xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #46, May 26, 1999 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Elderhostel Notebook provides a place for elderhostlers to share information about Elderhosteling and other learning experiences related to travel. It has a world wide web site at http://members.aol.com/EHnotebook It has a world wide web site index of programs reviewed at http://members.aol.com/EHindex It is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated with Elderhostel Inc. which has a web site at http://www.elderhostel.org To subscribe to the e-mail edition send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org ********************************************** Contents From the Editors Notebook Elderhostel News and Reviews Elderhostel at Westside YMCA Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, Texas RICHARD STOCKTON COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY Millersville University; Millersville, PA. Hidden Valley, California Monterey Peninsula Hudson River Maritime Museum,Kingston,NY Oakwood Park, Syracuse, Indiana COLLEGE OF SANTA FE/OFF CAMPUS Alaska: Women of the Widerness March 1999 Personals ######################################## 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 "elderhostels" On Seniornet Roundtables (Http://www.seniornet.org) Then to "Roundtables" then to "travel" and then "Elderhosteling" 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. email@example.com ________ 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. __________ RICHARD STOCKTON COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY MaryPage firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 MHull32@aol.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org _______________ Hudson River Maritime Museum,Kingston,NY Bobroyle@aol.com 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" email@example.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 Indiana. 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! _____________ COLLEGE OF SANTA FE/OFF CAMPUS Helen Sternheim firstname.lastname@example.org 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 provider. 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 program. 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. ######################################### Personals ######################################### 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 Elderhostel. Miggs4@aol.com ___ From: Jack email@example.com 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.