Elderhostel Notebook #49, July 21, 1999

Welcome to Elderhostel Notebook, the e-zine where hostelers
compare notes on elderhostel programs.

EN is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated
with Elderhostel Inc.          http://www.elderhostel.org

EN has a WWW site at           http://members.aol.com/EHnotebook

To subscribe to the e-mail edition  and/or to submit reports of
programs taken or personals send an e-mail to the editor, Jim
Olson, at                      olsonjam@uwec.edu

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


    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

         Southern Oregon State University
         South Street Seaport Museum, the Immigrant Experience
         Geneva Bay Covenant Ctr. Lake Geneva
         Virginia Commonwealth University
         Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
         Dayspring Episcopal Center in Sarasota
         Audubon Center of the North Woods
         Mauch Chunk Museum, Jim Thorpe,Pa.
         Snowdonia National Park, Wales
         Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University
         Trinity College Florence Italy
         Yellow Springs PA

    Editor's Notebook

Thanks to Elderhostel Inc. for giving us a nice write-up in the
recent issue of "Elderhostel Insider," and welcome to all the new
readers who have subscribed to the notebook as a result.

You will notice that there are no "personals" in this issue.

We are starting a new procedure with this issue in that batches
of  Personals will by mailed out separately in a more timely
fashion. They will also not be  archived at our Boulder site for
back issues. The first batch will follow this newsletter and
subsequent batches will come out fortnightly (or so).

Personals tend to deal with specific time related queries and
reports cover a wide time span so separating the two makes sense.

This may create more mail than some of you want but In the future
we will probably make some other arrangement such as setting up a
separate automated mail list for personals similar to the
listserv lists many of you are familiar with. Subscriptions to it
will be separated  from the newsletter subscriptions. We will try
to find a mail list program that allows digest feedback so
subscribers can get weekly digests of the mail list entries  if
they wish rather than getting every entry as it is posted.

That will have to wait a few months as this late summer and fall
are going to be hectic times for me.

Meanwhile send both your reports and personals to me at
olsonjam@uwec.edu or EHnotebkk@aol.com.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

Southern Oregon State University
Ashland, Oregon

Southern Oregon State University offers a variety of Elderhostel
and Senior programs most of which revolve around the
Shakespearean Festival. This is my second Elderhostel at this
site. The housing is in a building on campus set aside for Senior
programs. It is a typical college dorm with showers and toilets
down the hall, but very well kept. Meals are served in a general
cafeteria a short walk from the dorms and the classes are also in
a classroom a short walk away. This was difficult for those with
disabilities, but quite easy for others. Food is healthy and lots
of variety.

The outstanding part of this program is the Shakespearean
Festival and the classes that revolve around that. We also had a
class on the music and life of John Lennon that was outstanding.
This instructor also offers courses on Woody Guthrie that should
be fabulous. One class was taught by a Costume Designer who
brought in various people involved in the production of plays.

Ashland is a lovely small Oregon town close to the border of
northern California. The weather tends to be hot in the summer,
but it was very nice the last week of June. The program offers
three tickets with the cost of the Elderhostel program, a
terrific bargain as we had outstanding seats for all the plays.
I'd rate this as one of my all time favorite Elderhostels and
hope to make it an annual event.

Ruth McCormick



Sagamore was beautiful in the fall - no advice on when the leaves
are at the prime, but we toured down the length of Vermont, New
Hampshire, and the Hudson Valley after the EH, and variation in
color was the rule. Sagamore was half of a program - Utica was
first half. "Chamber of Commerce" type tour in Utica, but very
well done, with good hotel and meals. Fascinating to us as our
first trip to urban outback New York. Great picture of an Erie
Canal town which has had ups and downs, and has recovered several

Sagamore Lodge is a restoration project in progress -
comfortable, low key, great spirit in the service people at the
Lodge, wide variety of information and exposure to the
Adirondacks history and present. Old railroad trip Utica to
Sagamore and back - good for RR buffs but not too long for those
who don't care. The picture of Vanderbilt grandeur and wilderness
location was staggering. Combination of urban in Utica and
solitude in Sagamore was delightful.


