EH Notebook #102     April 17, 2002

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

There is an independent but cooperatively maintained 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

Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format.

     From the Editor's Notebook

There is a new feature in the index web site,

"Links to Readers' Own Elderhostel Web Pages" is now included
in the section entitled "CONTACTS AND RELATED SITES"
Most of these links were taken from Jim Olson's EHnotebook
web pages.


My wife and I are soon departing on our biggest Elderhostel ever.
May 4 - 25 we will be attending an "Adventures Afloat" program
in China.

So, unless there is a flood of reviews in the next two weeks, this
will be the last EH Notebook until about the first of June.  When
I return, I will have to catch up with the Notebook as well as my
yard work etc.

So please continue to send in your reviews and queries.  I will
catch up when I can.

Bob McAllester

     Comments and Queries


Has anyone been to the Elderhostel at the Peabody Institute in
Baltimore, MD.   I would appreciate any feedback you can supply.
Thank you.  Beverly Brown



I am considering one of the Elderhostel programs in Alaska in
September - especially the one in Denali.  I would appreciate your
experience with the weather in Alaska  in September.



I enjoyed the newsletter and am curious if anyone has taken their
grandchild to San Diego State University/Warner Hot Springs. The
program is in August and I am concerned about hot weather.  Anyone
know how warm it gets?   Please send your info to
DorryToo@AOL.com.  Thanks


My husband and I are considering the Dixie College/Kanab program
in Utah in August.  Anyone have comments to make on this one?  The
walks are described as "easy".  Any opinions about this or
altitude?  Thanks.

Martha Harvey

    Program Reviews

     Peabody Institute, MD
     Grand Canyon Odyssey, AZ
     San Francisco Arts   Humanities/Pacific Heights
     San Francisco Arts   Humanities/Union Square
     UU in the Pines, FL
     Bishop's Ranch, Sonoma Valley, CA
     Costa Rica Naturalist Program [link]
     Introduction to Brazil [link]
     Oyster   Maritime Museum, VA (Service Prog) [link]- DOES NOT WORK


Peabody Institute, MD

From: "Dorothy Andrews"  libadcra@optonline.net

We just returned from a long-awaited EH at the Peabody Institute
in Baltimore, MD. Due to the destruction/reconstruction going on
to the entire facility I would recommend that interested EHers
delay a visit until 2004! Each morning the cranes, and tractors
began digging next to our head at 7am, the route to the dining
room took two days to learn and the route to the classroom another
2 because we had to go up and down elevators, in and out of
buildings, etc. No one who can't climb and hike should go! To top
off the otherwise fairly good experience (not at all as good as
had been expected), the school was in intersession, so there were
few student recitals and then, for the ones we attended, the 100+
of us were cramped into a tiny room!  While the speakers were
good, the overall environment and lack of interesting recitals
gives it a C in my grade book.

Dorothy Andrews
(516) 783-7639


Grand Canyon Odyssey, AZ

March 24-April 1, 2002


This 8-night program, sponsored by Yavapai College, was one of the
most unforgettable I have taken. The first four nights we (25)
stayed at Marble Canyon Lodge and traveled by vans to interesting
places in the area. We 'vanned' to South Rim of the Grand Canyon
and spent the fifth night on the rim in Maswik Lodge, then on to
Peach Springs for final three nights.

Each day started with breakfast of your choice, then a classroom
lecture or discussion, lunch, and a field trip to a historical or
geological point in the area. Guides were local and changed each
day as we went to various locations and learned about ecology,
geology, and human history of this beautiful canyon area. Our
guides were very special people. Each brought a different point of
view and told of their relationship with canyons and the land. Two
native Americans spoke of how they were brought up, some of their
beliefs, and of ties to the canyons and changes they have seen in
land and cultures. Another guide entertained us with folk songs
written by local poets and canyon stories. My favorite
speaker/guides were cowboys from a local ranch who work each day
in what we call wilderness. Yes, they really do use horses, rope
cattle, and eat from their chuck wagon during round up time.

