unlike other 
Holbrook- coordinated programs, though, there were 
several areas of concern that others considering this 
trip might take into account.

First was the hotel in Panama City.  Following the usual 
routine, we stayed in the hotel at the beginning and end 
of the trip.  The hotel used, the Caesar Park, is 
luxurious, with service and furnishings of the highest 
level.  Unlike other hotels used for similar programs in 
both central and South America, however, the Caesar Park 
is not in a location conducive to participating in the 
local "street scene".  It is in a residential area with 
the only shopping a super market 3 blocks away.

Second was the problems generated with having a group of 
93.  On the boat a group that size was not a serious 
problem.  On land, especially the day spent touring 
Panama City, it was a problem.   We were divided into two 
groups, but the groups convoyed to all sites.  The buses 
were too large for portions of the city, and the groups 
larger then we like.  In our estimation the participants 
should have been divided into at least 3, if not four 
groups, and the groups should have visited the sites at 
different times.

Lastly is a concern that potential enrollees should be 
aware.  We transited the canal, going from the Pacific to 
the Caribbean, starting at 4 p.m.  The Canal Authority 
sets the transit schedule and the on boat personnel 
stressed that they had no control over when our ship 
started the transit.  While we do not challenge this 
information, it still remains a fact that small boats, 
such as the Temptress Explorer, do not receive priority 
for daylight transit.   Departing the Pacific at 4 p.m., 
we saw the Miraflores locks in daylight, Miraflores Lake 
at dusk but nothing of the Gaillard Cut or Gatun Lake.  
Both of these sites are important to the history and life 
of the canal, and we were disappointed in not seeing 
them.  The other locks were lit, so we saw them as we 
passed.  The tour, when we returned to Panama City by 
bus, did spend sufficient time at a visitor's center 
adjacent to the Miraflores locks to see, at 10 a.m., a 
large cruise liner entering the canal for a daylight 

Again, while we enjoyed this trip, especially the visits 
to the indigenous peoples on both the Pacific and 
Caribbean coasts, there are concerns that Elderhostellers 
should be aware of prior to making the commitment.

Doug and Dianne DeLong, Normal, Illinois

Email:  dad403usa@netscape.net



Costa Rica/Panama 

Glad to hear that someone is taking over. We would have 
missed it. Some of the issues were so good that we could 
have signed up for any one of the programs. Jim certainly 
did a good job and I tell everyone to read the notebook 
for ideas on where to go. I still think, despite a lot of 
grumbling from some participants, that nobody offers the 
variety  and the behind the scenes things that 
Elderhostel does. 

We returned last week from a month in Costa Rica/Panama. 
Two weeks on our own in CR and then 11 nights with EH on 
the Eco-Tour (12858).  Husband and I both agreed that the 
guide (Edwin Ramirez) was the best we had ever had. He 
did most of the programming himself, unlike the Italy and 
Spain trips we did where the on-site people do it, and he 
was terrific. We did have local speakers in each place 
but our guy looked after us and told us tons of things 
about the ecology of the countries. I would recommend the 
trip to anyone interested in nature, with the warnings 
that if you don't walk well you will miss out on some 
parts, though still worthwhile, and that there is a lot 
of riding on the micro-bus, some of it on rather bumpy 
roads. And that bridge at the crossing into Panama has to 
be seen to be believed!  But Tortugero was fabulous as 
was Bouquette, Panama; plus we now know we won't retire 
to Bocas del Toro.  The mountains are gorgeous, the 
beaches less interesting to me, but still 
lovely.....though don't plan on swimming anywhere but the 
pools. We did altitude from sea level to 11,000', staying 
the night before our return to San Jose at 7300' at the 
amazing Savegre Lodge.

The only real problem was that Edwin was taken very ill 
and had to be replaced that next to the last day.  
Explore Costa Rica, which runs the program arranged for a 
driver to bring a replacement and take him home. All very 
efficiently done by cell phone, but everyone felt bad for 
him, he was such a great naturalist and an all round 
great guy. 

Sorry I rambled on, but it was a great trip and we had a 
wonderful time. Judy Kroon....Rochester NY, where there 
hasn't been any winter to escape...very strange


J Wheeler   wheetwo@earthlink.net

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, VA
Creating and Preserving the Illusion: 
18th Century Williamsburg

Just returned from our first domestic Elderhostel trip--
to see a backstage view of Colonial Williamsburg.  What a 
wonderful experience!  We have nothing but praise for the 
program from the lodging and meals to the helpful co-
ordinators and insightful presentations.  We learned so 
much about the attention to detail that goes into every 
aspect of the Foundation's work.  The workers there are 
all devoted craftsmen and scholars, and the volunteers 
are especially dedicated to their work.  Not only did we 
visit areas not generally open to the public, but we also 
received a pass which allowed us extra time to visit the 
historic area if we chose to do so.  In the two days that 
we have been home, almost everyone we've talked with has 
shown interest in knowing more about this program!

