xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #90 July 23, 2001 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 and an index at http://members.aol.com/ehindex To subscribe to the e-mail edition and/or to submit reviews of programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Jim Olson, at EHnotebook@aol.com Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format. ################################################ From the Editor's Notebook ################################################ Time has caught up with me again and I have more reports than I could use in this issue. I'll put out #61 next week, giving readers a little time to digest this one. ################################################ Comments and Queries ################################################ From: email@example.com We are considering the Discover Nature program at WEST LIBERTY STATE COLLEGE/OGLEBAY RESORT - West Virginia and would appreciate comments from anyone who has participated in this program. Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org _________________ Foods and Wines of Provence Ppmomalley@AOL.COM My husband and I are considering enrolling in Elderhostel's Foods and Wines of Provence Program. We would appreciate any feedback anyone could give us if they have gone on this particular tour. Thank you. Penny O'Malley Ann Arbor, MI _________________________________ France trip MGlaser2@AOL.COM I am interested in taking an Elderhostel trip to France next spring. I'm specifically looking at "The Light of Provence: Cezanne and Van Gogh.." I'd like to hear from anyone who's taken this trip to find out about the quality of the program, the hotels, and any other comments. Please Reply to MGlaser2@aol.com.Thanks. ______________________ Subj: Query! From: RDGSonoma1@aol.com My wife and I have applied for an EH program in Germany next Spring. The program is titled "Castles, Wine Gardens -- The Spirit of Baroque" and goes to Tubingen, Wurzburg and Dresden.We would appreciate hearing from Elder Hostlers who have participated in this particular program and learn about their experiences. Incidentally, we were on The Aquataine EH trip last Spring to Bordeaux and Sarlat and contrary to a recent letter in the EHnotebook, we found this to be a very well run program in a beautiful section of France. We had lots of excursions into the countryside to wineries, chateaux, caves and small towns. The cusine was great and we did have ample free time in both Bordeaux and Sarlat. We would highly recommend this program. Don Graham email@example.com __________________ From: "Aganita Varkentine"
Subject: I sympathize with your dilemma of writer in last issue (#89) I have also noticed that Elderhostel does not make many accommodations for disabled people, which surprises me. I have a friend with congestive heart failure who cannot walk long distances. A few years ago we went to an Elderhostel in Ashland, Oregon, and she was treated almost hostilely when she spoke of her needs. They said that the classes and meals were next door to the building where we slept, without mentioning that it was the equivalent of a block and uphill all the way. It was fortunate that we had a car with us, so I could drive her back and forth. I think things will change only if a lot of people let Elderhostel headquarters know about the problems. We gave feedback at that Elderhostel but do not know if anyone paid attention. ___________________ From: Barley Garzamappes Subject: Concerns Voiced in last issue (#89) Hi, I'm the Director of Elderhostel at Northern Kentucky University. I have had oxygen dependent participants before. I've also had participants with a variety of other handicapping conditions, including blind with a guide dog, walking with canes, and using wheelchairs. On occasion, They have opted out of a particular session, but basically they have participated fully. I run a very busy schedule without much free time, our meals and classes are within 50 feet of the elevator, there are some steps at sites but most have elevators, and most of our walking is docent led within museums and is pretty leisurely, most sites have wheel chairs available and I always have volunteers willing to push them. I see few reasons for a disabled person to not attend an Elderhostel program. If you have questions, feel free to call of email. Barley Garza-Mappes NKU Elderhostel Director 1401 Dixie Highway Covington, KY 41011 859 392-2424 firstname.lastname@example.org ################################################ Program Reviews ################################################ Hawaii Trip - Earth Sky and Sea Intergenerational Ashland Shakespeare Elderhostel Dixie College Elderhostel Bonclarken Conference Center __________________ Hawaii Trip - Earth Sky and Sea (Elderhostel Intergenerational) email@example.com The only negative on this whole trip was the length of time on the plane. We went a day early which I would recommend. We took 3 planes in one day - from St Louis to Houston and then 7 1/2 hours to Honolulu and the a short flight to the big island of Hawaii. We had a 5 hour time change and many mornings we were up at 4 or so. Our first morning we thought we would starve until the restaurant opened at 7. At 6 am we went for a walk that day and discovered a beautiful park on the ocean in Hilo called Lilioukalani Gardens. . The program started that afternoon after we were bussed up to Volcano National Park.