Elderhostel Notebook #46, May 26, 1999

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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

       Elderhostel at Westside YMCA
       Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas
       Millersville University; Millersville, PA.
       Hidden Valley, California Monterey Peninsula
       Hudson River Maritime Museum,Kingston,NY
       Oakwood Park, Syracuse, Indiana
       Alaska: Women of the Widerness March 1999


    Editor's Notebook
 It's been some time since we have had a report from a Canadian
Elderhostel. There are many excellent Canadian programs and
always keep in mind the current favorable currency exchange rate
when you look at the costs.

With this issue the reserve file is now almost empty and we await
the many reviews of those summer programs you are taking. We
don't arrange the index by seasons, but you can roughly figure
out the seasonal aspects by looking at our online index which
organizes programs by states and provinces.

We don't have many personals this issue. Perhaps some of the
personals are being handled by the various online forums dealing
with elderhostel in various  non-profit web sites.

On Thirdage (HTTP://www.thirdage.com)- Go to the travel Forum
   section for the elderhostel discussion.

On America On Line (AOL members only site)
   Keyword "seniornet"- then "forums" then "Arts and Leisure"
   then "Eldehostels."

   Keyword "AARP" then "bulletin Borads" then "travel" then

On Seniornet Roundtables (Http://www.seniornet.org)
   Then to "Roundtables" then to "travel" and then

On AARP website  (http://www.aarp.org/discussions/index.html)
   Go to travel discussion then Elderhostels.

   If any reader knows of any others please let me know.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

Elderhostel at Westside YMCA 4/4-4/9/99
History of Broadway

The location is unbeatable, a block from Lincoln Center, across
from Central Park, within walking distance of just about
anything, at least between Times Square and the Metropolitan
Museum. The food was adequate if monotonous. The dining room was
pleasant, tables of all sizes so that we had an opportunity to
sit with other hostelers or with the variety of people who were
staying at the Y from all over the world. 	The shared baths
were much the same as shared baths elsewhere. With the young
people staying on our floor, the bath was a bit crowded at times,
but quite bearable. The rooms were spartan, but again adequate.
Where else in New York could you stay for $59 a night? It may not
have been the St. Regis but certainly the price was right.

The program had some highlights that I thrived on. Good panel
discussions, one at a very nice restaurant, featuring actors,
stage managers and producers. They were most enlightening. The
visit to the radio and television was exceptional, something we
could never have done on our own. The Players Club visit also was
special, another place we could not have visited on our own.
There was a tour of times Square and a visit to the city museum
which I skipped but which people seemed to enjoy.	 	On the
negative side I had the feeling that our leader who was new to
the position was not too well prepared for the task. It seemed to
me that the program had not been thoroughly thought through
before we arrived. I was disappointed that there were no evening
activities at all. I had hoped we might attend one show as a
group during the course of the program or that some effort had
been made to arrange for tickets for us since the program was
about Broadway. I also think the program was a bit short. We had
half day on Wednesday and for all intents and purposes the
program ended Friday night. I think that and the lack of evening
activities limited our opportunities to come together as a group.

On that subject, there was no common room. This has happened to
me at other Elderhostels and I think the powers that be should
realize the importance of a place where the hostelers can sit and
relax, read, discuss the day's activities, plan for joint
ventures and get acquainted with each other. Without a common
room of some kind one tends to go to her room to read or write
and a vital part of the experience is missed, the opportunity to
enjoy knowing people from different parts of the country.



Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas
Georgia and Bob Honeyfield  SantaFe812@aol.com

We attended the February 7-12 Elderhostel in Corpus Christi. It
was housed at the downtown Ramada Inn Bayfront. The hotel is old
but the rooms are nice. There is a free parking garage next to
the hotel. Our room faced the bay which was one block away. We
could watch the shrimp boats come into the fishing marina. A
short way down the bay were two marinas for sailboats. The
replica Santa Maria (used for sailing lessons) also docked at one
of these marinas. The food was plentiful. Breakfast and lunch
were served buffet style and dinner was plated. It was not gourmet
fare but was adequate.

Our coordinator, Pat Cobb, was a gracious lady who ate all her
meals with us, dividing her time among the participants. She also
lived in the hotel during the time we were there and was always
available to help with needs. She is a big plus for the program.

The classes were interesting. We enjoyed "The World Beneath the
Sea" We learned about sea turtles and visited the Texas
StateAquarium. They have some beautiful jelly fish there. I never
knew jelly fish could be so graceful. We also saw the replicas of
Columbus' fleet. They were built in Spain and are exact replicas
(except a bit larger to accommodate taller people). We were
amazed at how small they are.