Jim and Jean Wheeler


Ronald Olsen   rdolsen@worldnet.att.net 

Eckerd College, Program on Foreign Service, FL 
St Petersburg

Heartily recommended. Retired U.S. Foreign Service 
officers (two of ambassadorial rank) provided excellent 
insights into the nature and operation of the FS.  Most 
fascinating were personal experiences and perspectives on 
US foreign policy over the years...Cold War to present. 
Good discussions on current issues such as Afghanistan 
and Mid-East crisis. Coordinator is retired FS officer 
who designed and managed program in a first rate fashion

Eckerd College user-friendly and comfortable venue.  
Large A/C rooms w/private baths and excellent conference 
facilities. Cafeteria style food...good selection and 
while not gourmet, very acceptable.   College only a ten 
minute drive to beach.

Field trips included private tour of  and briefing at 
local Coast Guard station and visit to downtown St Pete, 
museums etc.

Ron Olsen



Fred Boher    fmboher@worldnet.att.net

California Centers for Studies of the Future
   Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade
Program 52353-1228-01 December 28, 2001
Holiday Inn, Woodland Hills

Float - "Just Imagine" the 24th float built by the La 
Canada- Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association. One 
of only 6 self- built floats in the 113th Rose Parade.

45 EH participants - 17 from California - 28 from 15 
other states, including Hawaii.

Coordinators - June Richey and Peg Steel

Weather - Some rain and drizzle.  It is claimed it never 
rains during the parade and it didn't this year.

This was the first EH program focused on the Tournament 
of Roses Parade.  It certainly fit the Parade theme of 
"Good Times".  We recommend it highly for anyone with an 
interest in the Parade and it's history.  This was our 
14th EH and one of the best.  June and Peg are excellent 
Coordinators.  The extensive pre-planning was evident.

Our own family history includes my mother-in-law's 
treasured photo of a 1928 float featuring a dragon. 
Fred's parents attended the 1928 parade when in Pasadena 
on business. We were happy to learn the float our group 
would help decorate was an animated float featuring a 
huge red DRAGON with two children in a sail boat. 

We checked in Friday evening before dinner and checked 
out after lunch on Wednesday.   Daily breakfast and 
dinner buffets at the hotel.  Lunch as noted.  Dinner 
buffets included Chicken Dijon, Roast Beef, Turkey, 
Salmon, Mexican Buffet and New Years Eve - Filet and 

Friday - registration, dinner and orientation.

Saturday after videos on the California Missions we left 
by coach for:

(1)  Docent tour of Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana in 
Mission Hills, founded 1797. Sack lunch on the bus since 
it was raining and we could not go to the park as 
planned. (2)  Visit to La Canada City Hall for an 
excellent overview of the float building process by 
Claire Slaughter of the La Canada Flintridge Tournament 
of Roses Association.   (3)  Docent tour of California's 
17th mission. and Mission San Gabriel de Arcangel, 4th 
California Franciscan Mission, founded  in 1771.

Post dinner video on "Rose Parade Through the Years".

Sunday featured a coach trip to the Tournament of Roses 
Fanfest held in a arroyo surrounding the Rose Bowl.  The 
Fanfest included food, shops, corporate exhibits, 
displays, equestrian groups, chili cook-off, band fest, 
and behind-the-scenes tours into huge tents where a 
number of floats were under construction. We were 
provided funds to purchase lunch at the food stand of our 

A special treat arranged for our group was a pre-game 
look at the Rose Bowl stadium, complete with a visit to 
the press box, a privilege afforded to few.  Security was 
very much in evidence and we all had special passes to 
get us through the multiple check points.  Members of the 
Community Relations committee spoke to us of the enormous 
process of putting together the Tournament of Roses.  

Post dinner videos on (1) how high school bands are 
chosen and get to the Rose Parade, (2) all about the 
flowers, and (3) the building of a float.

