xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Elderhostel Notebook #99 March 3, 2002 oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox Welcome to and Goodbye from 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 ################################################ From the Editor's Notebook ################################################ Computer old timers here will recognize the 99 was the code often used in old data base programs for End of File or end of program. It is appropriate then that this is notebook #99 and it brings the notebooks to an end. For a variety of different reasons I am discontinuing the Notebook project - It's been an interesting and rewarding project. 99 ################################################ Comments and Queries ################################################ Subj: "new improved, no wait system" From: firstname.lastname@example.org I for one am appalled at the first come, first served change that is I believe driven by EH's desire to cut THEIR costs (call me cynical if you must) at the expense of a fair system that works for most of us. It will not relieve the heavy registrations for the most popular programs. It will get the $ for registration into the hot hands of the headquarters at lot faster. The major problem we've had over the span of the past 12 years is the late canceling of programs (up to 1 month before scheduled date) and scrambling to undo all the plans made around the anticipated program of planned family and friends get togethers as well. Now........Go fix that headquarters, and you'll have accomplished something that really benefits us! I am legally blind and it takes a tremendous effort which is lengthily and often frustrating using a CCTV system to peruse the whole catalogue (better than trying to keep track with the on line one) and now I will be further handicapped by the immediate registration policy! And...........how about those people without internet access or unwillingness? That puts those hopeful participants at a big disadvantage too. Thanks, Fritz ________________ From: "Ken Senstad"
A follow up to our review of the Elderhostel Program at the Cerveny Conference Center wherein we described the lack of additional instructors for the birding program for 44 participants and the lack of adequate transportation for field trips. Well, we received a letter from Boston telling us that we could get a refund of up to $100. We declined the offer, but it is a good gesture on the part of Boston. Best, Ken and Carol Senstad ______________ From: "Roger Weiss" We recently were informed an elderhostel we had signed up for had been canceled . We then researched four alternatives using the elderhostel web site. Of these four, three had also been canceled . We have signed up for and attended nine elderhostels in the past seven years and never encountered a cancellation. Have others also encountered a rash of cancellations recently? Has elderhostel changed its policies Anne and Roger Weiss weiss@HTAN.org ________________ From: email@example.com Since l992, I have been to more than 60 Elderhostels, and I have enjoyed perhaps about 90% of them. However, there seems to be a trend: The registration is becoming more and more efficient, especially if one wants to register on line. At the same time, most of the EH experiences are becoming more and more expensive, especially if a person has to travel solo. EH will soon become quite prohibitive for many people, as the original idea of college campuses fades into luxury motels and hotels. Still, I have managed to scratch out two more of them this July and August. __________________ From: "Rosemary" Those Elderhostelers who enjoyed wonderful trips in the South Pacific, via Pacific Island Institute in the early 90s and perhaps visited the Lockwood home, will be saddened to learn that Diana Lockwood passed away in January.She had been ill for several years as perhaps you know. We were on Maui recently and learned of her death when prayers were offered at Trinity-by the-Sea Episcopalian Church. Her husband who was very helpful to the Hostellers is Chancellor of Hawaii University. Rosemary B. Wallis Betty Amos Vancouver, B.C. _______________ From: Ewdeitz@aol.com Has anyone been on the trip to the Baltic States - 3 weeks, visiting Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moscow and St. Petersburg? Would like feedback, esp. regarding accommodations and FOOD!! Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org ______________ Subj: Elderhostel Program in Glacier Bay, Alaska Hello, We are considering the Glacier Bay program in September 2002 - If you have attended this program in the past, please let me know how it was. And was there a bad mosquito problem - I've heard that Alaska in September had MANY mosquitos. Were the accommodations up to par - and the food? How wasthe program? I would appreciate any comments on this program.Thank you. Mary e-mail address email@example.com ___________________ From: SUZIKUKAR@aol.com Has anyone participated in the spring program in Grants, New Mexico, which studies various Indian tribes? ______________ From: BAHamm@webtv.net ROSE BOWL PARADE Has anyone attended the program held in Pasadena, Calif that is held in Dec. on the Rose Bowl parade..?? Please send details if you have. Thanksfirstname.lastname@example.org Bllie _______________ From: Jmernay@aol.com Has anyone done the program "Zooventure For All Ages" at the West Liberty State College/Oglebay Resort? We are looking at the July 2002 program. Please e-mail me at Jmernay@aol.com _____________ From: D912j@aol.com Have the trips up and down the Nile River been eliminated? Any news of when they will be offered again? _______________ From: TBENSP@aol.com There was a time when Tom and I were the best Elderhostel Ambassadors on the list. We now believe it no longer is a good bang for the buck as it was awhile ago. The cancellation policy stinks. We were forced to cancel an Elderhostel last May one week before it began because we were both ill and under Drs.' care. Too bad. You still pay $100. each no matter what the excuse is. I think that policy is way out of line. There were so many people on the waiting list as it was a popular Elderhostel that it wasn't a problem filling our places. Nevertheless we were out $200. for nothing. Since then, we don't even look at our catalogs and will probably not be getting them much longer. The Senior Center in our town takes trips and if you cancel at any time and they can fill your place, you don't have to pay a dime. I am not suggesting that Elderhostal can do that but the paperwork doesn't cost $200. and we were both too ill to travel at that time. Tom had just gotten out of the hospital and I had acute bronchitis. Maybe they would have rather that I went and infected everybody in the place! Who knows? Very disappointed in the new policies. Pat Tom Bensch (80 Elderhostels) For comments email email@example.com ____________ From: PMuller141@aol.com Am contemplating late summer EH to Halifax and Louisbourg (program 65230) and would appreciate any evaluations, comments, tips, etc. from others who have participated in the past. Pl email firstname.lastname@example.org. ________________ Subj: People of theMekong Delta Four Country Elderhostel From: Gaoxing@aol.com Would be interested in any input . . i.e. climate in October, suggested clothing, amount of strenuous activity ( . . walking, climbing, etc.) . . ..gifts for children . . any personal experiences outside of the scheduled agends. Many thanks. _____________ From: email@example.com Am interested in a review of From the Big Apple to Big Ben: Architecture in NY and London. Thanks. _____________ Subj: Three elderhostles Desert Hot Springs CA. intermediate computer classes. Best instructors- best organized-adequate food and comfortable lodging. Sedona AZ. beginning drawing.instructor in wrong category.mediocre course.Adequate food and comfortable lodging. Tuscon-Nogales AZ. Two part program. Tuscon just getting started and it showed. Nogales excellent.Plenty of excellent food .Accomodations at Tuscon the better of the two.We were pleased with this one. Doug and Faye Finkelnburg firstname.lastname@example.org ____________ From: BBCareers@aol.com Do you have any information from people who have been on Elderhostel"trips: Russian Federation or Lithhania/Latvia/Estonia/Russian Federation? I would appreciate contacting anyone who has made either trip. Thanks. email@example.com __________ From: "Matt Gooby" We're thinking of a trip to both Vancouver and Victoria BC this summer. There are several interesting programs in the Elderhostel catalog, would appreciate info and suggestions. Matt Dot Gooby Hampton, NH ################################################ Program Reviews ################################################ Palm Springs Film Festival Cumberland Falls Kentucky State Resort Park Savannah State University Program ELDERHOSTEL WEST/LINCOLN CITY /OREGON COAST Alamo City, The LBJ Ranch, And The Texas Hill Country __________________ Nortel International Film Festival-CELS Palm Springs, Ca. January13-18, 2002 firstname.lastname@example.org Billie Hamm This was the 13th International film festival for PS and the 4th offering by CELS for EH and my second year to attend. Those of you who remember my report from last year about all the lack of electricity at the Ramada will be happy to know Edison cooperated this year and everyone had lights, etc the whole week There were some 500 persons enrolled staying at three different motels this year. Dinner was on our own. This is something new CELS tried this year. Our tuition was less than those staying where meals were included.