Elderhostel Notebook #50, August 1,1999

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

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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

           Austria and Italy Alpine walking
           San Diego Balboa Park Museums
           Bentley College, Waltham, MA
           College of the Atlantic/Ketch Angelique
           Berkley and Sacramento
           Ireland, Scotland   England
           Pearl Harbor and Midway
           Intergenerational Grand Canyon Trip
           Sawmill Center for the Arts-Clarion, Pa.
           About Art in Paris
           Jewish Community Center of New Orleans

    Editor's Notebook
Just a short editorial in this issue to review some recent
changes in format for the Notebook.

We have initiated two separate but related newsletters:
Elderhostel Notebook, which will continue to be published on a
monthly basis and Elderhostel Dialogue which will come out more

The web site will continue to carry recent issues of both and the
Boulder Community Senior section  will continue to archive past
issues of the Notebook.

   Elderhostel News and Reviews
Austria and Italy Alpine walking

We went on our first Elderhostel May 12- May 26, 1999. Austria
and Italy Alpine Walking # 66059-0512.  It was a marvelous
experience from beginning to the end. We met the group at the
Munich airport. My husband and I were delayed because our luggage
was lost. The guides were very understanding and searched for us
to make sure that we were O.K.

Since we did not get to the bus and they knew that our plane was
on time, Tina, the Elderhostel guide that was with us the entire
time made sure that the airline was called from our hotel and our
luggage was delivered 24 hours later. We stayed at small family
run hotels in Igls Austria and Kastelruth (Castelrotto) Italy.
All the cities, towns, and streets in this part of Italy have
names in both German and Italian since the area had been in
Austria before W.W.I.

We stayed 6 nights at each site and hiked each day. We had some
rain but it did not deter us from enjoying the magnificent
scenery of the Dolomites and enjoying the hiking. The food at the
hotels were gourmet quality and served in an elegant manner.
There were so many highlights that it would be difficult to
enumerate them. The lecture that gave us background information
about the "iceman", the visit to the Ice Man museum in Bolzano,
the slide show and music by the mountain climber, the hikes, the
boat ride on the Achensee etc. We would highly recommend this
Elderhostel and we are eager to sign up for another trip since
this one was such a wonderful experience.

J. Karis


San Diego Balboa Park Museums

My wife and I attended the San Diego State University (SDSU)
Elderhostel program featuring the museums of Balboa Park and
found it to be excellent.

The program consisted of behind-the-scenes tours of serveral
museums in Balboa Park. In addition, we were provided entry
tickets to several museums which we could view on our own. The
museums ranged from aerospace to art to natural history to
railroading to the world famous zoo - something of interest to
everyone. Our Elderhostel leader, Ken Catlin and assistant Jean
Mabie, had pre-arranged the best docents at each of the museums
to be our guides and to give us extremely interesting looks
behind-the-scenes. Our docent at the aerospace museum even took
the time to come to our hotel on another day and give us an
interesting briefing on overseas Eldlerhostels. Our after hours
time was ably filled with optional park activities such as an
organ concert, a theatical production and briefings on other Park

In addition to the Elderhostel, we found many other interesting
things to do in the San Diego area such as visits to Coronado
Island, Seaport Village, Old Mexico, etc.

We were housed in an old, but well restored, historic hotel just
north of Balboa Park so we were close to our classes at the
museums. Our food was catered by the SDSU food service branch and
was excellent. We were provided an excellent bag lunch each day
for our trips to the museum. I highly recommend this Elderhostel
and something unique, entertaining and educational.

Forrest and Lela Bennett

Bentley College, Waltham, MA
Richard A. Angorn  angorn@ufl.edu

We attended the July 11-17 program. It was excellent.Good
program, good instructors, good lodging, good food. Excellent
field trips. The staff went "all out" to make us comfortable.It
ranks as one of the best Elderhostels that we have attended, and
we have been to several good ones. The campus is very modern and
scenic. And the weather cooperated. We highly recommend this
program, but we have reason believe that all of Bentley's
Elderhostel programs will be of exceptional quality.

Dick and Janice Angorn, Gainesville, Florida


College of the Atlantic/Ketch Angelique
EH #19280-0613-01,6/13-19/99
wilson d dysart vorbdysart@juno.com

The Angelique is a 95' sailing ketch, sailing out of Camden,
Maine. There were 29 hostelers, a host, a coordinator and 7 crew
members on board. As the program warned, there were shared heads,
small cabins, and ladders and steep stairs to climb. Everyone
managed these rigors in exchange for a great sailing experience!
Captain Mike and his crew were really great. We heard lots of
interesting tales and lore from the crew members. I was impressed
that the youngest crew member was a Prairie Home Companion fan -I
guess there's hope for the upcoming generation! Cook Debbie
prepared some good victuals on her kerosene stove and we all ate
too much.