Do Dolphins always Smile? was very interesting. Our speaker was
truly enthuiastic about dolphins. He has develped a relationship
with them over the years as he has operated a tour boat in the
bay and is almost militant that they should remain in their
natural habitat. He showed videos on dolphin and whale
conservation. It made a believer out of me. The class was highly
informative. It was the highlight class of the week.

The class about shipwrecks was really about one shipwreck and
made a fairly interesting story.

We made side trips on our own to Padre Island National Seashore,
the Aransas Wildlife Refuge to see whooping cranes, and to the
aircraft USS Lexington. It is docked within sight of the Columbus
ships and makes quite a contrast.

It was an enjoyable week. Apparently the College alternates
birding with the dolphins so we missed getting to take a trip on
a boat to see whooping cranes. We only saw one family of three
cranes from the Wildlife refuge. We were told that you can see
40-50 on a whooping crane boat. We want to return sometime to
make the whooping crane trip and the dolphin trip.

I would rank this as near the top in enjoyment and learning for
an Elderhostel. I would go again.


MaryPage  marypage@patriot.net

Just got back from Program Number 30490-0418-01, a "Whodunit"
Mystery week. We were at the Golden Inn in Avalon. I found Avalon
a total delight and the beach lovely. We were quite close to
Stone Harbor, also a treat. We took a morning tour to Cape May by
motor coach.

The program was full, with 50 participants. The group spirit was
very upbeat and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The
rooms were quite good and the food more than adequate. Our
classes were in (1) Real Life police work. Our instructor was
Police Chief Mulvahill and he was fabulous. We all became fervent
fans of this truly dedicated and intelligent public servant.

(2) Reel Detectives. Our professor, Tom Felidan, was enthusiastic
and knowledgeable. He told us more than we really wanted to know
about making films and old film stars. There was a lot of
Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Orson Welles and Humphrey Bogart.
I had sort of expected a much longer list of film detectives and
murder mysteries, including a lot of my favorite British ones, so
this course was something of a disappointment. However, it was
not a total washout by any means, and I did learn a lot.

(3) Literature. Now this was a big downer. It was almost all
Sherlock Holmes and all the trivia about him and every word Doyle
or anyone else has ever written about him. There is a whole
Holmes cult, and I am not a subscriber. Read all of the Holmes
mysteries when I was a teenager, and feel an admiration that
falls short of idolatry. The saving grace was the expertise of
our Professor Joseph Pecish. He was charming and easy to listen
to, with a great sense of humor. He did his best to drop Holmes
for the last 2 lectures, due to our complaining. In short, his
classes were great, but the week did not include going into
discussions regarding all of the better mystery writers of the
last 50 years, as I had expected and hoped.

The murder took place on the Monday, and was great fun. In the
end, we laughed and laughed at the denouement and a great time
was had by all. However, since this did not take place until
Thursday night, and since there were many, many contradictions
and descrepencies in the unfolding plot between those days, I was
feeling quite a bit of ennui about the whole thing by Tuesday
night. I do count this a successful Elderhostel program and would
recommend it for a diversion. It is the Elderhostelers who make
Elderhostel so great.


Elderhostel Program Millersville University; Millersville, PA.
"The Amish and other Pennsylvania Dutchmen" May 16-22, 1999 Andy
Kapfer  ndk4@yahoo.com

The six night program at Millersville University, focused on the
Amish and other "plain people" (Mennonites, River Bretheren) in
Lancaster County Pennsylvania, was outstanding in all aspects.

The accommodations at a Best Western motel were excellent and
conveniently located on the lovely campus; a short walk from the
classroom, dining room, library and other campus facilities. Food
was well prepared, tasty and always plentiful. One highlight was
an evening dinner at the home of an Amish family. Over 40 of us
were served; the food was excellent. We were made to feel like we
were not "guests" but part of the family's community, as we
joined them in song after the meal.

The course was ably presented by Dr. Bob Ambacher, with
considerable humor and knowledge. Presentations by an Amish
woman, an Amish man, a woman who is now an Amish/Mennonite, and a
member of the River Bretheren provided an "insiders" view, most
passing tourists can never receive. Tours of Lancaster County
kept the group busy, and allowed us to see "up close and
personal" things discussed in the classroom.

The Coordinators, Marsha and Rich Frerichs were energetic, warm,
attentive, and deserve great credit for a highly effective and
successful program.