(Earth) We stayed at a marine R camp. Nice facility and quite good food.Every place we went they served rice at every meal. With brown gravy if you wanted it???? Each morning we had hula and Hawaiian vocabulary classes to start the day.Fun for kids and adults!!!! While at this area we went a major hike across A Crater - down one side and up the other. Seeing the lava and walking over it was a great experience. I hope never to do it again however as it was a looooong hike and at the end it was all uphill with 7 switchbacks which I found out meant it is Verrrry Steep..... We also went down into a lava tube, kind of a cave made from lava. Had to use flashlights. Fun. When we got to the end we all turned off our flashlights and did a little chant to the Goddess Pele.... We saw a Hula demonstration by our leader Susan and her Sister. (traditional style) One night we hiked over lava to hopefully see some hot lava that is coming out of a site near the sea but we couldnt get close enough to see it. Still had our evening picnic sitting on lava rocks and watching the ocean. Next day we swam at a beautiful black sand beach that had large turtles. Made screen print t shirts ....This was the first five days. There were 36 people - about 15 kids and 21 adults - some kids had both grandparents. There were 5 boys and 10 girls all ranging from 9-13.. Saturday we packed and headed for our next location up in "cowboy" country where we stayed at a boarding school that of course was not in session for the summer - in a town called Waimea.(Sky part) The big adventure there was to bus up to the 9000 ft level of the mountain ( it is 13,700 ft but kids under 16 arent allowed over 9000) It was chilly and in fact snowing at the higher elevations. There are 13 observatories up there - built by many different countries. We did get to see the moon and mars etc through powerful telescopes and did some "star gazing" They told the kids to bring extra sox for mittens - We all laughed but guess what - they wore them. The next day was spent swimming in a pool and exploring that town. Some people went horseback riding (extra fee) My granddaughter had several friends by then and they found a macadamia nut tree and collected nuts and cracked them open etc. The kids by now were all playing cards in the free time and also we were allowed to use the school computers so we kept busy. We walked to town and got shaved ice cones which are big there - I know them as Italian Ice. Ice cream flavors like mango and ginger and green tea Were available too!! The fruit at every location was great. I got to loving papayas. Our next location was Kona - on the other side of the mountains.(sea part) This was the swimming "water" part of the trip. Another black sand beach and then to Hapuna Beach which is white sand - beautiful - rated one of the top 10 beaches in the world. We got to our final destination _ "Uncle Billy's" in Kona. This was our first place where it was commercial - lots of gift shops etc - we were across the street from the ocean - and the pool was nice there. We did a bit of history - learned about Hawaiian royalty and saw their palaces and also some statues and pictures .(Food average) During the whole two weeks Susan told the kids about the legends surrounding Pele the goddess of fire so the kids got in to the history part.... On july 3 we learned to snorkel ( in the pool) and then went on to our first try in the ocean. It was great. I had thought I wouldnt do it but found it to be great fun to see what was going on under the water. Turtles and fish and Coral----Nothing nibbled on us either. Fourth of July arrived and a little Hawaiian parade (with belly dancers?) Didnt last long. Then our big extra was that everyone decided, since the afternoon was free, to go on the "Fairwind" Catamaran - They sailed out to Kealakekua Bay - famous in song - It is surrounded by huge cliffs - and is a protected bay - no homes around it or anything. Anyway we spent the afternoon snorkeling and the kids went off the big slide on the boat (not Nana) They grilled hamburgers etc and then sailed us home A different and beautiful 4th.