Subjects taught were maritime history as related to the Gulf of
Maine and the natural history of Maine. We also learned the basic
terminology of a sailing ship and the history of the Angelique.
When we left Camden, Capt. Mike would only promise that our route
would end up back in Camden. The rest of the itinerary was
governed by winds and tides. Actually we arrived in Bar Harbor on
the second night after a great day of sailing covering about 50
miles. We then had an easy three day sail back to Camden. The
boat was in an island harbor each night and we were taken ashore
to explore the various villages.

Initially some of the hostelers were concerned about seasickness,
but the boat was extremely stable and, to my knowledge, no one
had any discomfort. Weather was good, no rain, several mornings
with fog that burned off before noon. Several nights were quite
cool and I wore my stocking cap in the bunk!

If you like sailing I would highly recommend this Elderhostel. If
you go be sure to take all your wildest T shirts so you can
compete wit host Bill Clark and brush up on all your "Groaner"
jokes to tell Debbie the cook. If you don't know what a Groaner
is here's a quick example: "Why did the indian chief send his boy
to yachting school? -He wanted his red son to be in the sail set"

Bill Dysart


Berkley and Sacramento
Abel Zelnick abel12@EROLS.COM

We've just returned from 2 Elderhostels in California. Since we
are not novices, having been to 30 odd facilities mostly in CA,
we can pretty well judge which can be recommended with few if any
reservations. Altho, we have been to many other Elderhostels we
choose Ca. hostels at this time of year because we combine them
with visits to family there. Our second consideration is the
course offering and third is the facility. We have been to many
with dorms and found them generally satisfactory.

This time choosing International House on the Berkley Campus
turned out to be a mistake..The physical set-up is difficult for
anyone, especially for older people, Reaching the rooms in the
dorm necessitated walking long distances and thru the laundry
room.wer long walks from the rooms in many cases if not from the
mem's room, then from the women's. Classes were in a room which
was accessoble from only one side of the building, up a flight of
stairs. If you were on the other side of the building. it meant
walking down one flight of steps and up another.

We were told that bed linens wouod not be changed. However, we
had to make do with one set of towels for the week unless we got
the laundry room which doled out a towel on request. Since we
were pretty much occupied all day we never got to the laundry
room before the closing time of 4 p.m.. The Great Hall was listed
as a place to watch TV or play games was generally occupied by

We certainly did not expect hotel accommodations, but neither did
we expect such dismal looking rooms with no lighting except a
single solitary ceilinmg light and 2 desk lamps which could not
be used for lack of extension wire to the invisible outlets. Our
request for an extencion cord was finally fullfilled on the day
before we left. The saving grace was the courses by above average
professors. However, the space for the 3rd course was filled by
trips, walking tours and one excellent lectureon Philippine
history. Transportation was by volunteers with cars, and time was
taken from classes to allocate people to each driver.

An announcement was made about a Phillippine Folk Dance Concert
which sounded really interesting. But when we tried to sign up we
found that only 12 tickets were available for class of 40. No
optional activities were provided for those not going to the
concert. An excellent lectures on Philippine History - The food
was on the plus side.. well prepared and generous. When I
discussed some of the shortcomings with coordinator, she asked me
to include my remarks in the evaluation(which I did). She made it
clear that her first priority was for International House. She
was retired from a long career on staff and was a fund raiser for
International House. I got the feeling that Elderhostel was a
good source of revenue for I-House which is not a fault in
itself. However, I truly believe the facility is not a good
choice for the program.

Our 2nd choice was the Jazz Program in Sacramento. What a
difference! Mike and Linda were superb. They were with us
throughout the day- classes, meals, trips. Everything was well
organized and carefully planned. The hotel was clean, comfortable
and accessible,food was excellent, classes were interesting and
well run. A bus was hired for the trip to town and the visit to
the RR Museum plus lunch was in a restaurant ALL INCLUDED IN THE

Miriam amd Abel Zelnivk abel12@erols.com

editors note- this report on Berkley is consistent with some
other reports on this campus. Sometimes on a very large campus
with many programs elderhostel gets administrative short shrift
and staff and  facilities are selected inappropriately.