We saw the canyons from the rim of Marble George, then at water
level as we rafted down the Colorado River. After 'vanning' miles
down a little known trail through an Indian reservation, then
walking the last mile in and out of canyon streams, we picnicked
on the banks of the Colorado. Some days we hiked along canyons,
beside canyon streams, and along the rim of the Grand Canyon. Each
day seemed better than the one before. Just having the chance to
view this spacious, wide open country and experience it's heat,
cold, sunrise, sunsets, clear nights and stars, learning names of
native plants and their uses, while taking an active part in
exploring new territory was a dream fulfilled. Words such as
unconformaties, erosion, plateaus, mesa, buttes, temples, igneous,
uplifts filled our vocabulary.

In brief, our coordinator, Stacy, always kept us informed and
explained what we were seeing. Great job! Guides and speakers fit
the area. Food was plentiful with lots of fruit and veggies. Rooms
met my needs. Weather - 30 degrees at night - 85 during the days.
Layering worked well. This was not listed in Active Program but
one could make it active by doing trail walks. I walked about 7
extra miles per day usually among panoramic views. I give this EH
a high rating!

Jean Crowley


San Francisco Arts   Humanities/Pacific Heights:
         Food, Wine   Culture Adventure

March 17 to 24, 2002 'Moveable Feast' in San Francisco
Thomas and Jean Foran    thomaseu@aol.com

Site: Best Western Miyako Inn, Japantown [Nihonmachi], San
Francisco, CA

Group Coordinator: Bob [and Audrey] Clayman

Steve Johnson, Lecturer on China/Japan
Ben Pease, Tour Guide of Japantown
Stanley Gee, Tour Guide of Chinatown
Christina Waldek, Lecturer on North Beach
Jerry Morucci, Tour Guide of North Beach
Mary McCloy, Tour Guide of Mission area

Meals: Breakfast was available each morning in a small room
adjacent to the conference room. Fresh fruit, bread and bagels or
muffins, cold cereals, coffee and juice. This meal was always the
low point of the day. Either the breakfast was late or the toaster
blew the fuse or.....some disaster. Two lunches were also served
in this room: a sandwich, one day with salad the other with soup.
A served breakfast was included on Sunday, the last day. Lunches
out included a 'bento box' lunch at the Hakusan Sake Brewery. This
was an excellent box lunch. The Farewell Meal was a lunch at the
Culinary Institute of America [CIA]. This consisted of five
appetizers, and a choice of baked Sea Bass or half Cornish Game
Hen with Crême Brulée for dessert. There were two evenings for
'dinner on your own'. This was new to us as Elderhostel trips
usually provide all meals or the means to buy the meal. The
catalog did mention this and the fact that two lunches were also
on your own. We took advantage of this and had some excellent
meals with the latest issue of Gourmet [March 2002: The San
Francisco you need to know] as our guide.   Three dinners were
served in the Mum's Cafe, the hotel restaurant. The meals here
were good: Teriyaki Chicken one night, Salmon and Red Snapper the
other two. Salad, dessert and coffee were served with the meals
each night. Two dinners were provided on field trips. On Wednesday
evening in Chinatown there was a cooking demonstration of 'pot
stickers' followed by dinner at the Golden Phoenix. On Thursday
evening a dinner of Lasagna or Cheese Ravioli was served at
Tomasso's at the end of the North Beach field trip.

Classes and Field Trips: There was a good mixture of lectures,
field trips, and videos. The classes were held in a conference
room on the second floor of the hotel. The room was of appropriate
size but the view of the projection screen was sometimes
difficult. Ample break time was given. Some topics were: Cultural
History of China, Cultural History of Japan, Introduction to North
Beach and the Mission. Field trips by local transportation were to
Japantown [within walking distance], Chinatown, and North Beach.
Field trips with transportation by tour bus were to Domain
Carneros in the Sonoma region for Champagne tasting, Hakusan Sake
Gardens for lunch and tasting, Remy Martin Distillery for Cognac
'sniffing', St. Supery Winery in Napa Valley for a wine tasting
and the Culinary Institute of America for lunch and a cooking
demonstration and tasting. Two afternoons were free for optional
field trips. The Monday trip was a City Tour for $22 and Friday
for Muir Woods and Sausalito for $22 [which did not include the
entry fee of $3 for Muir Woods???].