(a group member got us a 20% discount as there were so many of us... Later there were fireworks (that lasted 8 minutes) - A satisfying way to end the fourth - we were ready for bed. The next day a visit to Pu'unonua O Honaunau National Historic Park - a beautiful area with lots of historic buildings (grass shacks) and yet another swim. Kona was warm and somewhat humid so we appreciated the swimming time. Our last day - Went to a flower farm to pick plumeria blossoms to make leis. Acres of beautiful flowers. The owner gave us a bag of white orchids to use too - back to the hotel to "sew" our leis. The girls made wrist leis and hair leis in addition to the necklaces. That evening we had a BBQ at a state park by the ocean. A fabulous beautiful place -you can get permits for picnic areas - Rob cooked fresh salmon (or hot dogs for kids that didnt like fish.) Fruit salad with ? fruits and poi to taste. I tasted lychee nuts which are quite good and some other white fruit? and also some raw fish thing in herbs? My granddaughter stuck to the hot dog. We were all dressed alike in our hand screened tshirts and leis and the kids did a hula for us on the beach and then a "class photo" ended the day. Home to pack. It was fun to see the kids make friends and enjoy the wonders of Hawaii. And of course the grandparents not only enjoyed the Hawaii part , but the fun of seeing the grandkids having fun. Many of the grandparents lived far away from their grandchildren and do this to get to see them each summer- away from their family and friends. This was a magical trip for us both. What made the whole experience so great was the leaders, Susan and Rob McGovern. She is Chinese and born and raised in Hawaii , he is Irish and has been all over the world. He knew almost every plant and animal and bird we saw and she knew the history and was also a musician and wonderful story teller. A great combination. The kids loved them. There were many people there from the East Coast, Long Island, Boston, Delware - Some from the midwest and Texas and Arizona and California. It was a diverse group - My grand daughter is on the shy side but did well making friends. Of course i met some nice adults too. A few couples were there with a grandchild but mainly Grandmas - even with boys. Most everyone overpacked - Each facility has a laundry so if you decide to go, pack light and bring a bit of laundry soap. And dont forget those D battery flashlights as you must have the big ones. And a back pack is a must too. You NEVER need to get dressed up on this trip - casual shorts and slacks plus raingear and a few warm things (and swimsuits) and you are READY FOR FUN...My granddaughter (age 10) kept a journal which was a big help when we got home - We did so much and saw so many different things that otherwise it would have been hard to keep track of all those pictures we took. So Aloha and Mahalo (thank you) Pat Gould firstname.lastname@example.org ______________ Ashland Shakespeare Elderhostel email@example.com This was our 12th Elderhostel program. We were housed in the Siskiyou building which was previously student dorms. The bathroom was down the hall. Very clean and neat. We ate in the student cafeteria-all we wanted with the Elderhostel badge showing. The food was outstanding, and there were many selections. We also could use the Library and their internet terminals. The program consisted of two or three 1-1/4 hour lectures unless there was a play or a free afternoon. All together, we went to six plays, had 29 lectures, and a tour. The plays were: Troilus and Cressida, Enter the Guardsman, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Life is a dream, and The Tempest. Many of us went to other plays on our free time. The lectures were given by Shakespeare experts/professors, actors, a director, a producer, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) stage lighting manager, the OSF Music director/composer, costume designer, stage sanager, artistic director, voice and text director. These were all top actors and support staff in the OSF. We had lectures on the plays themselves, their background, the themes, the characters, the language, and the controversies. We also had lectures on stage managing, makeup, lighting, music, directing, managing, costuming, hiring practices, the life of an actor, and the OSF history. The discussions added a great amount of enjoyment to the plays. The background on Shakespeare's most controversial play, The Merchant of Venice, was essential to an understanding of the play. The OSF prepared the Ashland community by having discussion groups in advance of the play which were held in the community and