Ireland, Scotland   England
Edward Glembotski jglembot@slonet.org

My wife and I have just returned from an EH to the subject
regions. The lectures at each location covered medival history
and early literature followed by tours to historic areas. It was
exciting to visit the homes of noted authors (Dickens, Scot et
al.) and hear about their early experiences and be there
(Shakespeare and the Globe theater). A very enlightening 3 weeks


Pearl Harbor and Midway
EH Program # 02001-05279
Jim Jacob  jjacob@sockets.net

We attented the "Turning Point of the Pacific" : Pearl Harbor and
Midway Island ,in May 1999. This program should be of special
interest to WW11 veterans. The program begins in Honolulu and
tours Schofield Barracks, Whseeler Field, Hickam Field, and Pearl
Harbor. This was lead by Daniel Martinez, a historian, who gave
excellent lectures. Our lodgeing was at the Pagoda Hotel, the
rooms were adequate, but the meals were skimpy.

The highlight of this trip was the Midway Atoll. We boarded a
turbo propeller plane for the 1300 mile 4.5 hr. flight to the
Island. Midway Atoll consist of three tiny Islands,Sand. Eastern
and Spit. This is the site of the pivotal Battle of Midway that
ended Japanese supremacy in the Pacific. Midway is a unique
Island and is home to more than a million Lysan Albatrosses,
better know as "Gooney Birds", and there are still Army and Navy
pill boxes from WW11 here.

Housing is in two barracks that are air conditioned, has cable
TV, private baths, and are very adequate. Meals were served in
the galley cafeteria style ,and very good.

We Highly recommend this program. J.Jacob


Intergenerational Grand Canyon Trip
Yavapai College, AR July 11-16
marty scearce  marthalee31@hotmail.com

We took our 9 year old granddaughter on this adventure and would
highly recommend it! It requires some planning, however, as you
must fly into Las Vegas or Flagstaff, then rent a car to get to
the motel east of Peach Springs, AR on Old Route 66. The
coordinator, Todd Weber, is one of the best we've ever had, has
been with E/H for 12 years and was with us every step of the way.
We had 18 grandparents and 16 children (12 boys, 4 girls).

Motel is old and supported almost entirely by EH programs, 49
rooms in a long row. Meeting room is nearby in
office/souvenir/snack shop building. Pool is next to office
building and restaurant is one mile away at Grand Canyon Caverns,
so car is also necessary once you get there. Food is buffet,
hearty and good. Laundromat and copier were out of service entire
week so we dried our river clothes and brought them home dirty.
Apparently repairmen are hard to come by in NW Arizona. The raft
trip was the highlight of the week, two days on 10-man rafts
going 64 miles on the Colorado, which was high and muddy when we
were there.

BIG rapids and when you aren't wet from them, the rafts have
water fights back and forth. We explored waterfalls and slept on
a rocky sandbank. Hualapai Indians were our boatmen and cooks on
the river. We got on the river at Diamond Creek on only road
anywhere to Grand Canyon, got off at Pierce's Landing. Diamond
Creek road goes through Hualapai reservation and Indians worked
with bulldozers to reopen it - 30 miles of dirt track all
downhill and crossed by flash floods which had moved acres of
gravel and boulders, the worst in 16 years, for five days before
we arrived. We also spent a day on the 65,000 acre ranch of Mike
and Karen Landis, where they roped, branded, ear-notched, and
castrated calves. (This caused some grandfathers to go pale and
the kids to ask a lot of questions!) Mike shod a horse, the kids
were taught to throw a lasso, and each got to ride a horse in the

We went rock and fossil hunting with Mike Young, a delightful
geology professor who accompanied us on the raft trip also. A
Hualapai lady told us of her tribal traditions and brought six
girls who danced in costume. Her brother, who is a big game
hunting guide, also spoke to us. We had a busy week and were in
bed by 9:00 most evenings. This is a great way to bond with
grandchildren. It was our 14th EH and one of the best.


Sawmill Center for the Arts-Clarion, Pa.
"Theater-be a Star" (June 1999)
BAHamm@webtv.net (Billie A. Hamm)

Honestly, this was the most fun i have had in years!! If you are
looking for a fun filled week that passes really fast--this Eh is
for you! ( this program is offered again in Oct 1999)

We arrived at Shiloh Campground (circa l940) on a hot sunday
afternoon-realizing that we had been told there would be no air
conditioning !! After we acclimated to that fact--every thing was

Most of the EHostelers were housed in what was called the Inn ( a
relatively new addition) that was just like a motel--two double
beds, bath etc -ceiling fan and encased in concrete blocks that
made it relatively cool.There are only 12 of these rooms. So we
were in located in "Chateau 1"-which was a single wide trailer (
covered in wood shingles) which was tiny. I have seen larger
baths on cruise ships! no drawers and one BR was approximately 4
X 6 with bunk beds. we did have a ceiling fan tho and once we got
the trailer opened up and cooled off a little ,it was ok. The
temp. did go down at night as we are right in the woods of Cook
Forest-bugs an all !! One AM we needed the heat on even!!

There were only 12 of us for the Theater program and there were 5
for a wood carving program that was at the same time and also
located at Shiloh.