South Street Seaport Museum, the Immigrant Experience

South Street Seaport Museum, the Immigrant Experience, was
another side of New York state for a couple of East Texas
rednecks. We were advised of extensive walking, which was a
correct picture, and the walking was not optional unless you want
to get well acquainted with the international cab drivers in the
city. (cabs were plentiful and not out of reason in charges) We
were quartered in the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel, near the
tip of Manhattan, a perfect location for the tours we made. The
hotel and service were super - one of the best hotels we've ever
stayed in.  The meals were mostly at an elder center close to the
Seaport on the East River, food was adequate,  and therein was
most of the walking (twenty to twenty five minutes each way, many
varied routes, very interesting to a first time visitor to

Museum resource people were 9 to 10 out of 10, very capable and
helpful. Small drawback compared to other EH - no common room
convenient to hostelers and resource folks for just getting
together and talking. Program ranged from walking from Brooklyn
Heights, across the East River on the Brooklyn Bridge, back to
the Seaport, to walking south from the hotel to Wall Street,
Battery Park, and the ferry slips.  Another long walk thru
Chinatown, which we left in mid walk (with permission) to hop a
scenic bus to Central Park and Broadway. One ferry ride Staten
Island and back, and another to Ellis Island, both very good. One
especially good program in the museum was by and about an
immigrant from Europe, now old but lively, who came over with his
mother and went thru Ellis Island, settled, made a career, and
now is the subject of a superb children's book written by his
daughter. We bought several copies for gifts.

This was our seventh EH, two international, and it was one of the
best. For a first time visit to Manhattan, super. We had and took
enough free time to see a show (Saigon), visit the World Trade
Center Tower at sunset, visit a costumer shop in the garment
district on W 35 St, glimpse Central Park, sample the busses and
subway, but lacked time to make good friends in the group. No
crime, no problems, not even a fender bender in sight (you can
never get away from home - we bought tickets to the show and
found we were seated next to a friend from our small home town,
next day on the Ellis Island ferry we talked to a college
classmate of mine on another tour).

Grady and Virginia Singletary


Geneva Bay Covenant Ctr. Lake Geneva, WI July^Ò95


	1	The End and the Beginning. The End of WW ll and the

         beginning of the cold war
	2.	The Best of the Best Sellers
	3.	The Big Band Singers

Highlights:	Boat ride on Lake Geneva. Play at Lake Geneva
Resort. 	Went with friends.

Evaluation:	Outstanding experience in every way. Classes were
excellent, food superb, lovely accommodations, friendly people.
Highly recommended.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Vi Nov.^Ò95

	     	1	Swing Bands
			2.	Evolution of Humor
			3.	Presidents of Virginia

Highlights:	Tour of Richmond. Presenters of the Presidents
class, dressed in the period outfit, giving a vivid impression of
the various presidents.

Evaluation:	Great experience. We stayed in downtown Holiday
Inn. The accommodations were excellent. The food was o.k. The
class on humor was only fair, but we had a good time.


Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

My wife and I really enjoyed an Elderhostel sponsored by the
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia.

The foundation presents, though fascinating lectures, the
preparation for the Revolutionary War. The mornings were spent
listening to costumed interpreters who told us their stories. We
heard from Thomas Jefferson, milliners who make clothes for
people of the eighteenth century, black slaves who discussed
their problems, etc., and etc. Each interpreter acted in the
eighteen century manner as the individual he or she represented.
The Foundation made the Revolutionary times seen current and

Every afternoon was spent touring reconstructed Colonial
Williamsburg and the several museums on the property. To get the
most out of the afternoons, you'll have to be prepared to do some

The accommodations and food was excellent.

Don't miss this Elderhostel

Clara and Leonard Dinner

Editor's note:

There are several hosts that do programs using the Colonial
Williamsburg  site in one way or another. In addition to the
EDUCATIONAL CENTER/WILLIAMSBURG also do programs in this area.


Dayspring Episcopal Center in Sarasota, Florida.

I attended an Elderhostel in February 1999 at Dayspring Episcopal
Center in Sarasota, Florida. The program was called The Total
Theatrical Experience. It covered all aspects of
theater--casting, costuming, props, body language, dialects, etc.
Each day a staff member or performer from the well-known Asolo
Theater (a professional regional theater) came to the center and
discussed his or her aspect of the production. We had a visit
backstage to get a first-hand look at the scenerey and the
costume workshops. In addition the program coordinator (whose
name I have forgotten) had us read the script of one of the plays
then being shown. We even acted out sections of the script. This
made it very interesting when we were taken to the performance.
We saw two plays that week and had a totally different feeling
about playgoing . In addition we had a demonstration of different
interpretations of the same role when our instructor brought film
clips from four different movie version of Hamlet and we had a
chance to discuss four different interpretaions from Olivier to
Mel Gibson. A truly marvellous program

Accomodations were in rustic cabins which were clean and
comfortable with private baths. There was an onsite swimming pool
and walking trails. The food was exceptonal -- loads of fresh
fruit and salad bar for lunch and dinner. Also a vegetarian main
course at each meal in addition to the meat or poultry dish.
There were also sugar-free desserts for diabetics and
calorie-loaded pastries and coookies which were outstanding. The
atmosphere was friendly. This was my first elderhostel since
becoming a widow and although I was accompanied by another woman,
I had heard stories of ostracization of single woman by couples.
No way! We were always asked to join couples at tables, and even
those women traveling as singles were made to feel completely
welcome. All-in-all a marvelous experience.

