xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #49, July 21, 1999 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format. Contents From the Editors Notebook Elderhostel News and Reviews Southern Oregon State University Sagamore 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 email@example.com or EHnotebkk@aol.com. ######################################### Elderhostel News and Reviews ######################################### Southern Oregon State University Ashland, Oregon MacRuth989@AOL.COM 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. Excellent. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 times. 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 email@example.com 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 Manhattan). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org _________________ Geneva Bay Covenant Ctr. Lake Geneva, WI July^Ò95 email@example.com Classes: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Classes: 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. Recommended. _________ Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Cldin@aol.com 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 real. 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 walking. 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 Foundation the COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY and JAMESTOWN 4-H EDUCATIONAL CENTER/WILLIAMSBURG also do programs in this area. The COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG FOUNDATION/MUSEUM also does a service program. __________ Dayspring Episcopal Center in Sarasota, Florida. Gloriaw417@aol.com 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 Loon. Galen R FrysingerSheboygan Wisconsin View my Travel Photo pages http://galen.u-max.com _______________ Mauch Chunk Museum, Jim Thorpe,Pa. Elderhostel June 20-25 email@example.com 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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com ______________ Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University Cldin@aol.com 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 bar. 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. Lenny _____________ Trinity College Florence Italy Elderhostel firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.