( around $100 less) andI personally liked this idea. We got to try the local fare and had some delicious meals. I liked this option. Drawback-if you didn't have a car you were pretty well stuck eating within walking distance of motel, but again there were several choices available. Note: Only draw back to this is you didn't really get to meet and talk to others since you were eating on your own. WE did meet people in the swimming pool and hot tub and of course saw our "neighbors" each day as were coming and going-guess if you were determined to meet others you would-just not as handy as when you are thrown together for meals. NOTE: I would not recommend this site for some one traveling alone, especially without a car. Cels synchronizes things nicely. Everything ran like clock work. They had a van that made rounds to all the Motels to pick up those that didn't walk or drive to the theater. We were offered discount tickets to other theaters and films if we wanted to see more on our own. This is a fun week in a warm spot in January for those that enjoy films. We saw two a day and had critique sessions at each motel afterward if you wanted to discuss what you had just seen. NOTE: This program is listed in 3 or 4 different places in catalog ( depending on how many motels were used) We were invited to other sites for programs planned at night and did drive over to Desert Hot Springs to hear and watch a Hollywood make up artist show us her trade ! There were two motels in Palm Springs and one in Desert Hot Springs used this year. There is a lot to do and see in area so if you go, spend a couple of extra days ! You will be back to the cold and snow soon enough. Billie email@example.com ____________ Cumberland Falls Kentucky State Resort Park, November 4-9, 2001. firstname.lastname@example.org My Elderhostel No. 61 The first time I went to an Elderhostel in Kentucky, I felt as though something bit me and I went mad about the State. Kentucky is neither South North, East nor West. It is quite varied and beautiful, despite pockets of Appalachian poverty. From the beginning, I enjoyed the local folklore, history, and humor, and I felt the same way a few years later with my fourth Elderhostel in KY. Located in the Daniel Boone State Forest, near Corbin, the original home of Kentucky Fried Chicken, this resort park lives up to its name as a resort. It features a beautiful stone lodge, private rooms and baths, and dramatic mountain views. A note of caution: If you are driving here, be aware of twisting, steep mountain roads to get to the lodge. Cumberland Falls, the object of some of our studies, plunges 68 feet into a boulder-strewn gorge and is known as "The Niagara of the South." On clear nights during a full moon, a "moonbow" can be seen, when the Falls appear milky white. We had plenty of time to hike down from our mountain and visit either individually, or as a group. The luxury offered by this park was enhanced by delicious, nutritious food, buffet style, with drinks that were served by friendly waitresses. Unhappily, this was spoiled, somewhat, by the fact of smoking in the dining room, although supposedly there was a non-smoking section, which was undefined. One should remember that tobacco in Kentucky is known as the "largest legal crop" in the state. Our several short courses included the geology and geography of the area, two field trips to learn about its mining history, Appalachian music and religion, and Native Americans. Evening activities consisted of photographs of the region, an "Owl Prowl," a one-woman presentation of a well-known country singer, and a very enjoyable farewell party with square dancing and food. The last morning offered craft demonstrations of basket making and weaving by some of the local women. Our coordinators were Steve and Bret, Kentucky Park rangers who did everything possible to make our stay comfortable, educational, and fun. Sid Kessler email@example.com _________________ Savannah State University Program - February 2002 firstname.lastname@example.org For our 30th Eldherhostel experience we enrolled in the Savannah State University program that focused on the history of the city, the history of jazz, and marine biology of the nearby ocean. We must say at