xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo EH Notebook #101 March 26, 2002 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Welcome to EH Notebook, the e-zine where e-friends who have attended Elderhostel programs can compare notes. EH Notebook does not maintain a web site at this time. There is an independent index to old issues at http://members.aol.com/ehindex To subscribe to the e-mail publication and/or to submit reviews of programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Bob McAllester, at EHnotebook@earthlink.net Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format. ################################################ >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 program. 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 EHnotebook@earthlink.net Note: If you have received this issue, you are on the subscription list and don't need to apply. ################################################ Comments and Queries ################################################ Janet Pina firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DorryToo@aol.com 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 email@example.com Has anyone been on the Elderhostel at Gloucester in Mass? Can you describe it for me and evaluate. firstname.lastname@example.org ################################################ 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 practice. 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 transit. 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: email@example.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Judykroon@aol.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fred Boher email@example.com 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 Shrimp. 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 choice. 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 party. 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 before. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Northern Kentucky University/Cincinnati, OH 35390-0310 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.