Gloria Weiss, River Edge, NJ

Audubon Center of the North Woods, Sandstone, Minnesota
June 20-26, 1999

Stayed in new facilities (18 month old), with separate room with
twin beds and private wash and toilet for each couple.Three
course adequate meals were served cafeteria style in large
dining room. The three courses, each with a significant field
trip were 1) Loons 2) Wolves and 3) Local History. The courses
were presented by the permanent staff of the center, with several
outside lecturers.

As a bonus, we saw and learned about Raptors which were cared for
at the center.For more information contact the web page I used to
show photos of the week, and which has a lick to the host web
site: http://galen.u-max.com/audubon-center.htm

As an extra we enjoyed the use of a canoe on the lake with a

Galen R FrysingerSheboygan Wisconsin
View my Travel Photo pages


Mauch Chunk Museum, Jim Thorpe,Pa. Elderhostel
June 20-25

This small town goes all out to welcome, teach and entertain you
with "all they've got" and they have alot! Housing is very
comfortable at the historic Jim Thorpe Inn and the continental
breakfast more than enough to get you started. The "dine around
town" meal arrangements are fun and good while getting to sample
different atmospheres and menus.

The program itself was very well done because of: coordinator,
Judy Wink who was always there, very knowledgeable and kind with
a great sense of humor too, the personal involvement of John, the
hotel and museum owner in the program, the local speakers (many
of whom were volunteers), wide range of subjects visited
(transportation of coal via "switchback railroad"   Lehigh canal,
architecture of the lovely old buildings, trying our hands at
pastels and cut glass ornaments, history and geology of the area
and of course a look at Jim Thorpe, the man.

The field trips were as interesting and included: two lovely old
churches, an old jail, the tow path at the canal, a coal wash
house, a couple of gorgeous, old mansions and nature center. As
wonderful as all this was, the thing that really made this all so
extrodainarly  nice was the attitude of everyone involved. The
eagerness to please, to share all their knowledge of a place the
staff obviously loved so well just touched all of our hearts.
This is a very good program and in a lovely area as well. I
encourage you to go. I think there are still openings for the
scheduled ones in the months ahead.


The Moods of the Mountains
a Walking Experience in the Snowdonia National Park" in Wales.

The sponsoring organization, the Snowdonia National Park Study
Centre, planned for a full year before hosting its first
Elderhostel group.  The walks and hikes are led by experienced
people, all of whom are as personable as they are knowledgeable.
Everyone, from beginning walkers to serious hikers, is able to
participate at a desired level.

The evening programs are unique and outstanding.  No other
programs offer a concert by an national award-winning mens' choir
or a dinner ride on a narrow-guage railway.  The Study Center's
historical home, "Plas Tan y Bwlch," has good rooms, a dining
room with the best meals in Great Britian, and looks like the
setting for a British mystery.  But it isn't British - its as
Welsh as they come, and delightedly so.  We'd like to go back.

Bonnie and Jim Griffiths
Los Alamos, NM

Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University

The best Elderhostel that my wife and I attended was sponsored by
the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University located in
Baltimore, Maryland. We attended this Elderhostel on three
separate occasions and also went to other Elderhostels in the
Baltimore area.

Each time we attended Peabody, the accommodations improved.
Today, the accommodations are offered in a town house located on
the Campus with private room and bath. Parking is extra. The
Campus is located in the Mt. Vernon section of Baltimore which is
less than a mile away from Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor. The
food was very good and was served in typical college cafeteria
style with a salad bar, soup bar, and a frozen yogart and dessert

Every Elderhostel course at Peabody offered relates to music. The
courses include choices in jazz, opera, symphony and music
history. The students at the Institute are all music majors, many
of whom are seeking advanced degrees in music performance. Every
evening, there are performances given by these very talented
students demonstrating different musical disciplines. Every
performance that we saw was outstanding.