Summary: This was our seventh Elderhostel trip. We found the
experience to be quite comprehensive, if a bit casual in its
organization. The idea of local transportation for such a large
group seemed a bit daunting in the beginning but we decided to
travel the buses on our own after learning the system. The quality
of the lecturers and guides varied greatly. The group of
Elderhostelers was, as usual, filled with enthusiasm and
willingness to learn new things especially about the mix of
cultures in the great city of San Francisco.


San Francisco Arts   Humanities/Union Square
April 7-12, 2002

Bill Longman    wlongman@yahoo.com

For someone who had never visited San Francisco, our recently
completed Elderhostel was an excellent introduction.  We combined
this week with seeing our son living for a time in the Bay Area
doing research at Berkeley, and others in our group of 36 made
similar family visits or enjoyed more travel in this beautiful
part of the state.

Lodging for the San Francisco Arts   Humanities Seminars was at
the Stratford Hotel.  Accomodations were spartan but clean in this
hotel conveniently located near Union Square with the cable
trolleys passing out front.  Meals which were good and lectures
were excellent were a short walk away up the hill at the Sheehan
Hotel.  Monday included a thorough bus tour of the city, and
several evenings videos were shown depicting the fascinating city
history.  Along with Charles Fracchia speaking on the colorful
historical saga of the city and John Rothman with stories about
the many ethnic groups, we had top notch guides for a number of
walking tours.  During our walks we were divided into two groups.
The program was well coordinated by Barbara Corso.

During free time people went to places like Fisherman's Wharf and
to see "The Glass Menagerie."  Lunch on Thursday as a group was at
New Asia Restaurant in Chinatown.  A few impressions of San
Francisco: lots of hills, fascinating views, diverse population,
plenty of homeless, good public transportation, great restaurants,
unpredictable and often cool weather, with fog enveloping the
Golden Gate Bridge.

Several others have reviewed this program in EHNotebook or others
in the area.  We felt the educational content including those by
guides on our walks were good enough to rank this near the top of
the 18 we've gone to so far.  Hotel rooms were indeed small but
what can you expect in such a central location?   Many sites are
nearby such as Napa Valley, Big Sur, Monterey, Redwoods, etc.

Write us if you have any questions.

Bill   Lee Longman,
Springfield, MO


UU in the Pines, FL

John   Mary Zelle  zelle4@comcast.net

We're just back from a program, and this is my report.....

Exploring Florida's Ecosystems from the Water Up:  Canoeing Three
Rivers 17-22 March 2002

This was an enjoyable program for us, with fun, easy canoeing and
a congenial group.

The program began with Sunday dinner and a program of introduction
and outline of the schedule with some information about canoeing.
Monday morning was a short program; free time after lunch; an
afternoon program about reptiles (read snakes and alligators).
Dinner, and then a short program about the rivers we'd be doing.

Tuesday, we were bused to and canoed the Withlacoochee River -
about 8 miles long.  I was pretty tired, because I was
unaccustomed to canoeing (hadn't done any since Girl Scout camp in
the dark, distant past).  John did better.   We had packed our
lunches after breakfast, and ate at a picnic area long the river.
(There were bathrooms available at the put-in, lunch stop, and
take-out.)  This was a warm day, and the river was fairly open -
lots of birds, and a few alligators (no snakes) to see.  It is a
dark-water (tannin-stained) river, but very clean.

