xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #50, August 1,1999 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 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 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 frequently. 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 email@example.com 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 FBennett@aol.com 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 attractions. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 students. 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 TUITION, a LIVE BAND WAS BROUGHT TO ENTERTAIN. Miriam amd Abel Zelnivk firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 abroad. __________ Pearl Harbor and Midway EH Program # 02001-05279 Jim Jacob firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com __________ Intergenerational Grand Canyon Trip Yavapai College, AR July 11-16 marty scearce firstname.lastname@example.org 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 corral. 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 fine. 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 outstanding. 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.