Maria was the coordinator and Jane was our teacher. They both
were outstanding. This was their first time at this site so we
were the guinea pigs! Will be interesting to see if they continue
to use it.

We did 4 one act plays ( script in hand) and every one had a part
in a play--sometimes in two of them. Jane cast us and we
practiced the grand total of three times before we presented our
plays to a variety of kitchen help,neighbors, strangers we had
told about it, and the wood carving class ! Jane had 4 boxes of
costumes so we were well dressed for our parts. It was great fun.

We were through each day at 3 pm and one day at 1pm. We were
close to swimming, canoeing, tubing (on the Clarion river)
horseback riding and just hiking the many trails in the forest.
Most of the persons had cars --no van travel was done. One night
we all went to the little theater at Sawmill Center for a play.
One other night, a park ranger spoke to us about the forest etc.
refreshments were seved in dining room each night at 9 pm. Marie
had brought some ganes etc in case any one wanted to play. There
were no TVs in the rooms. ( or telephones).

Walking at Shiloh is on uneven surfaces and they put lots of
gravel down while we were there making it more difficult. If you
were in the Inn, you were where everything was taking place, but
if you were in the Chateaus, you had to walk to the dining room
and classes. (and guess who fell-turned my ankle on the gravel
and took a dive face first--just scraped knee and bruised hip.

Food was OK--lots of red meat (chicken once -deep fried and
greasy), salad bar and home made soups. They did try to
accommodate vegetarians by letting them order from menu if
needed. For breakfast -we found out two days later- that we could
order eggs or oatmeal. All meals were buffet style.

Brooksville was 12 miles from Shiloh so we went there one night
and ate and walked around this little historic town. This was on
our own-not a group thing.

If you want a fun, laid back week try this program. No planned
sightseeing, field trips involved--just plain old fun. Like i
said , its offered again in Oct. and trees should be turning
then. Word to the wise-if you go try to stay in the Inn.

editor's note- Billee has sent some photos to go with this report
and they are on the photo page of the EN web site.


About Art in Paris

We chose this EH because the entire tour was based at one hotel
in Paris. We felt that we would not lose time traveling from city
to city or packing and unpacking. It turned out to be the perfect
way to see Paris in a more personal way.

The logistics were well planned. Tickets for all transportation
around the city, some of it by private coach, were provided and
all admissions to the many museums we visited were arranged so we
didn't have to stand on long lines like real tourists. We were
guided through this treasure trove by knowledgeable art
historians who were employees of the Louvre. Lectures were given
at a school several blocks from the hotel. The instructors
presented art in a historical context and emphasized the
architecture of Paris which surrounded us every day as we walked
around the city. These teachers were engaging and accessible both
in the classroom and on site. We were also treated to several
concerts in the evenings and our last dinner together was in the
elegant dining room of the Louvre, after hours.

Our accommodations were barely adequate. The hotel was small and
modest, tiny rooms, much noise on the street side. However, there
is an elevator and CNN in English. They were installing air
conditioning while we were there which will be important in the
summer as it was already warm in June. The food was specially
prepared for us at a bistro near the hotel. We had vouchers for
five other restaurants, some a good walk away, but the bistro was
the popular choice because of the variety on the menu and the
personal touch of the chef and proprietor. House wines were not
expensive (about $3 a glass) and oh so wonderful.

One of our companions on this trip had been to over 25 EH
programs and said she enjoyed this one the most. Although this
was only our second, it will be hard to top. Advisories: a water
bottle is essential as public fountains are hard to find and a
large-print map of the city bus and metro lines would have been
useful. Also, brush up on your high-school French. Parisians will
correct you but enjoy doing it.

Tom and Gail Scullion
Greensboro, NC

Jewish Community Center of New Orleans LA	April 99

Classes: 	L'Chaim New Orleans Our lectures were about the
history of New Orleans, the music of New Orleans, and prominent
Jewish residents of New Orleans.

Highlights:	We toured the city of New Orleans, went to the
French Quarter, visited the unusual cemetery, took an optional
trip on the Nachez Steamboat on the Mississippi. We received a
private concert at the Preservation Hall, toured the Garden
District and visited a plantation. Our tour guide was

Evaluation:	 The classes and the trips were wonderful. Two of
the instructors were excellent, but the man who wrote the book
about prominent Jewish residents was very superficial in the
presentation. The accommodations were excellent at the Brent
House. We ate two meals a day in the hospital cafeteria, which
were fair. We are watching our diets and the hospital meals
served that purpose well. We could choose low fat, nutritious
meals. The meals that we ate out were excellent and we left
having experienced New Orleans cuisine. Although we were kept
very busy during the day, no evening activities were planned.