the outset that this was one of the best organized, best presented and most interesting program we have attended. We were housed in a Day's Inn just a block from the City Market. The rooms were adequate, and there was a $5.00 a day charge for parking which was not mentioned in the catalogue. No matter. The SSU itself was founded in the l890s as an industrial school for blacks. Today is is a full universeity with extensive undergraduate programs and an enrollment of about 3,000. The Elderhostel group consisted of 44 individuals from around the country. It wa a good group with many interests in common. The fact that the school is primarily black made our group a minority--a feeling not usually experienced by our all-white group.The program was divided into three parts: History of Savannah pesented by 78-year-old W.W. Law, one of the most knowledgeable teachers we have encountered in a long time. Mr. Law led the civil rights movement in Savannah and is known and loved throughtout the city. Next we had a overview of the history of jazz, the unique American art form, presented by Teddy Adams, a professional trombonist, and teacher. He covered the subject in an excellent manner starting with African drums through modern jazz. The third portion of the program was marine science as it related to the local Savannah area. The instructor, Dr. David Davies, not only was an expert in the field, but his sense of humor was enjoyed by all. Of note for Elderhostelers no instructor used slides--something of a first for us. We ate in the student cafeteria for most of our meals (except for a dinner at Ryan's Steak House.) The cafeteria food was really above usual Elderhostel standards and the variety ranged from full meals, to individually made sandwiches, salads, made to order omletes and full breakfests--not the chow of our college generation. Since it was Black History Month we were also lucky to have been invited to attend a reception and concert given by jazz pianist Consuela Lee at the beautiful Telfair Museum of Arts. We also were taken to a night club for an evening jazz concert by a local talented pianist. Finally, to top off the program, we were given a newspaper published in our honor describing our backgrounds, likes and dislikes and photographs of the group. This was a most rewarding program and one we would recommend without reservation. We did not find any brused bananas, either. _______________ ELDERHOSTEL WEST/LINCOLN CITY /OREGON COAST FEB 10 - 15, 2002 - # 37123-0210-01 email@example.com Wonderful 5 nights nights at one of the best hotels on the Oregon Coast-"The Inn At Spanish Head".It is right on the beach , with unlimited ocean views.Bellman service if required,valet parking(optional) bar and public restaurant on 10 floor. - conference room ,private dining room for us,and all rooms have this beautriful view.Heated pool,fitness room and huge spa Shuttle available from Portland airport. about $50.00. About 2 hrs west of Portland,Ore. Lincoln City is a nice city with outlet stores for shopping, a big casino, and many fine restaurants and motels if you decide to explore the coast before or after the EH. On top of that we had 5 days of sunshine. Carol and Lynn Unser can't be beat for hosts of this program as well as 26 other EH in Oregon.I attended another one of theirs in 1999 at Florence,Ore.It was great THE WINTER CATCH: A COOK'S TOUR-STIMULATING FEAST FOR THE SENSES! Sunday - Wine and cheese reception followed by a lovely dinner. 34 attended Monday - 8am Breakfast - Fruit and rolls some mornings - served breakfast other days. All very good 9am - (program started each day)."Where exactly are we" by Carol Unser Natural History"Whats on the Beach" by Janet Rogers- a walk on the beach and also Tai Chi Janet was our instructor on all our nature subjects and is so knowledgeable. Lunch at hotel and Afternoon program Cooking with "The Crabby Gourmet" Chef Nancy Brannon. She made the most wonderful Dungeness appetizers - and we all enjoyed them (2nds too) Dinner - followed by slide show by Janet. Each evening program ended by 7:30 so we could all watch the winter Olympics or enjoy the pool Tuesday 9am continued cooking class with Chef Nancy Brannon. More good eats Lunch(always nice )- salads cold cuts some days - other times a served lunch Afternoon - Natural History field trip- 3 new vans used Dinner and slide show-A discussion re:Commercial boats and fishing by Lynn Unser. (He had owned his own large boat and had wonderful stories and information) Wednesday After breakfast a Trip To Newport,Or. Self guided tour of Oregon Coast Aquarium -outstanding-, box lunch at aquarium ,boat trip on