at the local synagogue. This helped to quell angry reactions to the play, and provided a venue for those who maintain that the play should not be presented. We found that plays have an enormous range of ways of being presented, depending on the director. We found everyone, especially the actors, to be dedicated, sensitive, intelligent, witty, entertaining, and hard working. One might think that 2 weeks of this would be saturating, but several of the 24 participants come to the same Elderhostel program every year and say that they learn many new things each time they come. Our group had many who were very dedicated to the theater arts and were well informed and able to discourse with the instructors about various directors and actors all over the world. We found that our time was exciting and very well spent and will probably be attending again in the future. _____________ Dixie College Elderhostel June 2001 GAMarsh@aol.com On a hot 110-deg. Sunday afternoon Dorothy and I drove to St. George, Utah (known as Dixie to the residents because the early settlers grew cotton and they found the weather to be similar to that of the South.) Our Elderhostel program, titled Moving Theater, was sponsored by Dixie College. Forty enthusiastic theatergoing participants, representing 10 states and Canada, attended. During the almost six full days, we attended three professional performances: Julius Caesar, Pirates of Penzance, and Oklahoma. Julius Caesar was Dorothy's and my first live Shakespeare play. It was held in an outdoor Globe style theater at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, about an hour's bus ride north of St. George. The Festival attracts people from all over the country and is widely recognized as one of the principal Shakespeare venues. The play was just as we remembered it from high school English class, complete with Et Tu Brute', Yon Cassius and his lean and hungry look, and Marcus Antonius asking Friends, Romans, and Countrymen to lend him their ears. The murder scene was very bloody. Our group overnighted in a Cedar City motel. The morning after the play, the director spoke to our group and we learned how he chose to interpret the play. He had many problems to solve, such as his Brutus being leaner and hungrier looking than his Cassius. The director had been directing in major theaters for 40 years; it was fascinating to hear him speak. Next we saw Pirates of Penzance in an indoor theater at Cedar City. Who cannot love Gilbert Sullivan! The play featured a distinguished Major General, who breezed through the "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" and we could actually hear and understand the words! Penzance also has the very funny Keystone Kops type of bobbies singing "A Policeman's Lot is not a Happy One." That catchy song keeps running through my head. Superb acting of a great G Our hostelers returned then to St. George. At the Tuacahn, a large outdoor amphitheater on the outskirts of St. George, we saw an evening performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. Before the evening show, our group had a private tour of the theater, which is nicknamed Broadway in the Desert. The theater seats 2,000, and it has a backdrop that rises perpendicularly behind the stage 1500 ft. creating a most unusual and spectacular setting. The director and choreographer had lots of talent at their disposal--professional actors and dancers. The ballet dance scene where the heroine is dreaming, and the square dance scene "The Farmers and the Cowboys Should be Friends" were beautifully staged. You can't beat those lovely Oklahoma songs! With the huge natural amphitheater things could be done that can't be done on Broadway--such as coming on stage with a real "surrey with the fringe on top" pulled by a real live horse. Several cowboys were playing a game of horseshoes in the background. Seeing Oklahoma in this amphitheater was one of the highlights of the week. As part of the theater study, our group heard brilliant lectures by Richard Hill, a man who has spent many years in professional theater, both acting and directing. After an outstanding lecture on the geology of Zion by Janice Higgins, a professor from Brigham Young University, we were taken to Zion National Park on a bus outing (Zion is an hour's drive from St. George). Once again we enjoyed traveling the Elderhostel way. We made new friends, saw new sights and learned a bit more about our world. Glenn ____________ Bonclarken Conference Center April 29-May 4, 2001 firstname.lastname@example.org My Elderhostel #57 Bonclarken, located in Flat Rock, near Asheville in Western North Carolina, is operated by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. It means, in Scottish, "Clear