Wednesday - the Hillsborough River - this is the river that
supplies the water supply to Tampa, so it is very clean - also a
dark-water river.  None of the rivers were very deep.  This river
had lots of trees overhanging and meeting, so was sort of like
being in a tunnel.  Lots of twists and turns, and going over
fallen trees - a more difficult and technical paddle.  However,
only one canoe capsized (the only one during the program)....of
course, it was ours!  The only casualty (other than our dignity -
which we have very little of anyway) was a soggy lunch.  Our
clothes got wet, and our shoes got muddy, but the guides were
there right away, got our canoe right side up, emptied of water,
got us back in the boat, and we were on our way again.  It was
warm, so no hypothermia problem.

Thursday - the Weeki Wachee - a lovely river.  This trip began at
the Weeki Wachee Spring, and went almost to where the river flows
into the ocean.  It's a lovely, faster-flowing, crystal clear
river.  More open, and easier to paddle - just had to watch the
turns and not let the current sweep you into the bushes.  We
stopped for lunch and got to go swimming at a nice beach area.

Each evening, we had short programs about the rivers, birds and
wildlife, the history of Florida before the arrival of the

UU in the Pines is a Unitarian-Universalist Retreat Center, and is
quite spartan.   Our accommodations were in a dormitory like
setting.  In our building were the 5 couples in the group.  We
each had our own room, with twin beds (which we made ourselves),
dresser, desk, 2 chairs, small hanging space, and we were given
bedding and towels.  The 10 of us shared two bathrooms across the
hall.  The five singles in the group were in another building, and
I didn't see their rooms.  It worked okay, but was certainly not
luxurious.  As is usual with Elderhostel, the food was plentiful,
tasty, and relatively plain.  Because of our small group, we were
served breakfast and supper buffet style, and we cleared our own
tables after meals.  Lunch fixings were put out so that we could
pack our own lunches for the day after breakfast.  We were asked
to strip our beds and take the bedding and towels to a central
location at the end of the program.

The maximum number in this program is 40, and we had 15 (their
minimum).  I'm glad we had the small number, and we got along
well.  We thoroughly enjoyed the program and the folks who led the
canoe trips and did the programs.  I am definitely not an
outdoors-y type person, but even I had a good time.  The only
thing we thought could have been handled better was to give about
a 15-30 minute paddling instruction session on the first day out.
There were a couple of us who were (shall we say) less than
capable paddlers, and I think we would have been much more
comfortable with some in-the-water instruction.  We did have some
class-room information given, but that's not quite the same thing.

I think, for the right person, this is quite a good program and
would not hesitate to recommend it.

Mary Zelle maryzelle@hotmail.com


Bishop's Ranch, Sonoma Valley, CA.

Bob and Callie Stewart - granpabobs@cox.net

Our experience last week was very satisfying except for my husband
Bob's back problems.  However the site is bucolic, the food
fabulous, the program very good and, of course, the twenty four
Elderhostelers were the best part.  You do have to make your own
bed upon arrival and the one towel and one washcloth per person a
bit sparse.  As mentioned in the catalogue, a fair amount of
walking - up and down gentle slopes - is also part of this
particular setup.  We drove whenever possible. Pete and Darlene
were excellent "counselors" and with us all the way.  A Most
enjoyable experience.  Some people have returned several times.
We shall see.


Costa Rica Naturalist Program [link]

Kathleen Grant  katiegrant@worldnet.att.net

I recently returned from the Elderhostel Naturalist Program in
Costa Rica and developed a web site to share pictures with my
group. Perhaps some other folks who are thinking about this
program would enjoy looking:


Katie Grant


Introduction to Brazil [link]

Carl W Farley"   farleycw@hal-pc.org

Here's a link to the Farley's recent Elderhostel trip -
"Introduction to Brazil". Enjoy.



Oyster   Maritime Museum (Service Program) [link]

"BOB"   rabbit.inpa@verizon.net

I just returned from a service program at the Chincoteague
Wildlife Refuge. The following site has all the pictures
from the week of April 7-13


If you click on one of the five albums, it will open up with an
introduction and a gallery of "thumbnail" size photo's. If you
click on a photo, it will open to full size; and in some cases,
will include a short description.

      However, a working link that goes directly to the
      Chincoteague pictures is now posted in the index
      "Link to Readers' Own Elderhostel Web Pages"