Baltimore is a very large city which features the Inner Harbor
for great shopping and and terrific sightseeing. Located in the
Inner Harbor area, you can find the National Aquarium, Camden
Yards where the Baltimore Orioles play baseball and Fort McHenry
when Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangle Banner. Across the
street from the Institute is an outstanding museum called the
Walters Art Gallery. The city of Baltimore offers many other
sights including other museums and attractions. It would be
impossible to see Baltimore within the time span of one
Elderhostel visit.


Trinity College Florence Italy Elderhostel

Trinity College no longer offers a trip to Siena as a part of
their Florence Elderhostel program. Siena is now offered as a
separate two week program. However, we were not disappointed by
our choice of Siena as a site. We had one free day and were
easily able to take a public bus for the one hour trip to spend
the day in crowded Florence. For those planning any trips to
Florence on their own, it is necessary to make reservations ahead
to go to the Uffizi museum and the Academy. We had reservations
and were able to go in without problem. However, there was a 2
plus hour wait to get into the Uffizi for those without
reservations in early May. Back to day 1of our trip: Upon arrival
we were met at the Florence airport and taken along with other
Elderhostelers to our hotel via bus. This courtesy was extended
to us even though we had booked our own flights separately to
obtain more direct flights. For our return flight home, we were
also provided with a courtesy shuttle (for 2 couples) to take us
back to the Florence airport since we had a later flight than
most of the participants who had to leave at 4:30 am for their
trip back to the Florence airport. Accommodations were at the
Garden hotel just outside Siena. The hotel and grounds where we
stayed are excellent. The hotel food was pretty institutional and
really didn't allow us to explore the local foods much...sort of
like eating at the Marriot. However, we were provided nice
lunches on three excursions. Since Siena is such a safe walking
town and has many great inexpensive osterias and trattorias, we
hope that Trinity College will consider arranging accommodations
within the City with vouchers for Elderhostelers to select from
the many small osterias and tratorias in the future. .

The highlight of this Elderhostel for us was the opportunity to
partake in some great excursions and to really get acquainted
with Siena, a city that is scaled for people and beautifully
intact from the medieval period. Our group of about 40 was taken
on many guided walking trips in the City to explore art and
culture...we were even invited to join a dinner by invitation
only being given by the winning Contrado of one of the palios
(premier horse race of Italy)...thanks to our coordinator's
efforts and contacts! Our classes ranged from Sienese art,
Renaissance literature to Etruscan civilization. The most
informed lectures were provided by Christine Colyer on Etruscan
civilization and Marco Ceccarani on Italian Renaissance
civilization and literature. Both of these lecturers are
apparently involved in other Trinity programs at other sites as
there was some duplication for some Elderhostelers who had been
on another program but not enough to complain about.

As our bus took us on day excursions, we would wind our way
through the hills and valleys of Tuscany viewing the grape
vineyards, the distant hilltowns and all the other delights all
the while accompanied by the musical renderings of the Three
Tenors, Gregorian chants, etc...even our Coordinators tried a
little singing for us. Very delightful'. These excursions
included trips to Volterra to see some of the digs and the
archealogical museum, to San Gamignano, to Pienza, to Chianti,
and to St. Antimo, a medieval monastery. We were also treated to
an unforgettable concert and lecture on Franz Lizt by a Lizt
scholar, Clive Britton, who holds forth in space at a local
Sienese church.

What more can I say. The planners and coordinators did a great
job to make this a dream vacation. The weather is great in May,
too. My husband Ken says this is the best trip to Europe he has
ever had. Most of the Elderhostelers had booked far in advance as
we had, but it was worth it.

Mary Bankston

Yellow Springs PA
Edith himelfarb     ehimelfarb@worldnet.att.net

Thank you  for the opportunity to recommend the elderhostel at
Had this not been recommended to me  verbally I would never have
chosen to attend.  The visit was in March, starting with a snow
storm which caused loss of power (heat, light, food) in the
lovely  Comfort Inn for 18 hours.  The tour director handled the
emergency bravely and it became a memorable experience.

The charm of old Pennsylvania was great.  I loved every moment--
talks on Revolutionary War medicine,  the cultural experience of
the Spa in the 18th and 19th and 20th century, dinner at a
landmark inn, visits to the Yellow Springs spa, the Pearl Buck
house, the Michener Museum , Daniel Boone's home, and      Valley
Forge and Furnace Park, and finally magic and a real live
teacher turned  circus entertainer.  The food was great, the
company wondrous.  My eighth  Elderhostel  was as good as it
could be.