Vision." The Blue Ridge Community College sponsored this excellent program with efficiency and insight. We were housed in a lovely lodge amid an eyeful of towering white pines, hemlock, spruce, and blossoming rhododendron. Vistas included a private lake for fishing, and many walking paths. The food was delicious and nutritious. It featured a fresh fruit and salad bar. Maid service was provided daily with a view toward spoiling us all. This was successful. One course, "Inside Old Ironsides" was skillfully navigated by one of her former captains, Cdr. Tyrone Martin, USN, (Ret). Ty was the skipper of the famous USS Constitution, during her recent restoration for The Bicentennial Celebration. Cdr. Martin was a talented teacher and an acclaimed scholar. After 17 years of research, the Naval Institute Press published his 400 page definitive study in l997: "Most Fortunate Ship: A Narrative History of Old Ironsides." This "old salt" peppered his remarks with tales of US Navy lore and shared a sea bag full of memories from 25 years of service He piloted us through the creation, history, personnel, and life aboard this American icon. Commissioned in 1798, she participated in the undeclared war with France, the Barbary Coast War, and the War of 1812. Ty never left us at sea with any questions. We not only studied this grand old ship; Ty let us inhabit it! The visual aids were unusual. There was the affable Ty himself, brilliant in his 18th Century uniform as a Commander in the US Navy. There were sketches of naval construction as well as films and slides. And there was a large photograph of Ty, the proud product of democratic America, standing next to Queen Elizabeth the Second Herself! No doubt there was a nostalgic discussion of the time when the USS Constitution blew the British warship Guerriere out of the water, and captured the royal frigate Java. After Ty finished with us, many were ready to enlist in the Navy, but the sailors today are too young. Instead, we wished him: "Fair winds and following seas", and hoped we would meet again. As if that were not enough, there was also a course on Carl Sandburg, (1878-l967) Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Lincoln biographer and a major light in 20th Century American literature. With foresight, this was arranged so that National Park Service Rangers enlightened us. Featured was a fascinating trip to the Sandburg home, Connemara, which is a National Historic Site. This included the goat farm maintained by Mrs. Sandburg. Ironically, this Lincoln admirer bought a farm first owned by Christopher Memminger, who built the main residence about l838. Memminger served as Secretary of the Treasury in Jefferson Davis' revolving door cabinet of the Confederacy from l861 to l864. In addition, several Rangers illuminated various aspects of Sandburg's talents: his poetry, his "Songbag," his home, and the very interesting life of this "people's poet." We even had the opportunity to write poetry ourselves, a la Sandburg! Who knows, there might have been a future Pulitzer Prize poet among us, and no one knew it at the time! And if that was not enough, there was the enlightenment of "Blue Ridge Mountains: Culture and Folklore" by a local legend, Mr. Frank FitzSimons, Jr. who told us what the area was like "in the old days." We became acquainted with the customs, traditions, oral history, tall tales, music, and folklore of this part of the southern Appalachian region, as told by a long-time resident. This was supplemented by optional field trips to Hendersonville, a local town filled with delightful crafts. Also, a visit to a local church was very interesting, St. John in the Wilderness, an Episcopal Church. This reflected the Southerners, who, before the Civil War, summered here. There were the graves of the Draytons, the Middletons, and other great Charleston area plantation owners. Their slaves were buried here too--separate and in the back. Menninger's gravestone was decorated with a recently planted Confederate flag. As Jefferson Davis said: "I have not repented!" This seemed to be the case here too in this den of the rebellious Confederacy! Evening entertainment included "Dickens" the juggling clown, otherwise known as one of our volunteer genial hosts, "Sandburg and Segovia,"a fine guitar concert, Mountain Music and Dance, a singing female duo, "The Pearls", and a hilarious, belly-clutching analysis of "How to Talk Southern" by Wanda Neal, Director of Services at Bonclarken She initiated us, along with other insights, as to the subtle distinction between "Y'all" and "Y'unns." In hindsight, Bonclarken, or "clear vision" was true to its name. Hope to see Y'unns there someday! From your friendly Elderholic, Sid Kessler. Itisalive@erols.com