Elderhostel at Hidden Valley, California Monterey Peninsula
May 9-14, 1999

This program was held in a secluded 10 acre setting in Carmel
Valley. It is the location of a music, theatre and dance school
but we had the entire site to ourselves. Peter Meckel,
coordinator, gave us a very thorough orientation and was a great
host all through the five days we were there. We had a small
bedroom and private bath. The room was sparsely furnished but
very comfortable. There was a large dining room and an auditorium
where our seminar were taught. This site is handicapped
accessible as all buildings are at ground level. The food was
delicious, all homemade in the kitchen at the school. There were
scenic walking paths all around the area and in the small village
nearby with beautiful flowers in bloom.

Our day began with an Elderstretch, taught by a ballet teacher
from the school, which was slow stretching, dance and exercises.
We all attended and felt energized by the class. An Introduction
to the Life and Music of Frederic Chopin was taught by an
instructor with a music degree. He played Chopin music and
interspersed a biographical sketch of the composer with the
music. The instructor's artistry on the piano was infectious and
the audience loved it. Natural History of the Monterey Peninsula
was taught by a marine biologist who was not only knowledgeable
about the area but had a very humorous delivery of his material.
His overview of the history of the area, the animals, mammals,
birds, geography and tidal plant life was one of the best I have
heard. I learned more from this class than I would have in a
semester in college. The highlight of the class was a field trip
to Point Lobos where we saw migratory and indigenous birds, and
sea life along the shore. Steinbeck was taught by a Steinbeck
historian. The class reviewed some of his novels and learned
about his personal and public life. Many of his books were
written in the Monterey/Salinas locale. We saw two Steinbeck
movie videos in the evening and on our own, we went to the
Steinbeck Center in Salinas and learned more about this author.

All three of the programs were excellent and the site was a
perfect setting for the subject matter taught in these seminars.
I would highly recommend this elderhostel.

Mary Hull mhull32@aol.com
Hudson River Maritime Museum,Kingston,NY

We just returned from this Elderhostel and would like to give it
a very favorable report. The lodging was at the Williams Lake
Hotel in Rosendale, NY. The hotel is on the lake edge and is very
picturesque. Food was excellent. The classroom work was almost
exclusively on various aspects of the Hudson River Valley. All
the instructors were first class. Two days were devoted to field
trips. The first field trip was to the Culinary Institute of
America where we had a tour and lunch. The afternoon of that day
we visited an old estate overlooking the Hudson. The second trip
was to the museum, a boat trip to the Rondout Lighthouse, a tour
of the Senate house and Old Dutch Church in Kingston. The
coordinators were first class. The group was the largest we have
encountered in 24 Elderhostels, 52 people. They had to get
special permission for the last 2. The large group was handled
very well. We would recommend this Elderhostel highly.


Oakwood Park, Syracuse, Indiana
"Your Life as a Legacy and Legend".
"marty scearce" marthalee31@hotmail.com

My husband and I went to Oakwood Park on Lake Wawasee in Northern
Indiana the week of April 25th to study genealogy and "Your Life
as a Legacy and Legend". We have been to twelve Elderhostels and
I would rate this one at the bottom.

The genealogy course was well taught with many handouts. We were
taken to the Fort Wayne Public Library (50 miles) where a
genealogy librarian explained how to use what is the second
largest collection of source material in the United States. We
arrived at 10:15 and left at 4:30 so there was not a lot of time
to try our hands at research. Our teacher was a Mormon who handed
out religious tracts and the Book of Mormon and spent most of
Friday morning answering questions about his religion. There were
two computers for 20 of us, and very little assistance in their
use for research.

The other course involved writing one's life story for future
generations. Examples of such booklets, or photo albums, diaries,
letters, etc. would have been helpful. We were asked to write
down how our life is a legend, and that's very difficult for most
people to do. The premise of the course was good, but the teacher
needed more concrete motivational aids, and most students really
did not care for the course.

There was so much down time that we felt we could have spent less
time on the "legend" part and had a third course of study or gone
to Fort Wayne a second day to use the library. Also, outside
speakers or another field trip to a local site of interest would
have made the week more rewarding. The lakeside setting and rooms
were lovely, but the food was monotonous and obviously prepared
on a tight budget. Other meals served in the public dining room
looked much better than ours. We had the same kind of sandwich
and relishes four days running, and the fifth day had a dinner
left over from the night before (served to another group) and
reheated for us.

We had a lot of downtime. We had a two hour lunch time and then
were free from 3:30 to 6:00, with no suggestions of things to see
or do in the area. Evening activities included making a collage
out of magazine pictures, (we felt like first-graders!), a video
of a comedian, and a walk through a labyrinth, which is supposed
to be a religious experience but didn't do much for those of us
who did it, possibly because that was not why we had come to

There was no group picture, no full-time co-ordinator, no snacks
or cookies at lunch. I think Oakwood needs help in how to put on
a fun and active E/H!