Yaquina Bay Estuary, crabbing,plankton trawl on the Marine Discovery boat. All made it an outstanding day. We even came upon a capsized dingy(about a 16ft boat) with 3 people hanging on while on the bay. The Discovery Boat captain spotted them and quickly called the coast guard. We brought the woman onboard and saw the coast guard in action. dinner followed by entertainment by Mike O'Donnell .singer,song writer and entertainer and Lynn spoke of the Lincoln City 2002 Glass float program We all hoped to find one on the beach Thurday Morning program "Time with the Executive Chef of the hotel - Ken Martin.Salmon and Potlatch demonstration of Native American Cooking Traditions Lunch and more from the Chef - followed by Oregon Wine tasting presented by Patrick McElligott Dinner What a gourmet Delight Seafood Buffet. Bigger and better than you would find at a 4 diamond hotel Fun and Frolic - passport signing. Carol and Lynn made this a really fun evening. gifts to all - one lucky person received a glass float Friday Breakfast and box lunches. If any one makes a statement that the food isn't good at an elderhostel program - they have not attended one run by Carol and Lynn - and been at The Inn At Spanish Head. I don't want to brag too much as I plan on returning next year and it would be sold out early. By the way - I attended this program with a lady I met at another EH last year. She came from Hawaii and stayed overnight with me in California - we drove up the Oregon Coast together to Lincoln City. New friends - exciting educational programs -enjoying the beauty of the USA Thats what Elderhostel is all about any questions - OK to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org _______________ Alamo City, The LBJ Ranch, And The Texas Hill Country SaraMiriam@cs.com We attended this excellent program, sponsored by the San Antonio Jewish Community Center-Downtown, in October, 2001. All aspects of this program were interesting and informative. Every day was a true learning adventure. We were treated to five lecture programs. Our program began Sunday evening with a talk by Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa on "San Antonio: the Rose of Texas." Dr. Hinojosa gave an entertaining talk which gave us a whole new perspective on the history of the Alamo and the socio-economic factors which led, inevitably, to Texas becoming part of the United States. Over the course of our stay, Dr. Char Miller gave three fascinating lectures. "Legends Landmarks of San Antonio," which covered the history of San Antonio from the founding of the city to the present. Joanne Wells, our program coordinator, told us about "Jewish Texans: Adventurers, Frontiersman Cattle Barons." Activities and field trips included: walking tour of downtown San Antonio, boat tour of the famous San Antonio Riverwalk, tours of Mission San Jose; the San Antonio Museum of Art and Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art; King William Historic District; Institute of Texas Culture; and the Texas Hill Country including Fredericksburg. founded by German immigrants, and the LBJ ranch. All of the tours were docent-led either by our program coordinator or knowledgeable guides. Most of our transportation was by motorcoach. However, we accessed the King William Historic District and the Institute of Texas Culture by public trolley busses. We did not have much free time, but we did have an opportunity to visit the San Antonio Mexican market, and the SAS Shoe Factory and Store. While in Fredericksburg., we had the option of shopping in the boutiques that line the main street or a visit on our own to the World War II Admiral Nimitz/ George Bush Museum of the Pacific War. I recommend a visit to this museum. It presents a graphic tale of an important part of our history. We also were treated to a fine production of Edward Albee's play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," at the Jewish Community Center. Our accommodations were at the Radisson Emily Morgan, a historical hotel which has recently been refurbished. Our room was large and airy with two queen sized beds. The only caveat is that the hotel does not have a gift shop to purchase sundries, newspapers, etc., on site. Our buffet breakfasts as well as three buffet lunches were taken at the hotel. Our dinners were taken at a variety of restaurants allowing us to sample the different ethnic cuisines in the area. One dinner was in the revolving restaurant at the top of the San Antonio Space needle. The level of the restaurants varied, but all provided tasty and wholesome meals. One other note: this program does involve some walking and standing.