Monday.  Float decoration!   No expensive giant tent for 
this volunteer group; their float is built on a parking 
lot under a freeway bridge.  We were welcomed into their 
group of 600 volunteer builders (ages 13 to 93) and 
treated as special friends.   As this was the 6th day of 
construction, the structural part of the float was 
complete and the majority of the dried material was 
already in place.   The parade was the next day, so we 
were entrusted with the live flowers!  What fun.  We 
applied flowers in individual vials, we placed picks on 
the stems of flowers for others to attach, we poked 
holes, we glued on flowers, we swept, we cut, etc. etc.  
Everyone easily found a task that suited them, agreed we 
were having a wonderful time and at lunch we begged to 
stay longer.  Our wish was granted and we continued our 
fun right up until the time the judges came for a pre-
parade look at the float.  

We were so proud when the dragon exited the confines 
under the freeway and could rise to his full height on a 
side street.  We all cheered when he huffed and puffed, 
complete with smoke from a propane fueled generator.   It 
was a wonderful float.  In our opinion, the best in the 
parade.  A total of 14 independent channels controlled by 
a central processor were utilized to allow the 55 feet 
long, 18 feet wide, dragon to rise 30 feet above the 
street, take a breath, lean forward and blow into the 
sail.  The sail tilted forward and the pin wheel in the 
girl's hand spun.   The dragon could swish his tail plus 
cross his eyes while blowing into the sail.  

A note here on clothing for float building:   Wear warm 
old clothes that you won't mind getting glued.  This is 
just the place for those old caps, old gloves, sweat 
suits and hiking boots you plan to toss in the trash.  
Everyone was dressed for warmth, comfort and a possibly 
dirty, messy task.  Remember, you may be sitting on the 
ground under the freeway or be working below someone who 
drops a glob of glue.  Some in the group purchased finger 
nail polish remover to take glue off the skin.  Most 
didn't need it.

On the way back to the hotel we rode down Colorado 
Boulevard to watch the crowds preparing to spend the 
night.  They are allowed to put chairs on the sidewalk at 
noon. At midnight the street closes and they can advance 
their chairs to a blue line in the street.  A fun sight 
to see.  Even more fun the next day to see the "morning 
after" of what is billed as the world's largest pajama 

As it was New Year's Eve the hotel served filet and 
shrimp complete with champagne, party hats, noise 
makers,etc.  Apparently there was a DJ for music.  We 
chose an early night in anticipation of a 5A to 6A 
breakfast the next day.

Tuesday.  A warmly dressed group was taken to 1570 E. 
Colorado Boulevard  for our reserved bleacher seats.  The 
tickets were marked $40 each.  Watching the pre-game 
crowds was an interesting way to pass the time until the 
parade reached our area about 9A.   Our beloved dragon 
was near the end of the parade and by that time had some 
computer glitches so he was not animated.  We could have 
wept for him.   

After dinner we all gathered to discuss our second 
favorite floats.

Wednesday.  Coach to Pasadena for a two hour viewing of 
the Post Parade Showcase of Floats.  All 53 floats were 
lined up over a total walking distance of 1.5 miles.  You 
could get close enough to almost touch them.  We, 
personally,  found this even more enjoyable than the 
parade as you could look as much or as little as you 
chose.  "Our" dragon was up moving and blowing smoke.  
One of the two drivers was present when we arrived and 
was pleased to see the EH group as he was aware the 
animation was down when they passed our seats the day 

The bus stopped at an LA tradition, the In-N-Out Burger,  
for sandwiches on our way back to the hotel for a 12:00 
checkout and departure.

Our advice:  Open the Christmas presents with the family 
then head out to California to attend this program for 
2003!  You'll be glad you did.  The family back "home" 
will get a kick out of watching for "your" float in the 
parade on New Years Day.

Fred and Mary Ann Boher


Robert l Donall   rdonall@juno.com 

Northern Kentucky University/Cincinnati, OH 

It was everything that it was promised to be and they 
kept us busy with presentations and touring for 4 1/2 
days.  The lecturers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic 
about their topics.  We studied the history of 
Cincinnati, especially the German influence.  We 
visited the Music Hall and listened to a rehearsal of the 
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, toured the riverfront on 
both sides of the river, had lunch during a cruise on a 
riverboat while the captain presented Harbour history, 
visited a nice conservatory, the art museum and the 
Cincinnati Museum which is their old railroad station 
turned into an Imax theater and 2 museums and a variety 
of shops.  We had a basic German lesson comparing German 
to English ,  a German meal,  a dulcimer concert, an 
impersonation of Alice Roosevelt Longworth,  an 
entertaining lecture about the breweries.  The 
accomodations were comfortable (motel) , and the meals 
were more than adequate, Cincinnati Chili is interesting-
a spiced chili (no beans) over spaghetti.

Our coordinator took good care of us, even to getting us 
bananas for our breakfast cereal.  She was helped by a 
volunteer couple who live in the area who filled in when 
and where they were needed.