Helen Sternheim   helen@k12s.phast.umass.edu

My husband and I just returned from attending a delightful
elderhostel in Santa Fe NM. The courses were excellent and taught
by three very enthusiastic teachers. We basically had one course
on the history of Santa Fe and New Mexico from 1492 until 1848
when New Mexico became a state. We had one course on the art and
architecture of New Mexico. This second course covered the Pueblo
Indians, Spanish Churches and the modern painters who settled or
worked in the Taos area. The history and the art and architecture
courses complimented each other nicely. Visual aides such as
slides and handouts made both of these courses very enjoyable.
Our third course was on movie making and what makes a good movie.
It too was very educational and fun to attend.

Our elderhostel also included three field trips. One was to the
Plaza in downtown Santa Fe, with a brief introductory walk and
some time on your own, followed by a visit a local church. The
second field trip was to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
and the International Folk Art Museum. We all received tickets
good for these museums and 3 others and they were good for a four
day period. In addition we visited two very fancy local
galleries, the Fenn Gallery and the Gerald Peters Gallery, which
are located on Paseo de Peralta. Both galleries had beautiful art
works and outdoor sculpture gardens. The third trip was to Pecos
National Monument, which had a nice introductory video, and a
mile and a quarter walk on a paved pathway past the Indian and
church ruins. These field trips took place on Monday, Wednesday
and Friday afternoons. We had free afternoons on Tuesday and
Thursday to explore on our own or take a tour with a local tour

We also had evening programs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Our program coordinator gave us a beginners guide to Indian
Pottery and jewelry of the Southwest on Monday. On Tuesday we
learned about "Archeoastronomy of the Southwest", or various Sun
Wheels found in the Southwest. On Wednesday there was a Georgia
O'Keefe PBS video which we cut to do laundry, but others enjoyed.
Thursday evening was a free evening and Friday evening was
graduation and entertainment. As you can see this was a very full

This elderhostel was housed at the Holiday Inn on Cerrillos Road
in Santa Fe. This is a three star motel and is very comfortable.
Our classes and meals were held in a large room at the motel. The
only negative aspect was the food. We all had plenty to eat, but
there were no choices at lunch and supper and there was a lack of
salads and vegetables. Breakfast was a buffet, but the hot food
was generally lukewarm. There were cold cereals and fresh fruit
and muffins every day. On our free afternoons we tried out the
local restaurant scene and were not disappointed.

The week we attended the program May 9-15, 1999 had 44
participants. The following week, which had programs that also
sound very interesting only had 12 participants. The program
coordinators were guessing that school graduations may have kept
people away. The weather was perfect 75 to 80 degrees with low
humidity and a breeze. The week before they told us there had
been snow.

I would recommend any of the programs sponsored by the College of
Santa Fe. The staff of two coordinators were always in
attendance, and the teaching staff was outstanding.

Helen Sternheim, Amherst MA Helen@k12s.phast.umass.edu


Program: Alaska: Women of the Widerness March 1999
# 02125-0321-01

One of the finest experiences I've ever had--an Elderhostel for
women of all walks of life. We went to the Iditarod race,
standing maybe 30 ft. from the starting line and watched 65 dog
teams take off--absolutely wonderful! The other two features of
the program were cross-country skiing and mind, body, spirit
meditations. I can't say enough good about it.

You have to have a willingness to fix your own lunch( with ample
materials set out to do so). Housing was in an Episcopal retreat
center sort of out in the boonies--it was fun to sleep with most
of us in bunk situations in one big room. (There were two
bedrooms and one large room with bunk beds). The food was fine.

EVERYTHING was fine! There were women there who had previous
cross-country skiing experience, but many had not, and they
learned at their own pace. There was much preparation ahead of
time by mail to let us know how we should dress to keep warm--had
no trouble with that at all. It was very special to share these
experiences with such a diverse group of women who each brought
their experience to the group; there were women who were single,
married,divorced, widowed--all had a great time. I'd do it again
in a minute.


Subject: New York City

Ethnic New York was a real winner.  We started out at Ellis
Island the the Statue of Liberty and visited many ethnic
neighborhoods and ate the ethnic food.  All transportation was
subway and bus.  We stayed at the Westside YMCA----small rooms,
adequate food and wonderful location (right off Central Park at
63rd, near Columbus Circle).  I would highly recommend this


From: Jack   bjsemon@bellatlantic.net
Subject: elderhostel Camp Sagamore

we are going on our first elderhostel program to Camp Sagamore in
the Adirondacks in New York state. It sounds rustic. Looking for
general hints from anyone who has been there. How are the bugs in
early July? Any recommended sites or things to do in the
surrounding area.